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Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc

Committee and Staff

2022 - 2023  MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

PRESIDENT
PUBLICITY OFFICER
 

Vicki Saylor
Period:  September 2021 - current
Qualifications/Directorships:  Board Director - Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA);  Board Director - Manbarra Aboriginal Corporation 

Vicki Saylor is Manbarra Traditional Owner. Vicki is a passionate local dedicated to collaborating towards achieving positive outcomes for the Palm Island community and indigenous youths. Vicki has been actively involved in cultural engagement and as a community liaison for more than 30 years. She has worked across community, government, and private enterprise.

Vicki loves the stage, she is a passionate singer, performer and is a strong advocate for the local community. Vicki feels humbled by the opportunity to have been raised with a responsibility to be a role model and representative for the community and the country she represents.

VICE-PRESIDENT

Scott Bassett
Period: 2022 - current
Qualifications:  Lived experience, BA in Journalism/Philosophy (double major)

Scott has joined us as a consultant to the Management Committee sharing his knowledge and expertise with us in a number of business and governance areas including advertising and marketing.

Scott become an amputee approx. 10 years ago and he found his early experience with professionals and the tyranny of low expectations unpleasant.  This led him to taking an interest in disability and self‐determination for those with a disability. 

Scott believes the organisation has the ability to assist people with disability and others with their journey to self-determination and he would like to be a part of that.

SECRETARY

Simon Gable
Period:  2020 - current
Qualifications:  Bachelor of Psychology; 

Simon has been a member of the Management Committee since 2020 and now in 2022, takes over the role of Secretary.  Simon has worked within the disability as well as various Queensland government departments relative to the disability sector for over 10 years.  

He is also the Vice-President Giants Basketball Club and a Basketball Australia qualified Level 2 Sports Coach Qualified for local club, regional, state and national levels. 

TREASURER

Ross Kingsun
Period:  2017 - current
Qualifications:  Accountant (Retired)

After joining the Management Committee in 2017 as Treasurer, Ross briefly stepped aside in 2021 to take up the Vice-President position before returning to the role of Treasurer.

Ross is a retired accountant who shares his accounting knowledge and expertise with us  

MEMBERS:

Casie Scott
Period:  2022 - current
Qualifications:  Bachelor of Journalism;
Accomplishments:  International Association for PUblic Participation; Australian Government 2020 Volunteers Certificate;  Winner 2011; 

Casie is a parent of a child with special needs and is a proud advocate of people with disabilities. 

With over 20 years experience in the communications, stakeholder engagement and government relations sector, Casie has joined us to lend her expertise across these fields to the organisation.

Casie is an accomplished award winning journalist having won the Qld Multimedia Awards "Best Television News Story" award in 2011.   

 

Peter Demopoulos
Period: 2022 - current
Qualifications:  Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood (P-3); Associate Diploma in Children's Services

Peter has a lived experience of disability as a carer and advocate for a family member along with previous roles as a Senior Community and Mainstream Engagement member of the NDIA and Senior Project Officer for the Queensland Council of Social Services. He also brings with him not only his expertise across early childhood education but his knowledge and experience as an Advisor for the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NiAA).

Peter has worked with our team of advocates and knows first hand the great work they do to support their clients.

CONSULTANTS

 

Click here for information on Management Committee vacancies

MANAGEMENT

Deborah Wilson 
Chief Executive Officer 
Qualifications: 
Diploma of Management;  Cert III IT Software Application Specialist; 

Board Directorship - Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA),  Deputy-Chair (2017 - 2022)
IATI Management Committee:  Secretary/Executive Director 2018 - 2022
Professional Membership:  MAICD  FIML

Deborah has a wealth of experience in both the private and NFP sectors in management & governance, administration, client services, ICT, marketing, WHS (including Chief Fire Warden and WHS Representative) and event management.  Along with this, she also has  Management Committee experience having served in a variety of roles in both the business and sporting arenas.  For the past four years, she has been the Deputy-Chair of Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA), the peak body for advocacy organisations across Australia.

