Our people

Our Board

AFDO is governed by a Board of Directors and managed by the Chief Executive Officer.

Members of our Board of Directors are elected from nominees within not-for-profit disability organisations that are full members of AFDO. The Board can also appoint two individuals on the basis of their skills and experience.

All AFDO Board members are required to be people with disability or have a lived experience of disability, with the exception of co-opted Board members appointed by the Board of AFDO for their specialist expertise.

 

Liz Reid – Chair

Nominated by Physical Disability Australia

Liz Reid's photoLiz has more than 25 years’ experience in the community, disability and social justice sectors. And she has dedicated her career to helping others find equal opportunities to participate fully in their communities.

Liz is the Executive Officer of YouthWorX NT, a not-for-profit organisation committed to partnering with Territorians to support their lifelong social, economic and career success. She is responsible for the management of diverse programs, including life and career coaching, and the delivery of services to support employability skills. Liz administers the overall operation, strategic development and corporate health of the organisation.

Prior to YouthWorX NT, Liz worked for 10 years as the National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) for the Northern Territory. This role provided information, coordination and referral services to increase and improve transitional pathways for Territorians with a disability.

Liz is the current President of Physical Disability Australia (PDA), a member of the City of Darwin Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee, and a member of the National Disability Insurance Agency Independent Advisory Council.

Richard Dent – Deputy Chair

Richard Dent's photoRichard is the Chief Executive Officer of Leadership Victoria and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Williamson Community Leadership Program, and Harvard Club of Victoria. He has been involved in disability services since 1993, where he worked in a UnitingCare agency, followed by roles at the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) and CEO of The Tipping Foundation for 12 years.

Richard was a significant contributor to the NDIS campaign as part of the Premier’s NDIS taskforce. He has also filled the roles of Chair of the Victorian Every Australian Counts Campaign and as Victorian Chair of National Disability Services.

In Richard’s current role as CEO of Leadership Victoria, he helps to develop leaders so they can make progress on complex issues. He also helps broker skilled leaders to support social, economic and environmental causes. Richard maintains an ongoing involvement in disability issues.

Frank Hall-Bentick – Treasurer

Nominated by Disability Resources Centre

Frank Hall-Bentick's photoFrank has a disability called familial peripheral neuropathy. He lives in Melbourne and has been involved in disability empowerment for the last thirty years.

Over this time, he has been employed in the Equal Opportunity Unit of the Australian Public Service Board (nine years), as Coordinator of Disability Resources Centre (nine years) and as a Disability Officer at Centrelink (15 years).

Since the International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981, Frank has been at the forefront of disability rights in local, state, national, regional and world organisations, particularly through Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI). For 20 years he has worked closely with the United Nations in Bangkok as an invited expert. More recently, he has been an active member of the International Disability Caucus and contributed to its work on the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in both Bangkok and New York.

Over the years, Frank has received a number of awards for his work including:

  • 1992 – International Plaque from DPI awarded for distinguished and unstinting service in the cause People with Disabilities in the Asia Pacific Region
  • 2001 – Australian Centenary of Federation Award for long and outstanding service to disability organisations and people with disabilities
  • 2011 – National Disability Award – Minister’s Lifelong Achievement
  • 2012 – Order of Australia Award
  • 2012 – Selected by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) as one of 10 Asia Pacific Disability Champions to promote the Incheon Decade Strategy and Goals.

Today, Frank continues to be involved at an international level through DPI and the International Disability Alliance. At a national level, he is involved with AFDO and the Australian Disability Development Consortium, and is the Chairperson and founder of the Australian Disability and Indigenous Peoples Education Fund. At a state level, Frank is Chairperson of the Disability Resources Centre and continues to be involved in disability reference committees with the Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission, the Office of the Public Advocate, and his local Yarra Council disability advisory committee.

