About Communify Queensland

Our story, our staff, our philosophy and values

Communify Queensland is an established community organisation providing a diverse range of services

1978

Communify originated when a small group of local residents formed the Red Hill Paddington Community Centre (RHPCC) on Caxton Street. The purpose of the centre was to provide activities, support and advocacy services for locals.

1993

The RHPCC moved to new premises at 180 Jubilee Terrace in Bardon – which is our main office today.

2007

The RHPCC was renamed Communify Queensland to better align with our vision and mission. The new name also reflects the fact that although we are a local agency, our services are far-reaching and extend beyond just the surrounding suburbs.

2021

Over the years we’ve expanded Communify’s range of programs and services to respond to the evolving needs of our diverse community.

Our Vision: An engaged, unified community leading change.

Our Mission: Supporting the community on all sides by working creatively to meet needs and interests in a rapidly changing world.

Integrity: We are committed to a culture of honesty, accountability, transparency and justice.

Passionate: We are determined to actions that improve the quality of life and a sense of belonging.

Inclusive: We advocate for inclusive communities that support participation and access.

Creative: We are committed to new ways of supporting and engaging.

Collaborative: We embrace opportunities to build alliances that strengthen our capacity.

We’re proud of our Annual Reports

They have achieved ‘Silver’ in the Australasian Reporting Awards in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Our reports tell our story and are a great place to read more about who we are and what we do.

Our annual reports are available to download.

Our policy

Communify is committed to providing a high quality of care and support to the people we provide services to. This includes:

  • ensuring that services are well planned
  • internal controls are in place to comply with relevant funding body standards
  • a quality management system is in place
  • the service is effective in meeting the diverse needs of the community
  • the service is provided at the best possible level of quality.

The services we provide are diverse and we continually shape our services, programs and activities to support those in need effectively.

Our quality objective

Our quality objective is to meet or exceed community needs and expectations in a proactive, professional and cost-effective manner.

We aim to achieve this by:

  • reviewing our business processes regularly to ensure continuous improvement
  • collaborating with our partners, the community and other key stakeholders
  • integrating quality management into our daily work practices
  • setting and documenting objectives and targets for our core activities
  • meeting relevant industry standards, regulatory requirements and contract arrangements
  • reviewing and evaluating our performance across all services, to ensure continuous  improvement in everything we do.

Communify’s Corporate and Leadership teams are committed to establishing, implementing, integrating and maintaining a Quality Management System.

The purpose of the Child Protection Act 1999 (QLD) is to provide for the protection of children.

The underlying principle of the Child Protection Act 1999 is that all children have the right to protection from harm.

Harm to a child is any detrimental effect of a significant nature on the child’s physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing. It is immaterial how the harm is caused.

Harm can be caused by physical, psychological or emotional abuse or neglect; or sexual abuse or exploitation.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all employees and volunteers at Communify have clear guidelines to assist them in responding to suspicions or allegations of harm to children accessing the service.

Our commitment to a child safe culture

Communify Qld offers a range of services that enable us to reach out, advocate, connect and inform. We work with a multitude of people in a range of programs to promote a diverse, socially just and inclusive community. A number of our programs enable us to work directly with families and young children.

In recognising that children are vulnerable to the actions of adults we embrace the following:

Statement of Commitment

Communify believes that all children have the right to a life that is free from harm. Our services that cater to children aim to provide an environment that is free from any type of abuse or intentional harm.  Employees and volunteers at these services are aware of their obligations under the law in regards to the welfare of children and at all times uphold their obligation.

Harm to a child is any detrimental effect of a significant nature on the child’s physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing. It is immaterial how the harm is caused. Harm can be caused by – physical, psychological or emotional abuse or neglect; sexual abuse or exploitation.

Child and Youth Risk Management Strategy

Communify Qld will comply with legislative framework outlined in the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 and Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening Regulations 2011 to keep children and young people safe.