With this diverse background, Deborah leads our team working longside the Management Committee to lead our organisation into the future.  Deborah was a Finalist in the AIM's Excellence Awards - NFP Manager - Townsville Region. 

 

Leanne Ashcroft
Operations Manager
Qualifications:
Diploma of Child Care;  Cert II Business Office Administration; 

Leanne joined us in 2019 as an Administration Officer after over 10 years client services and office management experience with a national aged care  organisation.  Leanne had been assisting the then Operations Manager in finances, human resources and administration functions and providing support to the Chief Executive Officer and Management Committee.

Leanne became Acting Operations Manager when the then manager commenced Long Service Leave and upon their retirement, took over the role.

 

 

ADMINISTRATION

Sarah Parker
Compliance Officer - Part Time
Qualifications:
  Social Science Degree; Cert IV Volunteer Management;  JP Qualified;  HSO Workplace Delegate

Sarah has a varied career in welfare services working within and for Defence, Corrections, Aged Care, Justice and CALD organisations both NFP and in Government.  She is driven by a sense of justice and the importance of community in benefitting people’s lives.

Sarah established the volunteer organisation ‘Court Network’ when it branched into Townville, training and supporting volunteers to support any court user.  Her management experience, ability to see the big picture and connect with people have provided Sarah with a strong foundation continuing to work in the helping services.

 

Fiona Moncrieff
Reception\Intake Officer
Qualifications:
  Master of Social Work (PQ);  Bachelor of Social Sciences, Majoring in Psychology;  other relevant certificates

 

ADVOCATES

Helen De-Campo
Advocate\NDIS Appeals Officer
Qualifications:
JP(Qual) and various others including a Masters of Social Work (PQ)
Current Studies:   Certificate of Advocacy

Helen has experience working with rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  She has worked in the Mental Health sector for a couple of years as well as in the disability sector. 

Helen has various qualifications which include a Masters of Social Work (PQ) and has worked for various Government Departments and extensively in the Legal Sector.

 

Anne Hansen
Advocate\NDIS Appeals Officer
Qualifications:
Certificate of Advocacy;  Certificates in the Human Resource Sector including Advocacy Skills; Cert III in Retail Store Operations

I am a lover of quotes, they reflect who I am and my passions. Experienced in many roles, from sales/administration to small business owner to manager in retail and rehabilitation co-ordinator, I have found my niche in the client services sector where I bring experience in people relations, professionalism, empathy and strong client focus.

Advocacy is my passion to the vulnerable, marginalised, abused and to people who’s rights are being undermined and ignored. A strong focus on righting a wrong. Identifying systemic issues and taking on board to the relevant parties. Rejoicing with clients when an outcome has been reached is great satisfaction.

"Choose a job you love - and you will never have to work a day in your life." - Confucius

 

Melissa Laing
Advicate\NIDS Appeals Officer
Qualifications:
 Cert IV Aging and Support;  Cert III Ageing Home and Community Care; Medication Skill Set and other relevant certificates

Melissa has experience in a variety of administrative roles in both the Public and Private sector spanning over 20 years.  Melissa has a happy disposition, always willing to go that extra mile with a strong focus on customer service. Melissa enjoys new challenges, developing her skills and has a particular interest in community services that care for people who are disadvantaged.

After commencing with us in late 2021 as our Admin Assistant\Intake Officer, Melissa has recently been appointed as an Advocate\NDIS Appeals Officer.  Coming from the Aged and Community, Melissa brought great insight and empathy to the role and she has quickly developed a strong understanding and developed a keen interest in advocacy and becoming an advocate.
"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier"

 

ACCOLADES FOR OUR AMAZING TEAM MEMBERS

Anne, Helen and Melissa have done an amazing job over the past months going over and beyond filling gaps in services due to staff shortages.  They have been truly dedicated to their clients and all seeking advocacy.

Our amazing administration team have pitched in and gone the extra mile as well. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to our incredible team.