Melissa is the current Vice President of the BDCDA Management Committee. She joined the BDCDA in 2016 and had previously been a user/hirer of facilities since 2014. She holds current Bachelor qualifications in Psychology, Secondary Education, and Policing, a Diploma of Public Safety and Certificates in Training and Assessing. She has been a Commissioned Officer with the Australian Army for over 20 years, serving on overseas deployments on two occasions whilst serving with the Reserves.
Melissa joined the Queensland Police Service as a sworn officer at 21 and served in various locations throughout south east Queensland over her 20 years of service, most recently as the Senior Sergeant Project Officer in the Domestic, Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit. Melissa is currently the State Member for Macalister, representing Beenleigh and surrounds in the Queensland Parliament. She has an extensive work history in serving the community whilst in uniform.
The work Melissa does within the BDCDA allows her to continue to serve and work with community groups and like-minded people away from her employment. She is passionate about the role community based organisations can have in facilitating change within local communities.
Melissa has three young children and most of her spare time is spent living vicariously through them, watching them play sport and building Lego and Minecraft worlds. She is also a rugby league tragic when time permits.
Donna has been involved with BCDCA since 2014. At the 2018 AGM Donna became the Secretary for the Management Committee after filling the position throughout the year.
Donna moved to Beenleigh during December 1992 with her family. Her children still of school age were enrolled at Beenleigh State School where she joined the School Auxiliary in 1993 establish friendships in the community. Since then Donna has continued volunteering within the P&C Association at Beenleigh State School as a general member and various positions on the P&C Executive.
In 2017 Donna became the Breakfast Club Coordinator as well run the Walk in my Shoes program and supporting students with Uniforms and Stationery needs within the School Community. In 1995 Donna was offered some Teacher Aide hours for the School and she been able to gain her Certificate 3 in Education Support and now supports students in the Special Education Program.
Anne-marie Keleher has lived in Beenleigh for ten years. She has a Masters of Social Work and presently works as a social worker supporting children living in foster care. She brings to her role on the BDCDA committee 25 years of experience working in not for profit and service organisations.
Yvonne is a General Member of the BDCDA Management Committee and has been involved with the organisation since 2007. Yvonne’s first introduction to BDCDA was when she joined the International Cooking Club (ICC) after seeing an article in the local newspaper. After joining the ICC Yvonne took an interest in a range of other BDCDA clubs, including a walking club, beading group and lapidary club. Through her involvement with the ICC Yvonne became heavily involved in her community, engaging in a number of projects including healthy lunches in schools and production of a multicultural cooking video.
As Yvonne’s involvement with BDCDA grew she developed an interest in learning how the organisation works, i.e. who makes the decisions, how the organisation is structured, how the organisation is funded, etc. It was through this desire to know more about BDCDA that Yvonne came to be on the Management Committee.
Yvonne has enjoyed a successful career as a teacher, as well as a Mother of two children. She holds a Bachelor of Education and Diploma in Teaching and has taught in New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland.
Yvonne is an avid sewer and enjoyed doing craft with the children in her care. Nowadays her passion is making jewellery using many different mediums, including Silversmithing. Yvonne also enjoys reading, aqua-aerobics and staying physically active.
Hello my name is Pamela Donovan, I moved to Qld in 1996 with my young family from Wagga Wagga NSW and now my family have all but grown up and have their own family. I’m an Indigenous women from Wiradjuri and Dunghutti tribe, my father was Wiradjuri located in Riverina region and my mother was Dunghutti is located in Kempsey region. My family history can go back 1788, when the convicts arrived from England, the captain of one of those ships was name O’Donovan he was from Ireland. Some where along the line, for some unknown reason the ‘O’ was dropped from O’Donovan, our family are still working our family tree. I worked within the Public Services for the last 30 years as Business/Corporate officer with many governments and non-government departments. I even did a stint with Queensland University working on a survey for Women Longitudinal study on women’s health in remote areas, this included Woorabinda and Hopevale. I retired back in 2019, and started volunteering being qualified Justice of the Peace (JP) at the Beenleigh Neighbourhood Centre and Beenleigh Market Place, and also volunteer at the Palm Lake Age Care. When we finally come out of covid I’m hoping to start travelling again down south to visit my family that I have not seen in two years. Since retiring from full time work, I feel like I’m more busy now then I ever was and think how I worked from dawn to dusk and still had time to see family. I’m looking forward to being a new member of the Beenleigh Neighbourhood Centre and thanks to Cheryll for asking me to become of member of this organisation.
