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GRT is a collective group of voices from community, government, service providers and businesses, working together to serve community in our collaborative efforts to create a thriving future for our region.

As a community-led project, GRT includes everyone in the Gladstone Region.


Individuals that have nominated for regular ongoing involvement make up a number of volunteer teams and one paid support team, called a Backbone Team.

Supporting community in the GRT work is:

  • a volunteer Leadership Group

  • volunteer Working Groups

  • a paid Backbone Team, hosted by CQUniversity


The work and decisions of these groups are directed by community input. The teams listen to the voices of our community to ensure all voices are heard and that the everyday experiences of our community inform priority areas in the design of improvements.

You can be involved too – there is no eligibility criteria or restrictions, however we do have a community developed set of values and behaviours that we practice when engaging with each other to ensure everyone is heard and respected. If you are interested in supporting community wellbeing to be part of the solution, please get in touch.

Leadership Group

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Christopher Ford

Chris has been an Officer of The Salvation Army for seven years and has played a key role in the development of The Philip Street Communities and Families Precinct Partnership, a co-location of social services. He thinks outside the square to find solutions to complex problems and has a heart for community.  Chris believes that the only way forward for Gladstone to achieve successful outcomes is a collaborative approach. 

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Allison Shoesmith

Allison’s study and employment background is in the community sector.  Allison is passionate about reflecting the rights of people with disability to exercise choice and control over all aspects of their lives. In her current role as Area Manager at Carers Queensland, she leads teams to support people with disability and promotes person centred approaches and outcomes. As a single parent of three children, Allison has firsthand experience of struggling to support her children and was attracted to the goal of Stronger Places, Stronger People to interrupt poverty and create opportunity for all. 

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Aunty Cecelia Eggmolesse

Cecelia is a Byellee Elder, a descendant of our local First Nation Traditional Owner Custodians within the Port Curtis Coral Coast. Cecelia has meaningful links to the local indigenous community built through work in Indigenous Health, both Mainstream and Community Controlled Health Services, and volunteers and holds Director positions in various local indigenous and community groups. Cecelia values her family and indigenous heritage and is passionate about working together towards a common goal that will benefit the whole of the Gladstone Region.


Dr Chathu Herath

Chathu is a Specialist Paediatrician at the Gladstone Hospital and has had the opportunity to support families and young children’s health from diverse backgrounds. The experience Chathu brings to the Leadership team has been shaped by having lived and worked in communities in New Zealand and Australia, including in WA and NT. Chathu believes GRT will have the opportunity to redesign the system from a bottom-up approach, allowing us to inform the work through the eyes and experiences of our community.

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Rev Jarrod Beezley

Jarrod is a Senior Pastor of Immanuel Fellowship and a First Nation descendant of Kabi Kabi and Bundjalung people. He was born and raised in Gladstone and has had the privilege of travelling throughout our nation and internationally in his role as a Senior Pastor and Minister of the faith which taught him the importance of family, community and how to work together with others to support those who are at risk, struggling and unable to defend themselves. Jarrod believes in working together to see our community flourish spiritually and socially.

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Lyn Hughes

Lyn is the Professional Practice Coordinator and Lecturer in Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary Education at CQUniversity’s Gladstone Campus. Lyn has worked and been involved in the field of early childhood for the last 40 years across all sectors. Lyn is a mother of three children and has been a client of early childhood settings in regional Queensland since 1988. As well as pre-service teacher education, Lyn’s passions include ‘getting it right’ in the early years for all children, language and literacy learning and transitions for learning and life.


Leanne Patrick

Leanne is a local business owner, mother and community volunteer and advocate. When Leanne is not busy with the family business, Boyne Island McDonalds, she is serving the regional community, driven by her strong belief in family, health, education and the wellbeing of others. Leanne has a passion for community connections and letting the voices of families and community be heard and wants to play her part in the positive growth and development of our region through disrupting the cycle of disadvantage.


