Who we are

We are Community Help and Togetherness or CHATS. We are 100% volunteer-run with four board members and around 30 hard-working volunteers.

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Board Members


Rose Darling

I am proud to be the Chairperson of Community Help and Togetherness or CHATS as we are known. It is very humbling to be able to make a difference to people’s lives in a small way within the Western Suburbs of Adelaide.

Having worked in Port Adelaide for 30 years within the International Freight Industry, I was fortunate to have a wonderful role model who always rewarded for a job well done. In 1988 I opened my own business (South Australian Independent Forwarding) in a very male dominated industry. It seems like a lifetime ago that 1997 saw me as a finalist in the Telstra businesswoman’s awards, the winner was the famous Maggie Beer, I still smile that I was in such great company. I was approached to sell my business after 16 years to a large Australian company who kindly nicknamed me the Charity Queen, little did I know where life would take me when I retired at age 49.

Once retired my elderly parents were in an aged care facility and I spent most of my time having fun with them and the staff. I then enrolled in a Community Foodies course, one volunteering role led to others and finally to establishing CHATS.

I fell in love with a little village in Cambodia when I joined Cows for Cambodia with Cosi on his first tour in 2016 and have returned 4 times, I cannot wait to revisit the families we support as soon as it is safe.

I was proud to be awarded Citizen of the Year in 2021 by the City of Port Adelaide Enfield council, this award and the support we give would be impossible without the help of our wonderful Board, volunteers and supporters

Julie Allerton

Growing up in the Western Suburbs of Adelaide, Julie grew up loving sport and travel.

She joined a Chartered Accountant office at 16, where her mother worked previously. She then worked through her studies and gained a Bachelor of Business (Major Accounting, Minor in Law) at Deakin University Warnambool Campus. She became a Chartered Accountant in 1995 and has just surpassed 25 years registered.

After a brief 2-year stint (2000-2002) in London working for the BBC and an Oil Trading Company, she came back to Adelaide and in 2004 started her own business helping small businesses make more money and streamline internal processes. She has been running workshops and training programs in SA/NT over many years focusing on small business owners. She has also been a Telstra Business Awards Judge from 2011 to date.

Previous board appointments with the Adelaide Business Hub 2005-2013, SA Badminton Association 2006-2008 and Basketball SA from 2009-2010.

Julie loves helping people and when asked to help Rose setup CHATS, she accepted the challenge of the navigating setting up the association, gaining ACNC registration and also obtaining DGR status which is an important step for any charity.

On the home front is recently married to husband Matthew and loves taking in rescued Poodles. Adopt don’t Shop is the mantra. Loves to travel to see wildlife in their own habitat and relaxing on a cruise.

Lee-Ann Lawrence

Born, raised and educated in the western suburbs of Adelaide my first employment was with Castrol Oil Company. During my years with Castrol in the finance and marketing departments I learned a diverse range of skills and undertook various part-time studies before completing a Certificate in Business Studies at SAIT

Married and with two young children, we moved to the Adelaide Hills in 1989 where I began work with a local businessman. From initial book keeping to full time employment as his Personal Assistant and ultimately Administration Manager of his investment company it was a long and rewarding association, which involved a gigantic learning curve particularly during the exploration, discovery and building of an overseas gold mine.

Always one to engage with the community I have been active in various childcare and school councils as well local sporting organisations, particularly the tennis club where I served as Treasurer and Junior Co-ordinator for many years.

My husband, Greg, and I also undertook renovations to several houses and carried out garden make overs, culminating in major work to our hills property prior to its sale.

We have returned to live in the western suburbs following my recent retirement and gladly offer support to Rose in the operation of CHATS.

An avid reader who loves a good mystery book, I also enjoy cooking, socialising with friends, watching a range of sport (GO the POWER) and visiting family interstate. I still hold hope of travelling overseas again once the COVID pandemic wanes.

Darryl Rundle

Born and bred in the Port, Darryl has always been a proud South Australian.

Educated at Ethelton and Lefevre High, he loved school and more importantly his connections and mates. Participating in a Rock band as the Saxophonist wearing cool sunglasses- he had no chance of making it big.

Career opportunities with the Coles Myer retail group as a management Cadet netted fantastic training and development that culminated in being placed runner up in the Junior Retail Executive of the year. Travelling and working with his high school sweetheart/ Wife, they moved to Darwin and started a young family. Two beautiful girls who are successful in their careers as an Occupational Therapist and Paramedic both working to help the community. A Career change in the late 90’s saw him supervising Soda Ash and Bicarbonate production at Osborne on the Port River with Penrice Soda Products.

In 2010, starting his own business in the HVAC&R industry situated in the Port Council then a second business wholesaling Ultraviolet electrical products in 2016 keeps him and his employees busy.

With special interests of family, red wine, motorsports, water-skiing and finding food for his soul through helping the community is high on his agenda.

Statement of Acknowledgement

Community Help and Togetherness and it's board acknowledges the Traditional Owners of County throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.