Greg Alchin is a usability consultant, Apple Accessibility Consultant, Apple Distinguished Educator. Additionally, Greg is an active presenter, author and mentor. Greg empowers individuals of all ages and abilities to be “more powerful than they or others think!” through innovative inclusive strategies that anyone can benefit from. Greg has received a string of international awards over the past 20 years for sharing his expertise around the world. In particular, Greg was awarded the New South Wales Premier’s Teachers Scholarship in Special Education in 2011. Most recently, Greg has been invited to join the Apple Distinguished Educator Advisory Board for the Asia Pacific Region and invited to address the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) event on producing accessible ibooks. Greg’s own visual disability enables him to be an authentic accessibility ambassador who speaks from personal experience. Greg is the author of 'Inclusive Design for iBooks Author’ available on the iBooks Store.
Caroline Alcorso is National Manager, Workforce Development, at National Disability Services. At NDS she leads the Disability Workforce Innovation Network, a major national workforce initiative for the disability sector, as well as workforce and workplace relations policy.
In recent years she has worked as Manager, Workforce Development, State Training Services (NSW Department of Education and Communities) and at Skills Australia where she was the lead author for its strategic report on the first national workforce strategy, Workforce Futures, A Strategy Paper on Workforce Development (2010).
Caroline has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tasmania and a Master of Arts from Cambridge University, England. In 2006 she completed a Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney (Economics) that explored how employers employ and manage immigrants in the information technology and hotel industries.
She has an extensive research, policy and advocacy background. As well as government, she has worked for community organisations, unions and research centres over the last 25 years and has acknowledged expertise in workplace relations and employment, gender equity, migration and multicultural affairs and environmental sustainability.
Chief Executive, National Disability Services
Dr Ken Baker AM is the Chief Executive of National Disability Services (NDS), the peak association for non-government disability service organisations. In that role, he provides information, representation and policy advice.
Ken has worked in social policy and public affairs for 30 years. Based in Canberra, he is currently a member of the NDIS Independent Advisory Council and other committees advising on disability policy.
With a membership of around 1100 non-government organisations, NDS promotes and improves services which support people with disability to participate in all domains of life, including employment.
Ernst and Young
John Baker MA (Econ) is an Executive Director within Human Services Practice of EY. He recently transferred from the UK where he was head of the Local Public Services Sector which includes Health and Social Care integration, Police, Ambulance Services, Regional Development, and Social Service
John has a Master’s Degree in Economics is also a qualified Social Worker and has been both a Director of Social Services and a Corporate Director with responsibility for HR, Policy Development , Scrutiny and ICT and Social Services.
John has extensive experience of working on and leading some of the largest and most complex transformation programmes within Government and Public Sector. He has deep sector experience of Aged Care, Disabilities and Children’s Services.
John has worked extensively in Government and Public Sector and has recently worked with the Department of Health on the social care and health integration agenda examining the “total care pathway” including the care pathway for Disability Services.
John supported the development of a range of innovative solutions to challenging public sector issues including developing the Care Brokerage business within the UK and London Ventures. Both of these initiatives have received international interest.
John started his career in Social Work with a Youth Justice Team and later was part of the Child Protection Team for Camden Social Services before becoming a Director in two major cities in the UK.
John has provided professional advice to a variety of organisations including the Banking Sector and the Department of Health and NGO’s. These included a range of high profile projects with central.
Susan Balandin holds the Inaugural Chair in Disability and inclusion in the Faculty of Health at Deakin University. A speech pathologist by background, she worked as a clinician for many years before joining academia. Her research program is focused on adults with a lifelong disability and community participation with a particular focus on the health and community interactions of people with little or no functional speech.
My name is Linda Blaik and I am a woman with a disability who doesn't believe there is a reason to sit home and do nothing.
I am married, my husband David is a person with albinism. PWA. We have 3 adult children, who have given us 3 gorgeous grandchildren.
My eye condition is Cone/Rod Dystrophy, I started to lose my vision at the age of 7 years old. I have 2 brothers with the same eye condition and a sister and brother who have normal vision. There is no history of the condition in my family both sides going back numerous generations.
I gradually lost my vision over many years until recently, probably the last 6/8 years I have no useful vision and I am totally blind.
My days are very full, I am the volunteer coordinator of the Geelong Guide Dogs Victoria, office, GDV. a member of the Guide Dogs Victoria Clients Advisory Committee, CAC. I am a member of the City of Greater Geelong , Disability Advisory Committee. DAC. I volunteer for Red Cross Australia in an Op Shop 1or 2 days a month. My greatest passion is to fund raise for Guide Dogs Victoria and Albinism Fellowship of Australia, AFA. Another thing I like to do is help GDV being an emergency foster carer for guide dogs in training. Last year I completed a program ran by Committee For Geelong, CFG. This was the LEAD Barwon program and from that I have gained the experience to speak, advise and help run forums regarding the roll out of the NDIS and also to feed back to CEO's of NDIA the outcomes and concerns of potential and current participants.
Only recently I was offered a job as the blind products sales rep for Pacific Vision, this job entails demonstrating and sales for people who use blind products as their preferred technology.
Mr Bruce Bonyhady was formerly the President of Philanthropy Australia and also formerly the Convenor of the Independent Panel appointed to advise the Productivity Commission and Government during the Inquiry into long-term care and support for Australians with disability. He is a Member of the Disability Investment Group and the Reference Group for the Pension Review. He was Deputy Chair of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Advisory Group to the Council of Australian Governments and former Chairman of Yooralla.
Mr Bonyhady has also held a number of senior positions in the funds management industry and insurance industry in Australia and internationally. He is Chairman of Acadian Asset Management Australia Limited and a Director of Dexus Wholesale Property Limited. His former roles include senior positions in the funds management industry, including Managing Director of ANZ Investments and Executive Vice President at BT Funds Management. His earlier career was as an economist and econometrician in the private sector and the Commonwealth Treasury.
He is the father of three adult sons two of whom have disabilities. Mr Bonyhady was appointed as a member of the Order of Australia in 2010 for services to people with disabilities, their families and carers and to the community.
Helen Bouropoulos is an accomplished senior executive with a background in fields ranging from IT and telecommunications to the NFP sector. Since joining National Disability Services (NDS) in 2014, Helen has applied her product and marketing expertise to leading the development of solutions which help disability service providers realise operational excellence and a competitive edge in a consumer-driven market. Helen is passionate about working with disability service providers to help them realise their full potential as we enter the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) era. Before joining NDS, Helen ran an independent consultancy specialising in product development and marketing, and has previously held senior roles in leading telecommunications and IT firms.
People with Disabilities Australia
Matthew Bowden is Co-Chief Executive Officer of People with Disability Australia (PWDA). PWDA is a national Disabled Peoples Organisation and peak body. PWDA is a member of the Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) which along with the other three ACDA members: the First Peoples Disability Network (Australia), Women With Disabilities Australia and the National Ethnic Disability Alliance provides a representative voice for all people with disability in Australia. Matthew has worked for PWDA since 2003 in various management and leadership positions. Matthew has worked with and for people with disability for 25 years in positions in the UK, the Solomon Islands and Australia. His main areas of expertise are in individual advocacy and the sexual and reproductive rights of people with disability. Matthew oversees all of PWDA’s individual advocacy programs across its 9 offices in Queensland and New South Wales. Matthew currently manages two major projects for PWDA, its work in supporting people with disability who are affected by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and PWDA’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Citizens’ Jury Scorecard Project. The NDIS Citizens’ Jury Scorecard Project recently won three awards from International Association of Public Participation including both the Australasia Project of the Year Award and the International Project of the Year Award.
David Bowen is the inaugural CEO of the National Disability Insurance Agency.
He has worked as a consultant to the insurance industry and health and disability sector. He is one of the architects of the NSW Lifetime Care and Support scheme and as inaugural CEO was responsible for implementation of the initiative. Prior to this he was General Manager of the Motor Accidents Authority for 11 years.
David is a lawyer by profession with a strong background in administrative and insurance law. He has been actively involved in development of the disability reform program, being a member of the Independent Panel advising the Productivity Commission in its inquiry into the feasibility of a National Disability Insurance Scheme and as initial chair, and ongoing member of the National Injury Insurance Scheme Advisory Group.
Ernst and Young
Sinead is a social entrepreneur who blends extensive experience and expertise in health, social care and technology sectors to drive innovation and efficiency in the delivery of public services, through clear combinations of financial sustainability and large scale social impact. Sinead’s expertise is shaped by her early social work training in University College Dublin, subsequent corporate directorships in UK local government and NHS and running her own boutique health and social care consultancy practice since 2000.
A desire for radical innovation in public services led Sinead to the technology sector and to adopt a consumer rather than organisational approach in her public services innovations and in supporting technology sectors to grow and expand into public sector through her work with Government Agencies in the UK and Ireland. Pro-bono work within the social enterprise sector led her to found award winning peer-to-peer social business MySupportBroker and the associated social and technological ventures she is growing within the social business space. Since founding MySupportBroker in 2010, she has led it from standing start to its current positions as a Community Interest Company at the very forefront of innovative, disruptive Health and Social Care in the UK with a head-count of 50+ staff and affiliates.
As a result of this effective entrepreneurship coupled with her strategic and operational management expertise, MySupportBroker is now recognised by UK Central and Local Government as a sector leading new model of health and social care delivery that uniquely meets the needs of patients to improve their lives and the needs of the NHS and Councils to manage increasing demand and reducing resources.
Sinéad commitment to the social business sector continues as she personally mentors social entrepreneurs to set up new peer-led social businesses alongside her specialist team of social business advisors.
Establishing the MSB Enterprise Hub to support people with long term conditions to become sustainable entrepreneurs, with partners Unltd and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
National Broadband Network
Paul Constable – Calcott is a Wiradjuri man from his father’s side from central NSW, and of Irish heritage from is mothers side who was born in Tinga . He contracted Polio as an infant and spent many years in hospitals, with his early schools years enrolled in The Northcote School for crippled children.
His earliest memories are of living in a housing settlement in a small house made of corrugated iron on the banks of the lane cove river. His father would never be around when the social workers visited for fear of having his children taken away , especially having a fair skinned son with a disability.
Paul has been working within the disability sector for almost thirty years. With the last 10 years specifically working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who are living with disability. 5 years ago whilst working for an NGO , Suncare Community Services, he started the Nandjimadji Art group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living with a disability , and their Carers.
The group was set up to address issues such as social isolation and barriers to services access and supports, and provide a culturally safe environment for people to come together share stories and celebrate their culture. The group now holds regular art exhibitions sponsored by the Novotel Twin waters resort, Novotel Brisbane and the Mercure hotel Brisbane.
Paul loves to paint and has pieces in private collections and government agencies both local and international.
Paul gets inspiration from the people he works with, and admires the strength and resilience of the artist he has had the honour of working with.
Paul is also proud to be involved in the First People’s Disability Network of Australia. The only Aboriginal owned and run service representing Aboriginal people with disabilities, providing advice and support in the development of policy and procedure in relation to aboriginal people with disabilities.
He is also on the board for Arts Access Australia, The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dementia Advisory Group. The Indigenous Advisory Board for the University of the Sunshine Coast, and a number of advisory groups for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Currently Paul is working for Synapse Brain Injury Queensland developing the Murri Disability Advisory Network. Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living with disability in Queensland , and supporting the development of Disability support and information groups for the NDIS in the Northern Territory.
As Corporate Development Manager of Tunstall Healthcare, Lisa is responsible for the development of new business strategies in the Asia Pacific region.
She is also responsible for project management of telehealth and telecare implementations, and has managed large scale government funded telehealth programmes including; Townsville-Mackay Medicare Local Diabetes In-Home Management Trial, DVA CVC In-home Telemonitoring Trial, Western Health Home Therapies utilising Tele-Health Guidance and Monitoring Project (HUG Project), and Integrated Living and New England Medicare Local Staying Strong Program.
