Meet The Board

DRTA is governed by a voluntary Board of eleven elected representatives.The five Executive Board members are President, Vice President 1, Vice President 2, Hon Treasurer and Hon Secretary. The other six Board member positions relate to the state of residence of the member and are NSW/ACT Representative, Qld Representative, SA Representative, Tas Representative, Vic Representative and WA Representative. Annual elections are held, usually at the AGM.

Board members are drawn from all areas of our membership – although only Full Members can serve on the Board. Currently DRTA Board members are:

Charlise Bennett

Charlise Bennett

I started working in aged care in 1993 as a RAO and AIN in a number of hostels (low care) and nursing homes (high care) in Sydney before getting a part time RAO position in a nursing home with 88 residents. I completed an Advanced Certificate (now known as a cert 4) in Working With Older People at Kogarah TAFE in 1993 and 1994 while working. In 1996, I started the Bachelor of Applied Science (Diversional Therapy) at WSU as a mature aged student and working part time. I then worked at Port Kembla Hospital in Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation and in Orthopaedic Rehabilitation. In 1998, a colleague (Kathleen McConville) and I travelled to Ireland, consulting to the Irish Health Board at a number of different hospitals across the country and organising DT workshops.

Upon my return to Australia, I started working for the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) at Bankstown Hospital, completing a Master’s in Health Services Management through distance education. While working for ACAT, I also started lecturing in the therapeutic recreation program at Western Sydney University. I worked casually (every semester) at the university until 2013, when I moved over to a full-time position at WSU, The College as the Learning and Teaching Coordinator for the health science and nursing programs. I am also currently enrolled in a Doctorate of Philosophy at Western Sydney University with my research based on Clinical Reasoning in Diversional Therapy Practice.

Board Portfolios

DRTA’s Board is comprised of eleven voluntary members. Five members from the executive and the other six represent the state and territory areas as well as the national agendas.

The Board meet via video conference each month. At the annual national Conference which is held in a different city each year, the Board holds an all day face to face meeting.

There are so many aspects to governing, guiding and administering a national not for profit organisation – the work of the DRTA Board is much appreciated by DRTA staff, Board members and membership in general.

To help manage the tasks involved, the DRTA Board often establishes projects. While the President and all the board are kept appraised of the progress of each project – a Project Leader from the Board takes responsibility for ensuring the project is progressing and completed.

Vice President 2

Kim Bromley

I have been working as a Diversional Therapist for the past 20 years within a residential aged care facility in NSW. I have also worked for the past 14 years for TAFE NSW as a trainer in the Cert 4 in Leisure and Health course. During my career I have worked with music therapists and art therapists and have seen how the multidisciplinary allied health professions work so well together to provide person centred care, support and most importantly meaningful activity engagement.

I also had the pleasure of assisting the late Dr Peter Spitzer ( co – founder of the “clown doctors” in hospitals and the “Humour Foundation”) in introducing humour to aged care via the DRTA with focus on the benefits of “ humour for residents with dementia.” This study known as the “smile within” was a great success, showed positive results and was the first of its kind around the world. The study used specially trained diversional therapists and recreational activities officers (aka “laughter bosses”) to assist the implementation of the trained performer (aka “elder clown”) in initiating and implementing the humour visits, the laughter bosses would then encourage laughter prompts, sessions and activities in between the “elder clown” visits with great effect.

I have a strong passion for aged care and the important role we play in the allied health field. I would like to contribute to future conferences, education sessions and concentrate on the marketing of the Diversional Therapy Profession to the aged care commission and quality and safety commission to ensure that all leisure and recreation staff are trained and are appropriately staffed, funded with specific leisure and recreation hours. Thank you for the opportunity to continue as your VP2 for a second term.