Cheryll commenced her employment with BDCDA in February 2006. Her roles have been varied and have included family support, administration roles and coordinating the homelessness program for the last nine years. Cheryll has been the manager of BDCDA for the last four years.
Cheryll has had many different positions during her working life, some of these positions include community worker, teacher-aide, child care worker, family support work and most recently coordinator and manager with BDCDA. Her recent education includes a Diploma in Justice Administration, MYOB theory, and a partial Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioural Studies. Cheryll is also in the process of completing her Diploma in Community Services.
Cheryll is very much a ‘people’ person and continues to enjoy having the opportunity to work and develop relationships within the Beenleigh Community, whilst also building BDCDA’s profile. In her own words “the last 12 years have been a rewarding experience and the whilst the BDCDA team is small, we have shown that we are able to foster social inclusion. Our strength is also captured by our wonderful volunteers and team leaders”.
In her down time Cheryll enjoys reading, trivia, movies, being outdoors (not in the extreme heat!) and cruising. She also loves spending time with her family, friends and watching her two grandchildren grow.
Community Development Officer
Justice of the Peace (Qualified)
Anthony was employed as BDCDA’s Community Support Officer from September 2016, and was promoted to the role of Community Development Officer in September 2018. Prior to his employment with BDCDA he worked for many years in the electronic security industry.
Anthony holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and is a qualified Justice of the Peace. His primary role within BDCDA is the development, delivery and evaluation of community projects, events and resources. Anthony is also responsible for maintaining BDCDA’s information technology infrastructure, website and social media presence.
Anthony enjoys spending time with his family, travelling overseas and photography. He also maintains a keen interest in politics, current affairs and aviation.
Housing Support Officer
Administration Support Volunteer
Naomi is foremost a proud Grandma of one beautiful girl. She gained most of her professional experience in her birth country, where she also graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce (marketing major). Naomi’s first job was in a bank where she was placed for an apprenticeship. She was eventually offered a permanent job in Human Resources. She didn’t stay long as any job outside the four corners of an office was too much of a temptation. Most of her job after that point was partly in the office as well as marketing various services and products outside of the office. Her role involved leading and mentoring a small group of marketing reps.
Naomi started her own Meat Mart business when she returned to her province. Her primary role within the business was processing and delivery of stock to restaurants. Naomi also owned a few taxis where her main role was handling liaising and paperwork, e.g., bookkeeping.
Her first job after arriving in Australia was as a frontline worker at a McDonalds store. From this point she obtained her business licence as a cleaning subcontractor. She then transferred to Brisbane and worked in food production.
Naomi’s first volunteer role was in 2020 in a retail shop. Unfortunately, all volunteers were stood-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Naomi is thankful and grateful to BDCDA for taking her on as a volunteer. She has and continues to learn a lot of things, especially technology. Her pastimes include sudoku, crossword puzzles, word connect, solitaire, reading, and connecting with her family and friends.
Administration Support Volunteer
Maria first arrived from Switzerland as a tourist in 1981, toured Australia with a backpack, and then did not leave. Holding many different positions in the tourism and hospitality industry, both front line and administrative. It was clear that she loved working with people. Her choices of studying human behaviour, counselling, psychology and cultures of the world perfectly complemented work and family life. She lived for many years in the Cairns area but is most happy in the South East of Queensland near the family and now the grandkids, and where there are beautiful walking and cycling tracks yet where she is also close to the city and the beach.
She just kind of ‘happened upon’ her Volunteering role at BDCDA at the beginning of 2022 and feels it is a perfect match for her. Grateful for the opportunity and excited about the future possibilities for the Center as well as for Beenleigh the town and its people which she feels is undergoing a rejuvenation of sorts.