Our People

Our Staff

Our team members have varied roles, all of which combine to support our vital and ever evolving community services. Our Business Division generates much needed income to support our community work. It includes staff working in retail, warehousing and recycling (Smart Tip Shop). Our Corporate Services team members act as a support and hub between our Divisions, enabling great client service. Roles include administration, WHS, ICT & HR. Human Services is very much the face of our community operations and includes: social workers, psychologists, case managers, financial counsellors, emergency relief workers and so on. With a large diversity of staff and career paths our vibrant team tends to reflect the wider communities in which we live and work.


Derek Tuffield OAM
Chief Executive Officer

Derek is the Chief Executive Officer and oversees all operational aspects of the organisation with the support of his highly experienced Executive Management Team members.

He has extensive experience in community services and community recovery which stretches more than 30 years. Prior to entering the field of community services, he worked in the banking industry for more than 17 years.

Networking, mentoring and successful stakeholder engagement is extremely important to him and for the future of the organisation.    He is currently appointed and sits on various Federal, State and Local Government boards and working parties.

He is very passionate about his community and the organisations ability to successfully advocate and respond in times of community crisis and need.

Andrew McGill
COO - Corporate & HR Services

Appointed in April 2018, Andrew joined the team direct from a three year appointment with the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom.

He possesses a wealth of business and human resources experience in both the public health, and not-for-profit sectors.

With a particular passion for Indigenous health and social justice, Andrew has worked in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health, and Native Title Services.

Andrew is customer and community focused, values a solid governance framework, and is committed to continual quality improvement and staff engagement.

Robin Waldie

Robin joined Lifeline in 2014 as Personal Assistant to Derek Tuffield, providing administrative support to him and the Board of Directors.

During her career, Robin has lived and worked both in Australia and overseas and has over 30 years of experience in professional admin roles in the corporate and community sector. 

With a wide variety of experience including roles in Marketing, IT, Corporate Quality, Project Management and Recruitment, Robin brings this knowledge and understanding to her position at Lifeline. 

Communicating and interacting with people is what Robin enjoys most about her role and she loves having the opportunity to do this on a daily basis.

Rachelle Patterson
COO - Human & Community Services

Rachelle is the Chief Operating Officer of Human and Community Services overseeing all counselling and other support programs across our footprint.

Rachelle has extensive experience working in the NGO and Government sectors including areas of mental health, out-of-home care, suicide prevention, homelessness, youth, Indigenous affairs, research and criminology.

These professional appointments have been in a number of locations across Australia including remote communities, regional and inner city locations.

Rachelle is strongly committed to working with people who experience disadvantage and supporting them to build their capacity and resilience and realise their potential as contributing members of society.

Rodney Watton
COO - Partnerships & Business Development

Rodney is the Chief Operations Officer – Partnerships and Business Development. Rodney’s role oversees the resource acquisition activities of the organisation including Fundraising, Submission Writing and Social Enterprise.

Rodney is also currently managing the implementation of our NDIS services under his responsibilities for new business development. Rodney has worked in the community services sector for over 20 years in direct service delivery, coordination, management and executive roles.

Rodney believes sustainable, efficient and above all effective non-profit organisations are the key to solving a number of issues in our community and as such is passionate about developing Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland Limited into one of the leaders in social impact in our region.

Colin Aynsley
Chief Financial Officer

Colin is the Chief Financial Officer overseeing all aspects of the finance and administrative function.

Colin has 30 years of solid experience throughout a successful career in the fields of Finance, Business Management and Administration, in senior Finance and Administrative Roles.

With extensive experience in Finance he manages a small team ensuring that Lifeline Darling Downs continues to be the charity of choice.

Having worked across a number of industries Colin brings with him valuable insights and expertise in all areas of Finance and Administration.

Both Colin and his family have a passion for the not for profit sector and has dedicated his time in this area in a voluntary and paid capacity.

Colin believes that if we all work together we can make a difference.

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