The Board President using Lead Management principles works collaboratively with board members, their subcommittees and Glasser Australia members to determine the organizations needs and set short- and long-term goals to ensure the organization is mission-centred and outcome-oriented.
The President leads the Board in strategic planning and evaluation of the progress of the strategic plan to grow organizational capacity and connect daily work with the vision and mission of Glasser Australia. The president convenes the board in regular meetings and planning retreats and monitors progress of committees. The President also links with WGI (William Glasser International) and attends regular Member Organization Meetings organized by WGI.
Cathy O’Toole – President
Cathy O’Toole was born, raised, educated and married in Townsville. She is the former Member for Herbert, a federation seat established in 1901. She won this seat in 2016 and is the first woman to hold this seat. Cathy lost Herbert on 18th May 2019.
Cathy was self-employed from the age of 18 years in partnership with her mother Marie. Cathy and her husband Dennis also owned and operated a diverse range of small business enterprises and she has extensive experience in business, physical and human resource management.
Cathy also worked in the vocational education and training sector as a TAFE teacher, Project Manager – Implementation of Competency Based Training, Curriculum Designer and she set up her own successful Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Cathy held CEO positions in the Community Managed Mental Health Sector for almost 15 years. She worked across North Western Queensland from Palm Island to Mt Isa.
During her time in the community managed mental health sector, in the position of CEO, Cathy provided access to training for all staff in Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management across varying study levels. Cathy is a Practicum Supervisor and has a particular interest in Leadership, Change Management and Advocacy, using the principles of Choice Theory in a Lead Management context. She has also provided access to training in Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management for staff working on Palm Island.
Cathy has established and maintained a diverse range of outstanding community networks and has contributed in leadership and member roles on Boards at Local, State and Federal levels. Cathy has a deep commitment and extensive experience in working collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Cultural and Linguistically Diverse communities.
Cathy is currently involved with the following community groups:
- President Townsville Multicultural Support Group.
- Management Committee Member Townsville Regional Committee of the Ageing (TRCOTA).
- Committee Member – Connecting End of Life Care (CELC) Townsville Steering Committee.
Cathy holds the following education qualifications: Masters in Metaphysical Science, Bachelor of Education, Diploma of Teaching TAFE, Diplomas of Community Welfare Work, Business Management, Frontline Management, Training and Assessment Systems, Certificate IV in Community Services – Mental Health (Non-Clinical) and Trade Certificate – Certificate III in Ladies Hairdressing.
Cathy believes that the principles of Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management are desperately needed across all sectors in our communities.
Susan Fleming – Immediate Past President
I have worked as an Educator for over 40 years as a Special Education Teacher, Behaviour Support Teacher, Guidance Officer and was Principal of Tennyson Special School a facility for students with Behaviour and Adjustment difficulties for 16 years. I am also a trained family therapist and counsellor.
I have been involved with the Glasser Australia for over 17 years. I was introduced to Choice Theory when I completed my first basic week in 1999. It made a profound impact on my personal and professional life. It gave me the tools to take more personal responsibility for my life and allow others the opportunity to do the same. My learnings about Lead Management helped me be a better and more effective leader. I am a Basic Week Instructor, Advanced Practicum Supervisor, a Faculty Program Consultant and Take Charge of Your Life Facilitator. In 2011 I completed the William Glasser Institute’s Advanced Certification developed by Joan Hoogstad. It is one of my passions to work with a group of us to gain accreditation for this course again.
I have worked as Regional Coordinator for Glassers Australia SE Qld and have been a member of the board since 2006. I am the current President and have carried out the role of Fifth Director and previously two terms as Training Officer. I am passionate about providing quality training and exploring with others innovative ways to promote CT/RT/LM to the wider community and in courses that meet industry standards. I love connecting with our members as I am always inspired hearing about people’s personal journeys and the work that is being done to promote CT/RT/LM, the commitment to Glasser’s ideas and creative ways they are applied.
I have a strong commitment to promoting RT/CT/LM not only in the educational and Mental Health settings but also as a way to improve people’s quality of life and happiness.
John Cooper – Fifth Director
John began teaching in 1963, becoming a head teacher in 1966. Following NSW postings from 1963 (North Star, Goodooga, Bass Hill, Asquith, Goolgowi and Mullengandra) John spent eight years in Papua New Guinea in a range of schools. On returning to Australia, John became Principal at Darwin Primary School, then opened Jabiru Area School followed by a year at Bradshaw Primary before becoming the first Principal of the new Anzac Hill High School in Alice Springs.
