Board of Management

Rights in Action staff and Board of Management have a wide range of skills, and are dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

We are from a diverse range of work backgrounds and have a variety of personal experiences of disability.

Photo:  Board of Management 2016/2017
Left to Right Back – Jane Simpson, James Barnes, Christine Ryan, Allan Wilson
Left to Right Front – Bernadette Dimla,
, Janet Corcoran 



James is a Director of Nursing (Registered Nurse) within the Cairns Western District, who previously worked as a solicitor in numerous areas of law for 13 years.

He also has experience in working with people with disabilities in transitional programs assisting people to move from extended care facilities into supported living within the general community.

Further James has acted in various roles for other charities and not-for-profit organisations in different states and territories across the country. 

James is committed to seeing people with disabilities supported to maximise their abilities and to receive fair treatment. 



I am the founder and director of Innovative Solutions Australia.  We have been running since 2010.

We develop and facilitate Indigenous Employment Programs; we work with business to help them design and implement their Indigenous engagement strategies.

While we work with a range of employers, including Wesfarmers retail brands, especially Coles Supermarkets.  The program we designed and facilitate in conjunction with Coles won a Human Rights Award in 2015.

We also create eLearning products and learning management platforms, to help business get their training and expertise online.

My experience includes 15 years of working in the employment services industry; including management of local and national teams, recruitment and Indigenous programs.

I have a Diploma of Business.


Allan Wilson is a Financial Planner who has practised in Cairns for 30 years and lived in North Queensland Cairns for most of his life.

He is married with 3 young children and wants them to grow up understanding that they have a privileged life and that there are many people who have to struggle every day of their lives to even get close to what they have.  This involves placing emphasis on preventing bullying, mentoring and helping others in their school life and outside of it.

Allan is a staunch Cowboys and Reds supporter.

His interest in joining Rights In Action was to do more in his community.  


Bernadette is an Accredited Social Worker and a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers.  

Bernadette currently works for Queensland Health and was previously with Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability.

Bernadette has also worked in Disability Employment Services for 8 years.


Formerly one of the original committee members for the development of Rights In Action and initially secretary on the Board of Management for the first 7 years.

A life member of RIA.

I have a disability and always have had a passion for human rights, social justice and advocacy for people who are disabled.


Prior to graduating as a social worker in 2006, Jane had a background in small business and community development.  Jane has since been employed at the front line in community-based organisations and large national NGO’s and works predominantly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and their children.

With a values base in promoting human rights and self-determination, Jane has always chosen to work alongside the most vulnerable and at risk people in our region.

Jane is currently working in the field of Youth Justice and completing a research masters with the School of Indigenous Studies at JCU.


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(07) 4031 7377

Ground Floor, Professional House, 88 Abbott Street Cairns North

Monday to Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm