Glynis’ training has a degree in Primary Teaching/Special Education and then in later years she trained as a counsellor. She taught in Early Intervention, in the Public school in special education classes and in the Private school system in mainstream classes. She also taught in TAFE in adult special education classes in literacy and numeracy.
She is married to Mark and has six children, her eldest child has Downs Syndrome.The family moved from Sydney to Parkes in Central NSW, and then to Nowra, with Mark’s teaching appointments. Their home has been here in Nowra for the last 25 years.
She was a founding member of the Down Syndrome Association of NSW back in the early 80’s. She has continued in her community involvement on local boards, has been involved in many Church, community and craft groups at different times over the years.
Glynis enjoys spending time with her family, Grandchildren, reading, photography, sewing and travelling, both in Australia and overseas.
Glynis firmly believes in all people being given the opportunity to reach their potential and to live a rich and fulfilled life.
Vice President: Brian Ritchie
Brian has been a committee member for 12 years and President from 2004 -2010. His interests include football and fishing and has been Secretary of the Fishing Club for 25 years. Brian has worked as a Panel Beater and Publican. He is President of St. Vincent De-Paul Holy Spirit Conference, Vincentia and Regional President of St. Vincent De-Paul Shoalhaven Districts.
Secretary: Kathryn Hopkins
Teacher | Community Services | Human Services, Tourism & Hospitality
TAFE Illawarra Nowra
Kath works full time as a Teacher in the Community Services Section of Nowra TAFE Campus. She is responsible for developing and delivering Certificate to Diploma level training for people working in, or wishing to work in, the community services sector, particularly those with an interest in disability services.
Kath was born locally but left Nowra after high school to study at the University of Sydney, firstly gaining a Social Sciences degree and then later a Masters in Rehabilitation Counselling. After university Kath commenced working in disability services primarily in the areas of open employment and case management. After some years, Kath combined her work in disability services with part time teaching at TAFE and worked in several campuses across the Sydney area. This lead to her securing a full time teaching position. In 2010 she returned to Nowra with her young family and leads an active life, supporting her three boys’ academic, sporting and community pursuits, while also finding some time to participate in a number of sporting and community activities herself.
Kath is a strong advocate for strength-based practices leading to valued roles and inclusion for all members of our community.
Treasurer: Brenton Chivers
Public Officer: Gai Richardson
Gai is a parent of a son with Cerebral Palsy and an Intellectual Disability. Since 2012 Focas has been the provider for her son’s self managed Supported Living Fund.
Gai retired in August 2014 from a Customer Service/Data entry role with Shoalhaven Water, part of Shoalhaven City Council where she was employed for 17 years.
Sport has been a big part of her life and currently enjoys playing golf, tennis and Yoga.
She enjoys outdoor activities such as walking, fishing, going to the beach.
Gai also enjoys going to the movies, concerts, live shows, etc.
Paul is an experienced educator and organisational leader. He has worked in many schools over the years ranging from overseas, regional NSW and Western Sydney and has held senior leadership positions as Principal in Catholic Primary schools, an Independent K-12 school for students with disabilities and in community organisations.
Paul has a strong connection with FOCAS and is passionate about individualised support to people with disability to assist them to achieve their goals and live a good life.
Julie has been involved with FOCAS for 20 years, 17 of which have been on Committee in various positions. Julie attended our very first meeting when funding was received for Post School Options. Her interests include reading, movies, singing and football. Julie has worked as an Accounts Officer, Insurance Clerk, Short Order Cook, House Cleaner and Ironing Lady.
Julie has been a member of Vincentia Red Cross for 14 years also in various positions including President and Treasurer. A member of Vincentia Red Cross Singers who visit Nursing Homes and Day Care Centres in the Nowra and Bay and Basin Area. She also volunteers at Vinnies Op Shop at Sanctuary Point.
Leah has grown up in Nowra and is the youngest sister of Matt, who has Down Syndrome and has been involved with FOCAS for the last 22 years. Leah has a Bachelors degree in Health Science in Indigenous Health Studies and has recently completed her Masters of Public Health. Leah has been involved in local soccer teams for many years and has played at State level with Southern Branch.
FOCAS is governed by a management committee which is responsible for corporate governance of the organisation. The Committee meets monthly to discuss and consider present and future considerations concerning services offered. Individuals, families and supporters with industry experience make up the majority of the management committee. The committee stresses the importance of the provision for a service that authentically addresses the needs and aspirations of individuals and continuously strives for improvement and value.