In order to comply with the legislative framework, a child and youth risk management strategy must include eight minimum requirements. These requirements are:

  • Address the organisation’s commitment to creating a safe and supportive service environment;
  • Strengthen an organisation’s capability to provide such an environment;
  • Assist an organisation to manage any particular concerns with respect to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people who are involved with the organisation, and
  • Promote the consistency of an organisation’s approach to risk management, both within the organisation and with respect to compliance with the requirements under the Act.

Further information

If you would like a copy of our Child Protection and Risk Management Policy or speak to someone about our policy please contact Communify by telephoning (07) 3510 2700 or email

Karen Dare
Chief Executive Officer
6 December 2017

Download pdf: Our Committment to a Child Safe Culture

View our Privacy Policy here

Privacy Statement

Personal information collected by Communify is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act). Personal information is any information or an opinion that identifies you or is reasonably identifiable and includes sensitive and health information. Communify will protect your information in accordance with the thirteen (13) Australian Privacy Principles. These principles govern how we can collect, use, store and disclose personal information, how individuals may access and correct personal information held about them, as well as ensuring the quality and security of your personal information.

Communify has developed a Privacy Policy to protect your privacy. The Policy is available here or in hard copy on request. It contains more information about our responsibilities, your rights, the information that may be collected by Communify, and how it would be used.

Collection of Information

Communify collects personal information directly from individuals or from their legal representative. Communify collects information from clients and prospective clients in order to ensure that the most effective services are provided to clients.

If individuals do not wish to provide some or all of the information we request, we may not be able to provide them with the service they are seeking.

Use and disclosure

The primary purpose for collecting personal information from individuals is to provide services to community members, including planning, funding, delivering, monitoring, reporting on and evaluating our services. The kind of information we collect will depend on your relationship with Communify (e.g. as a client, donor, business partner, employee, volunteer). A collection notice will be given to you setting out these uses at or close to the time we collect any information.

Access and correction of information

All personal information collected from individuals will be securely stored by Communify and protected from unauthorised use or access. All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure information is accurate and up-to-date. You have the right to read any personal information kept about you. Our Privacy Policy details the process for requesting access to your personal information and making a privacy complaint.

Overseas recipients

Communify’s data is backed up within Australia. Personal information to web-based email addresses such as Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail could be stored outside Australia in countries which do not have privacy legislation comparable to Australia. Communify will take steps that are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure that the overseas recipient does not breach the Australian Privacy Principles.

Further Information

If you would like additional information about how Communify manages your personal information you may contact us on (07) 3510 2700 or   . Alternatively you can complete a Compliment, Suggestion & Complaint form that is available on our website or from any of Communify’s locations.

View our Privacy Policy here

Our Team

Karen Dare

Karen Dare

Chief Executive Officer

Karen has a social sciences background and over 30 years of experience working within the community sector.

She has worked with Communify since 1994 and has seen the organisation grow from a small neighbourhood centre with limited resources to the thriving multi-service hub that it is today. Always with a community development focus, Karen works alongside the Communify Management team to develop services and programs that will support people living the inner city communities of Brisbane.

Karen also works broadly in the community and has sat on the boards of several prominent community organisations and other representative committees including 4Walls Housing Company,  Suncorp Stadium Advisory Committee and Building Services Authority.

She has a strong interest in supporting and developing responsive services within the housing, mental health, family support, emergency relief and refugee support areas.

Karen is recipient of the 2001 Centenary Medal and the Brisbane Australia Day Award for her contribution to the community sector.

Karen Dare
Chief Executive Officer

Karen Dare

Ben Bollard
Chief Information Officer

Ben Bollard

Kim Sommerfield
Chief Financial Officer

Kim Sommerfeld

Louise Laing
Human Resources Manager

Louise Laing

Kelly Sciacca
Community Services Manager

Kelly Sciacca

Mish Burkett
Community Engagement Coordinator

Mish Burkett

Mandy Cox
Multicultural Program Manager

Mandy Cox

Chief Executive Officer

Karen Dare

Karen has a social sciences background and over 30 years of experience working within the community sector.