Lisa joined Tunstall in 2006, with 20 years of sales, marketing and management experience in a variety of industries including: health, food manufacturing, travel, gaming and media.
Lisa has a degree in health science and a post graduate degree in communications. She is a passionate advocate for proactive health care management and health promotion.
Boston Consulting Group
Miguel Carrasco is a Partner and Managing Director of the Canberra office of The Boston Consulting Group. He has more than 15 years of international strategy consulting experience. He is particularly passionate about helping governments take advantage of digital technology to transform the way they deliver services to citizens and business.
Miguel has worked with a range of state and national governments around the world on service delivery innovation particularly in human services and social services. For example, he has been working with the National Disability Insurance Agency on its future service delivery and sourcing models. He has supported the Department of Social Services with strategic program reform and the Department of Human Services on Service Delivery Reform (SDR) and Welfare Payments Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT).
He is a Director and founding member of The Able Movement, an innovative social movement which aims to change the world for people with disability. He was Program Director for Welfare Reform at the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership and Project Manager for the establishment of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government. He has a Master of Public Policy from University of Sydney and Bachelor of Accounting from University of Technology Sydney.
Australian Network on Disability
Suzanne Colbert AM is founding Chief Executive of the Australian Network on Disability.
AND is funded by over 150 public and private sector members and is the ‘go to’ organisation for employers wanting to progress the inclusion of people with disability in all aspects of their business. AND has pioneered many new supports for employers including publications, policies, learning and development sessions, as well as programs including the groundbreaking Stepping Into™ internship program for university students with disability.
Suzanne commenced her work in the disability sector 25 years ago, assisting people with significant disability into well paid and sustainable jobs. She then became founding General Manager of a high performing Disability Employment Service and founding Chair of the national peak body representing employment services for people with disability.
In 2010, Suzanne was awarded an AM in the Australia Day Honours list. In 2013, she was inducted into Disability Employment Australia’s Hall of Fame, and was included in the AFR/Westpac 2013 100 Women of Influence.
Centre of the digital future
Dr Jeffrey Cole is the Director of the Centre for the Digital Future at University of Southern California, (USC) Annenberg. Drawing on research from 25 countries Jeffrey is considered a world authority on how the Internet and online technology influences our attitudes and behaviours.
The Digital Future Project employs an extensive survey, now in its seventh year, to examine in detail the evolving views and experiences of users as well as non-users of the Internet. The Centre is committed to work that has a real and beneficial effect on people’s lives while seeking to maximize the positive potential of mass media and the rapidly evolving communication technologies.
Jeffrey has been at the forefront of media and communication technology policy issues in both the United States and internationally for the past 25 years.
At University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) and now at USC Annenberg, Jeffrey founded and directs the World Internet Project, a long-term longitudinal look over 20 countries at the effects of computer and Internet technology on all aspects of society.
Jeffrey has lectured extensively in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, Australia and throughout the U.S. He regularly consults with top government officials and leaders of the telecommunications industries throughout the world on communications issues. He currently is a member of the International Telecommunication Union Forum Program Committee.
Samantha Connor is a woman with a disability and a passionate advocate for the rights of people with disability. She has a lengthy professional background in disability and human rights, is a board member of People with Disability Australia and a member of Women with Disabilities Australia.
Samantha has been instrumental in advocating for the rights of people with disability to be free from acts of violence, neglect and abuse. Roles which she has previously held and which have complemented that work have included membership of the Expert Committee on the Workforce and Sector Capacity design group on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, expert committee membership on the Stop the Violence project and a current role on the disability steering committee for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. She has a specific interest in workforce issues in the disability sector and the development of practices which will improve both safety and life chances for people with disability.
Samantha also has a keen interest in technology and has a social media reach of over 25,000 people with disability. She is one of the administrators of the NDIS Grassroots Discussion Facebook group and is one of the founding members of the Bolshy Divas.
Samantha lives in regional Western Australia, works as a disability consultant and has six children, several of whom have disabilities and psychosocial disabilities. She shares a home with her husband Peter, two bulldogs named Frank and Lucy and a cat named Schroedinger."
Ms Cresswell was appointed as the CEO of Carers Australia in September 2011 and has a lengthy history as an executive in the not-for-profit sector both at the local and national levels. Before joining Carers Australia Ms Cresswell headed up Reconciliation Australia, the ACT Council of Social Service and Homelessness Australia.
Formerly a nurse and Social Trainer, Ms Cresswell is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She says that in our lifetimes each of us is likely to either be or need a carer, so taking care of carers is really about taking care of our families, our friends and ourselves.
Carers Australia is the national peak body representing Australia’s carers, advocating on behalf of Australia’s carers to influence policies and services at a national level. It works collaboratively with partners and its member organisations, the network of state and territory Carers Associations, to deliver a range of essential national carer services.
Jeanette Davies works in the Information Communication Learning Technologies (ICLT) team at Catholic Education, Diocese of Wollongong, NSW. Jeanette provides support in all areas of Information Technology specialising in providing Library support for 37 schools, which encompasses Professional Development and Technical Support for the current Library Management System, Oliver, and has just completed the process of rolling out Overdrive which will provide inclusive eBooks, Audio Books, Videos, Music and documents online to all Staff and Students in the Wollongong Diocese. Jeanette is also responsible for providing Inclusive Technology solutions for students with disabilities. This encompasses purchasing hardware and software and providing training and support for teachers, school support officers and students within this area. Jeanette is also an Apple Distinguished Educator (2011) and Accessibility Ambassador.
Desleigh de Jonge
Desleigh de Jonge B.Occ.Thy., M.Ph.(OccThy), Grad Cert Soc Sci (Health Practice) is an occupational therapist with over 20 years clinical experience and 12 years teaching and research at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland. In 2013 she moved from academia back into industry, taking up a position at LifeTec, Queensland to develop telehealth services, improve the awareness and uptake of smart technologies and promote consumer and sector engagement in the development of LifeTec’s services. Her professional interests centre around the way in which technology and environmental design can enable older people and people with disabilities to lead full lives. She has a national and international reputation in consumer-oriented analysis of assistive technologies, environmental design and home modifications. Desleigh has presented at national and international conferences and published over 60 articles in national and international journals. She has recently co-authored books on home modification practice with Slack Inc (USA); the use of assistive technology in the workplace with Mosby (USA) and contributed chapters to a number of international texts on the application of assistive technology. As a founding member of the AT collaboration, she worked with an international team to develop an economic framework to demonstrate the benefits of assistive technology and universal design from a user’s standpoint. Desleigh served on the board of Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association (ARATA) from 2002 -2014 and helped prepare the organization for the NDIS as President from 2005 until 2012. She also represented Occupational Therapy Australia on Group 5 Home modifications and Assistive Technology Review Committee at the National Aged Care Reform Agenda. Desleigh currently holds an honorary position at The University of Queensland and is on the advisory committee of a number of PhD students.
Lee Duncombe is the current Trial Site Director in Newcastle, New South Wales. Lee has a wealth of experience in associated sectors and has been with the Agency since inception.
Beryl has a son with Down Syndrome and a foster son with Foetal Alcohol syndrome.
She is a retired Mathematics teacher who has spent the last 15 years as voluntary Secretary and general Coordinator of North Shore Recreation Network Inc., an Association which supports a group of adult friends, all with a mild or moderate intellectual disability to access the community as independently as possible.
Most of the group have been with the Association for 15 years or more and have made great strides in their independence.
They now go independently as a group, ie without a “carer” on lots of activities such as bowling, beach, stage shows, movies etc etc, supported only in the planning and by phone when necessary.
Of course they love to eat out at restaurants but most restaurants do not “split bills”. Beryl has come to accept that while together the group can read a menu and place orders, the complexities of paying a combined bill cannot be overcome without a “carer’ present.
What if they could avail themselves of that wonderful modern technology of “apps”?
Our digital aspiration is an iPad/iPhone app which will do the calculations and money handling for us and present results in a way that we can pay our share of the bill independently.
This involves much much more than simply dividing the total bill by the number present or even adding the individual totals and presenting each with their own total.
Beryl will describe what such as app needs to do to enable her group and obviously many others with similar disabilities, to enjoy the freedom of eating out together and paying the combined bill with confidence and accuracy – all without the ubiquitous “carer” needed by many such groups.
Cisco Systems Australia
Tim Fawcett is the Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs for Cisco Systems Australia and New Zealand and is Chairman of Cisco’s ANZ Social Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee.
A part of Cisco’s Senior Leadership Team, Tim developed and implements Cisco’s three-year business transformation strategy with a focus on human capital development, healthy communities and economic innovation.
Tim also leads Cisco’s executive stakeholder engagement on productivity, innovation, workforce participation, the internet economy, public administration, infrastructure, sustainability and the environment.
In addition, Tim is the co-chair of Cisco’s Working @ Cisco initiative which is tasked with makeing Cisco an employer of choice through a focus on diversity, inclusion and workplace flexibility, which Tim views as a cornerstone of the sustainability of modern businesses.
Tim represented Cisco on the Australian Government’s Advisory Panel on Teleworking and is an occasional public speaker and media commentator.
Tim is a Director of the Diversity Council Australia, and the not-for-profit children’s charity, Make a Difference (MAD) Foundation. He is also an Advisory Board Member of the Melbourne Networked Society Institute at University of Melbourne, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is an Ambassador for the Snowdome Foundation.
He holds a Masters in Public Policy from the ANU, and degrees from LaTrobe University and the University of California.
Des has been in the IT industry working with public sector and defence organisations, for 17 years, with 10 years in IBM and 7 years with SAP. He is responsible for public sector and defence across the Asia Pacific and Japan regions (APJ) developing go to market strategies and compelling value propositions leveraging the digital economy. Des brings a digital experience and architecture focus to translating business requirements into solution architecture. He demonstrates an ability to balance his business insight and technology skills to develop architecture-lead solutions for public sector related organisations focused on business value and SAP’s ability to simplify, increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Des works to understand an organisation’s strategy, goals and short-comings leading to appropriate SAP solutions and innovations. He brings digital government insight to demonstrate the importance of SAP as a strategic partner for public sector related organisations. Des operates at the business executive level and the detailed level simultaneously and is able to switch between these levels (of detail, and seniority of the audience) as required.
Des resides in Singapore with his wife and six year old daughter.
Sam’s career to date has been firmly grounded within the disability sector . Outside of direct clinical work as a senior therapist, Samantha has: established state wide initiatives, created national telehealth services, designed and implemented online inclusion platforms, and managed a state-wide micro-grant scheme. Sam’s role within Northcott Innovation focusses on bringing together people with diverse experiences to think in new ways and striving to ensure that people with a disability are active participants in the co-creation of solutions; not the recipients of solutions designed by others. Samantha is an Occupational Therapist by trade who holds a Master in Developmental Disability, a Diploma in Business Management and a Cert III in Auslan. Samantha has also completed the Stanford d-school Design Thinking for Social Innovation program.
National Relay Service
Deborah Fullwood is a co-Director of WestWood Spice (www.westwoodspice.com.au) a vibrant consulting company that has had year-on-year growth since commencement in 2000. She originally trained as an Occupational Therapist and holds a BAppSc and a BSocSc.
In 2016 and again in 2012, Deborah led WestWood Spice’s successful tenders for the Commonwealth contract to deliver Outreach Services for the National Relay Service (www.relayservice.gov.au). ‘Outreach’ is tasked with raising awareness and promoting the NRS including providing training, information and support nationally.
Outreach highlights over the last nine years include:
- increasing community awareness of the National Relay Service from 17% in 2003 (prior to WestWood Spice winning the contract) to 31% in 2009 with no drop-off over the following five years
- a growth in the provision of targeted information for customers, potential customers and intermediaries particularly through social media
- a number of successful media campaigns including Quiet Signs of Love which has had over a million views globally on YouTube
- the recent Its your Call campaign including a cinema ad, social media and film festival tie-ins
- partnering with government and business organisations to increase reach and ‘build-in’ NRS thinking.
