The Community Challenge Services’ board of nine dedicated board members guides our decision-making. We have a strong commitment to providing the services our community needs now and into the future. Our board members have experience and expertise in the disability sector as well as finance and the media.
Ted Wilkinson first joined the Challenge Community Services board in 1978, after being involved in the disability sector for many years. He has guided Challenge with his business expertise since then, becoming a Life Member and, for the past five years, as chairman. Before his retirement from local radio, Mr Wilkinson’s career spanned 38 years at the New England Commercial Radio Network. The past 25 years has been spent as a primary producer on his property at Willow Tree. He is also on the board of the Quirindi Jockey Club and a member of the Willow Tree Bowling Club. Mr Wilkinson said he was thankful for the hard work of both staff and the board, who continue to provide great services and outcomes for Challenge clients, carers, children and the community.
Kevin Kelly joined the Challenge Community Services Board of Directors in 1961, when his daughter Rose enrolled at the Bullimbal School. His service to the organisation includes 29 years as chairman of the board. Mr Kelly brings 70 years’ experience in running his property at Spring Ridge and an expertise in diplomacy to his position. He has been rewarded for his work by seeing many positive outcomes for Challenge as an organisation and for the community. In 2009, Mr Kelly was awarded an AM for his services to people with a disability. When he is not devoting his time to Challenge, the church or his farm, Mr Kelly can be found reading, spending time with family and friends, or travelling.
Lesley Hood was invited to join the Challenge Community Services Board of Directors in 2009. Mrs Hood said her work with Challenge allows her to improve the lives of people who, like herself, live with a disability. She also appreciates the opportunity to work alongside Challenge Foster Care, including in the field with case workers who do an amazing job in what are sometimes very hard conditions. Mrs Hood is actively involved in local community organisations including Anglicare, Rotary Tamworth - First Light, St Johns Op Shop, St Pauls Anglican Church, Northcott, Crossroads, Tamworth Access Group, and the Arts and Crafts Centre. Mrs Hood enjoys a range of leisure pursuits across different fields including sport, craft, literature, and walking her dog.
Chris Durkin has served as a director on the Challenge Community Services board for over 15 years. As the father of a daughter with a disability, he felt it was his duty to assist the organisation wherever he could and he enjoys having input into the disability industry. Mr Durkin said it was very rewarding to know he was a part of an organisation helping those less fortunate. He said the decisions the Challenge Board of Directors make had the potential to have a huge impact on the lives of its clients, carers, and children. Mr Durkin has been a member of the South Tamworth Lions Club for 35 years. His interest in clay target shooting has led to his involvement with the Tamworth Clay Target Club, including six years as their treasurer.
Louise Matthews has been a director since 2003 and brings 30 years of business experience to the Challenge Community Services board. Mrs Matthews said Challenge’s growth over the past two decades has been phenomenal and she was proud of the way the organisation has never lost sight of its core values, particularly its focus on, and responsibility for, its clients, carers and children. Mrs Matthews is an active member of the Rotary Club of Tamworth - First Light. She has received the Paul Harris Fellow twice, for her contribution at a club level and her work with Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA). Ms Matthews is the ‘RYLA Mum’, and is heavily involved with this personal and professional development camp for leaders of the future.
Since 2010, Bill Warburton has overseen the financial management of Challenge Community Services as treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee following a 40-year association with the organisation. He brings almost 50 years’ experience as a chartered accountant to his position and said it was rewarding to help Challenge remain financially secure in changing times. Mr Warburton’s community work includes involvement with Tamworth Foundation for Musical Education, Rotary Club of Tamworth, Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, and Australian Country Music Foundation. Mr Warburton has received the Paul Harris Fellow, the Director-General's Award for Excellent Service to Public Schools, and the Sue Downs Medal. In his spare time, Mr Warburton enjoys spending time with his family, and exploring great food and wine with friends.
Paul Stevenson is passionate about helping children and young people. In 2017, Mr Stevenson was approached to join the Challenge board to share his experience and passion for improving the lives of the region’s youth. Mr Stevenson’s work with Adolescent Crisis Intervention Service Tamworth, PCYC, Centacare and Joblink Plus has allowed him to develop extensive networks throughout the region. Mr Stevenson’s youth charity work has included involvement with Volunteer Youth Refuge, PCYC’s Midnight Basketball, Youth Insearch and an orphanage in Madagascar. He also provides driver instruction and mentoring. Mr Stevenson said that his time on the Challenge board has helped him pursue his lifelong passion of assisting youth, especially those who have fallen through the cracks in the education system.
John Glynn is one of Challenge Community Services newest directors. Mr Glynn has been a practicing solicitor in Queensland and New South Wales for over 35 years. Mr Glynn joined the Challenge board in 2017 to assist the local community. He said being able to help the disadvantaged in society was ample reward for providing the board with his extensive legal experience. Mr Glynn is currently involved in Youth Insearch and was formerly a member of the Rotary Club of Australia. Mr Glynn has an avid interest in flying and aviation in general. His interest has led him to a position on the Board of Directors of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia.
Paul Gruber originally sat on the committee at the Gunnedah branch of Challenge Community Services before taking up a role on Board of Directors in 2001. His association with Challenge began when his 18-month-old daughter Roslyn was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Since then she has been involved with Challenge in Gunnedah and is a keen participant in the Greg Norman Drive Day Program. Since 2011, Mr Gruber has held the position of Deputy Chairman and brings his hands-on experience of the disability sector to the Challenge board. Mr Gruber said that he enjoyed seeing the positive impact Challenge has on the lives of clients, carers, children, and the communities in which we work.