Huntly Gordon accepted the role of Chairman of The Ascent Group in 2006. He has been a member of the Board since 1995, also serving as Vice President on the LifeSkills Participation Advisory Committee. He has a background in law, managed the family grazing property at Ben Lomond with his wife Cath, and has recently retired to Armidale. Their son Alasdair is a client of Ascent.
has been a member of the Board since 1995 and has served on both the Supported Employment and Open Employment Committees. Ruth is very active in the Armidale community and has held the positions of President of both Special Olympics and the Country Women’s Association. This year Ruth was presented with the Premier’s Volunteer Award, celebrating 25 years of volunteering experience with community groups across the region. Ruth’s son Greg is a supported employee of The Ascent Group.
joined the Board in December 2000 and has served on the Business Services Sub-Committee. A third generation Armidalian, Rick has strong ties to the business community, including as a former Director of Richardson’s Hardware & Agriculture. He was also the Director of ABS Building Society for over 30 years and Chairman since 1993. Rick has been a member of Armidale North Rotary Club since 1971 and was previously a member of the Board of Rusden Enterprises from 1978 to 1982.
joined the Board in 2013, following a working career in the USA, Italy, and Australia as a private sector lawyer. She has worked with Baker & Johnson, Deacons (now Norton Rose), Slater & Gordon, and the Compliance Directorate and Investment Management Team at ASIC. Raised in North Qld, Caroline moved to Armidale in 2012 with her husband Sam and their three children. Their daughter Charlotte has Williams Syndrome, and through providing her support, Caroline has gained immense understanding of the challenges and issues faced by people with a disability.
Dr Theresa Smith-Ruig
Dr. Theresa Smith-Ruig is one of only a handful of vision impaired academics currently teaching in Australia. She is Course Coordinator for all undergraduate and postgraduate business degrees. Theresa’s teaching and research interests reflect her strong passion for promoting equity and inclusion. Theresa graduated in 2006 with her PhD in the area of career management. She teaches at both and undergraduate and postgraduate level in the area of human resource management (HRM). Theresa has numerous publications in the areas of career development, diversity management, gender and leadership in Local Government and the non-profit sector, and on work-integrated learning. She has been the recipient of both state and national research grants focused on enhancing the student learning experience. Theresa also has strong connections with business through her current and previous roles as a Director on boards of national and local not-for-profit organisations in the disability sector.
Will Warrick joined the Board in January 2013. During the last few years, Will has held the position of Treasurer. Will is a qualified Chartered Accountant (1985-2011) and has a Bachelor of Financial Administration. He was also a Partner with Roberts and Morrow before retiring in 2011. Will is currently on Ascent’s Management, Planning and Finance Committee.
joined the Board in November 2011. Brian has practiced as a Veterinarian and Business Manager. Brian has also been a Director of Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Homes. Brian’s son Matthew is a client of The Ascent Group.
Jenny Bailey joined the Board in 2016. A virtual native of Armidale, Jenny has long been immersed in local community activities. Jenny is the Patron of PLC Armidale, having also previously served as the President of the P&F, and has worked in the service of a number of community organisations in the region, including the Armidale Hydrotherapy Pool. Jenny and her husband Peter were co-founders of Country Week, the precursor to the Foundation for Regional Development of which Jenny continues to contribute to today as a Consultant. Jenny was elected to the Armidale Dumaresq Council in 2012 and served until it’s amalgamation with Guyra Shire Council in 2016.
Hugh Beattie joined the Board in 2016. Hugh served as a senior officer in the Royal Australian Air Force, retiring as Wing Commander in 1983, after 20 years’ service, to commence farming operations in the Walcha district. Hugh joined Practical Systems Ltd. in 1993 utilising several years’ experience in the RAAF using digital technology and as management, planning and recording tools for his farming operations. Hugh was appointed Managing Director in 2004 and is the co-designer of the company’s original software products. Hugh took over the Chairmanship of the company Board on 2009 through to 2015.
Hugh is married to Elizabeth and they have four daughters and six grandchildren.