Deborah is the parent of two adult children, one of whom is a 37-year old man with Down Syndrome and a significant hearing impairment. He has just celebrated his 13th year in open employment and spent some long-service leave in India. He is busy preparing for when the NDIS is available in his area. Deborah is also an author including two books Facing the Crowd [Vision Australia, Victoria, 1986] and Chances and Choices [MacLennan and Petty, Sydney 1990].
Dr Rhonda Galbally is a member of the NDIA Board and Principal Member of NDIA's Independent Advisory Council.
Dr Galbally has made a number of contributions to Australian and international social development, particularly for people with disability. From 2008-2013, Dr Galbally was the Chair of the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council. She was a member of the Independent Panel appointed to advise the Productivity Commission and Government during the Inquiry into long-term care and support for Australians with disability. She was also a member of the former National Disability Insurance Scheme Advisory Group.
Dr Galbally founded the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) and the Australian International Health Institute, now the Nossal Institute. She was also the founding CEO of the Australian Commission for the Future and the Executive Director of the Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Foundation, Chair of Philanthropy Australia, the Chair of the Royal Women's Hospital, and the Independent Chair of the competition policy review of medicines, poisons and chemicals. She was the transitional CEO of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency.
Dr Galbally was awarded an Order of Australia in 1990 and the Centenary Medal in 2003, in recognition of her service to the community. In 2012, Dr Galbally was awarded the Prime Minister’s Outstanding Achievement Award in the National Disability Awards.
Suzette has significant first hand knowledge from working professionally and advocating on behalf of people with a disability. She has instigated social change in many areas of service development and she was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her work in the community.
Berne has over 30 years of experience working within the healthcare industry. She started her career as a theatre nurse at Sydney Hospital and moved into leadership roles in Glaxo Wellcome, Mayne Health, CEO of Central Hospital Supplies followed by Telstra, where she was responsible for development and delivery of the strategic plan for their healthcare business. Berne believes the role of technology is a key enabler for delivering sustainable healthcare. Berne Gibbons has chaired the successful NSW AIIA Health Special Interest Group for many years and in May 2015, expanded the breadth of the SIG to become National, of which she continues to chair. Berne is responsible for growing Sláinte Healthcare’s business within the Asia Pacific region.
Louise Glanville commenced with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on 27 February 2014 as General Manager, Governance Division and has acted as the
Deputy Chief Executive Officer for the Agency from January 2015. Louise was recently appointed as NDIA Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) – Stakeholder Relations. This includes the areas of Community Linkages; Market and Providers; Media Communications and Engagement and Scheme Transition.
Louise brings a vast range of public sector experience to her current role in the NDIA. Prior to joining the NDIA, Louise spent three years at the Attorney-General’s Department in
First Assistant Secretary and acting Deputy Secretary Roles, in the Civil Justice and Strategic Policy & Coordination Groups.
Before joining the Attorney-General's Department in 2011, Louise was Executive Director, Legal and Equity Group in the Victorian Department of Justice. In her career she has held positions in local and state government, academia, the private sector and ministerial offices.
Louise holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work from Melbourne University, a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University and a Master of Arts (Research) from Victoria University.
Emma is a young adult with a zest and passion for life, travel, dreaming big dreams, and reaching for the stars.
She regularly presents at the conferences within Australia and overseas, including the ISAAC conference in Barcelona, Spain; the Communication matters Conference in Leeds, England; the MASS conference in Brisbane, and the AGOSCI conferences here in Australia.
She regularly addresses the speech pathology students at the University of Queensland, and has been a guest speaker at The University of New Castle.
Emma has a passion for travel and in her 20 years of life has already visited 15 countries and plans to spend 4 months next year travelling in Canada, The United States, The UK and Europe (after presenting at the ISAAC conference in Toronto).
Emma’s dreams for the future include living an independent life, attending university, and working in advocacy for those who cannot advocate for themselves.
Last year Emma raised over $13,000 for the Lions Medical research fund, her goal was not the prize, but the opportunity to give something back.
Emma achieved all this despite having severe Athetoid Cerebral Palsy. She can not use her natural voice to speak, and has no real functional use of her hands. She is unable to walk or transfer independently, and uses a powered wheelchair to mobilise around her home and in the community.
Emma uses eye gaze technology to access her communication aid, send text messages, to browse the internet, read, research, access social media, create music and to paint and draw. This same technology can also be used to open and close windows and doors, turn on lights, air conditioning, open and close curtains and to manage many tasks around the home. She is learning to drive her wheelchair using touch drive technology.
Emma herself will say that technology is her window on the world.
Toni is Emma’s mother and most passionate supporter.
She believes that children with disabilities should be encouraged to dream big dreams and that the support and technology to achieve these dreams should be made available to them.
As Emma has got older, Toni has had more opportunities to mentor parents of young children with disabilities and to encourage them to continue to dream big dreams for their children look to the future.
Together Emma and Toni will share a little of Emma’s journey with technology and how it has opened up new opportunities for Emma, and give a glimpse of what the future holds for Emma as new technology becomes available.
The presentation will be accompanied by a powerpoint presentation. Maximum time required 20 minutes. Questions taken if time permits.
Damian Griffis is a leading advocate for the human rights of Aboriginal people with disability. In 2004/05 Damian undertook a major consultative project visiting Aboriginal communities across the state of New South Wales discussing the unmet needs of Aboriginal people with disability directly with Aboriginal people with disability and their families. This culminated in the groundbreaking report entitled Telling It Like It Is. Damian is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the First Peoples Disability Network (Australia) the national peak organisation representing Aboriginal people with disabilities and their families. He has worked for more than 20 years in various capacities within the disability sector and has been instrumental in consolidating the development of the social movement of Aboriginal people with disabilities.
Michael is a Learning & Engagement Officer in the Central West of NSW with the NSW Department of Education. Prior to this he was the Assistant Principal – Hearing Support in Orange and Broken Hill. Michael is also a bilateral cochlear-implantee after receiving his second implant in December 2009.Originally training as a high school music teacher, Michael retrained as a teacher of the Deaf after discovering that being a deaf High School Music Teacher was not a great careermove. Michael is a great fan of making the most of a wide range of technology in supporting children with a hearing impairment. A self-proclaimed ‘geek’, he enjoys sharing his knowledge of technology with others and has presented at numerous conferences and workshops around Australia including, Spectronics Inclusive Learning Technology Conference 2012 & 2014 and Learning Differences Convention, Sydney 2014 & 2015.
Marcus leads the consulting services team at Infoxchange, a not-for-profit social enterprise that has delivered technology for social justice for over 25 years. Infoxchange’s mission is to strengthen communities using technology to create positive social change. He is passionate about helping disability services organisations prepare for the NDIS, working with organisations for more than four years to leverage technology effectively to minimise overheads and deliver individualised services that make a real difference.
Australian Consumer Access Network
Wayne Hawkins joined ACCAN in 2010 as Disability Policy Advisor, and has led ACCAN’s work on telecommunications access for consumers with disability, telecommunications affordability and emergency services. Prior to joining ACCAN Wayne was National Policy officer with Blind Citizens Australia. Wayne is a doctoral candidate at Sydney University researching Australian telecommunications and disability policies. Wayne has a Master in Public Policy from Sydney University and a Bachelors of Business Administration from City University of New York. Wayne has been blind since 2005 as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa.
Sarah leads Accessibility for Apple — including Apple’s award winning VoiceOver screenreader software for people who are blind, Made for iPhone Hearing Aids, and other initiatives we create that support Apple’s culture of inclusion. At Apple, Accessibility is championed as a basic human right and influences all Apple platforms.
Since joining Apple in 2003, Sarah has served in several key Accessibility roles, including in Apple’s Education organisation, focusing on the use of Apple technology to support all learners, as well as defining the Accessibility product strategy across the Apple ecosystem. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from DePauw University and a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Digital Transformation Office, User
Lisa Herrod is widely acknowledged as an industry leader for her work with culturally and linguistically diverse communities, people with disability and other minority groups. Now a User Researcher with the Digital Transformation Office, she is looking forward to enhancing inclusive, accessible design practices in digital government.
Lisa has conducted hundreds of user research sessions for bootstrapped startups to non-profits, government, and multinational corporations across many sectors including banking, travel, online publishing and commercial enterprise. Lisa is an experience presenter after having the opportunity to talk about her work in Australia, London, New Zealand and the United States. She is also a founder of the Sydney Web Accessibility and Inclusive Design meetup.
Accessibility Ambassador/ Apple Ambassador
Christopher is a 18 old man who runs his own video editing and software company and is a strong consumer advocate in technology space.
Being a person with a profound physical disability Christopher uses technology every day to assist him run his business.
Christopher is an Apple Ambassador and you tube sensation, regularly positing product reviews and encouraging new innovations.
Christopher will speak of his own personal achievements using innovative technology to achieve his goals. Christopher will also share his vision for the future and encourage all stakeholders to consider accessibility when developing and designing new innovations.
David has bachelor degrees in Physics (1992-1994) and Biomedical Engineering (1996-2000), with First Class Honours, from Flinders University. He has extensive experience as a Rehabilitation Engineer in the field of disability, rehabilitation engineering and assistive technologies, having worked at Novita Children’s Services in a variety of technical and management roles for 9 years. One of David’s achievements while at Novita was the successful Australian commercialisation of a novel software program from Canada that enabled children with disabilities to play music simply by moving.
David is currently a Lecturer and academic staff member of the Medical Device Research Institute at Flinders University in Adelaide. He is also studying for his PhD, which is the design and development a novel, accessible computer gaming system for children with cerebral palsy (CP) to improve their hand function. David has been a member of the National Committee on Rehabilitation Engineering (NCRE) since 2001, and is a former Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association (ARATA) National Board Member (2004-2010).
David’s professional honours to date include being awarded a Churchill Fellowship in the field of rehabilitation engineering (2003); Engineers Australia’s Young Professional Engineer of the Year (2004); Engineers Australia's Top 100 Most Influential Engineers (2005); and a Fulbright Professional Scholarship in the field of functional electrical stimulation and rehabilitation engineering (2008). David also has experience working in rehabilitation engineering research and industry institutions in England, Canada and the United States.
When not working, David loves Lego, catching up with friends, drinking red wine, pretty much all sports, and anything Star Wars related. He lives in Adelaide with his Biomedical Engineer wife, Jodie, and his three young children, two rabbits, two fish and one cat, where life is never dull or boring.
Dr Scott Hollier
Media Access Australia
Dr Scott Hollier is a world-recognised expert in mainstream access to the internet and digital accessibility. With a PhD entitled The Disability Divide: A Study into the Impact of Computing and Internet-related Technologies on People who are Blind or Vision Impaired, Scott has a wealth of experience in computer science and information technology. Scott represents Media Access Australia on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Advisory Committee, the organisation primarily responsible for developing international standards for the web and also runs the only university-backed professional web accessibility training course in the world – the Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility.
Scott is legally blind and has first-hand experience of access issues. He is the author of Media Access Australia’s sociABILITY: Social media for people with a disability resource which is now used by the United States Government to help agencies improve the accessibility of social media. Scott is also the author of Media Access Australia’s Service Providers Accessibility Guide, designed to provide National Disability Insurance Scheme service providers with practical guidelines on producing accessible communications for people with disabilities. This is a practical, how to communicate and deal with mainstream accessibility for service providers that are engaging with people with a disability.
Scott is currently working on a project around mainstream affordable access which looks at mainstream communications technology (mobiles, tablets etc.) and practical accessibility features, structured around different user profiles.
