Our Board

Thelma Hutchison, Chairperson

Thelma has been a Director since 2013 and was appointed as Board Chair in 2015. She has significant employment experience in the not-for-profit health sector, holding Executive roles with Gippsland Lakes Community Health, Inner East Community Health, and is currently Business Manager of the Child Migrants Trust.  She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; a Certified Practising Accountant and has a Bachelor of Business degree.

Thelma brings to the Board strong financial and analytical expertise, strategic, risk, and human resource experience.   Thelma has governance experience as Youth Services Director of Glenferrie Rotary Club; and as a former Director of Advance TAFE (now Federation Training). She is also an Independent Audit Committee member with the Lowitja National Research Institute.

Thelma has a strong sense of social justice, a commitment to best practice governance and to maximising opportunities for those most in need. Her personal interests include family, travel, cycling and active volunteer membership through Rotary.


Angela Hutson, Deputy Chairperson

Angela is a Management and Education Consultant with over 20 years’ experience in the VET sector and is a member of various Boards. Previously, Angela was the Chief Executive Officer of East Gippsland Institute of TAFE for 7 years. Her professional life has been committed to the maxim that “education changes lives”. Angela’s qualifications include:

  • Masters in Organisational Leadership
  • Graduate Diploma of Business in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Diploma of Education and
  • Bachelor of Arts.

Angela specialises in organisational development, human resources management and workforce development, strategic planning and stakeholder engagement. She has a passion for exploring and implementing ways to align social and economic development and using her networks and experience to “join the dots”. She is a FAICD. Her interests include living in Paynesville, walking with her Labrador, playing bridge and reading.

She is currently:

  • Chair of the Bairnsdale Regional Health Services Board
  • A member of the Gunai Kurnai Traditional Owner Land Management Board
  • A member of the Regional Development Australia Gippsland Committee
  • A Board Director at East Gippsland Water


Michael Nelson, Non-Executive Director

Michael has been a Director of Workways since 2007 and served as Board Chair 2010-15. Michael has been a teacher since 1976 and has worked in educational administration and consultancy since moving to Bairnsdale in 1986. Currently Michael has an Educational Consultancy and coordinates an alternative educational setting working with disengaged youth. Married to Merine, Michael has eight sons and a growing number of grandchildren. Most of Michael’s interests have revolved around the activities of his children and have included athletics, hockey, swimming, scuba diving and athletics.

He has been involved in School Boards and Administrative Committees and numerous community organisation committees of management. From 1993 till 2008 he was a Director of Hockey Victoria (incorporating VHA) and was a Director of the Gippsland Sports Assembly for a number of years. His involvement in Hockey ranges from local hockey, through Victorian Country Hockey to Hockey Australia where he represents Country Australia on the Hockey Australia Competitions Committee. He is a member of Rotary and served as president of his club 2014-15.

Michael has a strong passion for social justice and a ‘fair go’ which is reflected in his involvement in and contribution to the community in which he lives. In Workways, Michael sees a unique opportunity to contribute to his local and wider community with a commitment to sound governance and supporting quality of service to those most in need.


Jane Mckay, Non-Executive Director

Jane McKay has worked in marketing and communications for more than a decade and runs a digital marketing consultancy from her home in Bruthen, East Gippsland.

Jane’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Social Science), a Masters in Communications and Media, and an Advanced Diploma in Management. Jane has a keen interest in stakeholder engagement and examining the innovative ways Workways can assist its clients moving into the future.

As a former employee of Workways Australia, Jane has experience across many facets of the organisation and has a strong interest in the community services sector and how we, as an organisation, can continue to further our purpose to assist those most disadvantaged in our communities.

Jane has been a member of the board since November 2015 and is looking forward to seeing the continued success and achievements of Workways’ clients facilitated by the hard work of the board and staff at all levels.


Margaret Taylor, Non-Executive Director

Margaret is a facilitator and educational consultant who has worked in the vocational education and higher education sectors, health and community services, government and not for profits for over 25 years. Her work has included managing complex change projects, facilitating strategic planning and business development, designing innovative curriculum and coaching educational managers and leaders. Her qualifications include:

  • Master of Arts (Social Ecology)
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Education
  • Diploma of Education
  • Certificate IV in Training and Education

She is a member of AICD (Associate) and Women on Boards and has undertaken training programs in governance, strategic planning, risk management and financial management.

Margaret is committed to social justice, quality education and training and environmental sustainability. Her personal interests are writing, history, art, travel, yoga and gardening. She lives in Swan Reach.


Russell Needham – Non-Executive Director

Russell is a qualified accountant having graduated with a Diploma of Business Studies from Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education (later Monash University Gippsland Campus) in 1976.

For some 35 years Russell was a practising accountant and member of the Australian Society of CPA’s. During that time, he was a partner in several Accounting Practises specialising in Audit, Taxation and Management Consultancy providing these services to a vast array of clients in many different industries. These included Health, transport, agriculture and indigenous affairs.

Since retiring from his Accounting practice in 2010, Russell has maintained business interests through the joint ownership of the Caravan Dealership; Jayco Gippsland, based in Bairnsdale, East Gippsland.

Over many years, Russell has been involved in industry, community and sporting organisations. This involvement includes holding executive positions in CPA Australia, VEDA, Bairnsdale Golf Club, Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club, various football and cricket clubs and Rotary.


Jenny Semple – Non-Executive Director

Jenny was the CEO at the Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre for 20 years, with extensive experience in the settlement, aged care, youth, and employment areas in the non-profit sector. Prior to that she worked for the state government in public housing and aged care.

Jenny has been on many boards over the past 25 years including, Refugee Council of Australia, Settlement Council of Australia, Chisholm TAFE and Darebin Community Health Centre. She is currently on the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria Board.

Jenny’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Social Science, Graduate Diploma in Management, and she successfully completed the Folio Community Leadership program through Leadership Victoria. Jenny received an award for Meritorious Service to the Community, as part of Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2016.

Jenny brings skills and expertise in strategic thinking and planning, quality and risk, human resources and partnerships. She also has expertise and extensive experience in working with multicultural communities.


Max Newton – Non-Executive Director

Max was appointed a Director in 2017. Prior to that he worked in senior management in the vocational education and training sector for the more than 15 years. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Masters Degree in Accounting, Bachelor of Science, Graduate Certificate in Transformational Management and Diploma of Education.

He brings to the Board expertise in financial analysis, strategy and change management. Max believes that providing people with opportunities in education and employment enables them to have a satisfying and successful life, He looks forward to contributing to the important role Workways plays in the community.

Max has a strong sense of fairness. His personal interests include squash, bike riding and travel.