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 of experience 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 various social inclusion projects.
Brendan is currently on extended leave, and Andrea Surman, our Operations Manager, will be Acting CEO.
Acting CEO and Operations Manager
Andrea has worked in leadership positions in the not-for-profit sector for over twenty years and more recently as an Assistant Director with the National Disability Insurance Agency. Andrea’s career has predominantly been in developing projects that create greater equity for society’s most vulnerable.
She has been married for over thirty-five years to her childhood sweetheart and has two adult children and two grandchildren.
Bachelor of Behavioural Science
Individual Advocacy Service Manager
Lisa has worked in the disability sector in London and Perth and has wide-ranging experience as a support worker, therapy assistant and advocate. Lisa is passionate about social justice and human rights issues.
Bachelor of Arts Major Sociology and Anthropology
Systemic Advocacy Projects Manager
Brianna has experience in the fields of human rights, legal studies, policy and science. She has worked in systemic and individual advocacy for the last ten years and advocated for the rights of older people, people experiencing elder abuse, survivors of human trafficking and people with disabilities.
Bachelor of Forensic Science; Bachelor of Science; Bachelor of Legal Studies (Hons); Cert IV Telephone Counselling; Cert IV Dementia Practice.
Brianna is currently on Parental leave.
Individual Adovocate - NDIS Appeals
Glenda is passionate about helping reduce the stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with disability, especially those who experience mental illness, as a part of that – a passion recognised in 2012 when she was awarded equal first prize for Human Rights Law. She has had a long and diverse career over the last forty years, bringing many different perspectives to her work.
Bachelor of Arts, B Laws, MBA.
Acting Project Officer - Individual Capacity Building
Idil has worked extensively as an advocate for refugee and migrant services for over 20 years. Her interpreting skills have helped shape the first all-ethnic women's association in Wellington, New Zealand. While in Australia, Idil has worked for the Department of Indigenous Affairs, Legal Aid and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Bachelor’s in Psychology (Victoria University, New Zealand), Currently Law Student at Murdoch University.
Julie has worked in the sector for several years, firstly as a Social Trainer with Disability Services Commission. Then, with the introduction of the NDIS, worked in the private sector, supporting people to transition to the NDIS. Julie spent 12 months working in aged care before returning to work with people with disability as an Advocate.
Julie loves football and is a keen supporter of the East Perth Football Club.
Lisa is passionate about promoting autonomy and supported decision-making, equality for all and removing systemic exploitation of vulnerable people. She is vocal about ending discrimination, racism, ageism and elder abuse. Lisa has ten years of experience as a financial counsellor. Walking alongside people who experience financial hardship, family and domestic violence and homelessness.
Lisa enjoys being a part of her community, meeting new people and listening to other people's life journeys.
Mark is passionate about improving access and inclusion for people with disabilities in all aspects of community living. He has worked extensively across State Government departments and all West Australian local governments to create more employment opportunities for people with disabilities, public information, services and facilities. He has also worked across industry groups to raise awareness and provision of access and inclusion.
Matt is passionate about human rights issues and empowering people to have their voices heard. Matt has experience working in the community services sector as a Therapeutic Carer and Therapeutic Case Manager in Melbourne, supporting young people who live in out-of-home care and supporting families to achieve safe reunifications. Matt’s most recent position was case managing a home in a transitional program for young people transitioning into independent living.
Outside of work, Matt loves swimming, photography, live music, and football.
Project Officer - Individual Capacity Building
Melissa is passionate about the needs, participation, and education necessary for the inclusion of people with disabilities. She has previously worked with various non-profit and community organisations, focusing on disability employment, fundraising and awareness campaigns. Additionally, Melissa has over ten years of lived experience as a disability, mental health, and aged carer.
Melissa is happy to be presenting the Empowered and Connected project, which focuses on supporting people with disability through delivering content and workshops around the DSP, NDIS, Self-Advocacy and Co-Design.
Bachelor of Science: Psychological and Behavioural Science, current.
Melissa is currently on leave.
Senior Project Officer
Natasha has worked across government and the not-for-profit sector for over 20 years, with the majority of her career working with the Department of Justice at the Perth Children’s Court, advocating on behalf of young people involved with the criminal justice system.
Natasha has also worked for the Wirrpanda Foundation, WA Country Health Service and the Perth Children’s Hospital, focussing on contract and project management to implement innovative and inclusive programs and services for the vulnerable people of WA.
Natasha has two beautiful daughters and loves long walks down the South Perth foreshore.
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Project Officer - Community Disability Advocate
Nicola arrived in Australia from the UK in 2013.
She changed her career to community services in 2018 after working for 20 years in the science industry.
Nicola’s own lived experience with mental health prompted her to use her experiences to help others.
Nicola has experience working as a community support worker and mental health recovery worker with knowledge in the NDIS space including NDIS access, planning and implementation.
Her passion is building relationships with all individuals and supporting them to find services and networks that allow them to live their best lives.
Nicola loves keeping fit, being outdoors and travelling.
Nicola has a Cert IV in Mental Health and Diploma in Community Services.
Dr Siyat Abdi
Born in Kenya, Dr Siyat arrived in South Australia in 2004. He became the first teacher who was blind in South Australia after appealing a decision by the Teachers Registration Board to reject his registration. Dr Siyat moved to Western Australia, where he taught an Introduction to Teaching and Early Childhood Education at Curtain University.
Project Officer - Business Accessibility Empowerment Project
He is passionate about human rights, equity and social justice. Shaun and his partner have two cats, and both love a good coffee date.