Lisa Burnette has been on the PWDWA committee since 2015, and is the current President.
Lisa hold a Bachelor of Science (Nursing), post-graduate diploma (clinical nursing), Masters in Public Health and recently completed her Health Informatics (CHIA) Accreditation. Lisa currently works as a hospital based Informatics Nurse. She has served on various health and disability committees and is the Chairperson of her local Scout support committee.
Lisa grew up in Midland, WA and acquired her disability after surviving meningococcal septicaemia at the age of 24, requiring her to use prosthetic legs and a wheelchair. Lisa has two primary school aged children, and her husband lives with Parkinson's disease. Lisa's family is fortunate to be recipients of the NDIS scheme.
Lisa believes it is a privilege and responsibility to be able to contribute to disability advocacy in Western Australia, and is proud to be affiliated with a grass roots organisation.
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 non-government organisations (NGO) roles and running his own business around building the capacity of people with disabilities in his local community.
As a below-the-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 people with disability 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 seven 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 people with disabilities face.
She is passionate about health, physical rehabilitation and self-advocacy.
Elizabeth is a self advocate and advocates for others. Elizabeth is a Paralympian. She was lucky enough to represent Australia at two Paralympic games in swimming.
She was born in Perth, and at the age of 15 months contracted polio.
Six years ago, she had shoulder surgery, which resulted in her being confined to an electric wheelchair. She now uses public transport all the time and is always advocating for changes to improve conditions for people with disabilities.
Ryan Gay was born in Perth, and then spent 32 years in Bunbury, WA. His independence is very important to him as it gives him the ability to do what he wants. He is a member of the Fremantle Dockers Football Club and attends games every fortnight. He has a degree in social work and a postgraduate degree in sexology and enjoys helping people with their life and sexuality. He was on the board of Advocacy South West for around 18 months and made a film with them on disability and society.
With brain damage from birth, Adam lives with a type of Palsy. As a teen, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. After leaving Christchurch in Year 11 he worked in the family rural supplies business for five years. In 2000, his 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 has been an ambassador and speaker for Rocky Bay on several occasions, outlining what it’s 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 actively promotes the benefits of being a member of an advocacy group like us and is planning to stand for election to the local council.
The youngest of four, Ingrid was born with cerebral palsy resulting in learning and motor development skills. Her family had a farm in Pemberton where she attended school. The only sport she could manage was netball, and she also did Brownies and Guides. She played piano until high school. When she turned 16 her family moved to Perth.
In Perth she attended Kent St High School as she wanted to mainstream as much as possible. She continued with Guides, becoming a junior leader and umpired and played netball. She achieved her certificate to coach juniors and was on the Players Rep Board for Netwest.
She has worked for various disability organisations, including camps and day outings, and has been recognised twice by Vic Park Council for Advocacy work. Ingrid is a former member of the Council Advisory Group for Disabilities/Sport/Recreation and Health. She was a board member and secretary of Women with Disabilities WA for eight years. She is also involved with Disabled Surfers WA and Self Advocacy Western Australia (SAWA). She is a volunteer at her local church, Child Ministry (especially special needs) and at Uniting Care West’s Rainbow project (buddy).
Her hobbies are travelling, puzzles and walking. Her disabilities are playing up now. She believes access is very important from health care, education, transport, safety, housing, employment and communication, and that everyone should be able to have their basic needs met.
Samantha commenced as Executive Director in November 2014.
She 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. During 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.
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 volunteers 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 committees and groups. These groups include 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.