Nick Rushworth – Director

Nominated by Brain Injury Australia

Nick Rushworth's photoNick Rushworth has been Executive Officer of Brain Injury Australia since 2008. He was also President of the Brain Injury Association of New South Wales between 2004 and 2008.

In 1996, Nick sustained a severe traumatic brain injury from a bicycle accident. Before joining Brain Injury Australia, Nick worked for the Northern Territory Government setting up their new Office of Disability.

Formerly a producer with the Nine Television Network’s Sunday program and ABC Radio National, Nick’s journalism has won a number of awards, including a Silver World Medal at the New York Festival, a National Press Club award and a TV Week Logie Award.

John Simpson – Director

Nominated by Blind Citizens Australia

John Simpson's photoJohn’s career has included appointments as Executive Officer with Blind Citizens Australia and Radio Print Handicapped (RPH) Australia; National Program Manager for the Lions Eye Health Program; and five years as National Manager within Vision Australia’s Accessible Information Solutions Division. In this role he managed the Audio Description Service, Vision Australia Radio and the Division’s broader operations at various times.

Alongside these appointments and his ongoing Directorship with Information Alternatives, John has undertaken many research and project management assignments to address the information needs of people with a print disability.

John is currently:

  • President of Blind Citizens Australia
  • Deputy Chair of Euroa Health Inc.
  • Director of Australian Blindness Forum
  • Director of AFDO
  • Director of Information Alternatives

Debbie Kennewell - Director

Nominated by Deaf Australia

Debbie’s Bio is coming soon.

 

Peter Miller – Director

Nominated by Deafness Forum of Australia

Peter Miller's photoPeter completed his education through Deaf and mainstream schools and university. He now holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Electronics Engineering and a Master of Business Administration.

Peter’s educational and work experience fuelled a lifelong passion and belief that equity of access to telecommunications, social and education services is vital for the Deaf and hearing-impaired communities. He also grew to believe this could be best achieved through the delivery of services that are used and accepted by the wider community.

Peter has served as Chair of the Board of Australian Communication Exchange, Director of Deaf Resources Australia and President of Deaf Education Network. He is a Life Member of the Deaf Society of NSW and joined the Board of Deafness Forum in 2010.

Kevin Stone - Director

Nominated by Inclusion Australia (NCID)

Kevin is the Chair of Inclusion Australia which was formerly known as National Council on Intellectual Disability (NCID).

Kevin is also the CEO of VALID (Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability), a Victorian organisation which empowers adults with intellectual disabilities.  Kevin worked with other parents and people with disabilities to set up VALID over 25 years ago.

Kevin has over 40 years experience in the disability sector, and has worked relentlessly to improve the lives of people with disability, both as an individual advocate and systemically by influencing state and national policy.  He has also represented people with disability and their families on numerous Reference Groups and Ministerial Advisory Committees over the years.

He has four children, three of whom have disabilities and one of whom has an intellectual disability.  Kevin’s son, Damien lived in an institution until the age of 11 when he joined Kevin’s family.

Janine Neu - Director

Nominated by People with Disabilities WA (PWdWA)

Janine was 35 weeks pregnant when she experienced sudden onset of Acute Transverse Myelitis in 1996, rendering her quadriplegic. Following the birth of her son and 6 months of hospital rehabilitation, she returned home to her family to challenge the WA Government for essential funding to enable her family to stay together.

Following receipt of permanent funding, Janine could continue to lead her life in her community.

Janine has personally focused on health and physical rehabilitation since hospital discharge whilst navigating an opaque, complex and compartmentalized system of services for people with disabilities. Staying healthy and active has resulted in Janine never being admitted to hospital since her discharge from the Spinal Unit in 1997 as well as continuing to achieve functional improvement.

She is passionate about maximising opportunities for people with disabilities as well as supporting individual and systemic advocacy. She serves as Treasurer of People with Disabilities WA and is a committee member of ACROD and Companion Card External Appeals in WA.

Emilio Savle - Director

Nominated by Disability Justice  Advocacy