She has worked with Communify since 1994 and has seen the organisation grow from a small neighbourhood centre with limited resources to the thriving multi-service hub that it is today. Always with a community development focus, Karen works alongside the Communify Management team to develop services and programs that will support people living the inner city communities of Brisbane.

Karen also works broadly in the community and has sat on the boards of several prominent community organisations and other representative committees including 4Walls Housing Company,  Suncorp Stadium Advisory Committee and Building Services Authority.

She has a strong interest in supporting and developing responsive services within the housing, mental health, family support, emergency relief and refugee support areas.

Karen is recipient of the 2001 Centenary Medal and the Brisbane Australia Day Award for her contribution to the community sector.

Chief Information Officer

Ben Bollard

Ben joined Communify in 2012 where he was charged with implementing a new client management system, Procura.

This project saw him engage with all areas of the business and has led to a number of initiatives such as the mobility project, technology initiatives to support the client directed care (CDC) reforms and the implementation of centralised reporting and output tracking.

Ben has facilitated the upgrade of Communify’s IT infrastructure including the roll out of Microsoft Terminal Services, a new telephone system and various systems to support integration between HR, Payroll and Finance.

Ben holds a Bachelor of Business (Management), Diploma of Information Technology (Networking) and a Graduate Certificate in Information Technology.

Ben enjoys renovating properties and walking his cocker spaniel, Caville on the weekend.

Chief Financial Officer

Kim Sommerfeld

Kim is passionate about delivering high quality financial and support services to Communify’s Community, Aged Care, and NDIS programs. 

He is a qualified accountant with a Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) degree, Graduate Diploma in Management, and a Masters in Business Administration. Kim is a Fellow CPA, and a JP(Qual).  Kim manages, develops, and coaches Communify’s finance team with responsibilities for reporting, compliance, accounts, and payroll.

Kim has gained his business and accounting experience from working in senior management positions in not-for-profit organisations, industry, commerce, aged care, hospital management and an accountancy practice focusing on tax & business.

On weekends, Kim enjoys music and landscaping.

Human Resources Manager

Louise Laing

Louise joined the team in 2004  and gained experience across the administration and finance teams prior to her current role as Communify’s Human Resources Manager.

Louise considers it a privilege to work in teams that provide support to the front line programs delivering services and support. She finds it  humbling and rewarding to be able to work with some of the most passionate, non-judgmental people working in the front line serving our community.

Louise is passionate about supporting each staff member in their employment lifecycle focusing in particular on workforce health and wellbeing and leadership development. Louise brings a diverse skillset to her work from her experiences that include environmental science and teaching.

She appreciates the support that Communify provides to ensure her training and professional development keeps her capable and skilled in supporting a safe, respectful and dignified workplace for all.

Community Services Manager

Kelly Sciacca

Kelly is a qualified community services professional with over 30 years’ experience in management and front line service delivery throughout a diverse range of institutions, including youth justice, mental health, and homelessness.  

Since 1999 she has held leadership roles within leading services, specialising in effective change management, transformational leadership development, consumer participation, modelling and valuing innovation and community development.

Kelly is a trauma informed practitioner who celebrates the empowerment of workers and the people we service.

Community Engagement Coordinator

Mish Burkett

Mish joined the Communify team in 2004. She coordinates the volunteer program and Communify’s community engagement programs and projects including Hands on Art, community gardens and the Free Range Library. 

Mish loves matching volunteers’ skills and interests with a role that will be meaningful and will help to make a difference. Outside of work she has volunteered in the local community and held a management committee role with Hands on Art and supported its transition to Hands on Projects Ltd.

She holds a Diploma of Business (Governance) and qualifications in Volunteer Management. Her three sons, now adults, all have fond memories of attending Communify’s nurturing childcare centre and now provide occasional volunteer help to the neighbourhood centres.

