Karin Grima, Chairperson

Born in Geraldton and raised on a farm east of Mullewa, Karin lived in Victoria for many years before returning to Western Australia in 2021.

Karin has worked in all levels of government focussing on economic development, regional development and tourism, private industry, the not-for-profit sector, regional advocacy, and education; with experience gained in business development, project management and community recovery following the 2009 bushfires in Victoria.

Karin believes that being a member of a community requires commitment to giving back to that community, and as the Chair of Desert Blue Connect Board, she looks forward to leading the Board as it moves to the implementation phase of the 2023-2027 Strategic Plan to improve the health and wellbeing of women and families across the Mid West region.

Karin runs her own business and when not at work, you’ll find her at the beach, walking, bike riding, volunteering with the Champion Bay Surf Lifesaving Club, and spending time with her partner, family and friends.

Travis Bate, Treasurer

Travis is Chartered Account and a Principal with RSM Australia. Based in the Geraldton Office, Travis has 23 year’s experience providing accounting and audit services to a variety of business, government and not-for-profit organisations and oversees RSM’s deliver of the Business Local Service, an initiative of the Small Business Development Corporation throughout the Pilbara, Gascoyne, Midwest and Wheatbelt.

Travis is a long-term Geraldton local and sits on several not-for-profit boards in the region.

Stephanie Essex, Board Member

Born in South Australia and the daughter of a career army officer, Stephanie lived extensively throughout Australia and UK as a child, she spent her high school years in Perth before moving to Regional WA as a young adult living in both the Midwest and Kimberly, and returning to Geraldton in early 2008.

Stephanie is a wife, mother of 5, and until recently a small business owner/ self employed for the last 25 years. As a woman approaching 50 this year, Stephanie shares that her life has definitely not been all smooth sailing, and she has learned a good deal about resilience, the importance of community and supporting each other, and sometimes, just hanging in there until the storm passes.

Contributing to community is important to Stephanie, and like so many regional women, she has also spent years on boards, committees, P&Cs, not-for-profits, sporting groups and fundraising for charities and schools. Stephanie is now focused on further increasing her contribution to community.

Outside of work Stephanie is a keen but slow runner, enjoys the beach and her family and dogs.

Lana Gill, Board Member

Raised in Geraldton and recently relocating back after several hiatuses to either live in the metro area for work opportunities or travel overseas, Lana is passionate about local communities and ensuring that regional places flourish with their own healthy ecosystems.

During the day Lana works within her own insurance broking business that provides insurance services to local and regional businesses. With over 25 years’ experience within the insurance industry Lana has built her business on commitment to service and being a confident advisor in the risk and insurance space.

Being a board member of Desert Blue is about ensuring that we have the resources available to those in need, when they need. Providing resources and platforms for education and support is essential for our communities to develop and thrive.

When not working within her business Lana does like to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, in particular the amazing beaches of Geraldton and the surrounding areas. Lana is extremely passionate about the environment including reducing plastic waste and ensuring we preserve our oceans and those that inhabit them.

Simon Keemink, Board Member

Anne Pekaar, Board Member

Anne grew up in the Midwest and is passionate about the services of DBC. Anne has over 23 years’ experience working on boards. Anne has been on the DBC Board since 2014 overseeing several large-scale projects and strategic processes. Anne recently held the Deputy Chairperson role until 2023. Anne is a past board member, and former Chairperson, of Incest Survivors Association for 14 years. Anne is enjoying semi-retirement at her home in Dongara while still being involved in the community.

Angie West, Board Member

Born and raised in Shark Bay and now married to a Geraldton local, Angie is a nature play advocate and children’s yoga teacher.

Her goal is to see more children in the outdoors and experiencing healthy opportunities for risk-taking through play.

With over 20 years of experience in the Early Childhood sector – she is passionate and motivated to make a difference in how parents and educators view and acknowledge environments where children can grow to be healthy, happy and resilient.

In 2013 she Co-founded Kids Hub Training & Consultancy and now provide support and mentoring to Early Childhood and School services striving for excellence under the national quality standards. Kids Hub also operate’s two accredited & licensed Outside School Hours Centre in Geraldton.

During her down time, you will find Angie at the beach, fishing and stand up paddle boarding.