Health and Wellbeing

Michael Burrowes

Michael Burrowes Michael Burrowes is an outgoing young man who was born with Cerebral Palsy which has in turn left him with a speech impairment.
Michael works with the Centre for Developmental Disability Health as a tutor for Monash University Medical students to provide them with opportunities to learn from people with disability about their experience of health services.
Michael spends a couple of days a week in a learning and development centre and college where he acquires new life skills and is getting prepared to join the workforce. He volunteers at another learning and development centre for people with disabilities, helping them build their communication skills.
Michael is also community educator. He is a member of Speakers Bank, an organisation established to raise awareness, acceptance and understanding of people with disability and older people through the power of communication.

Jane Tracy

Jane Tracy Jane is a medical practitioner who has worked for 30 years with people with disabilities and their families. She is Director of the Centre for Developmental Disability Health (CDDH), Monash Health. The CDDH works across the health and disability sectors to improve the health and healthcare of adults with intellectual disability through educational, clinical and research-based activities. Jane has a particular commitment to health professional education, both at student and practitioner level, as she believes this is an essential strategy in improving the quality of healthcare provided to people with disabilities. Jane has an adult son with intellectual, physical and associated communication disabilities and so has both a professional and personal understanding of the field.

Julian Troller

Julian Troller Professor Julian Trollor is a Neuropsychiatrist and holds the inaugural Chair of Intellectual Disability Mental Health at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). He also heads the Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry within the School of Psychiatry at UNSW. Julian is involved in diverse research programs including ageing and cognitive decline in intellectual disability, intellectual disability in the criminal justice system, human rights and healthcare in intellectual disability, and ageing studies in the general population.

Jax Jacki Brown

Jax Jacki Brown Jax Jacki Brown is a disability and LGBTIQ rights activist, writer, public speaker and disability sexuality educator. Jax was named one of the 25 Australian LGBTI people to watch and has recently been appointed to the Victorian Governments’ Ministerial Council on Women’s Equality. Jax is a member of the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s Disability Reference Group and a graduate of Southern Cross University where she focused on disability and LGBTIQ rights. Her work provides a powerful insight into the reasons why society needs to change, rather than people with disabilities.

Community Living

 Maggie Skinner is a parent and passionate advocate for Individualised Supported Living arrangements. Maggie and her family decided that the disability service accommodation models available, were incompatible with their philosophy and belief in what a good life required.

Cameron and Maggie Skinner

Cameron and Maggie Skinner Cameron Skinner is a man who has been living in his own home for 13 years which has enabled him to enter the paid workforce, volunteer in the community and enjoy a busy social life.

Cameron and his mum Maggie planned for and implemented Cams vision for his future, particularly getting a permenant job.

Cameron loves his life now, which is full of satisfying and enjoyable experiences.

Professor Patricia O’Brien

Patricia O’Brien In 2009 Patricia returned to Australia from Trinity College Dublin to take up the position of Chair in Disability Studies and Director, Centre for Disability Studies, University of Sydney.
Since taking up the position at the Centre for Disability Studies (CDS) Patricia has led a team of researchers, educators and clinicians in implementing the vision of the organisation, Building Capacity for Change. Patricia promotes research that is inclusive of people with disabilities as co-researchers, as well as the promotion of access to tertiary education for students with intellectual disabilities. Over the last three years the University of Sydney through the work of CDS has welcomed a group of students with intellectual disability to audit university papers of interest.
Patricia’s research interests cover advocacy, deinstitutionalisation, community participation, transition, inclusive research and education.

George Taleporos

George Taleporos George is the Summer Foundation’s Policy Manager. He has over 20 years experience in the disability field, focused predominantly on advocacy, human rights policy and practice, service development and management. George is a member of various high-level advisory bodies including the Victorian Disability Advisory Council and the Victorian NDIS Implementation Taskforce. He has been published in a range of books and peer-reviewed journals, written articles for The Guardian Australia and made appearances on ABC TV’s You Can’t Ask That and The Drum.

John McKenna

John McKenna John McKenna has worked in Corporate and Government environments and also the not-for-profit sector. Most of John’s work has been disability related, and he has a particular interest in working with people with intellectual disabilities and their families. He is an advocate with VALID as well as being the co-founder of Empower Your English (EYE) both of which have a focus of empowerment, something John is passionate about. John writes a blog to share information which he believes needs to be out there, as he says “when we are informed, we are empowered”.

