Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc

Committee and Staff


Michael Collins
President/Publicity Officer



Tania Hornberg
Qualifications: Person with spinal cord injury - wheelchair user



Leanne Carmichael



 Ross Kingsun



Richard Cordukes
Qualifications:  Ambassador and Life Member of Wheelchair Sports NSW; World Record Holding Paralympian; volunteer member of a number of local community groups and Qld Sporting Wheelies

Richard's 40yrs of Self-Advocacy experience commenced in 1976 when he became a quadriplegic. 

The following year he took up wheelchair sports. His first representative experience was in 1979 when he was selected as a member of the NSW Team to compete at the National Wheelchair Games in Perth.  Richard then went on to compete in the Stoke Mandeville Games in the UK on 4 occasions 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1987. These were the unofficial World Championships at the time. As well Richard competed in a FESPIC Games in Hong Kong in 1982 and the Paralympic Games in Seoul in 1988.  Richard then went on to compete in the Stoke Mandeville Games in the UK on 4 occasions 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1987. These were the unofficial World Championships at the time. As well Richard competed in a FESPIC Games in Hong Kong in 1982 and the Paralympic Games in Seoul in 1988.  In January 1986 at the Australian National Wheelchair Games in Adelaide, Richard set a World Record for his classification in the 100m. He broke his World Record in Melbourne later that year.  Richard held this record until the Seoul Paralympics.

Another significant achievement for Richard was the introduction of Wheelchair Rugby to Australia. This came about after playing in the very first Wheelchair Rugby competition in Stoke Mandeville in 1981.

Richard served on the Board of Wheelchair Sports NSW for a total of 23 years and he was President in 1989 when the Board approved the first Oz Day 10K race. He actually competed in this event and made a return 10 years later in 1999 and again 10 years after that in 2009. 


We are looking for more community-minded people to join our committee.




Deborah Wilson
Chief Executive Officer  MAICD  AFIML
Director, Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA)
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. 
Deborah's nomination as a Director on the Board of Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) was accepted at its 2016-2017 AGM.  Deborah looks forward to working with DANA’s other Directors to strive to have a nation that includes and values people with disabilities and respects human rights for all.
Born and bred in Townsville (aside from 14 years in Darwin), she is a true North Queenslander, passionate about our region and its people. 


Beverly Smith
Office Administrator
Qualifications: Cert III Financial Services; Certificate of High Recommendation for Outstanding Administration and Customer Service

My role with IAT over the past five years has been as Administrator and to provide assistance and support to the Management Committee as Secretary. In these roles my main focus is to provide excellence in customer service and to assist IAT’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.


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


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: 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;  Currently studying Bachelor of Psychological Sciences

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. 


Jason Thomas
Advocate\NDIS Appeals Officer - Charters Towers