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Executive Committee

Fixed Members

 

CBM Australia

Jason McKey, National Disability Services

Jess Smith, Australian Council for International Development (ACFID)

Samantha French, People with Disabilities 

Trevor Carroll, Australian Federation of Disability  

 

 
 

Elected Members 

 

Australian Aid & Development Agency Members

 

Alexandra Gartrell, World Vision Australia (Chair)

Sabene Gomes, Australian Volunteers International

Claire Hanson, Good Return

Louise Coventry, Motivation Australia

 

Organisational Representatives

 

Alex Robinson, Nossal Institute

 

Individual Members

 

Fixed members

Jason McKey is currently the Disability Employment Policy Officer for National Disability Services.  He has been involved in the Disability sector since 1989 as Managing Director of Job Placement Ltd, a not for profit service based in Logan Queensland.

In addition to his work in the local community, he has been working with an organisation in Bangladesh since 2000 assisting them to provide education and employment opportunities for some of their poorest communities.

Jess Smith is Learning and Innovation Lead at the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), responsible for guiding the implementation of ACFID’s innovation strategy and leading the delivery of learning initiatives to enhance sector capacity. Prior to joining ACFID in May 2018, Jess was a learning consultant at the Canberra Institute of Technology and led projects in public sector workforce capability development in Australia and education-based capacity building projects in Papua New Guinea and Laos. 

Jess joined the ADDC Executive Committee in November 2018.

Samantha French is a Senior Policy Officer for People with Disability Australia. She has been an active member in the disability field for over 25 years, working in the government and NGO sectors on disability policy, education, consultancy, and more.

As a person with a disability, Samantha is an active member of a number of DPO representative networks across Australia and the Pacific region, including Women with Disability Australia (WWDA), and as a Board Member of the Pacific Disability Forum.  Sam was directly involved in the development of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as a civil society representative.

Samantha has been involved with the ADDC since its inception and has represented People with Disability Australia as a DPO member on the ADDC Executive since 2011.

Trevor is passionate about protecting and enhancing the human rights of people with disabilities having had first-hand personal experience of disability discrimination in Australia on many occasions.

Trevor is CEO of Disability Justice Advocacy, providing advocacy support to people who have ongoing support needs as a result of disability.

He is also Director and Information Officer & Chairperson (Asia Pacific Region) of Disabled People’s International.

He has been an active member of the Executive Committee of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) having previously held the roles of President, Vice President, Treasurer and Chair of the Board.

He was a recipient of a Harvard Scholarship in 2012, was nominated for Australian of the Year in 2016, and has won numerous awards for his work.

Elected Members

Australian Aid & Development Agency Members

Alexandra Gartrell brings two decades of experience as an applied social researcher in disability inclusive development, particularly in the areas of employment and livelihoods, disaster risk reduction and sexual and reproductive health and rights. She conducted her PhD on the lived experience of disability in rural Cambodia, and has worked as an academic, consultant and in a research capacity at Oxfam and the Australian Red Cross.

In her current role, Alexandra is leading World Vision Australia to become an intentionally inclusive organisation where people with disabilities, particularly women and girls are able to participate in and benefit from development programs just like anyone else.

She was elected as Chair of the ADDC Executive Committee in July 2020.

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Sabene is the Quality & Compliance Coordinator for AVI and is an experienced development practitioner. Her expertise focuses on the intersection of gender and disability. Sabene has worked for a number of NGOs during her career including the UNWFP and World Vision in Sri Lanka and Anglican Board of Mission, Anglican Overseas Aid and CBM Australia. Within her time at CBM, Sabene served as Program Coordinator for ANCP funded Disability Inclusive Development projects in India, East Africa and the Philippines; and acted as Asia Regional Program Quality Manager for CBM International on secondment in Bangkok.

Sabene holds a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations/Politics) and a Master of International and Community Development. She is passionate about equality, inclusion and social justice.

In her current role, Sabene is focusing on building an organisational culture that is inclusive, rights based and committed to disability inclusion across all of AVI’s operations and programs.

Claire Hanson, Good Return

Claire is the Social Inclusion and Development Officer at Good Return with a focus on promoting and supporting disability inclusion both programmatically and organisationally – this includes staff training, organisational self assessment, strategic planning, partnership engagement and ensuring disability inclusion is reflected in all programs.

She has a strong background in inclusive development spanning across 5 countries. Her skills include: disability inclusion, gender and child protection, strategic planning, community engagement, participatory research, project management and advocacy.

Claire holds a Masters of Development Studies, a Bachelor of International Studies & Philosophy (Hons) and Diploma of Politics. She joined ADDC’s Executive Committee in 2019 and will travel ridiculous distances for a good coffee.

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Louise is CEO of Motivation Australia and is a passionate advocate for social justice and inclusion for all.

She has worked variously in senior roles in state and local government in Victoria and in the community-based sector where she has accumulated significant expertise in social policy analysis, research and management.

Louise holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Science. Her PhD – which is nearing finalisation – explores how learning processes can support the effective governance of NGOs in Cambodia.

For the past ten years, she has lived and worked in Southeast Asia contributing to peace and development through the provision of executive support to local and international NGOs.

Organisational Members

Alex Robinson is the Head of the Disability Inclusion for Health and Development Unit at the Nossal Institute for Global Health. Working in senior management for over 12 years, Alex’s work has focused on development research, policy, and practice spanning disability inclusion, inclusive education, livelihoods, disaster risk reduction, and humanitarian response. Armed with a PhD in development studies, Alex has a key interest in information, risk and resilience in sustainable human development.

Alex feels Nossal Institute representation adds value to ADDC’s mission and strategic direction.

“The Nossal Institute welcomes the opportunity to continue to play a role in ADDC’s important and leading contribution to disability inclusive development”

Individual Members

Alexandra Kay

Alexandra Kay is the Disability Inclusion Advisor with Scope Global where she provides strategic leadership and management of disability inclusion across the organisation. Her career began as a Speech Pathologist where she worked as a clinician alongside people with disabilities.

She has 11 years’ experience in the disability and development sector, and has developed skills in governance, fundraising, marketing & communications and organisational and business strategy. In 2015, Alex was awarded the Joint Ministers Award in Inclusive Development for her efforts in creating opportunities for people with disabilities to volunteer overseas.

In 2018, Alex completed postgraduate studies in Gender Mainstreaming and Policy Analysis at Flinders University where she took a specific interest in researching how intersectionality affects people with disabilities.

She is interested in establishing a working group on intersectionality and with raising awareness of this issue within the ADDC membership, partners and stakeholders.

She joined the ADDC Executive Committee in October 2019.

Christina Parasyn

Christina is the Technical Assistance Director for the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund. She is responsible for leading the implementation of DRF/DRAF’s Technical Assistance Strategy.

She brings 20 years of experience in international development and disability rights.

Holding a Master’s degree in Social Science (International Development) and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy), she has worked with people with disabilities, governments, donors, faith-based organisations, international NGOs and the United Nations.

Christina played a key role in developing and implementing the Australian Government’s first disability strategy for the aid program, ‘Development for All’, that set the agenda for Australia’s investments and leadership in Disability Inclusive Development globally.

She has worked extensively within the Pacific, as well as in South and South East Asian countries. She has also provided technical advice and capacity development in disability inclusion more broadly throughout Asia, Africa, the Pacific and Middle East regions.