Management Committee

President:  Nicole Dibben

Nicole is a lawyer operating her own small firm within the Shoalhaven area. She was born and raised in the Shoalhaven area with strong ties to the community. Nicole attended primary and high school in the local area and obtained her Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law degrees from the University of Wollongong.

Between all this Nicole and her husband Ian own a transport company transporting freight throughout Australia.

Nicole holds various positions on several boards for the non-profit and community based sectors. Nicole has developed a strong sense of devotion to the non-profit and community based sectors as she has developed a deep appreciation for how these sectors seek to improve the quality of life for this region, one step at a time.

In her spare time Nicole coaches a local netball team and likes to read and spend time with her family.

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.


Committee Members:

Julie Ritchie

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. 


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.