Lifelong Education

Leah Van Poppel

Leah Van Poppel Leah van Poppel is the Manager of the Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS), a state wide agency supporting young people aged 12 – 25 across Victoria. Leah has over a decade of experience in disability advocacy at state and national levels in disabled person’s organisations, government and service providers. Leah currently serves on a number of committees and Boards, including the Independent Advisory Committee to the National Disability Insurance Agency. Leah is deafblind, meaning she has partial vision and partial hearing.

Selim Pullu

Selim Pullu Selim has taught history for over two decades and has extensive experience in field surveys and museum work. During his academic career, he has held a variety of administrative positions including Chairman in Ancient History and Archaeology Departments in different universities, and Director of Western Anatolia Archaeology Institute at the University of Afyon in Turkey. He bas been an associate of the University of Melbourne, Department of History since 2016.

Selim has dedicated the last four years to understanding and helping his son Ege who was diagnosed with autism. He was a key role facilitator for The Positive Partnership project and organised the “Dad’s Group” for especially Turkish fathers who have children with autism. He also worked with the team of animation movie specialists as an editor for making a short animated movie which describes and help others to understand autism. The movie is named “A Family Journey” and has been translated in to seven different languages including Turkish.. He was proud and honoured to be awarded ASPECT’s Parent of the Year Award in 2016.

Diane Chambers

Diane Chambers Dianne coordinates and teaches into units on catering for students with disabilities, inclusion and behaviour management at undergraduate level. Postgraduate teaching areas include adaptive education, behaviour management and social skills, children with special needs, educating students who are gifted and talented and research methods. She supervises students within the School of Education Masters and PhD programs. She is published in the field of inclusive education, assistive technology, service learning and children with ASD. Dianne has consulted with UNESCO on guidelines for persons with disabilities and Open and Distance Learning using open solutions (published), and teacher education for global citizenship, and attended invited symposia with the World Health Organisation. She is a member of a number of National and International organisations and is current National Councillor of the Australian Association of Special Education (WA Chapter).

Michael Arthur-Kelly

Michael Arthur-Kelly Michael has worked in and with schools and universities for his entire career. He has taught in classrooms in a range of settings and contributed to teacher training and development as an academic in two universities. Michael has conducted applied research in a range of areas in disability and special education including communication intervention for people with severe disability and staff training in managing challenging behaviour. He is currently a professor in the School of Education at The University of Newcastle.

Meaningful Ocupation

Peter De Natris

Peter De Natris Peter’s current role is as a strategic adviser to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). His focus is on early childhood and early intervention and economic participation for NDIS participants.
Peter has worked in, around and with all levels of Government on policy and strategy to improve outcomes for people with disability in employment. Driven by a passion to see the Australian commitment to economic independence of people with disability and the abilities and talents of these people realised, he recognises the potential of the NDIS as the game changer.

Zane McKenzie

Zane McKenzie After commencing study in the legal profession, Zane quickly realised that his true power was his ability to communicate with people from all walks of life!
Now, as a member of the Scope Education team, Zane plays a key role in developing and delivering customised training that makes a difference in the real world.
Zane's presentations are powerful; challenging the perceptions and sterotypes often linked to people with disabilities.

Kevin Murfitt

Kevin Murfitt Dr Kevin Murfitt AM is recognised for his contribution to leadership in the blindness and low vision sector, and as an advocate for full social and economic inclusion of people with disability. He is a lecturer at Deakin University in Workforce Diversity, and Human Rights and Advocacy. His research areas include employer engagement in employment of people with disability, focusing on building disability confidence and inclusive practices, and disability inclusive development in the Pacific and beyond around human rights and disability.

Kerrie Langford

Kerrie Langford Kerrie has over 30 years’ experience working in the not-for profit sector in direct service, policy development, senior management and executive roles. Prior to joining National Disability Services in 2013, she was the CEO of a leading Disability Employment Service for over 10 years. Kerrie’s career encompasses a broad range of specialist disability service experience including: nursing, accommodation support and management, community services, volunteer management and disability employment. In her current role with NDS, Kerrie has oversight of the disability employment services portfolio including Disability Employment Services, Australian Disability Enterprises, Social Enterprises, transition to work programs and the interface with the National Disability Insurance Scheme.