Back row (L to R): Mark Kunach, Naomi Malone, Dr Breda Carty, Timothy Hart
Front row (L to R): Ben Ackland, Dr Gaele Sobott, Sarah Houbolt, Mark Tonga
Mark is a Risk Management Officer with the Department of Education School Security Unit and a security professional with over 35 years experience. He is the current Chair of the GBS Association of NSW Inc. as well as a member of Crohns/Colitis Australia, Centre for Universal Design Australia (CUDA) and the Charcot Marie Tooth Association of Australia. Mark is a delegate with the Department of Education DEN (Disability Employment Network) and serves on the Advisory Sub Group that reports to the NSW Disability Employment Advisory Council.
Naomi is an experienced advocate in the field of disability inclusion. In 2009, she was Accessibility Producer on Australia's first universally accessible theatre production, which was awarded the Deafness Forum of Australia's Members' Choice Award for captioning. In 2011/12, Naomi divided her time between Accessible Arts NSW where she managed the Deaf Arts Access Project and Macquarie University Accessibility Services coordinating the MQ Hearing Strategy for Learning and Teaching. Previously, Naomi worked at the Westpac Group facilitating key changes in accessibility and managing its major sponsorship of the NSW Government's Don't Dis My Ability campaign. Naomi served as a board member and deputy chair of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations. Profoundly deaf, she is a graduate in arts and laws from the University of Sydney and holds an MA in Public History from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Naomi is undertaking a PhD at UTS examining the history of deaf education in NSW since the 1960s.
Dr Breda Carty
Breda is a lecturer in Special Education at the RIDBC Renwick Centre (affiliated with the University of Newcastle). She has previously worked as a teacher of deaf students in the USA and Australia, and was a Research Fellow at Griffith University’s Centre for Deafness Studies and Research during the 1990s. Her PhD, awarded by Griffith University in 2005, explored the development of the Australian Deaf community and its organisations in the early 20th Century. She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, and is Editor of the Deaf History International Newsletter. She is the C. H. Currey Fellow at the State Library of NSW for 2017.
Timothy is currently Secretary and a Director of People with Disabilities Australia (PWDA). He previously served as the President and Treasurer of the Australian Learning Disability Association (ALDA). Timothy's area of expertise is with inclusive technology and he has large amounts of experience in the provision of training and implementation of adapative technology.
Ben is a lawyer by background and currently works as a Policy Analyst at HeathShare NSW which provides shared services to the NSW health system. He has large amounts of experience working in inclusion initiatives and as part of disability employment projects.
Dr Gaele Sobott
Gaele is a writer and producer. She is founding director of Outlandish Arts, a disability-led not-for-profit company that develops and promotes high-quality art with a focus on artists who do not have equal access to sustainable creative pathways and artistic platforms. She has published a range of acclaimed works including Colour Me Blue and My Longest Round and was selected for the first cohort of the Australia Council for the Arts 2014 Sync Leadership Program. In 2015, Gaele was artist in residence at Google Australia and was commissioned by Urban Theatre Projects to write Zaphora and Ali for Home Country staged by Sydney Festival in 2017. Gaele has also participated as an artist in residence at the DADAA and Perth International Arts Festival, Aesthetics of Access program in March 2017.
Sarah began her career in disability advocacy before moving into the arts and culture sector, as both a professional performer and arts access consultant. She enjoys initiating, managing and evaluating innovative projects and programmes as she believes accessibility is the driving force behind real creativity and social capital. In her performance career, Sarah has worked with Cirque du Soleil and toured her solo show 'KooKoo the Bird Girl'. In 2016 she managed Arts Activated, for Accessible Arts and spoke at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Currently Sarah works at University of Technology Sydney as the access and inclusion specialist in the Equity and Diversity Unit, and freelances in corporate circus entertainment.
Mark Tonga (Committee Chair)
Mark is currently chair of Disability Council of N.S.W., director of Paraplgeic and Qudraplegic Association NSW and a member of advisory committees with City of Sydney and Willoughby Council. He is a trained accountant who, when he became a tetraplegic in 2008 , had his eyes and heart were opened to people living with disability. Mark holds a broad view of inclusion, something not just for people with disability, but a principle by which society takes everyone into account and becomes all the richer for it.