Council member profiles

Chair – Jane Spring

Jane Spring
Jane Spring

Jane Spring is an experienced NSW Government leader and board executive, most recently having served as Assistant Commissioner, Capability and Leadership with the NSW Public Service Commission.

Jane has extensive experience supporting the inclusion of people with disability, including as Ambassador of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s IncludeAbility project, and member of the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Event Access and Inclusion Group and the Olympic Access Advisory Committee for the Sydney Olympic Games.

In her role with the Public Service Commission, Jane was responsible for developing and implementing a range of programs and products to support the employment of people with disability in the public sector, including a Hiring Manager’s Toolkit, the Tailored Talent employment program, the EmployABILITY newsletter, and the establishment of DENConnect, an online forum for employees with disability.

Jane has expertise in the National Disability Insurance Scheme both as a participant and in her previous role as an Executive Director at the Department of Industry, in which she was responsible for working with business and industry to assist the market in preparing for the NDIS - and ensuring providers were ready to meet the very varied and often new demands of NDIS clients.

Jane’s term as Member expires on 5 December 2024.

Deputy Chair – Associate Professor Jill Duncan

Dr Jill Duncan
Dr Jill Duncan

Associate Professor Jill Duncan, BSc (Speech Pathology and Audiology), MEd (Education of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing), MEd Management, PhD, GAICD is an academic at the University of Newcastle. She has a diverse employment portfolio with experience not only as an academic in the education of children with disability, but also as an educational leader in programs for children and young people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and as an executive in the public service. Among other qualifications, Jill is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

As adolescents, Jill and her siblings became carers of their single-parent mother when she developed hemiplegia due to a brain injury. It was during this time that Jill learned first-hand the intense pressures of being a 'young carer'. In mid-adolescence, Jill acquired cholesteatoma (middle ear tumour-like growth), which resulted in multiple surgeries and a permanent conductive hearing loss. Jill’s son developed the same medical condition.

Jill has a long history of volunteer work in the education of children with disability, including her current Board position with Aussie Deaf Kids and as Editor-in-Chief (Australia) of Deafness & Education International, a top-tier journal. Jill also volunteers as a weekend respite foster carer for children with disability, most of whom have experienced trauma and are in long-term foster care.

As an academic, Jill supervises many doctoral students who are investigating various aspects of children living with disability, including those receiving the NDIS in regional, rural, and remote Australia. Jill’s two personal research foci include the buffering effect of social capital for adolescents with disability and non-discrimination in Australian primary and secondary schools.

Jill is honoured to be appointed a member of the NSW Disability Council and brings a full commitment to upholding its responsibilities under the Disability Inclusion Act.

Jill’s term as Member expires on 31st December 2023.

Paul Zeller

Paul Zeller
Paul Zeller

Paul Zeller lives in a small coastal town in rural NSW. Paul was diagnosed with Aspergers when he was 19 years old.

Paul is passionate about social justice issues. After attending a self-advocacy workshop run by Intellectual Disability Rights Service, he has become a determined advocate for the rights of people with disability. Since then, Paul has attended a number of State and National Conferences, and helped establish local self-advocacy organisation, South East Self Advocacy. Paul believes self-advocacy is particularly important, in particular to ensure that the voice of people with disability gets heard and are reflected in their NDIS Plan.

Paul is also has a keen interest in politics, current affairs and music. His career goals are to become a professional musician and to be in politics as a staffer or politician.

Paul is very excited about being a member of the Disability Council NSW. Paul is keen to bring about change in areas such as: better avenues into employment for people with disability; better access to transport for people with disability in regional areas; making sure advocacy is more widely promoted and available.

Paul’s term as Council Member expires on 31st December 2023.

Mark Robinson SC

Mark Robinson SC
Mark Robinson SC

Mark (BA/LLB (Hons)) is a Senior Counsel in NSW who practises in administrative law and general law.  He was a founding part-time Judicial Member of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal of NSW in the General Division and on the Appeal Panel.