Daniel Hubbell is a Senior Program Manager and Technology Adviser with Microsoft’s Accessibility group. With a career at Microsoft spanning more than 15 years, he has worked in both the MSN and Windows product divisions with a focus exclusively on Accessibility since 2006. Daniel is the current Board President for the Assistive Technology Industry Association and regularly represents both Microsoft and the broader accessibility industry on topics related to technology and people with disabilities. Daniel has a BA in Communications from San Francisco State University and was a member of this year’s grand prize winning team “OneNote for Learning” during Microsoft’s annual corporate hackathon.
As Deputy Registrar of the Australian Business Register Program (ABR), Mark has whole-of-government responsibility for a digital infrastructure that is transforming business service delivery.
There are four solutions that can be used individually or collectively to provide a complete digital service delivery solution:
- a national business identifier (Australian Business Number)
- a whole-of-government digital credential (AUSkey)
- a whole-of-government digital reporting infrastructure (Standard Business Reporting)
- a data dictionary of standardised government terms and definitions (Australian Reporting Dictionary)
To keep up with digital transformation, Mark ensures the ABR Program works collaboratively with all levels of government, commercial software providers, business and industry to support a consistent user experience for Australian business across the government’s digital services landscape.
Mark’s previous experience spans almost 30 years in the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as well as time in Medicare Australia, where he was responsible for its key eBusiness initiatives.
Dr Annick Janson
Dr. Annick Janson trained as a clinical psychologist and has been working for the past three decades with clients and organisations in leadership development in the health and disability sector. Annick is a Research Associate for the Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research at the Victoria University of Wellington. Previously, she was the inaugural research director at the New Zealand Leadership Institute, at the University of Auckland and Microsoft NZ, Partners in Learning Research Director. Dr. Janson was awarded a PhD by the Waikato Management School (Virtual Leadership). She served on a number of relevant boards, including the New Zealand Waikato DHB Community Public Health Advisory Committee. Annick has professional and lived experience with the disability sector. Her youngest son is a talented artist who also lives with Asperger Syndrome.
Andrew Johnson is a Managing Vice President in Gartner’s Personal Technologies Research Group. He leads a worldwide team of 10 analysts that advise clients on strategic planning and marketing campaigns for new devices, services and apps. His team also conducts surveys to measure global and yearly variations in employee and consumer technology adoption. Andrew conducts his own research related to technology for people with disabilities, and advises business and government clients on IT accessibility programs and technology in the digital workplace.
Andrew is a speaker at key industry and client events and has published numerous reports on technology for people and employees with disabilities. His most recent report entitled, “Four Steps to a More Personalized Digital Workplace” explains how emerging technologies can boost employee productivity by providing a more accessible work environment and how organizations should use IT accessibility maturity models to evaluate their technology projects.
Gartner research and advice is considered forward-thinking, definitive and thought-provoking by thousands of leading organizations worldwide. Gartner has more than 1,000 analysts focused on every aspect of information technology, and its business impact on vertical industries and functional roles in organizations.
Natasha graduated from Griffith University in 2010 with a Master's degree in Special Education, majoring in Learning Difficulties. Natasha also has a Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary) and a Bachelor of Arts (Music & Psychology) from the University of Queensland. Natasha has been teaching since 2007, when she began working with and facilitating inclusive education practices for adolescent boys with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and teaching junior classroom music. During this time, Natasha also wrote and implemented curriculum for senior English Communication and Pre-Vocational Mathematics programs, as well as teaching classroom English and Mathematics to students of all ages with learning difficulties. Natasha developed a particular interest in engaging boys in the classroom, as well as differentiating curriculum to facilitate successful inclusive practices for children with disabilities into mainstream classrooms.
Natasha moved into adult education in 2012. Brisbane-based, Natasha is now the Literacy and Learning Coordinator at Endeavour Foundation, where she creates and implements post-school education programs for adults with intellectual disabilities. In this role, Natasha has been a teacher, curriculum writer and service operations manager, providing adults with person-centred post-school education opportunities. Natasha is a passionate advocate of post-school learning and has recently presented at the annual Australian Council of Adult Literacy conference in Adelaide. Natasha is now focussing on creating quality learning programs that will be supported under a National Disability Insurance Scheme and developing training resources for teachers and tutors working in disability and post-school education.
NDIA Technology Authority
As Head of the NDIA Technology Authority, Marie oversees the development of the technology platform for the Agency and the NDIS, which extends to the ways in which participants and providers will interact on an eMarket. Marie has extensive senior executive experience in the public and private sectors in Australia and internationally in technology and innovation. As a Federal government agency Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Architect, Marie has led major digital and payments reform programs across key sectors of government.
In 2006-2007, Marie was named “Innovative CIO of the Year – Australia.” In 2013, Marie was named one of Australia's "100 Women of Influence." Marie is the Managing Director Centre for Digital Business; Board Director of the Australian Information Industry Association; Chair of the Digital Careers National Steering Committee; a member of the NSW Government ICT Advisory Panel; and member of the NSW Accelerating Digital Government Taskforce.
Ryan Jones is an experienced digital marketer and web geek experienced in working with not-for-profit organisations and small to medium enterprises.
After building his first commercial website at age 12, Ryan mixed his love of technology and design before beginning a Bachelor of Management (Marketing) degree at the University of South Australia.
After working extensively in digital media, online video streaming and startup businesses, Ryan has spent the last 5 years mixing his marketing skills with his passion for technology, educating the not-for-profit sector on technology use, marketing and digital media.
When he isn’t at Connecting Up, Ryan can be found filming live music or motorsport, working on car rallies, or watching motorsport. He is a certified motorsport nut.
Estella is a 9 year old girl from the remote community of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory who was born with cerebral palsy. Estella is an engaging girl with a beautiful smile and great sense of humour. Her dream of effective communication through technology is so that she is no longer just a bystander as life happens around her. Estella and her foster carers are looking forward to exploring the possibilities that assistive technology can offer and investigating options that have til now been difficult to imagine.
Alanna Julian lives on the Central Coast of NSW. Her two passions in life are public speaking and the performing arts. She also has an interest in computers and social media. Over a three year period she studied and undertook work experience to gain a Certificate III in Disability. Alanna has a mild intellectual disability. Alanna was selected by the Minister for Disability in 2013 to be a ‘ Living Life My Way Ambassador’ representing the central coast a role which is still ongoing. Her ambassadorship involves a speaking role where she shares her story to inspire and encourage others to open up possibilities and to also raise community awareness about a person centred approach . Her role involves speaking across NSW. Her main aim as an Ambassador is to spread awareness, particularly about young people with 'hidden disabilities' such as intellectual disability and acquired brain injury. Another one of Alanna's goals is to raise awareness of bullying in schools as it relates to students with special needs. She also was involved in organising and planning the first ever dance celebration event on the Central Coast for the annual International Day for People with a Disability and also came up with the naming of the event called ‘Discobility’. Alanna is currently devising a communication tool called 'The B Talk’ to help service providers consult more effectively with people with an intellectual disability. Her dream and goal is to become both an interstate and international speaker. Alanna is also looking forward to the NDIS coming to the Central Coast in July next year.
Dr Michael Kendrick
Michael J. Kendrick PhD is an independent international consultant in human services and community work as it relates to aging, disability and mental health. He has had ongoing involvements in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Ireland, the UK and other countries such as Nicaragua, Honduras, Ethiopia, United Arab Emirates, Guatemala, Holland, Belgium, South Korea etc. His interests, involvements and writings have included leadership, service quality, the creation of safeguards for vulnerable persons, social integration, change, innovation, values, advocacy, the role of individual persons and small groups in creating advances, evaluation, alternatives to bureaucracy, personalized approaches to supporting people, and reform in the human service field amongst others. He has independently evaluated many hundreds of programs, agencies and systems over the past four decades.
Michael was formerly the former Director of the Institute for Leadership and Community Development, and more recently was the Assistant Commissioner for Program Development for the Office of Human Services in the State of Massachusetts, USA. In both capacities he has been extensively involved in leadership and change projects in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Norway. His major interests and involvements have been in mental health, disability and ageing.
Michael is an expert in social role valorization theory.
Presentation will focus on the role technology can and will play in assisting people with disabilities to become more engaged and connected with their communities.
Esther Kerr-Smith is the General Manager, Markets and Sector Development. Esther has extensive corporate development and strategy experience and a deep understanding of market dynamics and business model innovation. She has worked in in Australia, Asia and Europe in a range of market environments – in emerging and mature markets and in highly regulated and unregulated markets – and across different sectors including public sector, infrastructure, consumers/retail and financial services.
Esther has worked with management teams and led large projects and consumer facing initiatives, including major pricing and contract negotiations and on a number of privatisations, mergers and acquisitions.
Esther is passionate about with the NDIS market place and delivering the vision for full scheme.
NDIA ICT Committee
Glenn Keys is the co-founder and Executive Director of Canberra-based Aspen Medical, one of the world’s leading providers of outsourced healthcare solutions.
Prior to building and leading businesses in the private sector, Glenn had a distinguished career in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). His service saw him undertake a range of tasks from training to test flying and engineering to logistics support for Army aircraft.
In 2003, Glenn founded Aspen with his long-time friend, Dr Andrew Walker. A decade on and Aspen has a team of over 2,000 and operates across Australasia, the Pacific Rim, the Middle East, Africa, the USA and the UK. Today the company has customers in the Government, Defence, Mining, Oil and Gas and Humanitarian sectors. This multi award-winning company has most recently been voted ACT Exporter of the Year 2013 and the national winner of the Health and Biotechnology category at the Australian Export Awards 2013. Both Glenn and Andrew were inducted into the EY Entrepreneur Global Hall of Fame in 2014.
A passionate advocate of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Glenn has placed social responsibility and community involvement at the heart of Aspen Medical’s culture. A percentage of the company’s profits are allocated to the Aspen Foundation, which was established in 2009 and today is dedicated to the eradication of the eye disease Trachoma and scabies in remote Indigenous communities in Australia.
On a personal note, Glenn is a graduate of the University of New South Wales and the International Test Pilots School in the UK. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Project Management, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of Engineers Australia. Glenn also sits on a number of Boards in the healthcare sector, disability sector and social businesses. In 2013 Glenn was appointed to the Board of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) the independent statutory agency whose role is to implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). In November 2014, Glenn was awarded the 2015 ACT Australian of the Year and represented the ACT at the National Australia Day Awards in January 2015. He is an active Board Member of the National Capital Authority and was appointed Chair of the Canberra Business Chamber in February 2015.
Glenn is the founder and Chair of Project Independence, a housing initiative for people with intellectual disabilities, which was officially launched in Canberra in February 2015.
Glenn’s passion for innovation, guaranteed outcomes, superior customer service and inspired leadership make him a regular speaker at conferences both at home and overseas.
Vaughan Klein is the General Manager of Collaboration at Cisco Australia and New Zealand
Vaughan has over 15 years experience working in the IT industry within Australia and overseas holding sales and senior management roles representing both hardware and software vendors. Since 2000, Vaughan’s endeavours have almost exclusively focused on assisting customers and partners improve their businesses through the wider adoption and increased utilisation of unified communications and collaboration technologies.
Stewart Koplick currently works within the field of education and disability, managing the development and delivery of education and training courses for people with a disability at Endeavour Foundation, an independent not-for-profit organisation supporting more than 3,300 people with a disability from more than 230 locations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Stewart has taught in public and private schools, worked in child protection and lectured at university in the field of education. He has spoken at state, national and international conferences in areas relating to child protection and identity, masculinity, post-secondary education and disability, and more recently the impact of new technologies for people with a disability attending post-secondary education. Stewart’s latest foray into the world of technology and education is in the research and development of Virtual Learning Environments. Working closely with colleagues and research institutes, Stewart is attempting to make real learning opportunities for people with a disability within the virtual space.
