Board of Management

ARC is governed by a Board of Management which oversees the strategic operations of the organisation. The Board of Management is elected from the members of the organisation at the Annual General Meeting with Board Members being elected for a 2 year term.

Our current board members are:

Chairperson – Lorraine Carroll

Lorraine has spent over 20 years in Cairns working in the area of disability in both government and non-government organisations.

Having worked as a Speech Language Pathologist for many years, Lorraine completed her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and now coordinates the disability and therapy services across all Catholic Schools in the Cairns Diocese.

Lorraine joined the Board in mid-2015 and was elected as the Secretary for 2017. At the AGM in November 2017, Lorraine was nominated and elected as the Chair of the ARC Board. This is an exciting time to be a part of the ARC Board with NDIS creating amazing opportunities for clients and their families as well as service providers.

Lorraine is a strong advocate for the rights of people with disability and through her role on the Board, is committed to ensuring ARC’s ongoing future as an organisation of excellence.

Deputy Chairperson - Fiona Hiatt

Fiona is a Child Health Nurse at the Cairns Early Years Centre at Bentley Park where she works supporting families and their children. Fiona has been involved with ARC for many years, firstly using the Toy Library for her son. He now attends the Learning and Lifeskills Program and is involved in many opportunities through ARC, particularly in the Arts. 

Fiona is the FNQ Regional contact for Tuberous Sclerosis Australia. Fiona has seen significant growth in the services ARC provides to clients and the difference it makes to individuals, their carers and families.

Fiona is proud to be a member on the ARC Board to support the organisation into the future with the many changes ahead in the disability sector.

Treasurer – Dot Shea

After teaching in Primary and Secondary Schools throughout South Australia for 20 years, I arrived in Cairns in 1995. In 1996 I joined the Catholic Education Services as an advisor in Special Needs and then over the next 9 years as Catholic Education began to increase it services for children with disabilities, as the Manager of Student Services for the Cairns Diocesan Catholic Schools. In the late 1990s I became involved with ARC through the schools accessing the Toy Library. I was first appointed to the Toy Library reference group and then became part of the ARC management committee. During this time I was very involved in the extension of the facilities and the move from it being a Toy Library to becoming the ARC Resource centre with qualified teachers offering advice on equipment. It was great being on the committee as it allowed me to have the knowledge to assist parents from our schools to gain the knowledge of what services were available to them.

In 2005 I was appointed Principal at St Teresa’s school in Ravenshoe and so I needed to resign from the committee. I did however continue to be interested in ARC and our school became a client of the Resource Centre.

In 2010 I returned to Cairns to semi retire and was appointed as a board member in November 2011.Although I have now relocated to Mareeba, I have continued with my role on the ARC Board as Treasurer which I have held for the last 5 years.Having local knowledge, past experience in management, job services for disability and non disability client's including mentoring and indigenous support assited her to understand employment & education support gaps for our local and wider community.

Secretary – Heidi Turner

Heidi is an advocate for inclusive community engagement, education and job outcomes for everyone to reach their full potential. It is important for the Cairns community to flourish in a diverse and inclusive manner. 

Being involved in the Cairns Young Chambers Emerging Leader's Program gave her the opportunity to join the ARC Board of Management in 2017. 

Board Member – Cathy Aitken

I completed Year 12 at Isis District State High School in Childers, I then moved back to my home town of Bundaberg to attend TAFE Commercial and Office Studies followed by an Office Traineeship with Dept. Public Works (QBuild). At the conclusion of my traineeship, QBuild Cairns offered me permanent work so I moved up here in 1989. From 1990 to 1998, I was employed by the Office of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Far Northern Region, as an Administration Officer.  During these years, I attended evening courses at Cairns TAFE College and earned an Advanced Certificate in Business (Management). I met Peter in 1992 and we married mid-1993 in Bundaberg.  We travelled a lot before starting our family.  Whilst pregnant with Nicholas (b.1999), I worked on a Certificate in Child Care and Education. Michael (b.2001) completed our family.  Both Nicholas and Michael have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and both boys became ARC service users in 2002 and 2004 respectively.   The boys love staying at the “Holiday House” (Waratah Drive Residential Respite House) and are very fond of all their respite carers past and present.

Cathy has been a carer representative on the ARC Board and has participated in the growth and professionalism of the organisation.  She is enjoying being part of a wonderful team working towards the roll-out of the NDIS in Cairns on 1st July 2018

Board Member – Fe Flanagan

Fe is a Fellow of CPA Australia and has extensive knowledge and experience in financial and management accounting, audit, risk management, treasury management, taxation, policy formulation, and financial systems implementation.

Fe has worked for over 20 years in the banking sector, forestry, mining, local government, state government, and aged care sectors in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Philippines.

Fe currently works with a Government-Owned Corporation and is a Director of Flanagans Accounting and Tax Services.

Board Member – Beth Rolton

Beth has worked as a lawyer since 2010 in Cairns.  She is employed with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers working predominantly in the field of Personal Injury law.  This work involves helping people who are living with a brain injury, disability and/or catastrophic injuries access their legal rights and entitlements.    

Prior to this Beth worked as a secondary school teacher.  She worked in Charters Towers, Sunshine Coast and for the last 10 years of her teaching career she worked at Kuranda District State College.  This role involved working with students who had varying needs and disabilities. Beth strived to ensure that all students were able to access the curriculum despite any disabilities and that students’ needs were accommodated.

Beth is excited about the opportunity to make a positive difference to people’s lives through her work with ARC and her work at Maurice Blackburn.


Board Member - Barb Smith