Board of Management

James Alexander Barnes

President, Board of Management 

Qualifications and Membership

  • Bachelor of Nursing
  • Bachelor of Laws
  • Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice Current – Master of Business Administration/Master of Public Health

Knowledge and Expertise

  • Rights and Social justice
  • Corporate & Legal Governance
  • Executive organisational management





James graduated from St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill in 1994. During his nursing degree he worked in various group homes in Sydney working with people who had various disabilities, and then moved to assisting people with greater disabilities to learn skills of daily living so they could transition from extend care facilities to assisted living in group homes in the community. As a Registered Nurse, James performed mostly in emergency departments and rural & remote nursing.

In his years in legal practice he worked in numerous areas of law in both NSW, the NT & QLD, covering Corporate, Criminal, Family, Employment, Native Title and other areas of law. James was previously the Principal Solicitor at the Cairns Community Legal Centre.

Currently James works as a rural & remote Director of Nursing in the western district of the Cairns Hospital and Hinterland Health Service and has served in various roles on the Rights in Action Board for several years. He is dedicated to seeing people with disabilities receiving fair treatment and support to maximise their potential and brings a broad set of skills to the Board, of which he has been President of for 3 years.

Gwion Cain

Treasurer, Board of Management

Qualifications and Membership

  • Diploma of Work Health & Safety
  • Diploma of Business (Governance)
  • Cert IV in Training and Assessment
  • Cert IV in Property Services
  • Justice of the Peace (Qualified)
  • ACWA Member

Knowledge and Expertise

  • Community Governance
  • Community Business Development
  • Vet Training and Management
  • Project Management
  • Stakeholder Relationship Management and Developing Collaborative Programs





For the last 10 years I have specialised in managing programs in the Cairns region and Indigenous communities within Queensland (Cape York and Torres Strait) and the Northern Territory.

My senior management experience covers a wide section of the NGO and corporate sectors. I am presently the General Manager of Selectability; a not-for-profit organisation committed to improving the mental wellbeing of people in regional Queensland and contributing to the prevention of suicide.

During this time, I have worked as a manager and trainer developing the skills and capacity of people within Indigenous communities, creating, developing and monitoring culturally responsive programs and services.

The broad spectrum of experience I have accumulated has given me the adaptable skills necessary to work effectively in remote and constantly changing environments, along with the ability to identify changing needs, opportunities and developments necessary to deliver the outcomes required in these challenging environments.

Yvonne Todd

General Member, Board of Management


  • Real Estate Registration Certificate
  • Cert IV in Property Services (Operations)




Originally from South Island New Zealand, Yvonne has been a resident of Cairns for 18 years. Having previously worked in many roles, across a variety of industries, she’s now the director of a local company specialising in strata management.

Looking to give back to the FNQ community, Yvonne joined RIA’s board of management with a desire to share her knowledge and experience, whilst contributing to the assistance of some of our most vulnerable people.

John Hartigan

General Member, Board of Management

Qualifications and Membership

  • B.A. (Honours) Dip Ed
  • JP ( Qual)
  • Additional qualifications in Work place Mediation, Executive Coaching and the application of DISC and Myers- Briggs Type Indicator

Knowledge and Expertise

  • Specialises in Board Governance
  • Over 30 years practical experience in Management, Human Resources, Employment Law and Career Coaching





John Hartigan, B.A. ( Honours) Dip Ed, JP ( Qual ) has over 30 years practical experience in Management, Human Resources, Employment Law and Career Coaching. He has additional qualifications in Work place Mediation, Executive Coaching and the application of DISC and Myers- Briggs Type Indicator. He has represented both organisations and individuals in the Fair Work Commission.

In his corporate career, John has held key roles including Head of Employee Relations, NAB,( 22,000 employee workforce ), Group Manager – BTR Automotive ( Sydney – 5,000 employee workforce ) and other senior Executive roles locally and overseas with organisations such as Rio, Exxon – Mobil and Orica.

He has also had Executive Board management experience in both the Corporate and Non- For -Profit sectors in Sydney and regional Queensland. His speciality is Board Governance.

He remains active as a self-employed Business Consultant.

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