Our Executive Management Team

Chris Hayward

CEO Rise Ventures, Angus Knight Group

Chris Hayward is a national award-winning Workforce Development specialist that has been a driving force behind the design and delivery of some of the most highly innovative workforce development projects in the Northern Territory, building sectoral capacity across diverse industry sectors in remote areas of Australia. As a business developer and strategist that specializes in the development of sustainable social enterprises, Chris drove the indigenous training and employment goals of Government-led initiatives across several program areas for both the Australian Government and the Northern Territory Government including RJCP, CDP, VTEC, and the RSAS.

Chris was instrumental in the development of a number of highly successful indigenous social enterprises during his 10 years at the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation (ALPA) and was a primary driver of ALPA going on to become the largest indigenous business in Australia. Chris has most recently worked as an independent consultant providing strategic support across a range of industry sectors including vocational training, disability services (NDIS) and education technology.

Marty Chambers

National Indigenous Engagement Manager

Marty Chambers is a proud Indigenous man with Torres Strait Island heritage. Marty builds strong connections with local people and helps communities develop business together. He is a great communicator and understands the issues Indigenous people face in remote areas of Australia.
He has held various roles within Jobfind and RISE over the last 10 years of his employment with Angus Knight before becoming a Board Director. Marty has a strong background in managing projects and has considerable experience with Indigenous communities and relationships. Marty’s passion is family and communities and he is enthusiastic about Indigenous Advancement in the workplace. He Is invested in his role as a mentor for indigenous staff within our organisation.

Gary Hall

General Manager for Performance and Operations

Gary has a wealth of experience in the Employment & Disability Employment services area. He has been with the organisation since 2005 and has held several positions including Team Leader, Compliance Manager, National Trainer of Employment Services, Performance Manager and General Manager of Employment Services NSW & QLD. He combines his government contractual work with extensive experience in the corporate world. Gary is also a very talented trainer able to clearly explain complex government requirements, but at the same time hold the attention of the room with his entertaining delivery style. Gary is a valued member of the organisation’s leadership team.

Leah Simmons

Performance Support Manager

Leah Simmons has worked for Jobfind and Rise Ventures in various roles since February 2012. Leah’s journey started as an administration officer in Coen Cape York and has progressed over the years to Regional Manager of Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw Community Development Programme and most recently Performance Support Manager Rise Ventures. Along the way she has made many valuable and long lasting community relationships. Leah’s passion is Indigenous staff development and building strong teams with a variety of skills.

Tara Granzien

Business Manager Katherine

Tara was born and raised in Katherine, the Northern Territory was her back yard growing up. Tara comes from a family that has lived in the Katherine Region since the 1940s, and has streets named after her family.

Tara brings to the company demonstrated administration experience in a professional Human Resources Department which allowed Tara to travel to a remote community in the Northern Territory, Tara has been able to build lasting relationships with all community members.  She also has a qualification in the Community Services sector, Tara is passionate about providing high-level support to our current Job Seekers.

Tara has the integrity to act ethically, openly, honestly and with accountability, with a positive attitude and very solution-oriented.

Karen Dunell

Karen Dunell

Business Manager Kowanyama

Karen was a trade qualified hairdresser and salon owner for 44 years and decided on a career change. Karen then worked in Doomadgee as an In-Work Support Officer and Service Coordinator where she developed a love of remote work. She then commenced as the Business Manager for the Kowanyama Centre in Region 55 with a love for remote communities and client support. Karen is a positive and engaging leader of her local team and is passionate about building strong and long-lasting relationships with stakeholders and communities.

Melissa Douthat Business Manager Pormpuraaw

Melissa Douthat

Business Manager Pormpuraaw

Melissa Douthat is a proud Kaandju Woman from the Coen area and a Yadhaykenu woman from Injinoo NPA area which is the Tip of cape York. Her career with Jobfind and Rise ventures has spanned on and off since 2006 where she first commenced as an Administration officer in Weipa. This took her to other communities such as Napranum, Mapoon, Aukukun, Lockhart River and Coen on the Cape York Team. She has held many roles within the organisation including Employment Consultant and Post placement Support consultant. In 2014 she returned to Pormpuraaw where she graduated from Employment consultant to Team Leader and finally her current role of Business Manager. Melissa has a wealth of knowledge and experience in employment services and remote communities and she is passionate about community development.