When not travelling for work (which he does quite a lot), Stewart spends his time renovating and working on the farm – and perfecting poses for his wife’s photography business. A blue sky thinker, a penchant for Fender amps and overdriven guitars, Stewart is also attempting to train his 6 month old German Shepherd Coco – though like many dog owners, it seems Coco has trained him. Stewart enjoys bringing together seemingly unconnected ideas and discussions and believes that technology will assist and drive the education and learning opportunities for people with a disability and provide pathways for people to reach destinations that don’t yet exist.
David Kroser is a founder and the current Managing Director of RITEQ. Since founding RITEQ in 2001, David has been involved in almost every aspect of the business and has been instrumental in driving both the product and company vision. An Electronic Engineer by profession, David has been involved in a number of successful start up’s in both Australia and his country of birth, South Africa.
David is regarded as a thought leader in the area of Workforce Management Systems in Australia and his passion for creating unique and user friendly software is clearly visible in RITEQ’s flagship Workforce Management Solution called RITEQ Workforce Manager (WFM). David has been instrumental in revolutionising the way organisations manage their workforces with a new generation of products and services including industry-leading cloud, analytics, and mobile technologies.
RITEQ has experienced continued organic growth under David’s leadership including the opening of offices nationally throughout Australia as well as the United Kingdom.
Deaf Services Queensland and Vic Deaf
Rachel Lai is the Manager for Service Design & Growth at Deaf Services Queensland. This role works across the organisation to identify, develop and integrate new and existing service capabilities into the organisation. Rachel has also previously held the role of Manager, Language Services which oversees the operational management of both Culturally & Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and Auslan interpreting and translating services. Within her current role, Rachel is responsible for the implementation of the NDIS participant readiness activities to the Deaf and hard of hearing communities across Queensland.
Rachel is holds industry and post-graduate qualifications in project management, is an accredited Auslan Interpreter through the National Accreditation Authority for Translators & Interpreters (NAATI) and a member of both the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) and the Australian Sign Language Interpreter’s Association (ASLIA). Rachel comes from a family with profoundly Deaf parents and uses Auslan as her first language.
Greg Lewis is a clinical and educational psychologist who has worked alongside people with disability since 1979.
In 1984, after completing his Master’s thesis on open employment opportunities for people with intellectual disability, he co-founded EDGE Employment Solutions, the first individualised employment placement and support service for people with disability in Australia. In 2010, in recognition of his pioneering work and his 25 years involvement in disability employment, he was an inaugural inductee into the National Disability Employment Hall of Fame.
In 1987 Greg was appointed Director of Country Services with the Authority for Intellectually Handicapped Persons in Western Australia (the pre-cursor to the Disability Services Commission) and, the following year, established Local Area Co-ordination: first in country WA and then in metropolitan Perth. He oversaw the development, enhancement and expansion of Local Area Co-ordination into a State-wide service over the next seven years.
In 1996, after completing his Doctoral thesis on the impact of Local Area Co-ordination and Individualised Funding on people with disability and their families, he resigned from the Disability Services Commission and co-founded My Place: an individual supported living service now supporting more than 300 people with disability living in their own homes across Perth and south west WA.
Greg currently serves Chairman of My Place Foundation Inc., following a period as the organisation’s Managing Director. He has been an adjunct Associate Professor at Curtin University in the School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work since 2005.
Greg has previously served as national president of the Australian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability (1993-1995) and National Disability Services (2003-2005). He has also been a member of the State Training Board of Western Australia and the National VET Equity Advisory Council.
Ms Karni Liddell is regarded as one of Australia's most successful and well-respected Paralympic swimmers. Born with the degenerative muscle wasting disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, specialists said she would not walk, sit or live past her teenage years.
Karni’s parents started her on a 'crazy' self-invented rehabilitation program. Not only did Karni walk, she also established herself as one of the best swimmers in her class in the world. Karni broke her first world record at the age of 14 and went into the Sydney Paralympic Games as the fastest woman in the world for all her events. Karni was also voted one of the Australian team captains.
Her preparation for Sydney was extremely difficult with many setbacks, but she continued train and compete and was a member of the bronze medal winning 4x50m freestyle team (20pts classification). Karni is now a presenter on 4BC radio and worked as a commentator at the Athens Paralympic Games, Melbourne Commonwealth Games and World Swimming Championships.
Karni is the Ambassador for Clubs Queensland, Day of Difference Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association and ACPET.
Karni demonstrates to everybody who hears her story that each and every one of us has a choice in life and that our choices should not be determined by our circumstances.
Sylvana Mahmic's interest in disability began 23 years ago, when her first child Abdul-Karim was diagnosed with a disability. Seeking to understand what lay ahead for her son, she completed post graduate study in special education and is currently the CEO of Plumtree. She is currently a doctoral candidate researching individualised support and self-directed funding.
Sylvana is an advocate for people with disabilities and their families and has served on over 15 reference and advisory groups in addition to five Ministerial appointments. She is currently the Vice President of Early Childhood Intervention Australia NSW Chapter and immediate past President. In 2013, she was appointed to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Independent Advisory Group.
Since 2009 Sylvana, her son and the extended family have been learning about how to use a self-managed package using individualised funding and she uses these experiences to shine a light on the potential of this approach for people with a disability and their families.
Dr George S Margelis
Health & Life Sciences Lead, Intel Australia
George is a medical practitioner who has been deeply involved in technology for the last 30 years. Originally trained as an optometrist, he started tinkering with computers in 1981 when he bought his first PC, a Sinclair ZX80 before going back to medical school to complete his training at the University of Sydney. During that time he also started a software distribution company that grew to one of the largest direct software sales companies in Australia.
He was CIO of a private hospital group as well as managing an innovative software development team that produced a personal health record for Australians 10 years before the PCEHR. He joined Intel in 2005, and then Intel-GE Care Innovations as they tried to radically transform healthcare, and has some amusing stories he can share about that time. In 2014 he returned to Intel as Health & Life Sciences Lead for Australia & New Zealand.
In 2013 he was appointed an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Western Sydney with the TeleHealth Research & Innovation Laboratory (THRIL), and is also currently a member of Ignition Labs a start up incubator in the health space as well as a number of advisory roles. He was appointed senior adviser to the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the peak international body in health information technology in February 2014. In July 2014 he was admitted into the IT in Aged Care (ITAC) Hall of Fame for his service to technology in aged care. He is a regular on the healthcare social media beat regularly blogging, tweeting, and commenting on healthcare trends.
Over the last 3 decades he has been deeply involved in both the healthcare world and the technology world, and sees a natural fit between the two. However there also exists a natural tension between good care and good technology that needs to be addressed.
Charles McHardie AM
Charles McHardie joined the Navy via the Royal Australian Naval College in 1985 after schooling on the South Coast of New South Wales. Graduating in 1987 he undertook initial training in HMA Ships PARAMMATTA and STALWART before being awarded his Bridge Watch keeping Certificate in HMA Ships TOBRUK and HOBART, undertaking deployments to Europe and South East Asia as an Officer of the Watch.
One year as an instructor at the Royal Australian Naval College was followed by a two year exchange posting to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis Maryland instructing navigation and seamanship to US midshipmen. While in the US he graduated from the US Naval War College Command and Staff Course with Distinction.
As a Lieutenant, McHardie completed the RAN Principal Warfare Officers Course and subsequently graduated as a Surface Warfare Officer and later as a Communications and Information Systems Specialist. Warfare Officer postings as the Communications Officer in HMA Ships SYDNEY and PERTH were followed by two years as the Fleet Communications Officer at Maritime Headquarters Australia.
As Executive Officer of HMAS SYDNEY, McHardie deployed twice to the Middle East in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. His time as Executive Officer was followed by two years at Maritime Headquarters as Commander Plans, responsible for the Fleet’s operations and exercise planning.
As Commanding Officer of the Amphibious Ship, HMAS MANOORA in 2006 and 2007 he completed deployments to East Timor in support of Operation ASTUTE, the South Pacific and South East Asia. He commenced his posting as Director General Naval Communications and Intelligence in late 2007 followed by a year of studies at the College of Defence and Strategic Studies in 2011. In 2012 he undertook duties as the Director Joint Amphibious Capability Implementation Team at Campbell Park in Canberra. Commodore McHardie deployed to the Middle East in late 2012 to Command Combined Task Force 150 responsible for Coalition Maritime Counter Terrorism Operations based in Bahrain.
McHardie’s most recent role in Defence was as Director General of the Australian Defence Simulation and Training Centre in Canberra. He was responsible for the development and management of Defence Simulation Governance, the delivery of Simulation Services in support of Joint and Combined training, with a specific focus on major exercises and the evolution and development of the Defence Synthetic Environment including the design and production of innovative simulation and modelling assets. He retired from the Navy in April 2015 to take up a position within the Australian Public Service at the CIO Group with the Department of Human Services.
Charles McHardie was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2011 for services to Naval Warfare and awarded a commendation for distinguished service in 2014 for his Command of Combined Task Force 150. He holds a Master of Science (Information Technology) from the University of New South Wales, a Master of Systems Engineering from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) from Deakin University. He is married to Terrie and has two daughters that reside in Canberra.
Charles joined the Department of Human Services in April 2015 and became the Chief Technology Officer of the Strategy and Architecture Division in September 2015.
Richard is the Queensland State Manager for National Disability Services, the Australian peak body for non-government disability services. Until recently he held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Alliance for Mental Health Inc, the peak body for the community mental health sector.
Richard is committed to working with NDS membership to strengthen and prepare the disability sector for the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. He is passionate about contributing to a disability sector that is focussed on people’s capacity to live a life of their own choosing.
Richard has an extensive career in executive leadership and management in the not for profit and public sector which includes executive management experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy, planning, national reform and education.
Liz Neville has 20 years’ experience working across the health and human services sector including in service delivery, regulatory compliance, policy implementation and advisory roles. Prior to joining NDS, Liz worked as a Senior Manager at KPMG with particular expertise in program evaluation, organisation review and business performance improvement. In her current role, Liz is developing a range of systematised responses to assist disability service providers to transition to the new NDIS arrangements. This includes working with industry partners to ensure providers have the ICT capacity to support business processes required under the NDIS.
Dr Jordan Nguyen
University of Technology, Sydney
Dr Jordan Nguyen is an advocate for disability, health technology, good design and worthy causes, helping the next generations to positively shape the world, focusing on driving significant positive impact both locally and on a global scale.
In 2012 Jordan completed a PhD in Biomedical Engineering for which he developed a thought-controlled smart wheelchair for high-level physical disability, utilising cameras to perceive the environment and provide the operator with autonomous guidance assistance.
He is founder and CEO of Psykinetic, a social enterprise set on improving quality of life for people with disabilities through exciting innovations in biomedical and intelligent robotic technologies.
Jordan is also adapting his previous work into new areas of research, and has since created a range of new projects including new communication devices, eye-tracking cognitive assessments, and is currently working on an automated screening tool for the General Movements Assessment, to aid in early diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy and Autism in infants.
He is working with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance on technology initiatives focused on people living with cerebral palsy and related conditions. Some of his work here is available in the Inclusive Technology Series on YouTube under the channel ‘DocJordy’.
Jordan is also a professional public speaker, is on the board of the NSW Medical Technology Knowledge Hub, and the board of directors for the Australian Design Centre.
Huy Nguyen is a humanitarian engineer, social entrepreneur, tinker and traveller.
His own physical challenges with a disability have given him a unique mindset when approaching real world social challenges, enabling him to address them on a more personal and empathetic level. Huy sees that disability movement needs to move beyond a charity model towards entrepreneurship.
Huy is the founder and CEO of Enable Development, an award winning social enterprise with a vision of a world where the value of people with disability is respected and appreciated, creating the opportunities to fully realise their impact as part of our global community.
To achieve this, Enable Development provides disability inclusion education programs to government bodies, educational institutions and corporate companies. One of Enable Development’s programs is ccollaborating with Universities to deliver a service based education program, which puts the end user, people with disability at the forefront of design, development and commercialization of assistive technologies. At the same time providing high quality experiences for students to contribute to real, current accessibility challenges as part of their studies.
