About St Michaels

Brief History

St. Michaels Association Inc. was founded in 1970 with the aim of providing support for students that were then attending ‘special needs’ schools in the Launceston area. Initially accommodating 13 people this number grew and in a few short years we were accommodating 25 people. The Association purchased a house in Evandale, ’The Laurels’, which provided accommodation for 8 residents. This was a magnificent two storey house with a tennis court and a large workshop, double lock-up garage and a magnificent garden. Unfortunately with all the traveling and other cost factors this building was sold.

Merton House was built in 1986. This gave us the opportunity to offer a day program and an on-site garden program. With the Desmond Wood Complex providing accommodation for children under the age of sixteen.

In 1993 we moved into our first group home which was 100% funded by the state government, this consequentially led to the  organisation being offered a second home. We then expanded into a Community Outreach program, catering to 16 people which has continued to grow and is now servicing over 30 people.

The most recent development has been the construction of independent units which allow clients to live independently within a supported community style environment. There are now 44 independent living units on the St Michaels site at 22 Hoblers Bridge Road.

St. Michaels Association Inc. is a not-for-profit, non-government organisation, providing accommodation and support to Tasmanian people with intellectual and physical disabilities for over 47 years.

St Michaels Association Inc. is incorporated under the Incorporated Associations Act 1963.

St. Michaels Association Inc. is for people with intellectual and/or physical disabilities. Our services provides accommodation and training in a number of programs, following personal development plans that are designed to address each individuals needs.

These programs cover areas of life skills; personal care; human relationships; financial management; medical care; first aid & safety; transport training; road safety; community awareness and leisure activities.

Services offered at St Michaels includes - All NDIA Registered Supports

Co-ordination of Supports - assistance in co-ordination of support requirements through the NDIS.  Support coordination is designed to minimise the complexity of negotiating with service providers, government agencies and accommodation providers.

Community Access - participate in community, social and civic activities
The program incorporates support to enable a participant to independently engage in community, social and recreational activities during the week and operates from 9 to 3 pm Monday to Friday from our City and Hoblers Bridge Road, Newstead Campuses.

Merton House - assistance with daily life tasks in a group or shared living arrangement
Support incorporates assistance with and /or supervising tasks of daily life in a shared living environment, which is either temporary or ongoing, with a focus on developing the skills of each individual to live as autonomously as possible. The support is based on the needs and goals of the individual. 

This program operates from 3 pm to 9 am Monday to Friday and 24 hours Saturday and Sunday.

In Home Tenancy Support - assistance with self-care activities.
Supports provide assistance with and/or supervising, personal tasks of daily life to develop skills of the participant to live as autonomously as possible. This program operations seven days a week.

Group Homes - shared accommodation Services
Currently there are three group homes located in the broader community. Services provided incorporate assisting with and or supervising tasks of daily life to develop the skills of an individual with either low standard support or high needs to live autonomously as possible. This program operates seven days a week.

Desmond Wood - short term respite accommodation
Services include integrated support for self-care, accommodation, food and activities for short periods. This program operates 5 nights per week.  This is a short term respite program which provides 24 hour support.

Youthbreak - (respite accommodation)
This program is a respite program provided to young people from the ages of 15-25 and operates out of the Desmond Wood Complex from 4 pm Friday to 4 pm Sunday. Conditions apply for eligibility.

Individual Support - 1 on 1 support 
This type of support is specific to the needs of the individual, and may include enabling a participant to independently engage in community, social and recreational activities, personal care, educational assistance, living and life skills.  Support can be provided 24/7 365 days a year and can be delivered in home or at St Michaels.

Our Home - shared accommodation Services
Currently there are two Our Home facilities located in the broader community. Services provided incorporate minimal assistance in meeting daily life requirements and to develop the skills of an individual with standard support needs to live autonomously as possible. This program operates 7 days a week.

Social Club
Social Club is held in the hall at St Michaels every Saturday Night from 6 pm to 9.30 pm. This is a time for clients to get together for a meal, socialise and engage in leisure activities of their choice such as card or board games, singing, dancing or enjoying a footy match on TV with a friend.

Independent Living Units
The 44 Independent Living Units are currently fully occupied with a tenant/landlord agreement in place. The units  provide independent living in a safe, supported environment. The units are more suited to clients with higher skills, requiring minimal assistance and can incorporate assistance with self-care activities (see In Home Tenancy Support).

Please note there is a specific criteria that is required to be eligible for this service.

Registered Training Organisation (60067)
St Michaels is a Skills Tasmania Endorsed RTO providing accredited training for Tasmanians with a disability.

On-the job traineeships, workplace based skills sets and classroom based training in Certificate I Warehousing Operations, Certificate II Process Manufacturing, Certificate II in Horticulture, Short courses  in Kitchen Operations, Forklift , Computing, and five Day HSR are delivered across the state in various locations.



