PWDA welcomes new board members

11 November 2021

Members of Australia’s peak cross-disability advocacy organisation welcomed a new board member and the reappointment of two current board members at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) last night.

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) members approved the appointment of President, Samantha Connor, Vice-President, Kelly Cox, and Treasurer, Suresh Rajan.  Members also approved the appointment of a new board director, West Australian peer support and disability advocate Clare Gibellini. All other current directors, Craig Andrews, Andrew Fairbairn, Marayke Jonkers and Nicole Lee continue in their roles.

“With a focus to deliver ongoing stability to the organisation, the board is particularly grateful to our membership for their vote of confidence,” Ms Connor said. “We remain enthusiastic and committed to our work and the outcome of the voting now allows the board the opportunity to progress all the good work started this past year.”

Following last night’s AGM, the following directors were unanimously re-elected into their current executive roles: Ms Connor as President, Ms Cox as Vice-President and Suresh Rajan as Treasurer. Current director Craig Andrews was elected as Board Secretary. More details about our current board may be found here.

“We also thank our members for their many kind words of support last night,” said Ms Connor. “The board looks forward to continuing to work with PWDA members, our staff, and the disability community and sector more broadly to deliver important outcomes for the people and communities we all serve over the next 12 months.”

“The board also thanks our CEO, Sebastian Zagarella, who stepped into this role under challenging circumstances this past year with calmness, kindness and a commitment to ensuring PWDA is the best organisation it can be,” she said.

Members also endorsed PWDA’s 2020/21 audited financials and Annual Report, with many members in attendance acknowledging the efforts of PWDA staff for continuing to meet the enormous challenges the pandemic has brought to our organisation and people with disability across Australia.

“I’m also pleased that our members endorsed the PWDA 2020/21 Annual Report, which detailed the outstanding work and many significant achievements that our organisation accomplished over the respective 12 months in relation to, and in spite of, the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr Zagarella.

“Right through the pandemic, our staff and the community has responded with great courage and resilience, and I thank our community members for working with PWDA to help us protect and defend the health and rights of people with disability during this turbulent time.”

The PWDA 2020/21 Annual Report can be viewed on the PWDA website here.

Media Contacts

Michael Badorrek, PWDA Marketing & Communications Manager

michaelb@pwd.org.au | +61 408 682 867

Amanda Ellis, PWDA Senior Policy Officer

media@pwd.org.au | +61 2 9370 3100