Outside of work Mish is working on the elusive goal of becoming a successful home gardener.

Multicultural Program Manager

Mandy Cox

Mandy Cox multicultural program manager with Communify Qld has over 35 years experience working as a social worker, community development worker, and multicultural program coordinator. She has been with Communify since 2003 managing cross cultural community education, development, mental health, swimming, and adventure programs and contributing to a range of fundraising and advocacy efforts associated with social justice, access to housing, and legal services for people seeking asylum. Currently, she is providing secretariat support to the Asylum Seeker and Refugee Assistance  Program and is the   Support Coordinator for community hubs in five Brisbane primary schools as per the contract Communify has with Community Hubs Australia. This follows  4 years of co-managing the crisis accommodation for people seeking asylum in Bardon.

She enjoys walking in the bush, dancing like there is no tomorrow. swimming in rivers and seas and learning from the tenacious, open-hearted and wise people she meets in her work.

Peter Tran
Director and Chair of FAR Committee

Peter Tran

Amita Laroiya
Senior Lawyer, WorkCover Queensland

Amita Laroiya

Chris Banks
Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary, Healthia Limited

Chris Banks

Director, 4impact

Chris Eldridge

Zea Johnston
Managing Director, Sagacity Consulting

Zea Johnston

Dai Gwynne-Jones
Director of Portfolio Creative Services Group

Dai Gwynne-Jones

Director and Chair of FAR Committee

Peter Tran

Qualifications/Accreditations: B Business (Accounting)/B Laws, CA – Chartered Accountant

Summary of Professional Experience:

Peter has over 20 years of experience in professional accounting. He has specialist financial skills and knowledge across a broad spectrum of tax and advisory matters.

Why are you passionate about community services?

Peter is inspired by the invaluable work that Communify does in the local community. Being on the Communify board has given Peter the opportunity to work with some amazing people whose paths he would not ordinarily come across.

What inspired you to join Communify’s Board of Directors?

Initially Peter joined the Board to assist in the merger of New Farm Neighbourhood Centre and Communify. 8 years later, he has remained on the Board. It’s the people and the culture of Communify that keeps Peter coming back every year to maintain his position on the Board.

Senior Lawyer, WorkCover Queensland

Amita Laroiya

Qualifications/Accreditations: B Laws/B Justice Studies, Grad Dip Legal Practice, Grad Dip Applied Corporate Governance

Summary of Professional Experience:

Amita is a lawyer with more than 15 years of experience specialising in corporate and commercial law, in both private practice and in-house roles across a range of industries in Queensland.  She is currently a Senior Lawyer at WorkCover Queensland, where she is responsible for providing strategic, astute legal advice to the various business units within the organisation. In her role, Amita is also responsible for managing legal operations, with a focus on ensuring compliance and accountability, and she oversees and manages WorkCover’s extensive external legal panel.

A tenured member across various professional boards of directors, Amita is currently a Director on the Board of Communify Queensland and the Board of the Australian Association of Graduate Employees. She is also a qualified Company Secretary.

Why are you passionate about community services?

As a member of the community, Amita is passionate about supporting those around her in ways that will lead to their personal growth, and help to create and maintain a respectful, harmonious and enriched society.

What inspired you to join Communify’s Board of Directors?

Amita’s motivation for joining the Board of Communify arose from her desire to be involved in an organisation that supports the community and enriches its growth. Amita has gained a diverse set of skills during her professional career, and she considers it an honour to be able to share that experience with an organisation that will help drive positive outcomes for the community at large.

Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary, Healthia Limited

Chris Banks

Qualifications/Accreditations: BCom, BEcon, CA, MAppFin

Summary of Professional Experience:

Chris is currently the CFO of ASX-listed company Healthia Limited and possesses over 15 years of professional experience across accounting, finance, acquisitions and strategy.

Prior to Healthia, Chris gained broad commercial and financial experience through working for several leading professional and financial services organisations, including Bank of Queensland, KPMG and Ernst and Young.

