Our people are passionate, forward thinkers. They are dedicated and committed to the cause of social inclusion.
Australian Inclusion Group is fortunate to be guided in all strategic decision making by a dedicated, passionate Board.
Brendan joined the Board in April 2012. He is married to Jane with two children. Brendan has worked in the sport and recreation industry in Western Australia for over 20 years in positions with the State Government and various sporting organisations. Brendan is currently the Executive Director with Triathlon Western Australia. In his spare time, Brendan keeps active by coaching AFL football and enjoys keeping fit. Brendan holds a sports management degree and is a qualified company director.
Brendan has played sport all his life. He has worked professionally in sport and recreation for nearly 20 years. He envisions a true ‘sport for all’ philosophy where people have a choice to participate in their favourite sport regardless of their ability, gender, or age.
We asked Brendan what social inclusion means to him and this is what he said…
Social inclusion is about every individual regardless of their circumstances having the right and opportunity to make their own choices for an active life. It’s about every individual being an active member of society to their desired level making their own choices instead of choices made based on society’s expectations or by other individuals. I’m passionate about supporting people to find their voice, be heard, and being supported to enjoy the life they want to live.
Gemma joined the board late in 2015. Gemma has been an in-house lawyer at AECOM Australia since 2010. Prior to this, she worked as a solicitor with a boutique litigation firm, as the Associate to Justice Neville Owen at the Supreme Court of Western Australia and in the Policy Office of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Gemma holds degrees in law and psychology and completed a Master of Business Administration in 2013.
Gemma is so proud to be a part of the work that AIG does. The Board and Management team always bring their best selves to their roles and she find the opportunities for personal connection with AIG team members and clients very rewarding.
We asked Gemma what social inclusion means to her and this is what she said…
For me, social inclusion means everyone has equal and equitable opportunity to share and live in the ‘ordinary places’ within our community. It is when groups of people are not made to feel excluded because they are deemed to require ‘special places’. I have a vision that a day will come when we can all share the same places and experiences. I’m passionate about bringing our community together by sharing and educating. While my values have always been aligned with the organisation, there were nuances to inclusion I hadn’t considered before I joined the Board. My knowledge and views about inclusion have evolved so much and continue to mature as a result of my involvement in the organisation. I now enjoy having conversations about inclusion within my own networks. I think most people in the community still have the understanding that I did when I first joined the Board. So, I’m passionate about sharing more thoughtful ideas.
Michael joined the board as an observer in 2019, and has since been nominated to the role of Treasurer in November 2020. Currently, he is the Commercial Finance Manager at Boral Construction. Michael has previously held roles in a broad range of industries from Mining and Engineering to grassroot start-ups. In his spare time, Michael enjoys spending as much time with his two young boys and keeping physically active, whether it’s long distance ocean swimming or hiking new places in the state.
David joined the Board in February 2018. He has operated his own human resource management and industrial relations consultancy since 2005. Prior to this, David held similar roles in the arts and entertainment industry, primarily involved in the area of venue management operations. As well as his involvement with AIG, David is the Secretary of the WA Branch of The Lord’s Taverners Australia. He is also an active member of the ANA Rowing Club.
David is heavily committed to creating welcoming communities for everyone.
We asked David what social inclusion means to him and this is what he said…
Social inclusion means that everyone in our community having access to the places they want to go, the services that are available and the things they wish to experience. I believe that it’s important to provide the foundations to enable everyone in our community to reach their full potential. Whether they take up the opportunities is immaterial – it’s having the choice that’s important.
Matthew is a tax partner at a big 4 accountancy firm. He has over 20 years’ experience in providing tax advice to a range of entities including not-for-profit organisations and has a Degree in Business Economics. Matthew is married with 3 children and together with his wife Jennifer plays an active role in the WA swimming community for people with disabilities. In his spare time Matthew likes to run in exotic places, is a football boundary umpire, plays wheelchair basketball and enjoys most sports.
Matthew has 3 wonderful, sporting children. One of his sons is an elite para-swimmer who happen to have cerebral palsy. This is why he is passionate about social inclusion and the inclusion of people with disability.
