Meet the Board

Judy Young – Chairperson

I have over 30 years’ experience in community-based disability services, having been a key figure with the Gladstone and District Combined Handicapped Association, which became GCLA in 1994.

I have four adult children, one of whom was born with Autism and an intellectual disability. My passion and drive to see people who have a disability become integral, valued members of our community has also led to my appointment to a variety of local and state community-based boards.

In 2014, I was honoured to be awarded Gladstone Citizen of the year.

I have held different roles within the GCLA Board and feel very privileged to serve as the Chairperson for over 10 years. Apart from GCLA, I also serve as an active board member of Parent to Parent Queensland and in the past, on the Disability Services Regional Council, Education Queensland Advisory Council, Gladstone District Respite Care Association (Mainstay Respite House), and Rosella Park School P&C.

Driven by a person-centered practice, as Chairperson, I am committed to ensure GCLA customers continue to receive Individual Personalised Support. It gives me great pleasure to still be involved with GCLA, a local, respected community organisation.



Karen Leinster – Director

For the past 30 years I have been involved in the disability sector. For 15 of those years I worked for Disability Services and aided the community in establishing several services including two respite facilities, toy library, community access service, accommodation support service and Women’s Health.

I have also been on the board of the Health Council, Gladstone Foundation, Parent to Parent and involved with Communities for Children.

My interest in disability stemmed from having family members with a disability and a desire to have an inclusive community where everyone is valued.

I am proud to be in a position to assist GCLA in ensuring that people with a disability and older citizens have choice and control over their lives.






Tania Howard – Director

I joined the Board of GCLA in February 2018 seeking the opportunity to strengthen the well‑being and futures of people and communities. I am passionate about inclusion and for everyone to feel valued and engaged.

As a finance professional with over 30 years’ experience and diversity across the private and public sector, I also served the Gladstone community through my own CPA tax practice for 13 years. I am a Fellow of CPA Australia, Commissioner for Declarations and graduated a Bachelor of Business with Distinction. My commitment to safety, professional standards, delighting customers, continuous improvement and quality service is unwavering.

I believe governance, strategy, policy, risk management and financial reporting underpin the intrinsic role of the Board to make choices that create the future for the communities we serve. As a Gladstone local, I am honored to serve my community through GCLA where our tailored services for aged care and people with a disability are provided by our dedicated staff through their collective wisdom, shared leadership and innovation.








Rick Hanson – Director

I have represented the community in Council since being first elected in 2006. I fully understand the business of Council from Planning, Community and Finance. I am a Council appointed Board member of the Gladstone Airport Corporation and Gladstone Area Promotion Development Limited (GAPDL).

I have extensive knowledge of Small Business, having been a past President of the Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry. I was a previous President of the Port Curtis Day Respite (Aged Care) which is now part of the GCLA and a life member of Gladstone Basketball and have been involved in Rugby League. As well as being a member of the Gladstone Sunrise Rotary club.

Before being elected as Councilor I had been involved in the community extensively, working in major industry for 19 years and owned and managed a small business for 21 years.

I am extremely proud of the Gladstone region with its blend of industry, opportunity and environmental commitment. I believe that we have it all here, from the beautiful beaches of Agnes Water/Seventeen Seventy and Tannum Sands to the scenic views of the valleys, mountains, and the islands, coupled by the existence and potential of our great harbour.

The region has enormous community pride and spirit and I am honoured to be a member of GCLA’s Board, empowering locals to achieve their goals.





Official Opening of ie cafe Tannum Sands, 8 April 2019.