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Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc

Committee and Staff



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.




Deborah Wilson
Period:  2018 - current
Qualifications:  MAICD  FIML;  Diploma of Management

Professional Membership:  MAICD  FIML
Board Directorship - Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA),  Deputy-Chair (2017 - current)


Deborah has a wealth of experience in both the private and NFP sectors in management & governance, administration, client services, ICT, marketing, WHS 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 three 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. 


Ross Kingsun
Period:  2017 - current

Ross is currently on extended leave.


Simon Gable
Period:  2020 - current
Qualifications:  Bachelor of Psychology;  various roles within Qld Government and the disability sector;  Vice-President Giants Basketball Club.


Shane Marschall
Period: 2022 - current

Shane has recently joined us and will fill the Treasurer position while Ross is on leave.


Scott Bassett
Period: 2022 - current

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.

Click here for information on Management Committee vacancies


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

Professional Membership:  MAICD  FIML

Deborah holds dual roles, that of the Chief Executive Officer, an Executive Director of the Management Committee and Secretary of the Management Committee. 


Beverly Smith
Operations Manager
Qualifications: Cert IV Bookkeeping;  Cert III Financial Services; Certificate of High Recommendation for Outstanding Administration and Customer Service

My role with IATI over the years has been as its Office Administrator whose role was to manage its finances, human resources and administration functions.  This role has been re-classified to that of Operations Manager.  I provide assistance and/or support to the Management Committee, Chief Executive Officer, staff and service users. In my role my main focus is to provide excellence in customer service and to assist IATI’s Management Committee, Management and staff to achieve basic Human Rights for People with a Disability.

I have over 20 years’ experience in Business Administration and Bookkeeping, working in the Community Services (child care) industry, State Government, Construction and Service industries, and Community Centre volunteer work.  My work attributes include Professional integrity and ethics.



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

Leanne has joined IATI after over 10 years client services and office management experience with a national organisation. 


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.


Melissa Laing
Admin Assistant / Intake Officer
Qualifications: Cert IV Aging and Support;  Cert III Ageing Home and Community Care; Medication Skill Set

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.
"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier"


Mark Clayden
Advocate\NDIS Appeals Officer
Qualifications:  JP (Magistrates Court), Cert IV Training and Assessment with training in Management, Investigations, Conflict Resolution, WHS

Mark is hearing impaired and proudly identifies as a deaf person. Mac’s background is primarily military and policing, with a broad base of experiences in senior management roles across government, non-government and corporate sectors.

Mac has worked for and lived closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in rural and remote indigenous communities, as the CEO, in Justice, and Business Management roles.

Mac has in depth experience working for the NDIS, is passionate about people, disability and culture and is motivated by a high degree of moral purpose to protect and support vulnerable people who are unable to protect or represent themselves.


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


Joanna Mullins
Advocate\NDIS Appeals Officer
Qualifications:  Bachelor of Arts, Training in Negotiation and Advocacy

Joanna has worked extensively in a range of Public Sector organisations, including as Director of Policy for the Commonwealth Ombudsman.  She is passionate about good public administration and ensuring that government services are accessible to all who need them, particularaly those who are vulnerable and less able to represent themselves.  Joanna has experience in both systemic and individual advocacy and is familiar with Commonwealth and State Tribunals. 




Beverly Smith

Beverly commenced with us back 2012 full time though she had been engaged prior to this on a part time basis and now in 2021, she commences to celebrate her 10 years Long Service.

To say that Beverly has been the rock and the glue that has held the place together is an understatement.  Her knowledge of the organisation, its funding financial requirements and her multifaceted role has meant if you wanted to know something about the governance and operational side of the oganisation, she has been the go to person.  Her dedication and commitment to the organisation, management and her colleagues has been inspirational and recognised by all.

Beverly starts her well earned long service leave particiuarly over the next few months with a number of leave breaks up until June 2022 when she will be retiring.  

Anne Hansen

It has been a year of celebrations with Anne also reaching 10 years Long Service but unlike Beverly, she is not retiring just yet.

Anne is another dedicated Team member and has seen many changes to our organisation, increased funding and service delivery, increased red tape and reporting requirements while trying to maintain focus on our clients and the reasons why we are supporting them.