Meet Our Leaders

Dianne Hamer

Chief Executive Officer

Castle welcomed Dianne as our new CEO on August 1st, 2018.  Dianne is passionate about building a more inclusive community and ensuring people facing adversity, such as a disability, can enjoy fulfilling and meaningful lives. Dianne launched Castle’s Inclusive 100 campaign in May 2019 with the goal of creating a social movement that encourages more inclusive communities in the Hunter and Central C...

Karlie Lonergan

Executive Manager Service Delivery

Karlie commenced with Castle in September 2018 as the NDIS Manager and has since transitioned to Executive Manager Service Delivery across the NDIS and DES businesses.

With over 25 years’ experience the Human Services sector in government, not-for-profit and consultancy she has an acute understanding of the challenges, complexities and opportunities that exist in the delivery of supports to people in our community. Combined with an unwavering commitment to social justice and workforce excellence Karlie also understands the trust and privilege associated to supporting people to achieve positive and meaningful outcomes.

With a background in operational management, policy development and strategy Karlie is adept in empowering teams to navigate change with confidence and purpose, with a clear focus and commitment of balancing social purpose with business sustainability. Karlie’s employment experience includes working with disadvantaged people in our community in a variety of areas including social enterprises, accommodation, community integration and clinical services.

Bill Armstrong

People & Culture Manager

With a track record of implementing effective Talent Management and Workforce Planning strategies (in a diverse range of sectors and settings) Bill has also managed challenging business transformation projects. These skills are built upon a long career specialising in People & Culture and Diversity & Inclusion.

Linda Martin

Manager of Governance, Risk & Ethics

Linda’s desire to contribute meaningfully to individuals that are met with challenges every day was met when she commenced with Castle working on the frontline as an Employment Consultant within the DES program– this was in 2007. This contribution is still being fed by the same desire over 12 years later with Castle.

Linda has held various positions specific to the DES program for the first 4 years, and then progressing in organisational monitoring, learning & development, training, and compliance Coordination and Management roles. These roles see her currently succeed in management within an executive capacity, of Governance, Risk & Ethics across all facets of Castle.

Years of industry experience is supported by Diploma in Disability; Diploma in Quality Management; Certificate in TAE enabling Linda to  continue to uphold Participant rights and provide guidance and assurance for Castle current business operations and future directions.

Darren Crouch

Corporate Services Manager

Darren has worked across a wide range of industries including Heavy Engineering, Banking, Health, Education, Disability and Community Services. These roles have taken him  up and down Australia and across the world, including Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Hong Kong, London and Abu Dhabi. Darren has a Degree in Computer Science, a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management, and he is a member of CPA Australia.


After 19 years of working with the NSW state government Darren joined Castle in May 2019 because he wanted to work in a business where he could make a real impact. Darren is excited by the work that Castle does and the impact that it has on many thousands of people’s lives. 

Zachary Herron

Manager of Strategy and Projects

Zac began his career with Castle in 2012 as an Employment Consultant in Disability Employment program. Since then he has held leadership and management position across all levels of the business from Frontline Site Coordination to Executive roles. Zac believes strongly in people supporting people and Serving others so working in a not-for-profit, community focussed business is important to him. He holds a Bachelor of Psychology, a Master of Business Administration and is a NSW Justice of the Peace and he is a mentor for University of Newcastle students through the iLEAD mentoring program.

Meet Our Board

Blair Powell

Director & Member of Audit Committee

A Director of Castle since 2009 and 30 years’ experience in public practice accounting.

Blair has dedicated his career to working with people in business. For more than 25 years he has been driven by a desire to help people achieve their goals and reach the level of success they long for. Blair’s attention to detail and measured way of dealing with every task is impressive. He has the ability to cut through the jargon and explain the process involved in each service in simple terms so that it’s clear.

Jennifer Potter


Jennifer has been a Board member since 2014 and has been Chairperson since 2015. Jennifer has over 36 years’ experience working in senior management roles responsible for service delivery, operations and people management in employment and social services. She is very passionate about contributing to services that support individuals achieve their goals. 

Nino Di Claudio

Vice-Chairperson & Secretary

Nino is a local businessman who comes from a construction and development background. He has been operating his own company in the local area since 1989.

Nino holds a Diploma of Marketing and joined Castle as a committee member in 2003 and became a Director upon incorporation in 2011. Nino was appointed company secretary and has been vice chairman since 2014.

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NDIS Provider Number: 23357148 

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