Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc

Committee and Staff


Michael Collins
President/Publicity Officer:  2015 - current
Qualifications:  JP(Qual) and Civil Services (Legal) with training in Management, Mentoring, Mediation and Complaints, Workplace Rehabilitation

Michael has a desire to assist disadvantaged persons who are unable to represent themselves through circumstances placed upon them by decisions of other people, companies or government departments or agencies.  He was employed in the Queensland Public Service for 35 years and has served on the Boards of Lions and Apex in the capacity of President, Secretary and Treasurer.  Michael was also the Chairperson of the Townsville Public Sector Child Care Assoc for 2 years.  This organisation conducted "Mike Reynolds Early Childhood Education Centre".  Michael is also a volunteer with Funstars, a Special Needs Zumba Fitness Class.


Tania Hornberg
Vice-President:  2015 - current
Qualifications: Person with spinal cord injury - wheelchair user


After her injury in 1991, Tania became self advocate and heavily involved in education and awareness to bring about equality and positive change in our Political, Economic and Social arena that disadvantages PwD.  Tania joined IATI in 2013 and immediately became a committee member.  Unfortunately Tania left Townsville in 2014 but moved back to the region in 2015 and re-joined IATI.   We quickly asked her to come back on board the Management Committee and she was nominated as the Vice-Chair (as the position then known as).  Tania continues her work as an advocate for those with PwD, works within the sector and is an active community member of her home town of Charters Towers.


Deborah Wilson
Secretary:  2018 - current
Qualifications:  MAICD  FIML;  Diploma of Management
Deputy-Chair, Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA)

Deborah has held a number of Executive committee roles of NFPs and sporting groups over the past 15 years.  Deborah joined the Board of Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) as a Director in 2016-2017 and was appointed Deputy-Chair in June 2018.  DANA strives to have a nation that includes and values people with disabilities and respects human rights for all.  Deborah is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders.


 Ross Kingsun
Treasurer:  2017 - current



Melissa Baker
Member:   newly appointed October 2019
Qualifications:  Bachelor of Laws; Bachelor of Commerce; Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice; Cert IV in Government (Project Management); Cert III Individual Support (Disability)
Current Studies:   Graduate Cert. of Disability Policy and Practice

Melissa has recently joined us and her bio will be available shortly.


Vicki Newton
Member:  newly appointed 2019 AGM


Vicki has recently joined us and her bio will be available shortly.






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


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.  With this diverse background, Deborah leads our team working longside the Management Committee to lead our organisation into the future.  In 2013 Deborah was a Finalist in the AIM's Excellence Awards - NFP Manager - Townsville Region. 

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.



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.recently joined us and his bio will be available shortly.


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. 


Jessie Taylor
Advocate\Intake Officer
Qualifications:  Cert IV Disability (incl Advocacy Skill Set);  Cert II Business; 
Current Studies:  Bachelor of Psychological Sciences;  Certificate of Advocacy


Jessie has quality experience in areas including disability & behavioural management, special needs education, carer support services, homelessness & rehabilitation.  She has worked for a variety of Government and Non-Government services and has gained quality rapport with many service providers within the North Queensland region.  She is very passionate about achieving great outcomes for those who identify as having a disability as she understands the challenges involved due her personal experience with her own disability and learning impairments.