Through Enable Development, Huy’s work across in Australia and neighbouring developing countries such as Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste has been recognised with numerous awards including the ACT Young Australian of the Year for 2014, National Disability Awards 2013, Pride of Australia Medal 2013, Chief Minister’s Inclusion Award 2013 and ANU Young Alumnus of the year 2014.
Alison Oakleigh and Susan Proctor
Suzy and Alison are an extraordinary pair with a compelling, refreshing, honest, grounded and raw storytelling style.
Sisters, born 18 months apart, their lives could not have been more different. This is due, in part, to the profound intellectual and physical disabilities Suze was born and lives with. It is also due, in part, to the way the world responds to Suze’s disability. Despite their differences, the sisters are a dynamic duo whose tangible, loving bond is an invitation to be and become open to the contribution of people with profound intellectual disability.
Together Suzy and Alison move and motivate all around them to widen their horizons of diversity. While Suze's profound intellectual disability renders her "silent" in the mainstream, the sensitive, loving, curious, open and empowering connection between the two sisters fosters a safe space for the listener to "hear" Suze's vital voice, even though it's Alison who does all the talking.
Dr Bridianne O'Dea
Black Dog Institute
Dr Bridianne O’Dea is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney. Graduating with a PhD in Health Sciences in 2013 from The University of Sydney, Bridianne has been working as a mental health researcher for the past two years. Her current research focuses on tech interventions for depression, anxiety and suicide prevention. She has professional affiliations with the Brain and Mind Research Institute, Sydney, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Bergen. She has been involved in mobile phone app development, online service delivery, and big data analysis for mental health.
The Hon Coralee O'Rourke
QLD Government Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
Coralee O’Rourke is the Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors, and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Education – Early Childhood from QUT and was the director of a community-based early learning centre in Townsville before entering Parliament following the January 2015 Queensland election. She lives in Townsville with her husband Lewis and their two teenaged children and understands the challenges of working parents.
Coralee is a strong believer in the power of education to build a better future. This follows from her experience as an early childhood educator, seeing children learn and develop, and as an adult student and a parent, who returned to study to gain her degree. Her passion is family and community and she believes that working together is when a community can effect great change for the better.
As an early childhood leader, Coralee put her belief into practice and campaigned for fair wages and conditions for employees in the sector - among some of Australia’s most poorly paid workers. The success achieved for these workers prompted Coralee to enter parliament.
Coralee is passionate about improving the lives of people with disability and giving a voice to older Queenslanders. She is a strong advocate for North Queenslanders, and works closely with her Cabinet colleagues to deliver for the region.
As part of the Palaszczuk Government, she is working hard to listen to Queenslanders, restore integrity and accountability to government, and create jobs.
Bailey Paior-Smith is twelve years old and lives in Adelaide when he’s not on another planet. He was born rather early and small in the outer cosmos (Stanford, Silicon Valley) and lives with weird-ass memory and concentration issues. He’s rather quirky and loves Minecraft, Terraria and Clash of Clans and reading and learning about ancient mythologies. He recently learned how to code a flying creeper into Minecraft.
His starting middle school this year was terrifying for his Mum, but Bailey just stared off into space. Luckily, he was assisted to come back to earth with clever use of his iPhone and apps to remind him to breathe and get out of the shower, among other things, like getting to his clarinet lesson, remembering sports trainings and to actually get off the bus before ending up in Oodnadatta, or Pluto.
Nobody really understands his brain and how his skills can be so awesomely genius in plenty of areas, and yet it can take so long for those smarts to get out of his head. Bailey’s fifteen year old brother lives with Down syndrome and is useful for reminders and hugs, although he can be very annoying, but that extra chromosome also meant their Mum got involved in the world of disability which has sparked Bailey’s interest.
Bailey is looking forward to sharing ideas for some Apps that would help kids and adults like him to remember important things and return to our planet when needed.
Kevin Panozza was founder and CEO of SalesForce, at the time , Australia's largest provider of outsourced customer contact services.
Between 2001 and 2006, SalesForce won the prestigious Hewitt award for being the best employer in Australia and New Zealand, 3 consecutive times.
Kevin has been a keynote presenter at HR and customer events in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia, challenging audiences with his common sense ideas on the link between employee and customer engagement.
Kevin believes that people are the most powerful force in any commercial enterprise but are often overlooked and made secondary to fiscal imperatives.
The result often leads to poor customer service and reduced revenues.
Western Australia Individualised Services
Leanne Pearman has been involved in the lives of people with disability and their families for more than 27 years, building strong and lasting relationships along the way.
Leanne’s extensive strategic and operational experience working in both government and non-government organisations has given her an unusually broad base of experience in the Human Services sector, particularly in individual service design and organisational leadership.
She has been supportive in the development and implementation of individualised services within organisations and with individuals and families in the community.
Leanne is an experienced conference presenter, has facilitated numerous workshops and seminars and is a member of a number of steering groups and ministerial forums that allow her the opportunity to contribute and advocate. She has contributed to the research project and report “Toward Responsive Services for All – Understanding the WA Disability Service Sector capacity to meet the needs of people whose behaviour can be challenging”.
Leanne was a co-author of ‘A Review of Best Practice in Individual Needs Planning’. Curtin University and National Disability Services WA. E. Cocks, L. Parsons, M. Williamson (2009).
Joining Leanne as co-presenter is Arthur Tam, father of Jonathan. Jonathan lives in an individually-designed support arrangement. Arthur will be sharing their story and their learnings and why this arrangement works for them.
WA’s Individualised Services is an organisation that is passionate about working alongside people, families and organisations. WAiS seeks to influence and promote the delivery of individualised services through providing information, advice, mentoring and coaching.
Deaf Services Queensland and Vic Deaf
Brent Philips is the General Manager, Community & Language Services at Vicdeaf and leads Victoria’s largest and most experienced Auslan interpreting agency – Auslan Connections. Brent’s previous roles include Contract Manager at the Department of Planning and Community Development, Disability Outreach Officer at the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and Manager at Deaf Victoria. He is a former President of Deaf Sports Australia, a voluntary position he held for eight years. Brent also spent two years in England as a Youth & Community Development Officer with Deafness Support Network in Cheshire.
Brent has sat on a number of committees and advisory groups, including Deaf Victoria, the Victorian Auslan Training Consortium Stakeholder Steering Committee, Vicdeaf Performance and Planning Sub-Committee and Deaf Australia. Brent is a third-generation Deaf person and holds both a BA in Criminology and an MBA degree.
Royal Far West
Initially trained as a special educator I have been in the disability sector since graduating and have had the amazing opportunity to have worked at almost every level and all areas of the disability sector. I have managed Early Intervention, and school aged services, transition to work programs, and ADE’s, though back in the days when they were just plain sheltered workshops, as work placement programs. I have worked in respite and residential programs, as well as run a private practice delivering services to children and families on Saturdays. I returned to study in 2013 and completed a Diploma of Disability through the Centre for Disability Study at Sydney University. All these experience have given me an extraordinary and unique view of the sector and a sound knowledge of what the families, and individuals are asking for as well as what organisations need to offer.
I am currently employed at RFW as the Manager of the Disability services recently re branded as the Windmill Program, which is offering fee for service programs under Helping Children with Autism and Betterstart packages. RFW has developed a telecare therapy program delivering Speech and OT to school aged children throughout NSW and Queensland. Part of that program has been the delivery to children with a disability who are attending mainstream school. This is a snapshot of that framework and the evaluation of the program
Grant Thornton / Principal Technology Advisory & Solutions
As CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society NSW John led the business transformation strategy with the implementation of the Good Works Information System. He was responsible for structural reform, industrial reform, and substantial high profile fund raising strategies. John’s philosophy with people is that to create high performing collaborative teams requires clear vision and purpose and consistent leadership.
John has been particularly successful in re-aligning and restructuring organisations in response to changing strategic direction and priority. His unique combination of commercial and NFP experience, qualifies John to offer high quality strategic and tactical advice.
Professor Charles Plott
California Institute of Technology
William D. Hacker Professor of Economics and Political Science
Dr Charles Plott is a pioneer in the field of experimental economics and political science. In the 1970s, he developed laboratory experimental methods for economics and political science
Dr Plott’s unique methods of testing theories in a controlled laboratory setting in which real-life participants are motivated by real-world rewards like money, means researchers can revise, hone, or discard theories that would otherwise be impossible to evaluate. His research has produced some of the most fundamental discoveries in economics and political science, including principles governing convergence and stability of multiple market systems and voting processes. In addition, he developed methods for applying laboratory tools to complex policy issues.
Most recently, Dr Plott's research has focused on two areas. The first is the design of information aggregation mechanisms, which are related to the classical notions of rational expectations and are used for gathering useful information that's otherwise scattered among individuals in the form of intuitions and opinions. The second issue is the design and execution of experiments with complex, computer aided market systems that can operate successfully under conditions that often cause market processes to fail, such as externalities, public goods, non-convexities, asymmetric information and complex coordination. Such research includes methods for testing systems when operating at large scale. He was the first to conduct experiments in which people from around the globe participate in a single market.
Dr Debra Polson
Dr Debra Polson is a senior academic and independent designer researching unique aspects of new and old technologies to imagine the future of human experience.
For over 20 years Debra has been an active member of both the design industry and academy in the fields of game and simulation design, experimenting and innovating in the vibrant intersections of design, research and industry in Australia, China, the US and UK.
Debra has led a number of major Cooperative Research Centre projects and is a highly regarded academic in new design and theory.
Driven by a passion for sharing complex scenarios in accessible and playful ways Debra continues to lead large-scale, trans-discipline projects to integrate, challenge, promote and refine systems, relationships and practices in various contexts.
Kate is the Executive Manager of Programs and Sector Development at Connecting Up where she provides leadership and management towards building the capacity of the not-for-profit sector, including promoting the development of information and technology networks nationally and internationally.
Kate has worked in the natural resource management sector and the community services sector where she managed several award winning programs at state and national levels.
Kate has an older brother with a significant disability, and feels passionate about supporting people with a disability to access services to lead a fulfilled life.
Kate is a current director of the Board of the Intellectual Disability Accommodation Association (IDAA). In this role she provides governance support to a not-for-profit organisation delivering much needed services to people with a disability.
Principal Consultant Health, NEC Australia
Milton is responsible for solution definition and strategy across key vertical and channel initiatives for NECs Unified Communications practice, with specific focus on Health, Aged Care, Hospitality and Correctional Services as the 4 pillars of Hospitality.
In principle, this covers the transition and mobilization of legacy communications processes and environments to adapt to our continually changing needs in society and to assist organisations in becoming more effective, efficient and responsive to those they service.
Milton has been an active member of the Australian telecommunications and technology industry for over 40 years, providing consulting and management services across a broad range of engineering, systems integration and solution development projects and holds qualifications in Management, Marketing and Engineering disciplines.
Simon Ravnbak is Coloplast’s Director for Global Research and Development Front-End Innovation, where his team is responsible for translating product concepts and market opportunities into formal R&D development projects. Simon has been with Coloplast since 2000. Before taking on his current responsibilities, he was involved in a number of product development projects across all of Coloplast’s business areas, as well as serving in the field as Country Manager for Coloplast in Austria.
In his presentation he will describe the mindset and ambition that drive Coloplast’s approach to innovation and explain the considerations behind its user-driven designs. He will, drawing on the company’s work with bladder management and continence care products, provide real-life examples of how the company listens and responds to user feedback and adapts its innovation and design processes to address both clinical requirements and mobilization of users. Participants will leave the presentation with a better understanding of how innovative product design can help in the crafting of NDIS participant care plans that integrate both medical and quality of life outcomes
Joseph Reynolds is a 12 ½ year old from Hobart, Tasmania. Joseph was born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy. He lives with his parents and younger siblings Daniel and Anna. Joseph has a cheeky sense of humour and is inquisitive about how the world works. Joseph drives himself everywhere in his power wheelchair and rapidly desires increasing independence as he approaches teenage years.
