Management Committee

Jennifer Smith


Jenny has worked for several decades with marginalised and vulnerable people in aged care, disability services, mental health, youth work, and emergency services.   This has given her the opportunity to both work with, and forge strong, personal relationships with many people with disabilities and their families.

Jenny has been involved with Capricorn Citizen Advocacy since its inception in the early 1990s, having been a member of the Steering Committee.  She became a foundation Board member at the time of incorporation in the year 2000. 

She has consistently held executive roles since then, until taking a break for a couple of years, then returning as Secretary in 2010.  She has held the role of President (again) since 2015. 

In early 2013, Jenny was presented with the opportunity to become a Citizen Advocate and she has remained in that relationship with her Protégé ever since. She counts this as one of the most important relationships in her life. 

In the last few years, Jenny has taken on the role of Advocate Associate for CCA.    She also:


In her spare time, Jenny loves to travel with her partner Peter; continue their ecological restoration of their patch of tropical forest at the Capricorn Coast; and lavish affection upon their much loved pussy cat, Bo-Bo.

Sharon Lowe


Sharon has always felt concerned about the vulnerability of people with disabilities, in particular those persons with few interpersonal relationships of a freely-given nature. 

She joined like-minded people in CQ to explore disability advocacy options – and Capricorn Citizen Advocacy is the outcome. 

She has always being involved as an Associate Advocate to provide support to the Program and Advocates in the areas of Social Role Valorisation and Occupational Therapy as they pertain to protégés. 

Sharon joined the CCA Management Committee in 2015 and currently has the role of Secretary. 

She also became an Citizen Advocate for a young boy in 2018 and is appreciative of the opportunity to get to know him.


Peter Edman


Peter Edman is a teacher with over 25 years’ experience (including as a support teacher – inclusive education). This includes various roles in state, Catholic and alternative settings. He has discovered an interest and passion for supporting neurodivergent students and their families. He now runs his own educational consulting and tutoring business.

Born and raised in Papua New Guinea, Peter has lived in numerous places along eastern Australia from the tropics to Sydney.  History is a favourite topic; he’s handy on a trivia team. He’s also had several history publications, one of which has also been translated in Indonesia.

Peter’s other interests include cooking (he had his own cafe), tennis and mechanics (European cars). Peter has a formidable library, including dozens of cookbooks. He loves travelling and plans to go overseas to revisit his own past and explore his heritage.

He has a long history of supporting people, from friends to complete strangers. Becoming a Citizen Advocate has been a logical extension of Peter’s journey and is one achievement of which he is particularly proud.

Peter is the Treasurer of the Management Committee. He has a passion for Tim Tams but as a remote committee member he suffers from deprivation.

Michelle Pownall

Committee Member

Currently Michelle is a member of CCA’s Management Committee, bringing her practical insights as a Citizen Advocate to the governance of the program.  She is also a Member of the Key Office Activities Sub-committee which oversees the Citizen Advocacy work of the program’s Coordinator.

Michelle was born and bred in a small town on the Central Highlands.  She first trained as an Adult Literacy Tutor and tutored an adult student for four years.

Michelle has also been a TAB agent and ran an agency for eight years and another agency for six months as a caretaker agent.   She later completed a Certificate III in Tourism Operations and became a Visitor Information Centre Supervisor for eight years. 

This lead to her completing a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) and then worked as a Personal Care Attendant in Aged Care for three and a half years.

Michelle has a vibrant personality, can-do attitude, a love for people and a quirky sense of humour.


Jim Byrne

Committee Member

Jim served for five years as a Management Committee Member from 2009 to 2014, including two years as Vice President.  After a break he re-joined the committee on 17 October 2017.   

Jim was born in Ireland.  He worked in England as a Mechanical Engineering Draughtsman before emigrating in his mid 20’s to Australia in 1974.  In 1975 he developed spasmodic quadruple vision.  He underwent surgery in 1981 to remove a brain tumour near the pituitary gland. In 1986 he had more surgery to remove a re-grown brain tumour and unfortunately came out of the operating theatre completely blind.

Jim received a guide dog in 1986, enrolled in TAFE and learned to type.  He completed a Bachelor of Arts in 1991 and was the first blind graduate of Central Queensland University.   In 1992 he was appointed as Disabilities Officer at CQU; being its first blind employee. He joined nine local boards after graduating.  Thankfully this included Capricorn Citizen Advocacy.  In 1996 he was awarded a “Special Award” on Australia Day for services to the community. 

Jim had cardiac bypass surgery after suffering a heart attack in 1993.  In 1999 tumours were found on  his brainstem around his spinal cord.  This again resulted in surgery and he became very weak in his arms, legs and tongue.  It took six months before he could walk outside without support.  In 2000 he had radiation treatment for more brain tumours which also required an extended recovery.

Jim had two stents installed in his cardiac arteries in 2004.  In 2017 a new ‘gamma knife’ costing $4.3 million was used in more surgery to destroy three brain tumours with great success.  Jim still has five tumours in his brain which are managed with this technology.

Jim has never let his health challenges deter him from making the most of every day and from doing things that amaze others.   He cleans his own house and makes his own furniture, but has help with the ironing and gardening.  He has a great sense of humour; this includes regularly poking fun at himself.   His wealth of wisdom and knowledge makes him a very important member of our team.

Barbara Weir

Committee Member 



Glenn Thompson

Committee Member



Angela Richardson

Committee Member


Angela has worked in a variety of government and non-government roles within human service organisations in Rockhampton over the last 30 years.

As a “friend” and keen supporter of Capricorn Citizen Advocacy for many years, Angela joined the Management Committee in 2023.

In a world of systems, services and structures, Angela enjoys being part of a Capricorn Citizen Advocacy where compassion is not organized and bound but shows up as people working well together, to create more goodness and possibilities.


Karen Reid

Committee Member





Capricorn Citizen Advocacy is funded by the Queensland Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships

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