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. The first four were built in 2006, another six in 2008, 8 more in 2010 and 3 in 2012.

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.

Programs offered by St Michaels Association include;

Community Access (Day Program)
Is an adult training program for people with special needs that require support in the development of the life skills that they may require to live independently in the community. The program operates from Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 3 pm, most weeks of the year.

Transitional Accommodation
Merton House Adult Accommodation is a transitional program that provides accommodation and training for adults who are preparing to live independently in the community. The program operates overnight from 3.00 pm to 9.00 am Monday to Friday and 3.30 pm to 9.30 am
Saturday and Sunday. The residents attend day programs within and outside the organisation.

In Home Tenancy Support
Program started in 1995. The goals in this program are to give people assistance in their own home environment in the areas of life skills,
personal care and budgeting and banking to maintain and develop their independent skills.

Community Housing
The Association also supports three Community Homes as a part of the Community Integration Program (CIP). Each home accommodates 4 residents who are supported overnight 3.30 pm to 9.30 am, 7 days a week, with day support provided on Saturday and Sunday and the residents attending their day programs during the week.

Student Accommodation
Student Accommodation for students under the age of  sixteen who are attending special units in the education department. Accommodation is 
provided from Sunday evening to Friday morning during school terms.

Youthbreak is provided to young people up to the age of 25 in the Desmond Wood Complex from Friday 4.00 pm to Sundays at 4.00 pm when funding is

Individual Programs 
St Michaels Association provides contracted support to individuals to meet their specific needs. This support may be in their home, day or night, or at an educational or work facility. This program currently extends through to the Southern Region where we provide support to young children with accessing their educational programs.

Social Club
Social Club is held in the hall at St Michaels every Saturday Night from 6.00 pm to 9.30 pm. This is a time for clients to get together for a meal 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
Indepenent living units are the most recent development at St Michaels Association. Each of the units provide independent living in a safe, supported environment. These units are more suited to clients with higher skills, requiring minimal assistance.

Registered Training Organisation
St Michaels is an Endorsed Registered Training Organisation that provides accredited training for Tasmanians with a disability and staff working Australian Disability Enterprise Organisations. We have specialist partnership with Tasmanian Training Providers- Rural and Equity Training, MEDECS, & Training3Thousand. The accredited training can be viewed on our Scope of Registration at https://training.gov.au/Organisation/Details/60067 Our ERTO also specialises in Coaching and Mentoring for Supervisors, Initial 5 Day Health & Safety Representatives (HSR) Training and Forklift training and assessment




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.





Training and Learning Development Manager - Chriss Kelly

Chriss has an extensive background in both the Disability and VET sectors and brings a broad range of skills and experience in RTO Management, Administration and Training & Assessment to the Association.





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.







Jayne Stinton - Co-ordinator of Supports

Jayne comes to St Michaels with a background in human services management in local and state government, as well as the Not for Profit sector.  She has experience in the disability, mental health, employment and homelessness sectors.





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 - Jill Cooper

Jill is a career teacher and has worked with many special education children. Jill has a long involvement with the organisation through her son who is a resident at St Michaels.





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.