Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

New voices to speak up for Australians with a disability

Today I am pleased to announce the appointment of several new members to the National Disability Advisory Council, the Government’s community-based advisory group on disability issues.

The six new members from across Australia will ensure that the many and diverse views of people with disabilities, their families, carers and service providers continue to be heard.

The new members are Mrs Robyne Burridge (NT); Dr Lynne Davis (NSW); Dr Jill Duncan (SA); Ms Christine Kerr (WA); Ms Cheryl Shuttleworth (Tas); and Mr Ian Trewhella AM (ACT).

I am also pleased to advise that the Council will be chaired by Mr Ian Spicer AM, for a further two years. Mr Joe Gamblin (QLD) and Dr Lynne Davis (NSW) have been appointed as Deputy Chairs.

The Council has a key role in advising the Government on its efforts to deliver a better deal for people with a disability, such as the $1.7 billion Australians Working Together package, and the current re-negotiation of the Commonwealth State Disability Agreement.

The Council will continue to have a pivotal role in providing advice to Government, as well as developing partnerships with the business sector and the community.

The Howard Government is committed to working closely with the disability sector, business, communities and individuals to ensure that we deliver the best possible outcomes for people with a disability.

I look forward to working with the new Council, while also taking the opportunity to thank and acknowledge the past and outgoing Council members for their very valuable contributions to a number of important Government initiatives.

A full list of the Council members is attached.

National Disability Advisory Council Members

Existing members

  • Mr Ian Spicer AM (Chair), Victoria. Carer. Member, Welfare Reform Consultative Committee; Chair Carer’s Voice Steering Group; Deputy Chair, Interim National Indigenous Disability Network.
  • Mr Joe Gamblin (Deputy Chair), Queensland. Service provider. Executive Director Horizon Foundation Inc.
  • Ms Margaret Cooper OAM, Victoria. Person with a disability. Social worker; researcher and published author on disability issues.
  • Mrs Barbara Alexander AO, Victoria. Carer. Member of the Management Committee of Disability Advocacy Information Service, Wodonga/Albury; member of Association for Children with a Disability.
  • Mr Michael Sullivan, New South Wales. Person with a disability. Member of Advisory Board to NSW Council for Intellectual Disability; President Chatswood Social Club Inc.
  • Mrs Jan Bishop, Western Australia. Service Provider. Manager, Young Disabled Services, Brightwater Care Group; President, Head Industry Council of Australia; and Chair of Headwest.
  • Mr Tom Monks, Western Australia. President, Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre; delegate on the National Youth Roundtable (1999).
  • Mr Phillip Beddall, South Australia. Person with a disability. Chair of Disability Action Inc; Consumer Director of Community Support Inc; Chair Shelter SA.
  • Mrs Elsie Wanatjura, Northern Territory. Service Provider. Disability Support Worker to the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council Aboriginal Corporation.

New appointments

  • Dr Lynne Davis (Deputy Chair), New South Wales. Person with a disability. Member of the Board of Directors Blind Citizens Australia; Member of Council of the Royal Blind Society of NSW.
  • Ms Chris Kerr, Western Australia. Person with a disability. Lecturer in disability services, former Board member of the Disability Services Commission of WA and former member of the WA Advisory Council to the Minister for Disability Services.
  • Dr Jill Duncan, South Australia. Person with a disability and a Carer. Director Cora Barclay Centre for Deaf Children, Member International Professional Section of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
  • Mrs Robyne Burridge, Northern Territory. Person with a disability. Manages a disability brokerage business which provides case management, advocacy, counselling and information services; Alderman on Darwin City Council.
  • Ms Cheryl Shuttleworth, Tasmania. the parent of a child with autism and President of the Association for Children with a Disability.
  • Ian Trewhella AM, ACT. Person with a disability. Extensive experience in providing services for people with a disability, owns and operates a small business called the Wheelchair Factory.