John began his Choice Theory journey while completing his Bachelor of Education at Flinders University in 1985. That work gave him the vision to create Anzac Hill High School (1987) based on Dr William Glasser’s work in “Schools Without Failure”; schools are designed for failure, punishment versus discipline defined, Glasser’s classes and the Classroom Meeting Model). John learned about the WGIA Institute in 2001. By 2009, before John’s retirement, all staff (including canteen person, gardener, front office) had completed at least Basic Intensive Training – three Certificated. Thanks to Faculty Judy Hatswell, Jean Suffield, Maggie Bolton and Sylvia Habel.
Proudest moments for John were; his school being recognised as one of 100 “Innovative and Best Practice” schools in 1998 and winning the John Laing Professional Development Award in 2005. John focused on the holistic wellbeing of his school’s community incorporating cultural understandings with Choice Theory and adopting a bilingual vision statement in the local language, Arrernte and English. National awards for parental engagement and literacy success were significant successes.
John was Vice President then President Northern Territory Principals’ Association and Member of Australian Secondary Principals’ Association Executive during the period 1998 to 2005.
John completed his Master of Education, majoring in Performance Management and gained Certificates in Reality Therapy and Investigations whilst working as a principal. John is currently a Practicum Supervisor and works occasionally on short term contracts with Indigenous college students and teaches in the local juvenile detention centre.
John has seven children and so far, seven grandchildren. John describes one of his happiest times being when partner Rae organised a family 70th birthday party at Cairns.
To show he is “balanced”, he is currently President of the Eagles Rugby Union Football Club, Alice Springs Town Band, Eisteddfod Council, and a member of a motoring club and a youth arts body.
John is most proud of the opportunities presented to play rugby union (and rugby league) wherever he was posted as a teacher and being a founding member of the Goondiwindi Emus, South Darwin Bunnies, Jabiru Bush Rats and The Todd Tavern Eagles in Alice Springs. He played in his last competition game for Eagles in 2013.
The Role of the Treasurer is to ensure that all statutory requirements for the organisation are met according to rules set by ASIC, ACNC and the ATO. The Treasurer assists the Administration officer with the book keeping and provides financial reports to the Board in a timely manner. The Treasurer is also required to set budgets and manage the monetary affairs of the organisation.
Sheryl Matwijkiw – Treasurer
Sheryl has been involved with Glasser Australia for a number of years in varying capacities: Regional Co-Ordinator, Secretary and currently,Honorary Treasurer. “Choice Theory changed my life. I have built lasting friendships and learned skills to manage my life and an understanding of want I want, why I behave the way I do and how to better get what I want. Knowing that the only person I can control is myself is very powerful and freeing.”
Sheryl is a book keeper and currently works for a Not for Profit Community Centre and Registered Training Organisation managing the finances and payroll. It is a culturally diverse centre offering English classes to refugees and migrants and Lifestyle classes for the local community, along with Aged Care and Disability courses. This is a great working environment for modelling choice theory.
Sheryl has been involved in a number of National Conferences (Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Alice Springs, Adelaide) and International Conferences (Sydney and Los Angeles), with the latest being the WGNZ conference in Cambridge, NZ. These are times of fun, learning, travel and connecting with other like minded people in wonderful parts of the world.
The Secretary is responsible for participating in all Board meetings, proper preparation and recording of agendas and minutes, recording and attending to correspondence, maintaining the collation of Board meeting motions and ensuring the Australian Addendum is kept current.
Responsibilities also include overseeing the compilation and distribution of the Annual Report, preparing associated documents for Annual General Meeting and various other tasks as negotiated with the Board.
Maureen Sansom – Secretary
I have been employed by the Department of Education for the past 25 years and commenced my Choice Theory/Reality Therapy/ Lead Management training in 2007.
With the support and encouragement of many people as well as instructional leaders, I was Certified in Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management in 2011.
I am forever grateful to my wonderful mentor Joan Hoogstad who had a profound effect on my life during my learning for the Advanced Certification in the Clinical Practice of Reality Therapy in 2013. Joan shared her unconditional love and support and taught me that – “Our experience may be different, but our struggles are the same”. How true it is!
I became a facilitator of the Take Charge of Your Life program in 2015.
During 2017, I assisted with the co-ordination of the William Glasser Institute Australia conference – ‘We know ……. could we know better?’ held in Newcastle and in 2019, the Glasser Australia conference ‘Ignite the Power of Choice’ on the Gold Cost. I will continue to offer my assistance with the 2021 conference ‘Exploring the Freedom of Choice’ that will also be held on the Gold Coast.
The role of the Training Officer is to organise Accredited Training for Glasser Australia to meet the needs of both those requesting training and also the Instructors and Supervisors who are Faculty of Glasser Australia, in a fair and equitable way, while maintaining a strong focus on quality. As a member of the Board, the Training Officer provides written reports of training activity and supports the broader work of the Board as directed in the Strategic Plan.
