Management Team

Ruth Tidswell
General Manager

Ruth has worked in human services for over thirty years, much of that time in roles that have combined clinical practice and management. She has qualifications in Nursing, Counselling and Social Work, combined with strong leadership and management skills and extensive experience in the non-government sector.

Ruth is invested in improving the health and wellbeing of the community and creating a workplace culture that is supportive, dynamic and inspires personal and professional growth for employees.

Ruth is committed to providing wholehearted leadership, focusing on connection, collaboration, compassion and creativity, and continually improving her qualities as a leader by participating in further education and training to enhance the impact and success of Community Action and its service delivery.

Andrea Matthews
Operations Manager

Andrea is the Operations Manager of Community Action Inc. Since commencing her employment with the organisation in 2006, Andrea has almost two decades of extensive experience across multiple roles inside the organisation and across the community services sector. 

Andrea’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Social Science, Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management, and a Diploma in Community Services Coordination.

With a passion for quality services, building strong partnerships and creating a workplace of choice for all employees Andrea is a valued member of the senior leadership team. 

Bernadette Wright
Manager Erin House Refuge

Bernadette is the Manager of Erin House and has had a dedicated career in domestic and family violence for over thirty years. She believes it is not about the length of service, but the united strength of a committed and reliable team that allows us to help restore and increase the safety of the women and children we serve who are experiencing domestic and family violence.

Bernadette, in collaboration with her team, is committed to promoting a just, peaceful and inclusive community whilst supporting women to develop and achieve their personal goals. The Erin House team view this as both a privilege and a challenge.  

Bernadette is an optimist and believes it is always possible to find a way through life’s challenges and has an unshakable belief in humanity and equality.

Talia van Gils
Manager Gympie Region Domestic and Family Violence Service

Talia is Manager at Gympie Region Domestic & Family Violence Service, where she works to resource and support women and children surviving domestic & family violence. She also works to improve systems including Justice, Corrections, Centrelink, Child Protection, Family Law and other service providers to improve practice so as to better support the safety of women.

Talia works in the Gympie community to raise awareness of domestic and family violence and to support cultural change towards gender equality. Talia participates in a range of state-wide initiatives including WorkUp – sector workforce development, Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Network and the Queensland Domestic Violence Services Network. Talia is a certified Safe & Together Trainer and is passionate about supporting domestic violence informed practice.

Talia has over 30 years’ experience in community services and has worked in community development, sector and workforce development, education and homelessness.

Jolene Ostergaard
Youth Service Manager
Renee Nielsen
Housing Service Manager

Renee has worked in the Community Services sector for almost two decades across many program areas including Youth Services, Employment and Training, Administration, Housing Work and Compliance. Renee also worked as a Tenant Advice and Advocacy Support Worker for two years which has further strengthened her skills and achievements as the Housing Services Manager. 

Renee’s expertise in tenancy management and legislation combined with her client-centred approach to managing a Tier 3 community housing service make her a great asset to Community Action Inc and the local community. 

Renee has qualifications in Community Services and Business Administration as well as high level IT and financial management skills. Renee believes in supportive leadership, a positive team culture, the right for everyone to have access to housing and is a strong advocate for the human rights of all. 

Judy Brauer
Quality & Compliance Manager

Judy has 25 years’ experience working across Community Action in various leadership roles. Judy is passionate about quality and is excited to be leading the organisation through the continuous improvement cycle and successful quality certification and registration processes.

Judy’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Social Science (Human Services), Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management, Cert IV in Workplace Health & Safety and is a Commissioner for Declarations.