Kylie Rice

Kylie Rice

I completed my Bachelor of Health Science (Therapeutic Recreation) at UWS and have been a member of the association since 2007. I have worked in my current role as Diversional Therapist at a mental health inpatient unit for the past 8 years specialising in child and adolescent. I have also had extensive experience working with disabilities including cerebral palsy and autism. I have had further education in the fields of Art Therapy and Sensory Integration, helping to improve the quality of life for many children and their families. I have had an active involvement with my local network group since starting in my current position and have been co-group leader since 2013. My involvement in the network group has greatly enhanced my knowledge, skills and networks both professionally and personally.

Since joining the DRTA I have seen Diversional Therapy grow and develop as a professional body, and with my involvement on the board as the NSW state rep I can help to continue the improvements in the standard of Diversional Therapy practice and continue to raise our professional profile in the community. I have a passion and enthusiasm for education and believe that everyone should have access to ongoing education and professional development, and through this we can create a solid professional base for the future of Diversional Therapy.


Glenda Kubler

Glenda is the Diversional Therapist and Supervisor coordinating lifestyle programs and therapeutic music activities for residents at Azure Blue, Redcliffe, a 96 bed aged care facility, for Blue Care.

She holds numerous qualifications in music, has been a music teacher for 40 years and trained and worked as a commercial artist. Her current qualifications include an Associate Degree in Social Science in Aged Care from ACU, Dementia Management Course with Alzheimer’s Assoc. Qld, Depression Management with Beyond Blue, Cert IV in Training and Assessment.

She has worked as a Music Therapist and Diversional Therapist in both hospital settings and departments, as well as numerous aged and care facilities for over 16 years

Passionate about bringing joy, fun, and variety to her residents’ day, she offers a variety of activities and music in their lives. Glenda recently trained as a Laughter Boss believing that each day must have a pleasure, purpose, and reason to smile.

Glenda has published several programs and theme days in magazines, presented posters, leisure bites and presentations at DTA National Conferences and workshops and recently presented a poster at The National Dementia Research Forum.

An active member of the Brisbane North Network Group Glenda regularly conducts craft workshops for members and trainingand information sessions Glenda other passions include travel with and performing Theatre Pipe Organ, Piano and singing Her past experience serving as State President, President and positions on numerous committees give Glenda awareness of process, protocols and getting the best outcomes for members.

Glenda also brings teaching expertise to encourage continuous improvement, innovation and excellence in our field for recognition in the Healthcare, Leisure and Lifestyle and Age Care Industries.

Daniella Greenwood Bio Pic

Daniella Greenwood

Daniella Greenwood is an international consultant, speaker and published author specialising in human rights policy and practice in residential aged care. In 2020 Daniella graduated with Bachelor of Arts (Hons 1). Her Honours dissertation looked at human rights as it relates to people living in the later stages of dementia in residential aged care. Daniella was awarded the Diversional Therapy Prize when she graduated with a Bachelor of Health Science (Leisure & Health) in 2011 from Charles Sturt University. She holds a Diploma of Diversional Therapy (2010) and a Cert IV in Health and Recreation (2008).

Rachel Askew1

Rachel Askew

Rachel graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Therapeutic Recreation & Health Service Management). Since graduating in April 2014, Rachel has worked in residential aged care, currently working as a Diversional Therapy Advisor at Southern Cross Care NSW & ACT.

Rachel established the DRTA Sydney Aged Care Interest Network Group in October 2018 and has been the Group Leader since. Rachel is passionate about continual professional development and aged care.

Jade Guildchrist

Jade Gilchrist

Tour Operator of Darling Downs Trike Tours- Specialising in inclusive rides for the aged and people with disabilities.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts, Honours (Anthropology), Diploma of Traditional Chinese Painting, Cert IV Training & Assessment, Cert IV Diversional Therapy, Cert IV in Small Business Management, Cert IV in TESOL, Cert III Community Health & Services, Full Member of DRTA 

Employment History: Respite Coordinator for OZ Care, Activities Coordinator for English First (China), Community & Recreation advocate for R.I.S.C, Lifestyle Coordinator for St Vincent’s Caritas Care, Lifestyle Coordinator for Opal Care, Trainer & Assessor for HB Recruitment & Training, Leisure & Lifestyle Consultant founder of Embracing Difference Consultancy, Teacher for Aged Care & Disability for TAFE QLD. Lifestyle & Volunteer Coordinator, Clifton Community Health Services .

