Tom is the director and solicitor of Tom & Co Legal, a Perth based law firm practising in the area of family, commercial and immigration law. In addition to the main practise areas, Tom regularly provides pro bono assistance in family law and NDIS review.
Prior to law, Tom was the principal consultant in a strategic development and management consultancy based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for over 8 years. Tom led a team across Southeast Asia to project manage and drive business development, define and deliver real-time insights on commercial opportunities in mining, agribusiness, and infrastructure projects. Before moving to Southeast Asia, Tom accumulated diverse professional business development, operations, and communications experience across multiple sectors including being on state and national not-for-profit boards and government advisory councils.
Tom has a Bachelor of Law from the University of Notre Dame Australia (Fremantle), speaks fluent Thai and Khmer language with over 15 years of international and domestic commercial experience.
Tom has 44 years of lived disability experience and over 25 years of experience and involvement in the disability sector in Australia and overseas.
Nihal has completed a Bachelor of Psychology degree at Edith Cowan University. Her current board experience includes Vice President of People with Disabilities WA inc board and board member at Umbrella Multicultural Community Care.
Nihal has been working in the multicultural and disability sectors for almost 20 years in various roles supporting people from refugee, humanitarian entrant and migrant backgrounds including people with disability. She currently works at the Ethnic Communities Council of WA Inc as the Speak My Language (disability) WA Coordinator.
Her aim is to help and contribute to making positive systemic changes and help break barriers for people in minority groups like people with disability, Women, Children and so on from a culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse (CELD) background. Her work mainly involves:
- Supporting people in their successful inclusion and meaningful participation in the economic, social, cultural and all aspects of community life;
- Supporting people to build their capacity to exercise their choice
- and control when accessing the relevant supports and services independently to meet their individual needs.
- Writing submissions to government enquiries that impact on people
- with disability, migrants and refugees; and
- Organising community meetings, forums and seminars to inform people from CALD backgrounds of their rights and access the supports and services they need.
Simon is new to our organisation having suffered a bleed in the Thalamic area of his brain in February 2019 with it taking 18 months to recover to a sufficient level that he is able to partake in external activities.
Passionate about community groups and member engagement, especially for regional West Australians, Simon has experience working in Membership based Not for Profit groups having previously worked in a Cooperative in York, the Caravan Industry Association W.A, the National Party W.A and an Indigenous company in the Kimberley. Simon has also worked for the State Government in the tourism industry living in Carnarvon, worked for a newspaper and radio station while in Karratha and had fun working as a Tour Manager in Perth, the Kimberley and Europe for a number of years.
Simon also lived in the U.K, Canada and the U.S.A for several years when he was younger and has two young adult children both of whom live in Perth.
With a focus on good governance and financial management, Simon has previously been on Boards of Junior sporting clubs, regional tourism groups and State Government appointed committees and looks forward to utilising his experience on the Committee and being of service to the strategic direction of the organisation.
Yhana brings a wealth of cross-sector experience to the PWdDA board.
She is a passionate advocate for all persons experiencing hardship and having lived with hemiplegic cerebral palsy since birth, she is especially aware of the issues experienced by people with disabilities.
Born in Perth, she lived abroad for a year as part of a high school exchange scholarship, then moved interstate to study engineering at The University of Melbourne. While studying, she travelled internationally to compete in intervarsity debating championships, and coached both children and adults in public speaking.
She commenced work as a grants and incentives adviser for a large consulting firm whilst still at university. She spent several years in this role, exploring her passion for science communication while also building her business and finance knowledge.
This diverse skillset led her to become an energy and resources policy adviser to the State Government, which she greatly enjoys.
She spends most of her remaining time volunteering, which she considers a second calling. Her extensive professional experience has also made her a trusted governance and strategy adviser to several small not-for-profits; however, she makes sure to keep some time for providing direct support to those in her community.
Danielle is the founder of Paper Planes Support Coordination, operating out of Walyalyp (Fremantle) Paper Planes supports people with disability and mental illness. The organisation hires people with lived experience and focuses on wellbeing and protective professional relationships.
As a consultant in the social services sector Danielle is an effective communicator and specialises in community and consumer involvement to improve service design and delivery.
With a background in health promotion and population health Danielle’s approach to improving our social systems includes purposeful partnerships, where people and communities, together with experts and professionals work collaboratively.
Over the past 10 years Danielle has worked with not-for-profit organisations, peak bodies, advocacy groups and government agencies.
Prior to this Danielle owned and directed a corporate health company for which she was awarded a 40 under 40 business leader, this organisation was acquired in 2014.
Danielle enjoys advocacy, strategic development and governance and currently is a board or committee member to:
Consumer Protection Committee - Department of Mines Petroleum and Industry Regulation.
Sustainable Health Review, Rec 4 Steering Group – Department of Health WA
People with Disabilities WA
Danielle has been appointed to the Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability for Hon. Don Punch MLA.
Janine become paralysed 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.
Janine also serves as Vice Chair with Australian Federation of Disabilities Organisations [AFDO] and sits on the ACROD & Companion Card Appeals Committee WA .
Kat is an autistic activist and advocate. She has a passion for structural equality in employment, education, housing and justice. She is also an LGBT community member and brings an intersectional experience.
By way of professional experience, Kat has worked in government and non government organisations including as a Lead Commissioner, Principal Programme Manager and Logistics Lead.
Shazzy was born in the UK and lived and worked in various countries before settling In Australia. Shazzy is biracial and multilingual. She has volunteered in the disability sector since 1996. Shazzy studied at Cambridge University and is now a Registered Nurse and a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse. She currently works as a Clinical Nurse Consultant and Counselling Psychotherapist in her own private practice, Positively Living and is undertaking her Master’s in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Shazzy has lived experiences in many aspects of disability including invisible disabilities like chronic fatigue syndrome and mental health. Shazzy is a wheelchair user, proudly autistic, ADHD and lives with various auto immune and neurological conditions. Shazzy is part of a proudly neurodiverse family being married to Alex with two beautiful neurodiverse children. She is an active advocate for mental health, disability and neurodivergent rights, and is an LGBTQIA2S+ ally. Shazzy is focused on centring marginal and silenced voices through an intersectionality lens.
Shazzy has worked on various committees and co-design projects, and currently sits on the Volunteering WA Disability Advisory group.
Shazzy is an award winning mentor, and a motivational speaker and trainer delivering inspiration and leadership to businesses and conferences across the globe.
Tom is autistic, is a TEDx Speaker and global leader on autistic individuals caught up in the justice system and is a 2022 Young Australian of the Year Finalist. Tom works as an autism consultant at Savannah Legal, where he helps to save autistic clients from imprisonment terms and instead obtaining non-custodial sentences with suitable therapy over imprisonment – recently saving an autistic client from 15 years imprisonment. Tom also works as a guest law lecturer at Curtin University.
Tom is undertaking a double degree in Law (Hons)/Biomedical Science, graduating in 2023, and he is determined to become a lawyer thereupon. He also has a NFP diploma in governance from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is the former Chairman of the Advisory Board at Spectrum Space – a NFP autism service provider.
In his spare time, Tom mentor’s fellow autistic youths across WA.
Chief Executive Officer
Brendan is married to Jane and has two children. He has held a number of senior management positions in his 23 years’ experience in working in and with the not-for-profit sector across WA in roles with the State government and community member-based organisations.
Brendan has volunteered in the disability sector since 2012 and has been actively engaged in a range of social inclusion projects.