Sue Berry – Training Officer
I am currently a semi-retired Clinical Counsellor in Port Lincoln, South Australia, having moved into counselling after leaving teaching in 2010. Originally from Adelaide, I have lived on Eyre Peninsula for 43 years. I have 25 years’ experience in education on in both the State and Catholic system, firstly as a mathematics teacher and then mainly in creating, coordinating and supporting programs for secondary age students with special needs in a mainstream setting.
While at St Joseph’s School in Port Lincoln I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend a Basic Intensive Training with Joan Hoogstad a Senior Faculty member of the WGI-A, in 2003. A life changing moment or two! In 2010 I was part of the group which completed the Graduate Diploma in Reality Therapy, also presented by Joan – more life changing moments!
I am a Practicum Supervisor and a Basic Intensive Training Instructor. Since 2014 have been very involved an exciting, local community-based project called Mentally Fit EP whose overall vision is to “flip mental illness on its head” and to create a mentally fit, connected community. My role is to deliver mental health education by presenting Take Charge of Your Life courses to interested community members.
I am passionate about CT/RT/LM and particularly about challenging the status quo around mental health by creating ways to encourage people to have the opportunity to learn about Dr Glasser’s ideas, particularly the focus on relationships. I enjoy thinking and learning about the ways new knowledge in neuroscience fits in with the existing Choice Theory model and I am especially interested in ways CT can be used to understand the impact of childhood trauma to further inform RT counselling approaches. I have met so many inspiring people during my 15 year CT journey and I count myself very fortunate to have these connections in my life.
Kalikamurti Suich – International Board Representative
Kalikamurti has lived in Alice Springs since 1993. She is accredited with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) as a Mental Health specialist. She is also an accredited work health / motor accident treatment provider and provides outreach counselling services or the Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
She works as a counsellor in private practice through Centred In Choice Pty Ltd and through contracts in human services and education sectors. Currently she holds two Employment assistance Services contracts and is contracted t provide out reach counselling services for Open Arms which is formerly the Vietnam Veterans counselling Service.
Kalikamurti is a faculty member of the William Glasser Institute, an internationally accredited trainer in Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management and was Convener of the AASWNT conference held in Alice Springs in March 2017.
In her private practice prior to Alice Springs she has a five year background in working with women who had lived in violent relationships and or had been sexually abused
During her 31 years in the health and community services sector she has provided: independent facilitation, training and development in human resource management, strategic planning, conflict resolution, managing stress in the workplace, business mentoring and professional supervision.
Her business Centred In Choice PTY LTD is Centred in Choice is an ethical, values-driven business that provides quality services and resources for individuals, professionals, businesses and organisations that are designed to empower all our clients to be in more effective control of their lives and be the best they can be. We do this by working with you in ways that suit each organisation uniquely.
As well as a Mental Health specialist, Kalikamurti has significant expertise in the area of chronic pain and other illnesses and injuries and assists people who are working towards rather than simply managing.
She is a skilled public speaker, presenter, trainer and workshop facilitator.
Working in Alice Springs has given her opportunities to have extensive experience working with Aboriginal clients and services. Currently, Centred In Choice holds a number of contracts providing management and business support to a range of organisations in Central Australia.
Swami Kalikamurti has been practicing yoga for 41 years and has trained in 3 traditions. She currently offers mini retreats titled embracing regular practice. She combines all her services with the knowledge base of 5000 years of Vedic and yoga philosophy.
Cathy Dillon – Business Support Leader
Cathy is passionate about helping people to help themselves. She became involved with Choice Theory in the late 90’s as a parent and became the benefactor of a scholarship that allowed her to complete her Basic Intensive Training in 2011. As a result of her journey Cathy stayed connected with other members of the organisation, participated in networking forums i.e. FOG, became the Victorian Regional Representative and currently leads the Take Charge of Your Life, Your Happiness is your Choice Meetup group in Melbourne with Akari Komori.
Cathy has attended both international and local conferences and has developed a deeper understanding of how Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management can enhance the quality of life for herself and others.
As an experienced Human Resources professional in the Corporate and more recently Not for Profit sector, Cathy has experience leading the delivery of people priorities and initiatives that help drive change. Having worked with and coached a variety of stakeholders across various levels, she believes that her knowledge and ability to practice Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management has been instrumental in the success of her working relationships.
Quality relationships are key to Cathy, she loves socialising, having fun and spending time with family and friends. Cathy has enjoyed the diversity of industry representation amongst our members and is extremely grateful for the support she has had over the years by various members, Trainers, Faculty and more recently the Board. Her hope is to be able to bring another industry perspective to Glasser Australia to help further its impact in the business community over the coming years.