Board Member Profiles

The Domestic Violence Action Centre Board is responsible for the strategic direction of the organisation, ensuring it lives up to its values and achieves its goals.

The Board comprises of members who share a diverse range of professional skills, are passionate advocates against domestic and family violence, and are invested in creating a safe and secure future for all Queenslanders. The Board’s members contribute their time and expertise on a pro bono basis.

karenKaren Newton

Karen Newton is the office manager of Salvos Legal Humanitarian, a revolutionary pro bono law firm which is the first of its kind globally. She has been on the Board of Management of the Domestic Violence Action Centre since 2013 holding the positions of member, Secretary and currently, Vice Chairman. Karen has an MBA with a specialisation in Strategic Human Resource Management and a Post Graduate Certificate in Business from the University of Southern Queensland. Karen has extensive experience of over 20 years in senior legal support and for a further five years she worked in State Government as Electorate Officer for the Member for Ipswich, who was the Minister for Transport at the time. Karen resides in Ipswich with her husband, Ken and is active in the community, specifically through her membership of the Zonta Club of Ipswich since 2007, holding board positions for over five years and she served as President in 2013/14.

geoffGeoff Noller

Geoff Noller is currently the officer in charge of Springfield Police Station and has been since it opened in early 2010. He is a career police officer with more than 33 years experience with 20 of those years spent serving rural communities (mining, remote, tourism, farming). This experience fostered a community engagement and community capacity building approach to solving policing and community issues. Geoff has strong beliefs relating to social justice issues including domestic and family violence. He has continued studies and development within and outside the QPS to better perform his duties. Geoff currently also serves on the Ipswich Police Community Policing Board and has developed strong community connections throughout the Ipswich Police District. He joined the board in early 2016 and has since accepted the position of Secretary.

emmaEmma Thomas

Emma Thomas is a Team Leader within Aftercare, a National not-for-profit Mental Health Service Provider.  Emma is involved in a number of projects throughout the West Moreton Region in her role including the establishment of The Poppy Centre, a wellbeing centre for children 0-11 years and their parents and carers, adult mental health recovery and a prison reintegration project.  Emma sits on the Case Assessment Group for the Qld Court Referral program also, supporting people to get access to services who are going before the courts.  Emma has brought the Poppy Supported Playgroup and the Hearing Voices network to the region and continues to look to meet the needs of her community where she can and improve service access. 

richardRichard Thomas

Richard Thomas is a Certified Practicing Accountant with over 10 years experience in finance and commercial roles in public and private companies. Richard has been a member of the Management Committee and Board of Management of the Domestic Violence Action Centre (previously the Ipswich Womens Centre Against Domestic Violence) since October 2013. Previously he held positions on the North Queensland Regional Council for CPA Australia. Richard holds an MBA from James Cook University, and a Bachelor of Commerce from the Universtity of Queensland. He currently works for a national transport company, having held roles in operations, commercial and finance. A dedicated professional and experienced business manager, Richard strives to continuously improve outcomes by improving governance and decision making systems and building better teams.

nickNick Thompson

Nick Thompson holds a Bachelor of Social Science and a Master of Social Work from Southern Cross University. He’s currently employed as a Case Worker with Mercy Community Services in their Intensive Family Support Program at Ipswich and was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Family Legal Service Southern Queensland. He’s a White Ribbon Ambassador and previously worked in family violence prevention across Central Australia with Aboriginal families and communities.


sandySandy Venn-Brown

Chairperson – Sandra (Sandy) Venn-Brown retired from full-time employment in April 2016 to concentrate on her community work. With degrees in both organisational psychology and media and communications, postgraduate qualifications in sociology and ergonomics, and a Masters in public sector management, Sandy held a range of positions in workplace health and safety, industrial relations and human resources prior to her retirement. In addition to DVAC, Sandy is on the Board of Zonta International District 22.

charlotteCharlotte Yellowlees

Charlotte Yellowlees is a Senior Associate with Salvos Legal Humanitarian, a revolutionary pro bono law firm which is the first of its kind globally. Charlotte’s key practice areas include Refugee and Immigration Law and Family Law. Prior to commencing practice with Salvos Legal Humanitarian Charlotte worked in construction litigation and was also an Associate in the District Court of Queensland. Charlotte is actively involved in the community specifically through the development legal services for asylum seekers and volunteering at a migration advice service.