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New board appointments look to improve outcomes for vulnerable people

Last published on 11 Mar 2020 in News

Announcement of the new Ageing and Disability Advisory Board Members.

The first members of the new Ageing and Disability Advisory Board, which will look at advising the Commissioner on issues related to abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable older people and adults with disability, were appointed by the Ageing and Disability Commissioner today.

Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM, said the Board brings together the right level of diversity and expertise to tackle these issues and will explore any topic including improvements to services, policies and resources to help reduce and prevent abuse.

"We have deliberately chosen a diverse and knowledgeable group of people who have a lived experience with disability, ageing or caring, as well as qualified professionals, advocates and researchers with expertise in the sector," Mr Fitzgerald, AM said.

"The Board will explore any topic that will improve the lives and outcomes of older people, adults with disability, their families and informal carers, and specifically how we can help the broader community spot, respond and report cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation."

The Commissioner has appointed the following members for a two-year term:

Eileen Baldry

  • Deputy Chair, Disability Council NSW
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor Equity Diversity and Inclusion at UNSW and Professor of Criminology
  • Eileen was also recently appointed to the position of Chair, UNSW Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Board.

Elena Katrakis

  • CEO, Carers NSW
  • Member, NSW Carers Advisory Council
  • Previously a social worker with a particular focus on people with mental health and people experiencing homelessness.

Irene Gallagher

  • CEO, BEING - Mental Health and Wellbeing Consumer Advisory Group
  • Board member of the Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC)
  • Irene is the founder of Peer Work Matters, a consumer-led organisation focusing on developing and expanding the peer workforce in NSW.

Jan Primrose

  • Head of Professional Standards and Safety, Australian Services Union, representing workers in the aged, disability and community services workforce
  • Former social worker with a particular focus on working with vulnerable people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities, and domestic violence victims including children and adults with disability.

Joan Hughes

  • President, Council on the Ageing (COTA) NSW
  • CEO, Australian Veterans Children's Assistance Trust
  • Extensive experience in policy and research in the areas of ageing and for carers, including ageing parents of children with disabilities. Joan also volunteers for various community organisations.

Justine O'Neill

  • CEO, Council for Intellectual Disability
  • Previously the acting NSW Public Guardian helping people with dementia, intellectual disability, brain injury and mental illness, assisting individuals make significant decisions about their life.

Kathryn Greiner AO

  • Chair, Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing (MACA)
  • NSW Retirement Villages Ambassador
  • Former social worker with extensive experience in public policy.

Mark Grierson

  • CEO, Advocacy Law Alliance based in Newcastle
  • CEO, Mid North Coast Community Legal Centre and Disability Advocacy NSW.

Russell Westacott

  • Founding member and co-chair of Elder Abuse Action Australia
  • Involved with the National Council of National Seniors
  • CEO of Seniors Rights Service from 2011 to 2020
  • Extensive history of working in HIV and LGBTIQ+ rights-based organisations in Australia and the United States.

Wendy Morgan

  • Member, Ministerial Advisory Committee on Ageing (MACA) for the NSW Government
  • Director, Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council
  • An Aboriginal Woman from the Dyiringanj People of Wallaga Lake that forms part of the Yuin Nation on the Far South Coast of NSW.

Zoe Brissett

  • Recent member, Disability Council NSW
  • Zoe is employed in the private sector, and has extensive experience in disability research and policy from non-government organisations
  • Zoe has a lived experience of disability.

The Board will elect a chairperson and deputy chairperson within the first three months.

The Commission's work will also be supported by expert and sector reference groups, to be appointed this year.

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