Mark is lead author and editor of New South Wales Administrative Law, which covers Supreme Court judicial review, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), statutory interpretation, freedom of information and privacy. Mark is also editor and an author of a number of published legal books and has lectured in law for many years at the University of Sydney and the University of NSW.

Mark has congenital sensorineural hearing loss.

Mark’s term as Council Member expires on 5 December 2024.

Gail Le Bransky PSM

Gail Le Bransky PSM
Gail Le Bransky PSM

Gail Le Bransky has spent many years working in disability issues and applying customer-focused, innovative approaches to accessibility challenges. In 2019, Gail was recognised for this work when she received the NSW Public Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Gail’s experiences include leading the development and delivery of initiatives to deliver the Premier’s Priority to increase proportion of government sector roles held by people with disability to 5.6% by 2025; leading policy development on inclusive transport; helping modernise the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport; and representing Transport for NSW on NDIS Steering Committee and other NDIS governance structures. Gail also has lived experience of disability, following a stroke in December 2020.

Other projects led by Gail include the development of the Age of Inclusion campaign to increase employment of people with disability, and successful partnerships with Digital.NSW, Microsoft and Property NSW to increase capabilities in accessible ICT and deliver guidelines on accessible office accommodation.

Gail’s term as Council Member expires on 5 December 2024.

David Raphael

David Raphael
David Raphael

David Raphael is principal of St Lucy’s School, a Catholic school in Sydney for students with disability. David holds a Bachelor of Arts with the Diploma of Education, Master of Letters, Masters of Educational Administration, Management Certificate and Coaching Certificate. He has had 18 years of experience being a Principal of both mainstream and specialist disability schools.

David champions the rights of students with disability and their parent advocates for acceptance, inclusion and dignity.

David’s term as Council Member expires on 5 December 2024.

Julie Charlton

Julie Charlton
Julie Charlton

Julie Charlton is a person with disability who despite her youth has a wealth of experience in disability advocacy, including as a member of the Children and Young People with Disability Youth Executive Team, the Advocacy for Children and Young People NSW Council, and National Youth Disability Summit Representative for Children and Young People with a Disability. She is also an experienced ambassador, appointed as 2021 Hills Youth Ambassador, and previously serving as Don’t DIS My Ability and Northcott Client Ambassadors.

Julie also has an interest in young people and health, and is currently a member of the Health Literacy Advisory Council Youth Action Council, helping to create a Peer Support Program for NSW Health to support young people and their needs within the health system.

A student of Sports Management, Julie is an active member of Wheelchair Sports NSW as a coach and elite athlete.

Julie’s work has always been focused on bettering the lives of young people with disability through policy reform and advocacy, including by making improvements to the NDIS and to how local councils support residents with disability.

Julie’s term as Council Member expires on 5 December 2024.

Emily I’Ons

Emily I’Ons
Emily I’Ons

Emily I’Ons is a lawyer with lived experience of disability who is using her legal knowledge to advocate for the empowerment of people with disability, particularly in the workforce.

Emily’s background in law has included drafting advice for organisations promoting the human rights of people with disability overseas; reviewing draft legislation for compatibility with the the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and understanding how the legal framework of the Convention interacts with public policy affecting people with disability, such as in the health and employment contexts.

A member of Arthritis NSW, Emily is also interested in the intersection between how chronic diseases and disabilities are supported by government programs, and how these are not always accessible for those who need them. Emily advocates for well thought-out and strategic policies that consider the preferences of individuals with disability, in order to reform services to best suit people’s needs.

Emily’s term as Council Member expires on 5 December 2024.

Caroline Cuddihy

Caroline Cuddihy
Caroline Cuddihy

Caroline Cuddihy is the CEO of NSW Trustee and Guardian (NSW TAG), a NSW government agency within the Stronger Communities Cluster which protects, promotes and supports the rights, dignity, choices and wishes of the people of NSW including some of the state’s most vulnerable people. Services provided include Will-making, trustee, financial management and guardianship service.