Jade Gilchrist has 20 years of experience in Lifestyle in Australia and China. Jade has worked in various roles in Disability, Aged Care and Education within the Leisure & Health context. Graduating in 2014 from USQ as a qualified anthropologist Jade is used her research skills to revisit Diversional Therapy practice in preparation for the Baby Boomer generation

Emma Preston

Emma Preston

I have been a Diversional Therapist for almost 19 yrs. I have a Bachelor of Applied Science – Diversional Therapy and Master in Health Management – Aged Care both from WSU (previously UWS). Post Graduate Certificate in Education Studies (UTAS). I have an extensive work background across three states and across the entire lifespan. I have an interest in education along with health as I believe we always need to continue to learn to maintain our best practice with industry and look towards our future focus.

My working background includes:

  • Aged Care - Nursing Home, Hostel and Day Centres (NSW, WA and TAS)
  • Mental Health- Child and Adolescent, Sub Acute Youth and Adult units in NSW and TAS.
  • Nursing Chain - Care Coordinator (WA)
  • Corrective Serves WA - Prison
  • GP Network- Practice Support Officer portfolios in Aged Care and Mental Health (NSW)
  • TAFE Teacher NSW and TAS. Have also done contract work in past for TAFE NSW and written some of their training texts.
  • Guest Lecturer and casual Tutor UWS
  • Disability - children and youth 0-25 as a Coordinator of weekend programs (NSW)
  • Teacher Assistant both in schools (including Special Education) and TAFE (current)\
  • NSW General Board Member
  • NSW Treasurer
  • NSW Editor on two different occasions and when we went to enewsletter for several years.
  • WA General Board Member representing regional WA
  • WA Newsletter Editor
  • DTANSW Tradetables for conference numerous years
  • DTANSW Conference Convenor numerous years
  • DTRA Tas Rep for Board
  • DRTA monitoring university students placement 2020. I also do some non-paid mentoring.

I am currently employed as a Leisure and Lifestyle Coordinator (Diversional Therapist) at a 112 bed residential aged care facility in NW Tasmania managing a team and program that runs seven days a week and includes evening programs Monday to Friday.

WA Rep

Chris Gauld



Meet The Office

Photo website
Executive Officer

Kayla Garside

I graduated with a Bachelors of Health Science (Therapeutic Recreation) in 2008 from UWS. I have been working as both a Diversional and Recreational Therapist ever since in both NSW and Vic in residential aged care and disability in metro and regional settings. I also have a Diploma in Business and Cert IV. in Community Services.

I have been a member of the association since 2006 and have volunteered as network coordinator for the St. George and Sutherland shire network group, Conference Committee, Marketing committee, Vic Board Representative and Vice President 1. In July 2021 I was appointed DRTA Executive Officer and this has allowed for greater representation of the profession nationally.

I am very passionate about the Diversional and Recreation Therapy profession and I hope to do my part in moving the profession to greater recognition.

DRTA Office Administrator

Diana Tocknell

I am the DRTA Office Administrator and have been with DRTA since January 2013.

I have always worked in accounts, administration and credit control in various industries from banks and insurance to an engineering company, but did take time off work when I had my children. For the last 10 years I have also worked in a part time clerical role at the local school and still work there one day a week.

Office Assistant

Jodie Nunes

My working background was in Administration Management which I took a step away from when I had my first child.

I started working for DRTA in 2010 collating and mailing all the workshop mailers from home!

I continued to do this until both my kids started school and have been working at the North Ryde office as DRTA's Office Assistant from 2017.

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