Our Board - Deaf Connect

Our Board

Board Charter

Deaf Services and the Deaf Society is governed by a Board of Directors and are accountable to the members for the management of the Company’s business and affairs, and as such is responsible for the overall strategy, governance and performance of the Company.

The major roles of the Board include:

Strategic Directions

  • Oversight of the strategic directions
    Providing advice and counsel to executive management on a periodic and ad hoc basis
    Ensuring management implement the policies and decision of the Board


  • Undertake all reasonable measures to ensure best practice corporate governance including compliance frameworks and control are in place and strategic risk management systems oversight
    Monitoring the performance of the chief Executive officer and approving executive management remuneration policies and practices
    Reporting to members of the Company

Operating performance

  • Reviewing and approving annual operating budgets and annual statutory financial statements
  • Monitor financial results on an ongoing basis
  • Determining investment strategy perimeters

Operational development

  • The appointment of the CEO and the approval of succession plans
  • Endorsing the appointment of the CEO’s direct reports

Board Members

Ralph Collins – Chair of the Board

Ralph Collins joined the Board 2014 and was appointed Chair of the Board in 2021.  He has worked in the financial services sector for over 30 years, qualifying as an actuary whilst at AMP in 1988 before moving to the profit for members sector of the superannuation industry, including Sunsuper and QSuper.  He has been responsible for managing teams involved in the delivery of services and advice to large employers and their employees.  Ralph is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia and has just completed his term as Chair of the Finance, Investment and Property Board of the Uniting Church Queensland and Chair of the Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (Q).


Brian Halse – Deputy Chair

Brian Halse A. Dip Sc. (Horticultural), Grad Cert. Farm Financial Management Cert IV Training & Assessment, MAICD & AFIML. Brian has been a Director of The Deaf Society since July 2015 and the Chair of the Board since December 2016. Since 2017 he has been the Managing Director of AgTrain Pty Ltd. Agtrain aims to develop specific education materials for use within the agricultural and horticultural sectors by developing unique eLearning platforms, using technology to enhance crop productivity and promoting awareness of work, health and safety issues in the workplace. Brian is also the CEO of Chemcert Ltd and Chemcert Training Group and has held that role since 2013. Prior to commencing in his current roles Brian was the CEO of High Security Irrigators, Murrumbidgee. Brian is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Institute of Managers & Leaders and the Gordon Rugby Club.


Cameron Miller
Cameron Miller

Cameron Miller joined the Deaf Services board in 2014.  He holds a Bachelor of Education and is currently working at Toowong State School. He has presented at various National and International conferences on bilingualism. Cameron has been on the organising committee of the last three Deaf Festivals and was the secretary for Queensland Deaf Rugby League as well as Queensland Deaf Council Cultural Committee. In his spare time, Cameron likes to play touch football and coaches a junior touch team.


Doug Evans

Doug Evans joined the Board in October 2014.  He has held varied CEO roles over the last 20 years and has degrees in Science and Business Administration.  Doug has worked in a range of business models including Global Consumer Companies, NFP, and member based organisations as well as retail and service businesses across a number of industry sectors.  Doug has held a number of functional senior leadership roles in HR & Corporate Affairs and has been a member of Boards and Industry Councils that successfully lobbied and dealt with government and regulatory authorities.  He currently consults to NFP organisations as a leadership and governance advisor and trainer.  Doug has a strong commitment to working collaboratively, compassionately and with high integrity, and he is passionate about building organisations and developing benefits for all stakeholders.


Kathryn Armfield

Kathryn Armfield joined the Board in 2014.  She was the first signing Deaf Lawyer to be admitted in Queensland and is currently a member of the Queensland Law Society and Family Law Practitioners Association.  She was a Board member and Secretary for the Queensland Association of the Deaf, an organising committee member and volunteer for the previous Queensland Deaf Festival’s and is currently the Chairperson for Deaf Sports Australia.  Kathryn holds a Master of Laws and is principal of Armfield O’Brien Law.  She has worked as a tutor for Griffith University Gumurri Centre, assisting indigenous students with their academic studies and she has a passion for advancing and sharing knowledge with the Deaf Community and ensuring the enrichment of future Deaf generations.  Kathryn is a Visiting Committee Board Member for Griffith Law School since 2012.