We asked Matthew what social inclusion means to him and this is what he said…
I believe that social inclusion is when all people, no matter their background or circumstances, are fully welcomed in the communities in which they live, work and socialise. I would like to see a day when individuals and communities look beyond differences and find and embrace the things they have in common with those that are outwardly different.
Elizabeth is an Associate Director at KPMG, advising organisations on people, culture, diversity and inclusion. She has worked across a number of industries, including police, sport, resources, retail and government, and led pro-bono work for the Male Champions of Change and the Institute of Company Directors 30% Club. She has published widely on diversity and inclusion issues and presented on these topics around Australia and at the United Nations in New York. Prior to her role with KPMG, Elizabeth worked as a solicitor for the State Solicitor’s Office and Executive Director of the UN Association of Australia. A qualified company director, Elizabeth is also a Board Member of the Stella Prize and has recently stepped down from her role as President of UN Women Australia. Her work driving change across business, government and the community sector has been recognised by the Australian Financial Review who named her as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence, and WA Business News, who presented her with the Professional Services Award at the 40under40 Awards.
She is proud of the people she gets to work with through her involvement with AIG. She has learnt so much from the team and the clients she is lucky enough to work with.
We asked Elizabeth what social inclusion means to her and this is what she said…
To me, social inclusion is when people from all different backgrounds and perspectives are engaged in their communities and empowered to live the life they choose. Points of difference between individuals are celebrated and everyone is empowered to make a positive impact on their community. Inclusion often feels ‘easier’ when we are in homogenous groups – but our collective power comes from the rich experience and perspective that diverse people can bring. I’m particularly passionate about working with people and organisations about how to unlock that sense of inclusion – through inclusive leadership, inclusive environments and inclusion nudges.
Melissa joined the Board in October 2013 and held the position of Treasurer for 3 years. She is a Chartered Accountant and works as a Tax Advisor at BP, having previously spent a number of years at KPMG. Melissa enjoys playing netball, travelling, spending time with family and friends; and is a passionate Fremantle Dockers supporter.
Melissa feels motivated by people who show determination and strength when faced with adversity.
We asked Melissa what social inclusion means to her and this is what she said…
Social inclusion is where everyone has the opportunity to live in and contribute to a community where they feel equal and safe, without any barriers – only enablers. I want to help break down stigmas and negative attitudes that inhibit inclusion.
Scott joined the Board in late 2019. Scott has worked as the Government Affairs Manager for Alcoa of Australia since 2018. Prior to this, Scott was deployed overseas with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to represent Australia at the United Nations in New York City. He is a lawyer by training and started his career in corporate law before working as Associate to former Justice of the High Court William Gummow AC. He holds a Bachelors of Law/Arts from the University of Western Australia. Scott enjoys cooking, spending time in Vienna with his Austrian wife and time at the beach with their Labrador, Pippa.
Reece has personal and professional experience in the disability industry. Having a life long physical disability, he has also had 13 years experience with direct care including a role at inclusion WA before being involved with supporting people moving onto the NDIS from their state funded plans.
Reece has a strong ambition to empower people with disabilities, helping and encouraging them to take control of their lives.
Reece is also a proud father and enjoys playing footy and golf in his spare time.
The executive team bring a wealth of experience and skills to the Australian Inclusion Group that amplify our efforts and support our vision.
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer
Paul was born in the small wheat belt town of Pingelly, before moving with his family to Albany when he was 7. Having spent his formative years in regional WA, and then working in roles that were significantly connected with regional communities, Paul still has a major interest in all that occurs outside of Perth.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Science from UWA, a Graduate Diploma of Education from Edith Cowan University and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration at UWA. He is currently the CEO of Australian Inclusion Group, a company that runs 4 social inclusion focused businesses.
We asked Paul what social inclusion means to him and this is what he said…
True social inclusion occurs when people are truly valued, connected and have the ability to equally contribute. Unfortunately, we still see the ‘inclusion box’ ticked just because of an increased presence of marginalised groups – in community, in employment or around the Boardroom table – without thinking more deeply about what inclusion actually is.
