Inclusion Advisory Panel

Inclusion Advisory Panel

What we do

We want a city that is accessible and inclusive to everyone – our events, programs and city improvements should be planned to meet the needs of every member of our community.

To make sure this happens the City of Sydney has established its Inclusion (Disability) Advisory Panel. The panel reflect the diversity of the disability sector and were chosen for their expertise in:

  • accessibility
  • urban planning
  • economic participation
  • arts
  • housing
  • transport
  • media
  • communication
  • legislation.

Terms of reference

The panel provides expert advice to the City about:

  • strategic planning
  • policy development
  • submission writing
  • sustainability
  • community consultation
  • information provision.

The panel's role is further detailed in the terms of reference, which you can download below in alternative formats, including audio files. Summary notes are available of panel meetings.

Contacts

Community enquiries
02 9265 9333

Meet the panel

Max Burt

Max is passionate about inclusive and accessible recreation and leisure opportunities for people with disability. Max's focus on recreation and leisure encouraged him to establish WheelEasy, an online application aimed at creating better access to leisure activities for wheelchair users, their friends and family, enabling all to enjoy leisure activities together. Max brings to the panel his professional experience from many years in marketing and advertising as well as his lived experience as a person with disability, after a head injury from a car crash left him paralysed, partially sighted, partially deaf, and with a speech impairment. Max currently works as a consultant, providing advice to organisations about how to market products in a more inclusive way.

Nidhi Shekaran

Nidhi lives with mild cerebral palsy and a vision impairment. Nidhi was born in India, and moved to New Zealand with her family as a child, and then to Australia in her teenage years. Nidhi’s experience of growing up as a person with disability from a diverse cultural background has driven her to become an advocate for people with disability, in particular people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Nidhi currently works for the Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association.  

Nidhi believes that social inclusion gives a person with disability a stronger sense of community and helps to build support networks that assists in feeling less isolated. Nidhi explores issues around supporting people with disability in the workplace, accessing public transport and making social connections through blogs she has written.

Riana Head-Toussaint

Riana is a proud person with disability and a passionate advocate for the rights of people with disability. This brings together her legal background and work at the Australian Human Rights Commission, and her personal experience growing up as a person with disability after being involved in a car accident in which she sustained a spinal cord injury.

Riana’s lived experience of disability means she has a deep understanding of the complex, intersectional nature of disability, and the numerous challenges that people with disability often face, be they physical, attitudinal, related to the built environment and participation in the community. She is familiar with engrained societal misconceptions about disability and is passionate about reframing them. Riana has extensive experience working with disability discrimination legislation and policy, and has assisted in the development of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s disability discrimination training materials. Riana is an actor and as an advocate for better access in the arts. She is a member of the Accessibility and Inclusion Advisory Panel for the Sydney Festival.

Sabrina Houssami-Richardson

Sabrina has extensive experience providing advice around inclusion and access for people with disability. Sabrina is a current member on the Australian Museum's Advisory Panel, the state government's Disability Employment Action Centre (DEAC) Advisory Sub-Group and the NSW Department of Industry’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) Steering Committee. Sabrina is also an advocate for diversity recruitment, currently working as a Senior Executive Recruitment Specialist within the public sector.

Sabrina describes herself as a person with disability, a woman, and a non-practicing Muslim of Lebanese and Indian background. Sabrina was selected as a representative for I Work for NSW’s 2017 video stories, sharing her experiences and triumphs as a person working for the NSW Government with a hearing impairment.

Sabrina is also a published author, having contributed to the Allen & Unwin anthology, Coming of Age: Growing Up Muslim in Australia. Sabrina held the title of Miss World Australia in 2006 and placed third at Miss World, and has also placed fifth on the first Australian season of The Apprentice, using these opportunities to contribute to public discussions around diversity and inclusion in Australia.

Tara Elliffe

Tara is the current President for the NSW Down Syndrome Panel and also works for the NSW Ombudsman.  Tara is a confident, outgoing individual who “likes to be with everyone else”. As a person with Down Syndrome, Tara is an advocate for the inclusion of people with disability, particularly those with intellectual disabilities, which are often invisible to the community. Being a member on the City’s Inclusion (Disability) Advisory Panel gives Tara the opportunity to be heard and express her opinion on how we can achieve a truly inclusive city.

 

Judy Harwood

Judy has had an extensive career in state government working on disability strategies, reform, programs and cross-government planning. Her broad experience in disability encompasses community inclusion, mainstream services, employment, housing and specialist support. She developed the National Disability Strategy NSW Implementation Plan (2012–2014) and led significant program reform in preparation for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Since leaving state government in 2015, Judy has been working as a consultant specialising in public policy and access. She has qualifications in education, social policy and research, access and project management.

Dr Phillippa Carnemolla

Phillippa is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Design Architecture and Building at UTS where she is working on a range of research projects on design, technology, social policy and human rights. She previously worked with the Enabling Built Environments Program at UNSW and has extensive expertise in the area of the built environment and disability, in particular accessible and inclusive built environments for people with intellectual disability. Phillippa also brings her lived experience of childhood sensory and developmental delay and an understanding of how the built environment and social environment can be more inclusive for children with sensory disabilities.

Morwenna Collett

Morwenna Collett is an experienced leader, project manager, lecturer and consultant. Based in Sydney, she is part of the senior management team of the Australia Council for the Arts, the national arts funding and advisory body. With a keen interest in diversity and disability, Morwenna has led the development of the organisation's Disability Action Plan and designed a dedicated funding program to support artists with disability. She has previously been the CEO of Accessible Arts, the peak arts and disability service organisation across NSW, which provides leadership through information, advocacy and the facilitation of excellence in arts and disability practice.

As an independent consultant, she has conducted major impact evaluations for Unlimited, a UK commissions program for artists with disability. Morwenna is also a lecturer in the Music Faculty at the University of Sydney. Morwenna is Chair of the Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group (SAMAG) and a member of the Sydney Festival's Accessibility and Inclusion Panel and the Australian Chamber Orchestra's Disability Advisory Committee. Morwenna has Honours and Masters degrees in Music (flute performance and research) from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and was the recipient of the University Medal and several academic scholarships.

Julie Millard

Julie is a consultant in mental health and a credentialed mental health nurse and has extensive experience in the mental health and disability sectors. Julie is committed to the provision of quality services and support of people with lived experience of mental health issues, their families and carers. Support that enhances autonomy and dignity, is recovery focused, trauma informed, and with a focus on inclusive participation. Julie has experience in advocacy, service delivery, education, capacity building, and community and organisational development. Julie holds positions on a number of advisory panels and committees, and is a board member of the World Federation for Mental Health. Julie also works as an educator developing and facilitating workshops to increase knowledge on wellbeing and oriented practice and works to reduce stigma and discrimination.

Mark Tonga

Mark is a trained accountant, an advocate for inclusion rights and policy officer who dedicates his time and skills to assist people with disabilities through his committee involvement and community engagement. Mark became a tetraplegic after a rugby collision in 2008, however this did nothing to hold him back and he has opened his heart to people with disabilities. Mark has taken on positions with multiple charity and disability boards, including the Chair of Disability Council NSW and Chair of State Library NSW Inclusion Advisory committee. From his position in society as a policy advocate, Mark is passionate about improving the quality of life and mindset of people with disabilities. Mark now combines his corporate background with his life experiences to represent people with disabilities and their families on government committees and the numerous board committees he is involved in.

Last updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2018