Her prior position was as the CEO of Sunnyfield disAbility Services, a for-purpose NSW and ACT member-based charity providing person-centred supports to nearly 2,000 people primarily with intellectual disability.

Caroline advocates for better opportunities for people with disability and equal opportunities for older people and supporting diversity and inclusion. She has held memberships of boards and committees, including the AGAC (Australian Guardianship & Administration Council),and previously QMS (Quality Management Systems), University of Western Sydney (Hawkesbury) Member Council, and NDS (National Disability Services) NSW Committee and Alliance20.

A winner of the Women in Leadership Award in the Australian Growth Company Awards, Caroline is an experienced professional and passionate senior executive with a strong commitment to creating, sustainable opportunities and a good life of choice for disadvantaged and vulnerable people.

Caroline's term as Council member expires on 5 December 2024.

Kelly Cox

Kelly Cox

Kelly works with other disabled people to affect change around disability and human rights issues. That has included better provision of service within the NDIS, lobbying for a Royal Commission and a wide range of other local, national and international issues. As a disabled woman Kelly has first-hand understanding and lived experience of issues affecting disabled people. She has been actively involved in representing the rights of disabled women in disability rights spaces and is a contributing member of the disability rights movement in Australia.

Kelly is a descendant of the Worimi nation and has a developed understanding of the barriers disabled Aboriginal people encounter while trying to access services and supports. She is passionate about working to uphold the rights of all disabled people to ensure they are able to live the life they want and holds specific interest in violence prevention and intersectional issues and the way these further marginalise and disadvantage people with disability.

She believes that we should make sure all disabled people have a voice, including people who come from exceptionally marginalised backgrounds.

Kelly’s term as Council Member expires on 14 February 2027

Jodie Hoger

Jodie Hoger

Jodie Hoger was legally blind by the age of 16 and totally blind by 30. She was told at the age of 17 that she was stupid to want to be a teacher and that she would never do anything like that. This statement made long ago is still what fuels her passion for disability access and inclusion in education and employment. Jodie was instrumental in establishing disability services for students with disability at the University of Wollongong and became their first Disability Advisor. Moving into the vocational education and training sector, she has worked at TAFE NSW now for 27 years fulfilling her goal to become a qualified teacher in her role as Disability Teacher Consultant, supporting students with disability along with teaching in Community Services. Throughout her career Jodie has been a strong advocate for accessible information and inclusive teaching practice and has worked hard to change general perceptions and biases that many people have regarding employees with disability.    

As Jodie evolved and embraced her disabled identity, she became an established leader in her Organisation and secured the role to manage the implementation of TAFE NSW’s first Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP). She is now managing a team of Disability Teacher Consultants who support students with disability. Jodie is the current co-chair of the TAFE-Ability network for employees with disability. Her strengths are her ability to influence and motivate Allies, advocate for change and be future focused imagining a world where an individual can just be themselves  knowing that their environment is accessible and inclusive and they are accepted for who they are and their contribution rather than through the lenses of perceived barriers that others often wear.

Jodie’s term as Council Member expires on 14 February 2027

Matt Liddle

Matthew has worked for the NSW public service for the last 22 years. He suffered a spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident in 2002, and successfully transitioned to a new role within the same organisation. Matthew is passionate about accessibility in the workforce and advocating for those who wish to retain their engagement in the workforce despite disability. He also has a keen interest in improving public access for people in wheelchairs and in ensuring accessible design of public spaces.

Matthew completed a Diploma of Law in 2012 and as part of Matthew’s work he travels daily to courts across the Sydney metropolitan area. He has participated in a number of policy working groups within the Department of Communities and Justice. Matthew is also a member of Forward Ability Support.

Outside of work, Matthew enjoys participating in aquatic sports, amateur photography and meeting with people in his faith community.

Matt’s term as Council Member expires on 14 February 2027

Last updated:

18 Apr 2023

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