Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc

Committee and Staff



Michael Collins
Period:  2020 - current (previous term: 2015 - 2019)
Qualifications:  JP(Qual) and Civil Services (Legal) with training in Management, Mentoring, Mediation and Complaints, Workplace Rehabilitation


Richard Cordukes
Period: 2020 - current  (previous 2016-2019)
Qualifications:  IATI Ambassador, Ambassador and Life Member of Wheelchair Sports NSW, World Record Holding Paralympian and
a volunteer member of various local community groups and Qld Sporting Wheelies.  Richard's 40+ years of Self-Advocacy experience commenced in 1976 when he became a quadriplegic.


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


Ross Kingsun
Period:  2017 - current


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






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.



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

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



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. 




Anne Hansen
Recipient 2020 Rotary Club of the Port of Townsville Pride of Workmanship Award

It was with great pleasure that we nominated Anne for the Pride of Workmanship Award for outstanding work at Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc.

Anne has been an Advocate to those with disability and their families within our wider community for 9 years.  She has dedicated herself to the betterment of those with disability to ensure their voices, needs and rights have been heard.  Anne has always taken great pride in her work as an Advocate and has been a great asset to our organisation.

Over the past twelve months, Anne has presented our Self-Advocacy Workshops across the region along with another staff member, Mac who joined her as the Workshop Facilitator.

Joanna Mullins
Disability Royal Commission - Public Hearing 6, September 2020 - Letter of Thanks from the Chair

...Your evidence, both in the form of your written submission and oral evidence provided significant insights into the regulation of the use of restrictive practices in Queensland, and the challenges facing both people with disability and their advocates in navigating that framework.

I would also like to acknowledge the important role played by advocacy services in protecting people with disability from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. As you know, the Royal Commission is looking into many different types of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability and we can only do this by hearing directly from people about their experiences. The assistance of organisations like the Independent
Advocacy North Queensland is vital in helping us to understand the issues that might be investigated through our public hearings, and in making contact with people who may wish to share their stories.