Yhana Lucas

Chair

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. 

 

Nihal Iscel

Vice Chair

Photo of Nihal IscelNihal 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. 

 

Danielle Loizou-Lake

Board Member

Photo of Danielle Loizou_LakeDanielle 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.

Eric Casey

Board Member

Eric is 65 years young and from Derby WA. Living with three show cats, two of which have now retired.

Eric has been an individual with a disability for seven years now and has a good knowledge and understanding of the disability community from being on both sides, as a provider and as a participant. 

After opening an antique shop in Dongara, Eric moved to Geraldton with his family. Where Eric advocated for his stepson, who has Muscular Dystrophy, to ensure he had support and access to the community. 

After joining the Fisheries Department as a volunteer fishing liaison officer, Eric then took on the role of running Fishing with Disabilities, a social group for children and teens.  Eric has worked as the Vice Chair for Midwest Family Support, Vice Chair of the Lotteries Commission and Vice Chair of the Community Living Association.

Frank Smith

Board Member

Frank Smith is 82 years old and has been disabled for 21 years.

Born in England, he studied agricultural science, later obtaining an MSc from UWA, a BA in Journalism from WAIT and graduate diplomas in education and science education.

Before retirement, he spent 17 years in charge of media relations and publications for the Agriculture Protection Board (APB). During that time, the APB annual report (which he wrote) won five Lonnie awards for excellence in government reporting.

He later ran a small tourism publication business with his wife, Mary-Helen and developed a freelance writing, editing, and book indexing business.  He now writes and subedits for Have a Go News, Perth’s lifestyle newspaper for seniors.

He and Mary-Helen have six children between them, all of whom have had the good sense to leave home. They live in a passive solar home at Boya in the Perth Hills with a varying collection of quendas, possums and native birds, which have trained the Smiths to feed them at frequent intervals.

Highlights of Frank's life include being a Mastermind contestant, failing to get elected to the UK parliament, coming to Australia and becoming an impromptu midwife.

Having led a fairly fortunate life, he is keen to give back to the community by lobbying for better conditions for old and disabled people.

He is a member of the National Older Person’s Reference Group (NORG), COTA, National Seniors, British Age Pensioners Alliance (BAPA) and People with Disabilities WA.

Georgina Hook

Board Member

Photo of Georgie Hook

 

 

 

 

Grace Barnes

Board Member

Grace is a current student of Law and Behavioural Science at the University of Notre Dame (Fremantle). Combining these degrees facilitates her values of social justice and equity through the understanding of key psychological, sociological, political, and cultural disciples. To entrench herself in the legal profession, Grace has worked as a legal clerk for over a year at a law firm practising primarily in family, commercial and immigration law. Grace also assists with pro bono work aiding individuals with obtaining NDIS support.

Grace has always been passionate about supporting and advocating for marginalised communities. She has been volunteering for homeless organisations throughout Perth for over two years including Share the Dignity and a team leader for Orange Sky. These opportunities have provided her with first-hand experience to further her understanding and empathy regarding the challenges that individuals and communities are facing with homelessness and marginalisation.

As a result of having lived experience with disability, Grace has become an advocate for the rights of individuals with disability to improve their experience at an individual, relational, and collective level.

Kat Johns

Secretary

A photo of Kat with her body on a slight angleKat 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 Tharby

Board Member

Photo of Shazzy Tharby, she is looking straight at the camera with her head on a slight tilt.  Shazzy is wearing a hijab.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 Oliver

Board Member

Photo of Tom Oliver

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.

Brendan Cullinan

Chief Executive Officer

Photo of Brendan CullinanBrendan 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.