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Operating Officer
Richard is a mentor, coach, problem solver, catalyst for change and an innovator. In his current role he provides oversight and guidance to Inclusion WA, Inclusion Solutions, Plan Navigators, Australian Inclusion Network and various strategic priorities for Australian Inclusion Group.
Richard’s background encompasses Innovative Approaches to Human Services Design, Strategic Business Development, Business Process Analysis, Disability and Mental Health Services, Community Development, Project Management, Change Management and Client Engagement gained from over 20 years of work in the human, community and financial service sectors.
He holds an Honours Degree in Marketing Management, a Masters in Information Management and a Postgraduate Degree in Outdoor Education. Richard is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is currently studying his MBA with the Australian Institute of Management.
We asked Richard what social inclusion means to him and this is what he said…
For me, social inclusion is about celebrating difference whilst also bringing people together based on a common interests.
Born in Indonesia and migrated to Australia in 2006 as a student, Laurensia graduated with Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance) in 2008. She then pursued her career in external and internal audit before joining Inclusion WA in 2015.
We asked Laurensia what social inclusion means to her and this is what she said…
My passion has changed overtime but finding cycling in 2012 was the turnaround point for me. That’s when I felt the importance of social inclusion. Moving from two different countries (Indonesia and Malaysia) to Australia was daunting. Breaking the culture barriers and emerging into Australian culture has not been easy for me. Being part of my local cycling club made it easier for me. I manage to adapt, being more understanding and respectful of others through the experience of social inclusion. I also have identified other interests over time: networking, socialising and being awesome at excel!
Inclusion WA General Manager
Inclusion WA General Manager
Jess grew up on a farm in the Wheatbelt before attending boarding school in Perth. She still enjoys getting out of Perth for regular weekends at the farm and in Margaret River. Having studied Art & Design, a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) and a Diploma of Youth Work, she has been lucky enough to find unique roles that combine her passions for working with young people, education and art.
Jess joined Inclusion WA as a Youth Development Officer (or Mentor) in 2011 and a few roles later is now the General Manager of Inclusion WA. Jess is passionate about social justice and everyone having the same opportunities in life. In particular, she has used her role to ensure that young people with a disability have their own voice and are treated in a way that allows them to have an authentic teenage experience growing up, mistakes and all.
Inclusion Solutions General Manager
Inclusion Solutions General Manager
Born and raised in Yercaud India, Denver grew up on a tea and coffee estate before moving to Canberra, Australia at the age of 10. Having studied Public Relations, Sports Management and Marketing Communication at the University of Canberra, Denver has been able to combine his passion for sport (cricket in particular) with over 15 years of work in the community sector.
Denver has witnessed first-hand the power of sport and recreation in connecting people and is keen to share this with everyone. Denver lists sport, music, travel, family, real estate and woodwork as his pastimes.
We asked Denver what social inclusion means to him and this is what he said…
Social inclusion, for me, means that we are truly on a level playing field. Social inclusion is not highlighting ‘perceived differences’, but it is actually focused on identifying similarities and commonalities! Being included is powerful. It is a feeling of warmth and true acceptance, much more than just tolerance!
Plan Navigators General Manager
Plan Navigators General Manager
Kristy commenced working in the disability sector in her early 20’s because of the impact that her experiences with people living with disability had on her growing up. These experiences led her to seek out a career in the disability field where she initially started working for the Disability Services Commission in 2000. This helped shape Kristy’s values. She firmly believes that people living with disabilities needed to be supported to live their own life in a way that made sense to them.
Over the last 13 years Kristy has worked for Inclusion WA and Plan Navigators assisting with the development of services that reflect people living with disability to take more control over their funded supports and services.
We asked Kristy what social inclusion means to her and this is what she said…
Social inclusion is a human right. To me, this means that people have access to a community where they feel safe, are known by others and who are defined by their valued role instead of their disability label.