Meet The Team

All staff working at Thrive have the necessary qualifications in welfare or community services to deliver a professional, quality service.

What We're All About

We offer a continuous learning and mentoring program to

ensure our staff receive ongoing supervision and support to develop expertise and best practice knowledge. Our current staff profiles are below. To work with us, click here.

karen-van-woudenberg
CEO

Karen van Woudenberg

I joined as the Chief Executive Officer of Thrive Services in 2021. Prior to that I managed teams in state-wide and local charities and worked in government agencies in program development, contract management and operational management. I enjoy leading teams to achieve better outcomes for communities and I am passionate about social justice for the most vulnerable amongst us. I graduated from Southern Cross University with a Master’s in Business Administration and have an undergraduate qualification in Social Work from Sydney University. I have lived in the Blue Mountains for over 25 years. When I am not working you will find me walking off-leash dog trails with my two dogs and the occasional grandchild.

michaela-gamble
Operations Administrator

Michaela 

I joined Thrives Services in 2021 as the Operations Administrator. Prior to Thrive Services, I was the Administration Assistant at GJ Roth Ltd Pty and Sessional Academic at Western Sydney University.
During my tenure at Western Sydney University, I was involved in creating teaching material collegially with the unit coordinator covering a range of photographic skills, and delivering tutorials with a focus on engagement and motivational techniques to connect with a large cohort of students.

I graduated from the University of Lincoln, UK where I completed a BA Honours in Contemporary Lens Media. I currently live in the Blue Mountains with my partner, three dogs and soon our first child. Outside of work, you’ll find me baking Sourdough and renovating our mountains cottage.

candie-field
Finance Manager

Candie

I Joined Thrive Services in December 2022 as the part time Finance Officer, while running my own business offering Accounting and Bookkeeping services to small business. I hold a Bachelor of Business Accounting/Financial Planning, from Charles Sturt University. I am also a registered a BAS Agent.

Working in the Finance/Bookkeeping industry for over 10years, I have worked across a number of industries including, childcare, building, hospitality, retail and just recently the not for profit sector. I hope to offer Thrive Services the ability to focus on the real work of supporting families, while I take the jargon out of the accounts to allow Thrive Services to make the right decisions for the business.

hannah-sharman
SHS & Intake Team Leader

Hannah

I joined Thrive Services in 2021 as a Family caseworker within the TEI Family support team and recently took on the role of Team Leader of the SHS and Intake team in January of 2022. Prior to Thrive Services, I was the Mental Health Worker at Flourish Australia and previous to that, a Client Service Officer at DCJ Housing. During my tenure at Flourish Australia, I helped the company establish the community living support program in the Blue Mountains area, creating opportunities and support for vulnerable members of the community living with complex mental health issues. I currently hold a Diploma in Community Services, Certificate IV in Mental Health, and Certificate III in children’s services and am in my third year of a Bachelor of Social work through Charles Sturt University. I am born and bred in the Blue Mountains, currently living in Katoomba with my beautiful little family.

silhouette
Intake & Drop-in Worker

Rowan

I joined Thrive in December 2023 as an intake worker. Before joining Thrive, I worked predominantly as an industrial abseiler.

In recent years I have provided short-term care as a respite foster carer and have just completed a Bachelor of Psychological studies at Western Sydney University. I live in the upper mountains and enjoy bushwalking and gardening.

Alex
TEI Family Case Worker

Alex

I joined Thrive Services in 2023 as a Family Case Worker within the Targeted Earlier Intervention team.

Prior to Thrive Services, I completed a Bachelor of Social Work with Charles Sturt University in 2019 and worked as a Mental Health Worker at Flourish Australia. 

During my time with Flourish Australia, I provided psychosocial supports for people with a lived experience of mental health. In particular, supporting people to reach their individual recovery goals, access the community and participate in social activities. I thoroughly enjoy working with individuals, families and communities. I value family-centered approaches and strengths-based language and will implement these throughout my practice. 

When I am not engaged with work, you will find me going to music concerts, line dancing or spending time with my beautiful family. 

silhouette
TEI Family Case Worker

Ally

I joined Thrive Services in 2023 as a Family Case Worker within the Targeted Earlier Intervention team.

I am currently studying Bachelor of Social Work with New England University (UNE).

Prior to joining Thrive Services I worked as a Domestic Violence Rapid Response Case Worker working with women and children in crisis with St Vincent de Paul and Case Management working with women and children who were homeless or at risk of being homeless.

I currently live in Lithgow, and when not busy at work I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and my two dogs.

rochelle-lonsdale
TEI Family Case worker

Rochelle

I joined Thrive Services in 2022 as a Specialist Homelessness Service Family Caseworker, the same year I finished my Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) with a sub-major in child and community. Since graduating and most recently I have moved into my role of Targeted Early Intervention Family Caseworker here at Thrive. This role follows my career passion to support families within the community to both build capacity and reach their goals.

When I am not at work you will find me with my wonderful children and partner, reading a book listening to music or being present with friends and family.

fiona-post
SHS Case Worker

Fiona

I started working at Thrive services in 2021 as a volunteer. In early 2022 I joined the Family Team as a Family Case Worker and 2023 was welcomed onboard as a SHS Case Worker with the SHS team.

Prior to joining Thrive Services, I was a student at Tafe first completing a Certificate IV in Community Services AOD then going on to complete the Diploma of Community Services. I have previously worked for Centrelink, disability services and financial services in the Wollongong area.

When I am not keeping busy with work you will find me curled up with a good book, out exploring the amazing views in the mountains or relaxing with friends and family.

stefani-oliver
SHS Case Worker

Stefani

I joined Thrive in 2022 as the Volunteer Coordinator. I am working in the SHS team as a family case worker. I have a passion to support the community within the Blue Mountains to feel equal, involved and included.

Before Thrive, I was a Disability Support Worker for the Blue Mountains area where I was able to support those with disabilities to feel part of the community, reach their personal goals and improve their life skills. I am currently working towards my Bachelor of Human Services with a specialisation in Child, Youth and Family Practise at Charles Sturt University. When I am not at work, I keep busy with my ducks and dogs, roller skating, sewing, crafting, bushwalking, adventures or hanging out with family and friends.

katelyn-eather
Administration Assistant

Katelyn

I joined Thrive Services as an Admin Assistant in 2022. Prior to working at Thrive Services, I was an Early Childhood Educator. During my time as an Early Childhood Educator, I enjoyed getting to know the children and their families and helping them reach their goals. I graduated from the University of Western Sydney with a bachelor’s degree in Humanitarian and Development Studies. I also have a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. I currently live in the Hawkesbury Area. When I am not working at Thrive, you will often find me hanging out with my dog or playing basketball.

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