MEDIA RELEASE: New CEO for national disabled people’s organisation

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) today welcomes our new Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Smith, who from 12 August takes on the job in a time of change and growth for the organisation, and people with disability.

“I’m so pleased to be taking up this exciting and important role as CEO of PWDA, an organisation that has been leading the work on rights for people with disability for 40 years,” said Jeff Smith, incoming CEO, PWDA.

“As a person with disability myself, I know how far we have come towards being fully included in Australia, but also how far we still have to go before we are truly equal.”

“Jeff brings to PWDA a wealth of relevant and timely experience, including from his 14 years as Director of the Environmental Defenders Office of NSW. He is a solicitor with a Masters of Law from Sydney University (majoring in Environmental Law and Policy) and regularly teaches postgraduate and undergraduate courses at Macquarie and Sydney University,” said Dr David Abello, President, PWDA.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Jeff, given his experience in governance, resilience, strategic planning, capacity building and sustainability. I’m excited about exploring a range of emerging human rights issues for people with disability with Jeff including how people with disability can be at the forefront of measures to deal with climate change.”

Jeff Smith is currently on the Advisory Committee for the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law (having been Chair for 8 years), and the Board of the Haymarket Foundation. He was also a long-time Board member of the Total Environment Centre, the Environmental Planning and Law Association, and CLC NSW as well the Strategic Council for the Climate Institute.

“Our current Co-CEOs, Matthew Bowden and Therese Sands, will stay on at PWDA for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition,” said Dr Abello.

“I’m looking forward to working with the PWDA Board, our members, staff and supporters in advancing the rights of people with disability. We have lots of work to do, and I can’t wait to get started,” said Mr Smith.

More information:
People with Disability Australia
Media and Communications
0491 034 479

About People with Disability Australia: 
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is a national Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) that undertakes representation and advocacy to achieve the human rights of people with disability.  Our primary membership is made up of people with disability and organisations mainly constituted by people with disability.  We have a cross-disability focus – we represent the interests of people with all kinds of disability.  PWDA is a non-profit, non-government organisation.

Our vision is of a socially just, accessible and inclusive community, in which the human rights, belonging, contribution, potential and diversity of all people with disability are recognised, respected and celebrated with pride.  This vision underpins everything that we do.