James Lynch

James is a married father of two wonderful teenage daughters and has lived together with his family in Gladstone for the past 10 years. He has spent his working life in the resources and energy sector, most recently leading operations teams on LNG plants in various locations around Australia. Having recently given up the fly in, fly out lifestyle, James now consults to local contractors who provide support services to the LNG industry. James is passionate about family and community and is excited about the opportunity to ‘give back’ to this wonderful region we live in.

Backbone Team

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Lorna McGinnis

Executive Director

With connections to Central Queensland, Northern Territory, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe, Lorna chose the Gladstone Region in 2005, as the ‘right place’ to raise her children and feels extremely privileged to support this work for our community.  Post-grad Community Relations and Anthropology studies, and leadership roles in Industry Projects, Government programs, Human Services and Not-for-profit sectors, have provided Lorna with a great appreciation of effective cross-sector partnerships and the power of community-led outcomes.  Leveraging her community development, social impact management, project management and business improvement experience, Lorna’s aspiration is to enable our strong community to achieve more with what we have and create amazing futures for our children.


Orla Smyth

Projects and Community Engagement Lead

Orla’s background includes Human Resources, Disability and Aged Care Community Sector. She also has a strong passion for Health, Fitness and Wellbeing. Orla has a special interest in Human Rights and is currently studying this field with Curtin University. She is a Volunteer Strength and Conditioning Coach at her local Junior Rugby League Club and supports the young members with a holistic approach to wellbeing through fitness. She believes in building strong relationships with the youth in the community and being a positive role model. She believes all voices are valued to ensure our community can become a stronger and more supportive environment for everyone.  

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Courtney Morrison

Projects and Sector

Partnerships Lead

Courtney brings experience supporting people to navigate and develop positive change, drawing from her background in human resource, project management and appreciative inquiry. Courtney loves to open up conversations about wellbeing and resilience, designing and delivering workshops, courses and coaching for a diverse range of participants from workplaces, community groups, business owners to teenagers and pre-teens. Raising her family in Gladstone since moving here in 2014, Courtney feels immensely grateful to support this work and building upon the opportunities and strengths of our region for families and children to thrive. 

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Melanie Ohl

Projects and Partnerships Lead Measurement and Evaluation

Melanie brings a health perspective to the team, with a degree in Health Promotion and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Health Research. Her previous roles have been in Suicide Prevention and service planning for the Gladstone Health Plan. Melanie was a CQUniversity Scholarship representative in 2017 attending the United Nations Conference in New York where she advocated for gender and family equity. Melanie has called the Discovery Coast home for the past 5 years and is passionate about equal opportunities for families in smaller regional towns of the LGA. Melanie is extremely honoured to be part of this work in supporting community partnerships and improving wellbeing outcomes for our region.

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Kylie Williams

Communications and Engagement Coordinator

Kylie is a mother of two and a long-term Gladstone local who is proud of her community roots. With qualifications in Marketing and a strong background in Community Engagement and Communications, Kylie brings experience working collaboratively with the Gladstone community, industry and social sector. Kylie understands the importance of communication and engagement in bringing community together through listening to all voices and sharing stories and ideas. Kylie is grateful to be part of a team with a whole-of-community approach for improved wellbeing. She is honoured to contribute towards a thriving future for the Gladstone Region where children and their families live happier and healthier lives.

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Kylie King

Administration and Finance Officer

Kylie has a background in supporting teams in busy environments. She holds a Diploma in Management and has worked in the leisure, construction, sales and human resources sectors. Kylie has lived most of her adult life in Gladstone and has raised her children here over the last 11 years.  During this time she has participated in community life through several volunteer positions and maintains her strong community connections through family and sporting clubs.  Kylie actively pursues a healthy lifestyle through fitness and yoga in between work and family life. Kylie is excited to be a part of such a passionate team and looks forward in continuing to strengthen positive possibilities for the

Gladstone region.

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