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The Working Party is made up of people with disability, researchers from some of Australia’s leading universities and independent advisors. The Working Party will exist until the NDRP is fully established with its own independent board. 

Anne Kavanagh portrait photo

Anne Kavanagh

University of Melbourne

Anne is Chair of Disability and Health at the University of Melbourne. Anne is a public health researcher who researches the social determinants of health inequalities. She has a specific interest in the social determinants of health and wellbeing of people with disabilities. Anne’s lived experience of disability informs her research.

Bruce Bonyhady portrait photo

Bruce Bonyhady

University of Melbourne

Bruce is Executive Chair and Director of the Melbourne Disability Institute, and Co-Chair of the NDIS Independent Review. Bruce is a disability reformer, economist, one of the key architects of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and was the inaugural Chair of the National Disability Insurance Agency from 2013 to 2016. Bruce is the father of three adult sons, two of whom have disabilities and in the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for services to people with disabilities, their families and carers.

Christina Ryan portrait photo

Christina Ryan

Independent Advisor 2021 - 2023

Christina is the CEO and Founder of the Disability Leadership Institute. Christina has been an active leader in the Australian disability community for over 20 years, working at an international, national and local level to change the diversity agenda, while mentoring and supporting people with disabilities to their own leadership success. She pioneered the use of mainstream forums by women with disabilities at the United Nations, and now mentors and teaches effective use of the UN for rights activists globally, while working as a leadership coach for people with disabilities.

Ellen Fraser-Barbour portrait photo

Ellen Fraser-Barbour

Independent Advisor

Ellen is an early career researcher undertaking her PhD at Flinders University. She is a Disability Developmental Educator (allied health) and has lived experience of disability. She passionate about advocacy and leadership of people with disability within research and policy settings. Her focus is on recognising and preventing discrimination, violence, harm and neglect. Ellen has worked in a range of different roles in the disability sector as a support coordinator, Developmental Educator, therapy assistant and family support worker.

Elizabeth Kendall portrait photo

Elizabeth Kendall

Griffith University 

Elizabeth is Program Director of the Disability and Rehabilitation Alliance Menzies Health Institute and Director of Griffith Inclusive Futures. She is also Director of The Hopkins Centre, in partnership with Metro South Health and other key organisations. Elizabeth has built a research agenda in rehabilitation and service systems for people who are managing the consequences of serious injuries, disabilities or chronic conditions. She has attracted over $50 million in research grants and consultancies, including 9 large Australian Research Council grants and has supervised 18 PhD students to completion. She has personal experience of disability in her family and has been a long-term advocate for better services.

Gordon Duff portrait photo

Gordon Duff

Independent Advisor 2020 - 2023

Gordon has more than 25 years’ experience in human services policy research, evaluation, organisational development and human rights advocacy. Gordon supported the development of the NDIS as a member of the Federal Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Sector and Workforce Capacity. As General Manager for National Disability Services, the provider peak body, he had oversight of national functions for policy development, research and sector development, and led the establishment of the Centre for Applied Disability Research.

Gwynnyt Llewellyn portrait photo

Gwynnyth Llewellyn

University of Sydney

Gwynnyth is Professor Emerita of Family and Disability Studies at the University of Sydney. Her research aims to develop health and social policy and practice solutions to the inequities experienced by parents with disability and their children and families with children with disability. Gwynnyth brings lived experience of family life with disability to her research and policy work.

Helen Dickinson portrait photo

Helen Dickinson

University of New South Wales Canberra

Helen is Professor of Public Service Research at University of New South Wales, Canberra.  Her expertise is in public services, with particular interest in areas that require different parts of government and other partners to work together in achieving aims. The policy and practice of disability policy and services has long been a research interest for her.  Helen has a particular interest in thinking about how we can get other forms of voices heard in policy and research to those that typically dominate conversations.  

Ian Watt portrait photo

Ian Watt

Independent Advisor

Dr Ian J Watt AC has had a long career as one of Australia’s most distinguished public servants, with nearly 20 years at the highest levels of the public service. His most recent and most senior appointment was as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and head of the Australian Public Service, a position he held from 2011 until the end of 2014. Prior to that, he was Secretary of the Departments of Defence; Finance; and Communications, Information Technology and the Arts between 2001 and 2011. Before that, he was Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Jackie Leach Scully portrait photo

Jackie Leach Scully

University of New South Wales

Jackie is Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Disability Innovation Institute at the University of New South Wales. Originally a molecular biologist, she spent many years at the University of Basel, Switzerland and at Newcastle University, UK before she moved to Sydney in 2019. Her work in bioethics focuses on the implications of biomedical and life science developments for people with disability. Jackie has been Deaf since childhood, is married to a musician, and has been active in disability rights for over 30 years.

Keran Howe portrait photo

Keran Howe

Independent Advisor

Keran is a social worker who has worked as a leader in the fields of health and disability over many years. As both a practitioner and a person with a disability she has been involved in advising government on policy reform representing issues related to community health, women’s health, violence prevention and the rights of people with disabilities.  

Lesley Chenoweth portrait photo

Lesley Chenoweth

Advisor 2020-2022

Lesley was the inaugural Professor of Social Work and former ProVice Chancellor of Logan Campus at Griffith University.  She has more than 35 years’ experience as a social work and human service practitioner, academic and activist chiefly in the disability area. In 2015 Lesley was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her distinguished service to higher education, particularly in the area of social work as an academic and administrator, and as a leading supporter of people living with disabilities. 

Scott Avery portrait photo

Scott Avery

Independent Advisor

Scott is a Senior Lecturer in Indigenous Disability at Western Sydney University and the research partner of First Peoples Disability Network (Australia). His is descendant from the Worimi people and is profoundly deaf. His research area on the intersection of Indigeneity and disability in rights and social policy. He has authored the research monograph Culture is Inclusion: A narrative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People with disability, and is the lead investigator in the ‘Living our ways’ research program that established a community-based disability research agenda from Australia’s Indigenous people. 

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