Joseph is in grade six at New Town Primary School and is keeping up with his peers academically. He thrives in the school environment and is a well-liked member of his class and is well known around the entire school, connecting well with kids of all ages as well as adults.
Although non-verbal, Joseph currently uses an iPad based communication software Predictable (mainly as it allows him to quickly switch from communication to other apps for school or pleasure). Joseph is proficient using his iPad through direct touch and loves the challenge of exploring new apps. He has previously used low-tech options such as PODD books as well as Dynavox and Vanguard/Minspeak devices but enjoys the flexibility and social interaction that the iPad allows.
At this stage, Joseph’s main interests lie in creative writing, the making and editing of short films and he has an interest in graphic design. Joseph is looking forward to accessing 3D printing at high school next year and has been investigating software to enable this. He loves watching movies (particularly comedy and animation and the documentary extras on DVDs!) and he enjoys ten pin bowling, and occasional games of boccia.
Hi I’m Kate Ross, I’m a Social worker currently employed at the Commonwealth Department of Human Services (Centrelink) and I also happen to have a few disabilities: a stutter, single sided deafness and a balance disorder.
I grew up in Brisbane in the 1970s’ when pupils with disabilities were sent to special schools. My parents fought for me to attend mainstream schooling. I moved to Tasmania to undertake University. Today I have four degrees: A Bachelor of Social Work Degree, a Bachelor of Arts Degree, a Masters of Social Work Degree and a Masters of Emergency Management Degree. I have been in my current employment for the past twelve years, I have a comprehensive knowledge and awareness of some of the challenges that people with disabilities endure on a daily basis. Prior to working at Centrelink, I worked in Community Development for 7 years, I have also worked in Disability Services for a total of 12 years in a variety of roles within government and non-government sectors. I have also worked in Mental Health, Youth Detention, Childhood Trauma and co-ordinated a Domestic Violence Counselling Service. I’m currently on the Ministers’ Disability Advisory Council for Tasmania. I have a deep passion for the marriage of community development and policy implementation. In this regard, I strongly advocate grass roots servicing and management of social service.
I will be presenting my ‘invention’ of the Re-Late Mate as one of the Digital Dreams participants for this conference. The Re-Late Mate is an educational tool that will enhance people’s awareness of living with a communication disorder. I’ve aptly called the device the Re-Late Mate, to encourage people to reflect on how their knowledge assists them to engage and relate with people with disabilities. In our current Social Policy Environment we are working towards encouraging people with disabilities to enter the workforce. This will require public awareness education on some of the issues people with disabilities endure simply to get up each day. The Re-Late mate is aimed at having people without a disability to experience a communication disorder, in effort to widen public awareness of not only communication difficulties, but the wider issues of difference that people with disabilities experience. The full participation of people with disabilities into our society is a two way understanding and appreciation of our needs and how these needs contribute to our strengths. Having a disability is more about what we CAN do rather that what we are inhibited by. I hope you will enjoy the conference and I look forward to sharing both my story and my invention of the Re-late Mate.
Academy Award winner Dr. Mark Sagar is the director of the Laboratory for Animate Technologies at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. Mark is interested in bringing digital characters to life using artificial nervous systems to empower the next generation of human computer interaction. Mark’s laboratory is pioneering neurobehavioral animation that combines biologically based models of faces and neural systems to create live, naturally intelligent, and highly expressive interactive systems.
Mark previously worked as the Special Projects Supervisor at Weta Digital and Sony Pictures Imageworks and developed technology for the characters in blockbusters such as Avatar, King Kong, and Spiderman 2. He has co-directed research and development for Pacific Title/Mirage and Life F/X Technologies which led groundbreaking development of realistic digital humans for film and eCommerce applications driven by artificial intelligence. His pioneering work in computer-generated faces was recognized with two consecutive Scientific and Engineering Oscars in 2010 and 2011. Dr. Sagar holds a Ph.D. in Bioengineering and is a recipient of the University of Auckland’s 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award.
ACT Disability Expert Pannel
Sue Salthouse has worked in the area of social justice and human rights since 1996. Her particular focus has been in systemic advocacy to address the multiple discriminations experienced by women with disabilities. Sue is Convenor of Women With Disabilities ACT, a role she has held for over a decade.
Sue is director of a number of non-government organisations which address aspects of equity in access to education and employment, including Rights & Inclusion Australia (RI Australia) and Women in Adult & Vocational Education (WAVE).
In 2012 Sue was appointed as a member of the Council of the University of Canberra. She is a past President of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), and is the 2015 ACT Citizen of the Year.
Cynthia Sasongko is a university graduate from Perth, Western Australia. In 2013, she completed a Bachelor degree in Social Science, with a double major in Anthropology and Political Science from Curtin University. She is currently undertaking a graduate programme with the Department of Social Services in Canberra. Prior to joining the public service, she was the Program Co-ordinator for an internship and mentoring program for university students and jobseekers with disability at the Australian Network on Disability in Sydney.
In this role, she engages with top employers across Australia to source skilled students and jobseekers with disability from a diverse talent pool. She also provided support to students and jobseekers in developing their key employability skills as they transition from university to the workforce.
Having born with a birth defect that affects her pelvis, hipbone, leg and foot, Cynthia is a fulltime prosthetic user. With having a physical disability, she understands the physical, systematic, as well as attitudinal barriers that young people with disability may face in their lives. Whether born from ignorance, fear, or misunderstanding, these attitudes keep people from appreciating the full potential people with disability can achieve. Knowing this, she is determined to play her part in breaking down disability barriers embedded in our society, especially in the workforce and in the housing and property market.
In 2012, Cynthia was awarded City of South Perth Young Citizen of the Year Award and Premier’s Australia Day Active Young Citizenship Award for her leadership and commitment to youth and disability affairs.
Steve Scott MBE
Ernst and Young
Steve is Deputy CEO and MSB’s Director of Learning and Community, leading on learning, skills development and peer engagement and is a passionate promoter of MSB’s peer principles, ensuring they continue to support, train and provide employment opportunities for people with long term health conditions.
Steve has taken MSB College from a small start up learning organisation to being the sector leading registered college delivering a range of health and social care peer led learning programmes.
MSB College has delivered training programmes to over 1,000 learners across the UK, supporting 500 peers undertake formal training, 120 gain formal accredited qualifications and 100 peers to move from welfare into work.
Steve is an Associate of the Business Disability Forum in the UK, using his experience of advising Government departments on the Welfare to Work and employment agendas and his work on a number of key policy areas.
In the late 1990’s Steve designed, developed and led Remploy’s first graduate work experience programme for disabled people. The scheme’s partners, recruited by Steve, included Tesco, Asda, B&Q, BT and the British Heart Foundation.
Steve worked for the Department of Work and Pensions change programme “Access to Work”, enabling people with long term health conditions to access and stay in work. The programme achieved significant results, trebling the number of people accessing services while more than halving unit costs through efficiencies.
Steve is a founding trustee of the Dwarf Sports Association UK (DSAUK) which he helped set up in 1993. The DSA now supports over 1,000 dwarfs and people with restricted growth conditions across the UK to participate in recreational to Paralympic standard sport. DSA athletes who took part in the London 2012 Olympics achieved phenomenal success, winning 3 Gold Medals for Team GB.
MBE was awarded to Steve in recognition of his combined work with socially excluded groups, enabling disabled people back into work, and his founding role within the Dwarf Sports Association, helping people with low self-esteem to use sport as a way of building their confidence
Dr Surya Singh is a Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the University of Queensland (UQ) and heads the Robotics Design Lab. His research interests lie in the design and control of compliant systems in dynamic (field) environments. He is particularly interested in projects with humanitarian or social goals that advance the aim of democratising robotics.
He heads the Robotics Design Lab, which helped invent a unique interactive soccer ball -- ‘I-Ball’. It contains motion sensors, high-efficiency speakers and a small controller that can be uniquely programmed to suit the player. It varies the sound based on motion and the environment, with the tone speeding or slowing depending on its movement.
Rachel was appointed General Manager, Global Transactional Services, Westpac Institutional Bank, in September 2014. In this position, Rachel has responsibility for Westpac’s Global Corporate & Institutional market leading sales, service and product teams, which span the domestic and international market.
Rachel joined the Westpac Group in 1999 and, since then, has held a number of key positions, including General Manager, Transformation and Delivery, Head of Group Strategy, General Manager, Mergers & Acquisitions, Head of International Trade and Payments, Group Head of Diversity and Flexibility, General Manager, Business Architecture, Productivity and Process Excellence and General Manager, Multi Brand Optimisation.
Prior to joining Westpac, Rachel worked as a financial services strategy consultant with Andersen Consulting. Throughout her career in both consulting and at Westpac, Rachel has focused on creating and executing successful strategies to drive business transformation.
Rachel holds a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from Macquarie University, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Women’s Leadership Program. She serves as BAFT Asia council Co-Chair, a director on the Board of Australian Network on Disability, a member of the board for Richmond PRA and until September 2014 served as director and treasurer on the Board of the Global Banking Alliance for Women. Rachel was awarded Westpac Group’s 2013 General Manager of the Year.
Melinda Smith lives with cerebral palsy, which has necessitated the use of powered wheelchairs and speech generating devices. She is a consultant for the National Relay Service specifically in speech and communication education and awareness. Melinda is also communication assessor and AAC educator at Communication Resource Centre, SCOPE (Australia). Her focus is on advocacy, personal rights and inclusion of people with significant speech and communication disabilities. Melinda is employed as a consultant by the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre (CPEC) where she acts as an advisor to staff and mentor for students who have complex disabilities. Dancing and performing is one of Melinda’s greatest passions and she is a current member of Weave Movement Theatre.
University of the Sunshine Coast
Professor Stuart Smith has a PhD in visual neuroscience from Macquarie University (2000) and an MSc in vestibular research from the University of Sydney (1995). Prof Smith was selected from an internationally competitive field for a postdoctoral research fellowship at NASA’s Ames Research Centre (2000-2002). Between 2002-2007 he held academic teaching posts at Trinity College and University College Dublin, Ireland. In 2008 he was awarded a highly competitive National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Award-Industry, the first administered by the University of New South Wales. Prof Smith is an acknowledged as a leading international researcher in the areas of telehealth technology and the development of interactive digital technologies that can be applied to health. He has published 34 refereed papers, 6 book chapters and 10 peer reviewed conference proceedings. Since 2006 he has been awarded 15 grants as a Chief Investigator totalling about AUD$29 million. Most recently Prof Smith is a Chief Investigator on a €4,3M European Horizon2020 grant, My Active and Healthy Ageing. Following his role as Director of the University of Tasmania’s HEALTHY Research Centre (2013-2015), Stuart has recently moved to the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland where he is now Professor of Disruptive Technologies.
Professor Smith’s research interests range from understanding the biological basis of posture control in older adults to reduce their risk of falls though the development and use of virtual reality environments to deliver education and training programs, implementation of novel sensing and computing technologies to keep older adults living independently, well and productive through to the role that interactive digital games can be used to engage people in repetitive exercise programs such as those prescribed for rehabilitation following stroke. He is particularly interested to explore ways in which technology can be used to address ‘real world’ challenges of disability service provision.
Jeremy Smith completed a double degree in engineering and information technology at the Australian National University (ANU) in 1997. He then worked as a research engineer at the ANU on a number of industry-focused research projects in the automotive, aerospace and general manufacturing industries in Australia and internationally.
In 2005 he became involved with the profit-for-purpose organisation Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB), an organisation who seek to address disadvantage through sustainable engineering, technology, education and capacity building.