Len Bytheway

Len Bytheway joined Deaf Services Board in November 2018. Len is a trained teacher of the Deaf with a specialty in deafness technology and accessible media. He is fluent in Auslan and been involved with the Deaf community for over 30 years. Len was the founding CEO of Australian Communication Exchange and started the National Relay Service. Len has 12 years’ experience as a CEO, many more as a senior manager. Through his management consultancy Len has provided advice, support and mentoring to the boards and executive management of many corporate, not-for profit and government agencies. Len is known for his passion, skills and knowledge of education, access technology, media and marketing and corporate management.


Michael Boneham

Michael Boneham Bachelor of Education, Australian Institute of Company Directors Michael completed a 28 year career with Ford Motor Company when he retired after over four and half years as President and Managing Director of Ford India. Michael spent over 12 years in overseas senior leadership assignments in manufacturing and General Management with Land Rover and Ford in UK, USA , Thailand and India. Prior to being posted overseas Michael worked for Ford Australia in a number of Human Resources and Manufacturing senior leadership positions. He presently holds Advisory Board positions for a US based and Australian based private businesses, in addition to his Board role with Deaf Services and the Deaf Society.


Robin Mack

Robin Mack became a member of the Deaf Services Board in February 2019.  Robin is the Founder / CEO of Innovation Transformation, where he helps enterprise organisations think and act more like a start-up.  Robin holds a MBA from Queensland University of Technology and is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  Originally from the United States, Robin has worked in a range of senior leadership roles for global companies around the world. He also currently serves as a Director for John Paul College Ltd.


Sally Strobridge

Sally Strobridge is a third generation Auslan using Deaf person who joined the Board in 2013. Sally is the President of the Deaf Cultural Council Queensland and was the President of the Queensland Association of the Deaf from 2008-2011. She has been a coordinator for Deaf Adventure Group for over 15 years and currently works in various roles mainly for Education Queensland as an Auslan Project Officer, Auslan consultant, Auslan sign language assessor, presenter for professional development workshops for educators in the state, Auslan language model and is a qualified teacher. Sally taught undergraduate to postgraduate Auslan Studies course at Griffith University casually for almost 20 years. Sally holds a Bachelor in Sciences, Graduate diploma in Secondary Education majoring in Auslan LOTE and Science and Diploma of Interpreting qualifications.


Sarahjane Thompson

Sarahjane Thompson Bachelor of Science (Psychology), Bachelor of Arts (Sociology), Cert IV Training and Assessment, Sarah has a background in psychology and sociology. Her career has been predominately in the higher education sector. Sarah’s experience includes student services, orientation, study abroad, training and executive administration. Her current role is as a trainer in Student Administration Services at the University of Sydney. Sarah is hard of hearing.


Sarah Lowe

Sarah Lowe Bachelor of Arts (Monash University), Bachelor of Commerce (Monash University), Master of Business Administration (MBA) from RMIT. Sarah is director of her own business, Cloudmaker Consulting, which is engaged in business planning, marketing and communications. Sarah has past experience as Direct Marketing Manager at the Fred Hollows Foundation and in the development of fundraising campaigns for National Breast Cancer Foundation, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Seeing Eye Dogs Australia. Sarah is hard of hearing.


Stuart Lummis

Stuart Lummis joined Deaf Services Board in February 2019 having over 39 years’ experience as a senior executive and Company Director, with a strong background in the property sector. He has a Bachelor of Economics and other post graduate qualifications, he is the Head of Property at Yourtown, and was previously the Director of Property for the Catholic Archdiocese in Brisbane. He has extensive experience in both large publicly listed groups and not for profit organisations. He is also a member of the Property Council of Australia Residential Development committee, a Director of Brisbane Markets Limited, Bolton Clarke (formerly RSL Care + RDNS), the Heritage Council of Queensland and Chair of the National Trust of Queensland Advocacy committee.  He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Vince Lam

Vince currently has a Bachelor of Commerce (University of Sydney), CPA Australia, Master of Applied Finance (Macquarie University). Vince is an Accountant and a Financial Advisor with a wealth of industry experience. He has worked for blue chip organisations such as Deloitte, ABN Amro, AMP, HSBC, Westpac and Energy Australia.