MEDIA RELEASE: People with Disability Australia Appoints Interim CEO

2 December 2020

THE Board of People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Seb Zagarella as Interim CEO of PWDA.

Mr Zagarella will help reposition PWDA as a dynamic, resilient and sustainable organisation which promotes and advances the rights of people with disability.

PWDA President Samantha Connor said that Mr Zagarella, who has extensive experience in corporate, not-for-profit and higher education sectors, will bring significant value to PWDA.

‘It is a challenging time for disabled Australians, especially in a post-COVID environment and with systemic reforms on the horizon,’ she said.

‘We are thrilled to welcome Sebastian Zagarella to the leadership of PWDA to assist the Board with achieving the organisation’s strategic vision.’

‘Mr Zagarella brings significant experience in developing and executing strategy as well as proven business development, innovative and leadership skills to the role as we continue the recruitment process.’

PWDA recently welcomed a line-up of prominent disability advocates to the Board. They are;

  • Disability and family violence prevention campaigner Nicole Lee
  • Ethnic Communities Council, multicultural spokesperson and former NEDA President Suresh Rajan
  • Autistic Self Advocacy Network of Australia and New Zealand Operations Manager and autism rights campaigner Katharine Annear
  • Former Paralympic swimmer, triathlete and founder of charitable foundation Sporting Dreams Marayke Jonkers
  • Disability, inclusion and peer support advocate Andrew Fairbairn
  • Positive Speakers Bureau coordinator and communications specialist Craig Andrews

The incoming Board members join Vice President Kelly Cox and Samantha Connor to make up an impressive team of change makers.

Ms Connor believes the recent pandemic has highlighted disparities in the treatment of disabled people and society’s most disadvantaged.

‘With wide ranging NDIS reforms announced, a disability Royal Commission underway and a post COVID recession looming, its more important than ever to make sure disabled voices are heard,’ she said.

‘We look forward to working with members, government and stakeholders to ensure issues affecting disabled people are authentically represented.’

‘PWDA will continue to build upon our long, proud history as a consumer directed, rights based leader of our movement and make sure we work together to make lasting change for disabled people.’

Media contact: Samantha Connor
President – People with Disability Australia 0400 890 571