St Michaels Association Inc.  Management Team



CEO - John Gilpin

John  joined St Michaels in 2011 as Chief Executive Officer.

John brings to the Association 24 years of leading and management experience, with the last 17years being involved in working with individuals to enhance and grow their life long learning skills (Disability and Vocational Sectors).




State Manager Disability Services - Rod Campell

Rod has over 10 years experience working in the Disability Sector and brings to St Michaels a vast range of skills, knowledge and experience in business development, project management, marketing, publishing, fundraising, promotional and disability support initiatives for the organisation.



Corporate Services Manager – Andy Gower

Andy has had over 10 years financial experience. Running his own business previously he brings a team based learning knowledge to the team, being heavily involved in coaching cricket and football umpiring groups.





Registered Training Organisation (RTO) Manager - Kim Dean

Kim has over nine years’ experience in an RTO and has high level leadership skills in RTO administration, Student Management Systems, compliance and delivery of training and assessment.

As RTO manager, one of Kim’s focuses will be on positive outcomes for our clients, both current and prospective. Kim is looking forward to working with our current clients and growing St Michael’s client base for the future.



Asset Supervisor - Paul Westgarth

Paul has an extensive background in Asset Management, having worked in the building maintenance industry for many years. Paul  brings a broad range of skills and experience to the Association.





Sharon Cuthbertson - Manager Residential Services 

Sharon has worked extensively in the Disability Sector, including direct support, coordinating children’s respite and adult residential accommodation services.

Sharon has completed a number of years of university study in psychology and sociology and is currently working on a degree in Behaviour Science. Other education includes a Diploma of Disability, Acquired Brain Injury and has been an accredited PART trainer.




Maria Campbell - Manager Day Services

Maria has been working in the Disability Sector for 18 years including 17 years experience in managing and working in Community Access programs.






St Michaels Association Inc. Board of Management



St Michaels Board Member - President - Colin Foon

Colin is a long-time member of the St Michaels Board, in addition to practicing as a solicitor in Launceston. Colin is also a keen supporter of local football.




St Michaels Board Member - Vice President - Margot Malik

Margot is Human Resources & Learning Development Specialist and Consultant. Margot has global executive level experience in HR, Training and Coaching for a variety of business platforms: Retail, Hospitality, Insurance, Pharmacy and Sales.

A Life Coach, Master NLP Practitioner and mentor to managers and staff.




St Michaels Board Member - Treasurer - Keith Watson

Keith has been an accountant with 145 financial in Launceston for over 10 years. Keith completed his CPA professional qualifications and holds a Master’s degree in accounting in addition to being a Chartered Tax Advisor with the Tax Institute of Australia.





St Michaels Board Member - Brian Dunham

Brian is a building maintenance contractor and also a family carer of a resident at St Michaels. Brian has considerable experience on the Board and chairs the Audit and Risk Subcommittee.





St Michaels Board Member - Michael Higgins

Michael works for the largest provider of vocational education and training in Tasmania and has been working with individuals and community groups through the VET sector over the past 10 years to provide opportunities and to enhance their lifelong learning. He has extensive experience prior to this in the Construction and Hospitality Industries.





St Michaels Board Member - Simone Woodruff

Simone has 24 years experience working in the Disability Services. Simone has also been the President of Independent Services for 22 years in addition to 15 years at Housing Tasmania as a Tenancy Officer for public housing.




St Michaels Board Member - Grayson Genders

Grayson has a degree in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of Tasmania. He has worked with several members of Federal Parliament as an electoral officer, including several back benchers and in a ministerial office. In 2005 he started with Tas Gas in their marketing & connections team and later worked as their commercial development coordinator.  In 2011 he accepted the role of Commercial Marketing Manger where he worked to develop new strategic marketing approaches.  His work has included rebranding, developing and running new advertising campaigns, and innovating in digital mediums. Grayson brings significant experience in brand and marketing to the team.  



St Michaels Board Member - Dr Christine Materia

Christine has a broad range of administrative, management & strategic development experience in local, state and federal government.  Expertise in community services, rural and mental health. Established national, state and local government networks (industry, business, service providers, and community & government stakeholders. Skilled in Report Writing, and Community Engagement. Strong professional with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Medicine (Rural Health) from University of Tasmania. She is also a Keelboat Instructor volunteering with Sailability and Sailors with disAbilities giving disadvantaged and disabled children and adults the chance to try sailing. 




St Michaels Board Member - Cheryl Scott

Cheryl Scott is a Speech Pathologist who has many years experience in the public sector.  One of her sons is a participant at St Michaels.  She is keen to work with parents and St Michaels to improve outcomes for all participants.