Why are you passionate about community services?

Chris is excited by the opportunity to give back to the community and help those in need.

What inspired you to join Communify’s Board of Directors?

Chris was inspired to join the Board after reading about the organisation and learning about the wide-ranging positive impact that Communify has upon its local communities.

Director, 4impact

Chris Eldridge

Qualifications/Accreditations: B.E (Hons), MBA, GAICD

Summary of Professional Experience:

Chris has worked in the technology domain for almost 30 years across delivery, technology management, product management and sales, and he has thoroughly enjoyed the learning opportunities that he has encountered along this journey.

Chris’s technical background led him to become a founder of 4impact, a technology services business in 2005, and since then the organisation has experienced significant growth. 4impact now serves customers across the eastern seaboard of Australia and in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea and employs people in four countries.

Why are you passionate about community services?

Our communities are where we live and work. With strong communities we build strong societies.  Chris’s community has been good to him, so he values the opportunity to give something back.

What inspired you to join Communify’s Board of Directors?

Chris volunteered with Communify for a couple of years, and during that time, he was hugely inspired by the work the organisation does. The opportunity to make a contribution at the board level alongside the grassroots level was too good for Chris to pass up.

Managing Director, Sagacity Consulting

Zea Johnston

Qualifications/Accreditations: M Admin, Grad Dip Ed, BA, Executive Fellow ANZSOG

Summary of Professional Experience:

Zea is a management consultant with more than two decades of experience in senior and chief executive positions in the public and private sectors. Her expertise ranges from early childhood education and care to corporate strategy, strategic policy and education futures, training and skills policy, strategic research, legislation services and regulation.

Zea established Queensland’s first office of Early Childhood Education in 2008 and has extensive experience in delivering significant national and state-wide reform, and leading complex multi-jurisdictional negotiations.

Why are you passionate about community services?

Throughout her career Zea has been involved in social and economic policy and program responses to support those most in need, especially through innovative integrated support and early intervention services.

What inspired you to join Communify’s Board of Directors?

Zea has been involved with Communify for several years and joined the Board in 2021. Volunteering with Community has provided Zea with an invaluable opportunity to contribute to her local community, and to advocate for access to quality services for people in need.

Director of Portfolio Creative Services Group

Dai Gwynne-Jones

Qualifications/Accreditations: BSc (Hons)

Summary of Professional Experience: 

Dai is a communications director with 30 years of experience across significant international brands. His particular expertise lies in strategy and growth. He is an active contributor to the community as board member for the Committee for Brisbane.

Why are you passionate about community services? 

Dai has a strong belief in investing time to improve our local communities.  He is particularly driven to help facilitate the offering of wrap around services to cater to complex needs of the less fortunate members of our society.

What inspired you to join Communify’s Board of Directors? 

After working with the Communify Communications Committee to develop the new brand and marketing direction, Dai was approached to join the board. He was particularly drawn to Communify’s core values of integrity, passion, inclusiveness, creativity and collaboration. He has relished the challenge of raising the profile of Communify and supporting the community on all sides.

Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners

We are committed to supporting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian people.

In keeping with the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands where Communify works.

We wish to pay respect to the Elders – past, present and emerging – and acknowledge the important role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within our community.

Registered Charity Logo

We are a registered charity

Inclusivity Flags Icon

We are an inclusive organisation and workplace

It is a wonderful service which makes such a difference to so many people in so many ways.

D

Our child has been so well settled in, feels comfortable and is so animated about his days there, so we can tell he enjoys it and feels secure

Anon

The In Home Support Worker who was so gentle and sweet with dad and formed a partnership with our family to help my father stay home

Anon

You are key players in his life. The memories that he holds of the Communify outings are deeply planted in his brain.

Anon

Communify’s regular outings have made a ginormous improvement to Mark’s social life. He has gained confidence socialising in a group.

Mark

Read more testimonials here