I grew up in Midland and went on to finish a nursing degree and travel overseas (and still continue to travel). In amongst many life experiences, I acquired a mobility disability after meningococcal septicaemia in 2000 and now alternate between titanium legs, a wheelchair and a scooter. I have had the opportunity to meet many people with disabilities, been involved in volunteer committees in the sector, and become a passionate advocate for our human right to live active lives.
My seven and three year olds are my only hobbies at the moment, consuming all my spare time and energy! I do like wine, books, friends and movies (and talking!).
I have a rewarding career in Health, and feel it is a privilege to also be able to contribute to disability advocacy in a small way.
As a graduate of our first LeadAbility course in 2015, Andrew brings with him years of experience working in the disability sector from Government positions to NGO roles and running his own business around building the capacity of People with Disabilities (PWD) in his local community.
As a below knee amputee, Andrew brings a unique perspective, having both Disability Sector, and lived experience of disabilities. He is active in face to face and online community Peer Support, working with organisations such as Advocacy and Peer Support for WA Amputees and Limbs for Life. He has a passion to see PWD achieve their goals and dreams however big or small, and says “life should revolve around opportunities. Leadership development is an avenue to empower people with disabilities to become more influential in their communities.
Andrew is also an avid jazz lover and plays in two bands: 2 or More with his wife and Café Jazz, a seven piece ensemble.
Janine become paralysed quite suddenly one morning in 1996. She was C5 Quadriplegic [complete] and 35 weeks pregnant at the time. Janine was diagnosed with Acute Transverse Myelitis and her son was born 3 weeks later. She spent 7 months in hospital, including Shenton Park, after which she returned home to her family. Following a brief battle for much needed Disabilities Services Commission funding, Janine was able to get on with life as a first time mother.
Janine has been fortunate enough to access what she has needed most of the time, and has learned a lot about the difficulties faced by people with disabilities.
She is passionate about health, physical rehabilitation and self-advocacy.
Elizabeth is a self advocate and advocates for others. Elizabeth is a Paralympian.
I was born in Perth, and at the age of 15 moths contracted polio. I was lucky to represent Australia at 2 Paralympic games in swimming.
Six years ago , I had shoulder surgery which resulted me being confined to an electric wheelchair. I now use public transport all the time and always advocating for changes to improve conditions for people with disabilities.
I was born in Perth, and then spent 32 years in Bunbury W.A. My independence is very important to me as it gives me the ability to do what I desire. I am a member of the Fremantle Dockers and attend games every fortnight. I have a Degree in Social Work and a Post Graduate Degree in Sexology and enjoy helping people with their life and sexuality. I was on the board of Advocacy South West for approximately 18 months and made a film with them on Disability and Society.
With brain damage from birth, Adam has lived with a type of Palsy. As a teen, he was diagnosed with Epilepsy. After leaving Christ Church in year 11 he worked in the family Rural Supplies business for five years. In 2000, the family moved to Perth where he found it difficult to find suitable work. He went back to study and completed a Diploma of Fine Arts at TAFE, followed by a Batchelor Degree in General Arts, and a Diploma in counselling.
Adam contributes to advocacy, encouragement and motivation programs that promote ability first. He was an ambassador and speaker for Rocky Bay on several occasions, outlining what it is like to be disabled, how disability can affect family and friends and the community, and the need to treat people with a disability with empathy and encouragement rather than sympathy. Adam has lived in Melville for more than 14 years and has developed a keen interest in community issues and community development. He is currently a member of the City of Melville Access Advisory Committee and is available to speak at community and disability group meetings. Adam is actively promoting the benefits of being a member of an advocacy group like People With Disability Western Australia (PWDWA) and is planning to stand for election to the local council.
I am the youngest of 4, I was born with cerebral palsy resulting in learning and motor development skills. My family had a farm in Pemberton. I attended school at Pemberton, where the only sports I could manage were netball, and I did Brownies and Guides. I played piano until high school. When I turned 16 my family moved to Perth.
In Perth I attended Kent St High School as I wanted to mainstream as much as possible. I continued with Guides, becoming a junior leader, umpired and played netball. Achieved my certificate to coach juniors and was on the Players Rep Board for Netwest.
I have worked for various disability organisations, including camps and day outings, and have been recognised twice for by Vic Park Council for Advocacy work. Former Council Advisory Group for Disabilities / Sport/Recreation and Health; Women with Disabilities WA Board member/secretary for 8 years. Involved with Disabled Surfers WA; Self Advocacy Western Australia SAWA; local church Child Ministry volunteer (esp special needs); Uniting Care West Rainbow project (buddy).
My hobbies are travelling, puzzles and walking. My disabilities are playing up now. Recently I have lost my mum, my best mate, who has shown me how to make a better life by helping others. I believe access is very important from health care, education, transport, safety, housing, employment and communication. Everyone should be able to have their basic needs met.
Samantha commenced as Executive Director in November 2014.
Samantha has been an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities since the early 1990’s, and throughout her professional life as a Social Worker. Through this time she has worked and advocated in the areas of employment, housing and support, service co-ordination, individualised funding and person centred planning. Samantha has worked for community organisations, service providers and state government in a variety of roles from case management to CEO.
Highlights of Samantha’s work have been her time with Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, her involvement in development of direct payments as a funding option for people with disabilities in Victoria, writing a monograph on trends in disability services for the Disability Services Commission in WA for their State plan ‘Count Me In’, developing a forum and DVD on self directed services in the community sector in WA and speaking on community inclusion to people with disabilities and service providers in the disability sector.
Throughout her career, Samantha has been involved as a volunteer with many community organisations on management committees and Boards of governance, including being a past chair of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, and past chair of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability in Western Australia. Samantha has been a Local Government Councillor in the City of Stirling.
Erika provides secretariat support to the Committee of Management and has lived experience of Disability as a person with Albinism, resulting in vision impairment.
Erika volunteered on many committees undertaking Systemic Advocacy for people with disabilities. Erika’s expertise is in; social media, systemic and individual advocacy, policy development, administration, event planning, document management, information management, record keeping, archival documentation and libraries.
Erika represents people with disabilities and people with sensory impairments on a range of committee and group including Vulnerable Road User Advisory Group for the Road Safety Commission of WA, Disability Advisory Group and Cycling and Pedestrian Advisory Group for Main Roads WA, Disability Access and inclusion Group for Perth Stadium, and Access and Inclusion working group on the Forrestfield Airport train link project.