Board and Staff

ANHCA is governed by elected members from its State and Territory peak organisations and representative bodies.


Jane Chilcott, President

Jane is the Chief Executive Officer of Linkwest, the peak body for community centres in Western Australia and has worked for Linkwest for 7 years in a number of roles.  Jane originally qualified and worked in HR management and training and has worked in a number of countries and in very varied roles including full time mum and teacher of English as a second language to adults and children.  As an extensive user of Neighbourhood Centres in a number of countries while her children were growing up, Jane is passionate about this very important sector and the role it plays in reducing isolation and bringing people from all walks of life together.

Beth Davidson, Vice-President

Beth is the Vice-President of the Australian Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association (ANHCA). She is also the President of the Board of Neighbourhood Houses Victoria. She brings extensive skills and experience related to community development and governance through her previous roles as Centre Manager at Grovedale Neighbourhood House, mayor of the City of Greater Geelong and as a committee member of the Neighbourhood House Committees of Management.

John Hooper, Treasurer

John is the Chief Executive Officer of Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania, the peak body for Neighbourhood Houses in Tasmania. He has spent the last 23 years working in community organisations focused on community development and has seen first-hand how true place-based community development can transform individuals’ lives, and that of their families and communities. He is particularly passionate about the role Neighbourhood Houses play in supporting people to transition back into work and learning, improve their confidence and wellbeing, as well as take on leadership and voluntary roles in their communities.

Elain Bakker, Secretary

Elain Bakker has been involved in the Neighbourhood House sector for over 12 years, starting as a tutor in Gippsland before managing Rye Beach Community Centre. She was on the Board of Neighbourhood Houses Victoria for six years, is currently on the Community House Network Southern Region Board and President of the committee at Mornington Community Contact Inc. Elain also works as a locum manager covering leave in Neighbourhood Houses.

Kate Beer

Kate is the manager of Devonport Community House. Prior to becoming the manager, Kate was on the Board of Devonport Community House. She joined the Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania Board in 2009 and has been the President since 2013. Outside the Neighbourhood House sector, Kate is involved in many local committees and Board. She is the community representative for Devonport’s Living City Task Force and the Treasurer for Soroptimist International, an organisation working to improve women’s and girls’ lives.

Andrew Keightly

Andrew is the Chief Executive Officer of the Camden Community Centre where he has worked for five years. He is a social worker with a background in Aboriginal health education, health promotion and training. Andrew has worked in many areas of the South Australian state government, has extensive management experience and is passionate about social justice and equity. He is currently the Chairperson of Community Centres SA.

Gretchen Young

Gretchen is the President of the Local Community Services Association (LCSA) and has been actively involved in the LCSA for close to a decade. Gretchen has worked in the community and government sector for over 15 years and is currently the General Manager of the Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre in Evans Head, Northern New South Wales- a multipurpose Centre which has had enormous success with a variety of social enterprise ventures and has a strong focus on working with the local indigenous community which has been influenced by her own Indigenous heritage. Gretchen has been a vital part of the highly successful Consortium of Neighbourhood Centres Far North Coast (CONC) and brings an array of service provision and community development knowledge.

Tracey Shaw

Tracey is the Chief Executive Officer of Prospect Community Services Ltd (formerly the Charters Towers Neighbourhood Centre). During her 27 years working in the health and community services sector, she has been actively involved in Neighbourhood Houses either as a committee member or employee. She is passionate about rural communities and the role of Neighbourhood Houses in building community resilience.