Sam Lilly - Director
Bachelor of Food Science and Nutrition
Master of Disability and Inclusion
Appointed to the Board November 2019 and re-appointed in November 2022.
Governance and Membership and Engagement Committee member.
Samantha is a diversity and inclusion practitioner and a Member of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council. She is currently researching community sports for women and girls with disability from a human rights perspective.
Elyse Cox (they/them) - Co-Chair
M.A.- Arts & Cultural Management
M.F.A.- Choreography & Performance
Appointed to the Board in February 2022. Membership and Engagement and Executive Committee member. Appointed as Co-Chair from December 2022.
Elyse is a queer disabled arts professional who is passionate about inclusive spaces and accessible design. They bring to the Board skills in development, fundraising, and marketing. Their work in queer, disability, and arts communities advocates that inclusion is both a physical and emotional experience.
Alex Holland - Board Secretary
Appointed to the Board October 2021. Executive and Governance Committee member.
Alex is a young woman living with disability in regional Victoria. Alex has had the opportunity to work in various roles and organisations, including the Centre for Workplace Leadership, the Melbourne Disability Institute, the National Disability Insurance Agency and the Specialist Disability Accommodation Alliance. Alex is currently practicing as a lawyer at the Transport Accident Commission.
Shakira Hussein - Director
Appointed to the Board November 2020.
Governance, Membership & Engagement and Brenda Gabe Leadership Award Committee member.
Dr Shakira Hussein is an honorary fellow at the Asia Institute at the University of Melbourne and a current board member of the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights (since May 2023). She has taught in disability studies units at the University of Melbourne and Deakin University. Her writing on topics including gendered violence, racism, disability and South Asia has been published in major academic journals, as well as in Meanjin, The Saturday Paper, Crikey, and The Best Australian Essays. She has acted as a judge for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards in 2020 and (forthcoming) in 2023. She brings a wealth of experience in advocacy and community organising in other roles, including as a former member of the SBS Community Advisory Council, the Inaugural Feminist Writers Festival, and various Muslim community organisations and events.
Helena Jordan - Director
M.A. Public Policy
B.A. Arts and Global Studies
Appointed to the Board October 2021. Governance, Membership and Engagement and Brenda Gabe Leadership Committee member.
Helena is a public servant, currently working as a Senior Policy Advisor. She has experience in both not-for-profit and private sectors domestically and internationally. Her previous experiences have led her to support organisations working within areas of impact investing, consultancy, women’s financial empowerment, gender-based violence, refugee family services and affordable housing.
Julia Manning - Vice Chair
Appointed to the Board in November 2022.
Executive, Finance and Risk and Membership and Engagement Committee member.
Julia Manning is a new board director with more than 10 years’ experience in the public and charity sectors. Julia is a conciliator at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission where she helps people to resolve complaints of discrimination under the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act. Julia also chairs the Commission’s disability network and is a member of the VPS Enablers Network’s leadership team. In addition, she is undertaking a Master of Disability and Inclusion at Deakin University and is a member of the Deakin Disability and Inclusion Advisory Board.
Julia is passionate about accessibility of services for people with speech, language and/or communication needs. She is skilled in quality improvement, service delivery, strategy and policy, organizational auditing and governance.
Marlena Raymond - Co-Chair
Admitted to practice (2020), Juris Doctor (2018), Bachelor of Arts (2012)
Appointed to the Board in November 2022.
Governance and Executive Committee member. Appointed as Co-Chair from March 2023.
Marlena is a new board director. Her professional experience includes disability research at Melbourne Law School and the Centre for Workplace Leadership, The University of Melbourne, and systemic advocacy at the Office for the Public Advocate. She is now a Senior Policy and Programs Advisor at the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector, where she takes an intersectional feminist view of discrimination on the basis of gender and other protected attributes. Marlena is passionate about dignity and respect for all people, in all areas of life, all of the time.
Rachael Arbon - Treasurer
Bachelor of Business (Management)
Appointed to the Board in June 2022. Finance and Risk and Membership and Engagement Committee member. Appointed as Treasurer from December 2022.
Rachael works at WSAudiology as the Head of Retail Operations, bringing over 15 years’ experience in project management, business administration, leadership, and people management.
Having been involved in various merger and acquisition projects, Rachael offers the ability to lead and influence an organisation through ambiguity and change.
Crystal Bruton - Director
Appointed to the Board in January 2023. Governance and Finance and Risk Committee member.
Crystal has dedicated her professional career and academic studies to driving inclusion and equity and supporting reform to improve the safety and wellbeing of adults, young people and children in Victoria. She has 14 years’ professional experience primarily in the areas of family violence, violence against women and victims of crime in the context of health promotion, community development, advocacy, research and policy development at non-for-profit organisations, academic institutions, local government and state government. Crystal has also had experience in applying an intersectional approach to initiatives and reform in a government context.