Jeremy started as a local chapter volunteer before joining the paid staff for two years, developing programs and partnerships to support humanitarian engineering education in Australian universities.
For the last four years Jeremy has focused on developing and delivering engineering courses at ANU including a number of programs and projects looking at humanitarian engineering and empowering users through technology development and engagement. He has just commenced post graduate studies at the ANU focusing on the role of end users in technology and product development particularly through the use of emerging enabling technologies.
Dannielle Spokes is an amateur troublemaker, and Director of Equal Opportunity. Dannielle is a leader in the field of people, performance and culture strategy and implementation, with a background in the community sector and an over fifteen year history of creating strategic solution based partnerships within both private and public industry.
Dannielle’s dream is iDiversity: a vision born out of answering one simple question. What if there was a better way for people to connect to community services in their town? iDiversity will create a connected community, one click at a time.
We CLICK. iDiversity is a one stop interactive online information hub that provides a precise and accurate directory and availability service online. It's a social media management platform and App that puts the user and community organization first.
We CONNECT. 86% of searches are looking for local services. iDiversity is an affordable way of connecting to community, and support services and not for profits, and members of the community to find each other. It's a simple search with map pinned navigation.
We build COMMUNITY. Local, accurate information, that free to the community. iDiversity is a social enterprise that build community capacity and offer self determined choices.
Dannielle is also the lucky mother, carer and advocate of a child of a disability, with a rare, 3 in a million condition. Max, 7, prides himself on being a Superhero in training.
iDiversity brings her son’s dream to life. To find and help other families and children like him…to connect them to services, and to each other.
I have Cerebral Palsy and I am 37 years old. I have had a lot of accomplishment within my life like being a self-advocate. I am also a media representative for the world recognized ‘Having A Say Conference’.
One of the other big achievements I’ve had is being a part of the ‘Every Australian Counts Campaign’ on Thursday 10th February 2010. This campaign involved, going to shopping centers and other public venues to help educate the public to why the National Disability Insurance Scheme was needed. I also went to Sydney on February 19th this year for the Citizens’ Jury.
To role out the scheme and assist the agent is my ultimate goal for the future.
Wendy is an Occupational Therapist and has worked in a variety of community and hospital based services focusing on community and aged care, driving assessment and training, home safety, chronic disease self-management and assistive technology application. She has particular interests in Telehealth, environmental design and home modifications, along with the practical and effective use of mainstream and assistive technologies in the health and community sector.
Wendy is the current Vice President of the Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association. ARATA is the national peak body that represents a range of rehabilitation & assistive technology stakeholders including clients, practitioners and suppliers. ARATA's mission is to support the advancement of rehabilitation and assistive technologies, and to promote practices that ensure positive outcomes from their use.
ARATA is a members based organisation and works collaboratively with a wide range of people throughout our national and international networks. ARATA’s activities include newsletters and online forums. ARATA will be hosting their next National Assistive Technology Conference at the Gold Coast in July next year.
Western Australia Individualised Services
Carl Thompson obtained his Bachelor of Business with first-class Honours from La Trobe University, majoring in Marketing. His research thesis explored consumer behaviour in a retail context, particularly the cost/benefit analysis of ethical decision-making.
A self-confessed nerd and gadget enthusiast, Carl has a passion for technology, advertising and online media. Project Officer of Disability Loop; an initiative of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, he is working to educate and inform people with disability and their representative organisations about the NDIS.
Carl spent some years working marketing for Magic Mobility; an Australian wheelchair company, in community engagement and as a social media strategist. With experience working as Project Officer for the Aids and Equipment Action Alliance and MetroAccess Officer for multiple Local Councils, he has helped develop and influence disability policy for all levels of government.
Carl has presented for different organisations at multiple conferences across Australia; including speaking at the Occupational Therapy Victoria and Disability Advocacy Network Australia conferences. In 2012, he was one of the conveners of the inaugural National Youth Disability conference, hosted by the Youth Disability Advocacy Service.
Carl has a disability himself and is a power wheelchair user. Having used multiple disability services, he has a unique insight into the ever-growing consumer driven model of disability support in Australia. Further, he is passionate about technology, particularly universal design, and how it has the potential to empower people with disability.
Away from work, Carl has utilised his video production skills to produce an international award-winning music video for a Melbourne-based trio whose members all have disabilities.
He is currently using his audio engineering and video production skills to produce the band’s debut album and follow-up music video. Much to his delight, he is currently outfitting his new home with as much technology (assistive or no) as possible.
James Thurston is an international technology policy leader. As G3ict’s Vice President for Global Strategy and Development, he leads the design and implementation of new worldwide advocacy strategies and programs to scale up G3ict’s global impact. He has experience applying both technology and public policy to important social and economic challenges. He has led efforts ranging from using technology to promote the inclusion and human rights of people with disabilities around the world to using technology to increase the economic competitiveness of aging industrial centers in the United States. He has broad policy and management experience in both the private and public sectors and at the federal, state, and international levels of government. Prior to joining G3ict, Mr. Thurston was Director of International Accessibility Policy at Microsoft, where he developed and executed a worldwide strategy to expand the company’s outreach on disability and technology issues to governments and NGOs around the world. He has also served as a standards leader for an international technology industry association, an economic and technology advisor to a U.S. senator and vice presidential candidate, and a senior manager for a national technology and economic development initiative of the U.S. government. Mr. Thurston holds both a Master of Public Administration and an M.A. in East European Studies from the University of Washington, as well as a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Maine.
Meaghan has worked in community and sector development since 1997 across domains of youth work, domestic and family violence, sexual violence, capacity building, public participation, business and organisational development. She loves using design thinking for social innovation and is currently leading design thinking projects in alternate housing futures for people with disability and designing acquired brain injury out of the criminal justice system. Meaghan completed the Design Thinking for Social Innovation program with a scholarship from Stanford University’s Institute of Design and teaches at Southern Cross University in addition to her role at Northcott Innovation. She holds a Masters in Journalism and Bachelor of Applied Science in Social Ecology.
Phill Jenkins is an Accessibility Executive and Senior Software Engineer in IBM Accessibility (ibm.com/able). Mr. Jenkins was appointed in 2008 by the President of the United States to the U.S. Access Board, and continues to serve as a board member to the federal agency access-board.gov dedicated to accessible information and communications technology (ICT/508), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other legislation. Phill also serves on U.S. Elections Assistance Commission eac.gov and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s Steering Council and was a key influence in creating the Web Accessibility Initiative w3.org/wai in 1996.
Mr. Jenkins has been leading accessibility efforts in IBM for almost two decades. Phill works across all IBM divisions, including IBM Interactive (IBMiX), Global Business (GBS) and Technology Services (GTS) and Software Group (SWG), providing innovative accessibility technology, inclusive design thinking, accessible solutions and consulting services. Phill has helped IBM teams and clients worldwide in Australia, Canada, China, E.U., Qatar, and the U.S. in financial services; retail, travel, healthcare and telecom industry; universities and government agencies.
Mr. Jenkins has a Bachelors of Computer Science from Brigham Young University and post graduate work from Florida Atlantic University. He joined IBM in Boca Raton, Florida in 1981 and participated in the launch of the IBM Personal Computer and later with the development of the OS/2 operating system software. Phill holds several patents and speaks English and Italian fluently. He is married with 3 sons and lives near Austin, Texas where he volunteers in accessibility in the community.
With 20 years experience in customer-focused roles across large corporate and small business sectors, amy has spent her life studying customers – what motivates them, what frustrates them, what makes them behave they way they do.
As founder and creative director of customer experience consultancy mesh, Amy’s role is to challenge existing norms, to tease out what’s possible and help mesh customers uncover achievable, effective and memorable solutions for improved customer experience delivery.Amy has a deep understanding of services based business, having held senior management positions in a range of industries from telco, cloud services and digital content providers to advertising and event management. Amy’s background in technology is complemented by her skills as an innovator and communicator allowing her to form compelling visions and engage audiences.
Rebecca Wood is a PhD candidate in the Occupational Therapy Department at Monash University, a research officer at the Summer Foundation, and a registered occupational therapist. Rebecca has worked with people with acquired neurological impairment in acute and sub-acute, private residential, aged care and supported accommodation settings. Rebecca’s PhD is examining built, technology and support environments for people with neurological disability. She is the research lead on an Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research-funded project, titled, ‘Using technology in supported accommodation to improve outcomes following neurotrauma’.
Kate Wood and Maudie Beissel
Kate and Maudie met at university and bonded over their mutual frustration about their disabilities. Because of their conditions, both experience problems with cognitive processing, including short term memory loss, confusion and difficulty with comprehension. They are both avid users of communications technology, using social media to stay connected when their disabilities prevent them from studying on campus or attending social events.
Kate suffers from Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. She is studying a Master of Arts, majoring in Writing and Media. She enjoys video games and creative writing, and is currently working on a novel.
Maudie has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is studying a Bachelor of Arts, with majors in English, French and Business. She likes horror stories and is interested in machinery and robotics.
David Woodbridge is a Senior Adaptive Technology Consultant at Vision Australia where he has worked since 1990. Over this time he has assisted people who are blind or vision impaired in their home, education, and work settings to take advantage of the benefits of using assistive technology. In the last seven years, he has been evaluating technology for use by people who are blind or vision impaired covering both low and high tech equipment (Microsoft, Google, Nokia, Kindle, Samsung and Apple). David is a key spoke person for Vision Australia relating to technology. David has been using the Apple platform since 2008, evaluating it for low vision and blind users covering desktop, mobile, apps/software, hardware, Apple TV and Apple Watch. He has worked with other Ambassadors/Apple Distinguished Educators training, collaborating and presenting workshops covering the range of Apple's Accessibility solutions throughout Australia. David evaluates and reports back to developers on VoiceOver accessibility of apps, he consults with developers on how they can make their apps more accessible for the low vision and vision impaired community.
David produces a range of podcasts covering Apple and other technologies which are distributed on his own podcast (http://davidwoodbr.podbean.com), Applevis podcasts (from www.applevis.com), through iTunes podcast iSee, and heard on the ACB (American Council for the Blind) Main Menu Technology show. In addition, David is also one of the editors on www.applevis.com website. He has a regular Talking Tech program and has spoken on various radio stations concerning technology for blind or low vision. David lost his sight when he was 8 years old and had to learn Braille. Since then, he completed high school, went to Sydney University receiving a Social Work degree, spent 4 years drug and alcohol counselling, and moved into his current role. David is sought as an expert in the Apple accessibility space and is currently exploring connected home solutions using mainstream technology solutions.
Tom Worsnop is the Executive Manager at the Summer Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation focused on the issue of young people in nursing homes. Tom has worked for over twenty-five years in the health, welfare and disability sectors, initially in direct service delivery and more recently in operational and strategic management. His management experience includes program innovation, oversight and reporting in the acquired brain injury, disability and community services sectors. Network involvement has included chairing the Victorian Coalition of ABI Service Provider network, and he was a founding member of the Victorian Young People in Nursing homes consortium. He has qualifications in Community Development, Counselling, Education and an Executive Masters in Public Administration.
Matthew is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations and the spokesperson for Disability Australia a group of 12 National Peak organisations representing people with disability. He has over 20 years experience in the disability sector. Before joining AFDO Matthew was Chief Executive Officer of Murray Human Services, and held senior positions with Oakleigh Centre and Able Australia. He also worked at National Australia Bank developing the NAB's Disability Action Plan.
Matthew has served on boards in the disability sector including the Disability Discrimination Legal Service and Senswide Services, and is on the Australian Law Reform Commission's Disability Advisory Committee; the State Trustees Ageing, Disability & Mental Health Committee; and the National Disability Workforce Strategy Committee.
Matthew is a fellow of the Williamson Community Leadership Program with Leadership Victoria. Matthew has a severe hearing loss from birth and identifies as part of the Deaf community.