dignity for disability Board
Our board is made up of people with disabilities, those caring for people with disabilities and professionals who have made a strong working committment to our cause. We are all passionate about giving all Australians a "fair go" and an equal opportunity for a full life in their chosen communities.
A former footballer in the SANFL, Rick played in 3 premierships for the Norwood Football Club, and is still currently active on Committees within the club including being a Board Member of the Redlegs Foundation. He also served as the Club Physiotherapist for 15 years after retiring from the game in 1987.
He has also worked in the private health industry as an accredited APA Sports Physiotherapist and has been a partner of the Wakefield Sports clinic for the last 20 years. Rick was President of the Australian Sports Federation Education Committee and served for many years on the Private Practitioner Group Committee (SA Branch). Rick also has post graduate qualifications in Financial Investment and Business management and has interests in property and share investment.
Rick has 2 children, a daughter Taylah and a son Mitchell. Mitchell has autism spectrum disorder and presently attends St Patrick’s Special School. As a result he is a member of Autism SA and is a strong advocate on many disability issues including the provision of services for people with autism.
Rick is currently the President of d4d and has been an active spokesperson for the organisation. For example, he ran as a d4d lower house candidate in the Norwood Electorate during the 2006 and 2010 State elections.
Pam is originally from Tasmania and has lived in Adelaide for 25 years. She works in the higher education sector as an academic librarian.
She is the mother of Lucy (13) and Tim (8). Lucy has autism but was not formally diagnosed until aged 6. The delay in diagnosis had a significant impact on the family in terms of access to networking and support groups, autism-specific intervention, information and services. Lucy attends St Ann’s Special School.
Pam has major concerns about access to justice, prevention of abuse, service provision, future care and living arrangements and a multitude of other issues that affect Lucy and the many others in her situation. She wants to add her voice and support to the call for a better deal for people with disabilities.
Ria is a first year board member with accounting qualifications. Ria has undertaken the Treasury role, taking over from retiring board member, Norman Ainsworth.
No photo available at time of publication.
Communications Sub-Committee Chair
Born with a rare neuromuscular disorder and raised on a farm in a small SA rural community, the issues associated with living life with a disability were highlighted to Kelly early in her life. Kelly soon learnt the importance of self-advocacy within the fields of education, health care, accessibility and social inclusion. As such, Kelly developed a determined nature, empathy for those less fortunate and a passion for social justice, especially for those with a disability.
Kelly moved to Adelaide and proudly lived independently and completed a BA in Library and Information Management at the University of South Australia. Much to her delight and relief, Kelly soon gained her first job - an information researcher for a Construction Research Company. Kelly enjoyed the independence, purpose and social contact achieved from working. After a few years, Kelly wanted more, so in addition to work she decided to study Certificate 4 in Disability Work and begin an involvement with Muscular Dystrophy South Australia (MDSA) – a relationship that continues to strengthen today. Kelly now works part-time as the Client Services Support Officer at MDSA and volunteers at every opportunity – loving every minute. She also enjoys her weekly volunteering at her local nursing home, assisting residence with craft and game sessions.
After being inspired by Kelly Vincent on numerous occasions, and receiving gentle encouragement from family and friends, Kelly felt getting involved with d4d was the next logical step for her. Now on the d4d Board, Kelly looks forward to meeting you and joining the fight for a “fair go” for all.
Policy Sub-Committee Chair
Phillip has been working as a disability advocate for 23 years. He has extensive experience in both accommodation and support models for people with disabilities, and how they impact on individuals receiving services and systemic and individual advocacy.
Phillip sits on a number of boards and committees and is currently chair of the National Young People in Nursing Homes Alliance. Phillip is also Vice-Chair of the South Australian Council of Social Services Policy Council and the Chair of both the Board of Directors of Community Support Inc and the Disability and Advocacy Complaints Service of South Australia. Phillip has served on the Minister’s Strategic Housing Advisory Committee and the National disability advisory committee.
Phillip also works as a presenter and producer of a health and disability radio program on 1197 Rph Adelaide. Furthermore, he provides training and support in the effective use of media and has worked in both community and commercial broadcasting for 26 years.
Fundraising Sub-Committee Chair
Garry is a married 50 year old father to 5 children aged from 7-26. Up until he was 40 years of age, the concept of “disability” had never entered his life. Then his 2 youngest sons, Reagan and Declan, were born and later diagnosed with severe autism. Since then he has been a strong advocate for autism awareness, including speaking at Rotary and Lions club dinners. He has featured in newspapers, radio, TV and spoken at 4 rallies on parliament steps. Three years ago he and his wife Chrissa decided to move from their home town of Port Pirie and move to Adelaide to get access to more therapies and respite for their 2 youngest boys.
After his second speech at a rally for autism awareness on parliament steps, he was approached by Dr Paul Collier and Rick Neagle and asked if he would be interested in joining the Dignity for Disability Party and run for a seat in the lower house in the upcoming state election. Garry accepted this challenge and got great satisfaction from the experience. Shortly after that he was approached by the Carers Alliance Party and ran for the Senate in the Federal election.
Since joining Dignity for Disability, Garry has realised that it is not just autism that is being let down by state and federal policies but every form and every aspect to do with disabilities. Furthermore, he realised that the only way to get change is through the political front.
He is now on the board of Dignity for Disability and is Chair of the fundraising committee with the objective of raising funds for our next campaign.
Volunteer Sub-Committee Chair
Meredith is currently studying a Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Social Planning at Flinders University.
Raised by deaf parents, Meredith is therefore is reasonably fluent in sign language. (Although, she thinks she should be better!!)
Meredith sustained spinal injuries following a car accident in 2003. As such she is interested in disability related issues and politics but most passionate about people and social justice.
Meredith looks forward to a time when all the disability related advocacy groups are working together under the banner of Dignity for Disability and are consequently a national political power force.
Tony started at Johnston Withers in January 1985. He became a Director in 1991 and Managing Director in 2005. Tony has been a member of the Law Society of South Australia for over 20 years and is currently the State President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance (SA Branch) and also the current National Director for South Australia.
Tony practiced in very broad areas of the law until the late 1990s when personal injury, Workcover and criminal work became the predominant areas in which he acts. He is a great believer in persistence and finds the practice of the law at Johnston Withers invigorating. Being from rural South Australia originally, he particularly enjoys providing legal services to the rural community in this State. Johnston Withers adopts a practical, team-orientated approach to solving clients' problems and bringing resolution to disputes. He relishes working on those matters that many would consider too hard to take on.
Tony enjoys all sports but particularly cricket and football and being active. His family is his greatest interest in life.
Favourite quote: "Carpe diem"