Management Committee Elections 2018

Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) Management Committee Elections 2018

The voting period for the election of Management Committee members will run from 9:00 am on 11 December 2018 and end at 5:30 pm on 11 January 2o19.

  • Successful nominees will be elected to the Management Committee for a term of three years.
  • There are twelve nominees standing for five vacancies on the Management Committee. Find out more about each nominee below.
  • All full members of Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) are eligible to vote.
  • If you believe you are elligible to vote, but have not received your unique voting link, please contact Sharon Williams (Office Manager) by email or phone ( or 0438535123).


List of Nominees (Alphabetical)

Photograph of Allirra HonnerAllirra Honner

Hi, I am Allirra Honner, a proud woman with disability (vision impairment) and I live on the South Coast of NSW.

I wish to join the WWDA Management Committee to be part of and to contribute to a group of women who advocate for the continuous change and improvement of women’s rights and the rights of women with disability in line with the Australian Disability Service Standards and the UNCRPD.

I personally and professionally recognise that women with disability face barriers all the time that include but are not limited to: physical environment, systemic, financial, and structural as well as the attitudes of society.

I hold a Bachelor and Master degree in the areas of International Law and Human Rights, and I have almost completed a Bachelor of Law. I also currently work for the NSW Public Service, have worked in disability advocacy and legal support for women facing domestic violence. I am an active member in my local community and a strong advocate for students with disability.

If elected to the Management Committee, I believe that my enthusiasm and understanding of women’s and disability rights will be a valuable contribution in helping continue to make positive change.

Photograph of Chanelle McKennaChanelle McKenna

My name is Chanelle McKenna; I’m a 46-year-old female with Cerebral Palsy. I had Meningitis when I was three and a half months old, which caused Cerebral Palsy (CP). From the day I was diagnosed with CP, my whole life was mapped out as this profound stereotype female, who would never be able to achieve anything in life. I was and will never be a stereotype.


I want to join WWDA Management Committee, because;

  1. As a female who grew up in an abusive environment (by my own family and later by my former husband) without a voice, I want to be a voice for the voiceless. I want to help end the injustices that still exist against every woman and young girl with disability/ies. It’s time that the prejudices towards individuals with disabilities ends! It’s time that the human rights of people with disabilities must be recognized, respected and enforced the same way as everyone else’s human rights are recognized, respected and enforced.
  2. Enough is enough, for too long women and girls have been part of a culture where we have been demonized, our dignity, our self-esteem, our self-worth been stolen by arrogant and ignorant so-called “experts,” who think they can predict our futures. Our futures are in our hands and only we, as women and girls with disabilities have the right to decide what is in the best interest of ourselves.

Photograph of Gwen HibbinsGwen Hibbins

My name is Gwen Hibbins and I reside in regional Victoria 3350.

I am a woman and of 57 years of age, I have a husband and three adult children.

I have some permanent disabilities which I have lived and worked with for many years and at times it has been so difficult managing my quality of life and working life.

I was previously a Defence Force member of the Royal Australian Air Force then later the Royal Australian Air Force Reserves for just over 15 years. I mention this as I am proud of myself to have served as a Defence Force member overseas and in Australia, this has helped me to be disciplined, diverse and honourable and accepting of different beliefs and cultures.

After my military career, I worked some casual jobs that allowed me to still honour my family responsibilities and was later employed fulltime by a large union for 13 years. I prided myself on assisting our members with issues in the workplace and many of these issues were related to disabilities and performance in the workplace.

I am passionate and would like to assist women like myself, to support them in their life and if they are working in their workplace.  My belief is there are many employers that can do better with providing reasonable adjustments to help their employees, especially women in the workplace.

Finally, if I am successful with my nomination for the WWDA Management Committee I am willing to undertake any training to learn more to help me to facilitate for this role.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to nominate.

Portrait photograph of JaneJayne Boardman

I live in North Rocks NSW and was born with Spina-bifida and had a number of surgeries for a tethered spinal cord,  I am a mother and a grandmother. My qualifications include a Masters Degree in Health Science – Community Health, Associate Diploma Allied Health-Diversional Therapy, Cert IV Front Line Business Management and Cert IV in Assessment and Training.

My career has been 25 years in Local Government human services, roles included Home and Community Care service provision, community development, social planning and managing staff. I have also worked as a Diversional Therapist and teaching health services at TAFE.

Now semi-retired I am setting up my own business ‘1 to 1 Support Coordination’ to assist people who may have had the same difficulties I have being a NDIS participant.

Joining the WWDA Management Committee will provide an opportunity to utilise my skills and passion to work with other like minded people who also are passionate and committed,  to improve the life of people with disabilities, women’s wellbeing and perceptions that prevent individuals to reach their potential.

Photograph of Jen LoweJen Lowe

My name is Jen Lowe and I have worked in the community and education sectors for 13 years in a variety of roles. I am currently the Practice Leader for Multiple Sclerosis in Tasmania, which involves the management of state operations and advocacy/policy work. I have had a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis for 8 years now but don’t let this define me. I am a strong advocate for women with disabilities, specifically neurological conditions, and represent MS on the Neurological Alliance of Tasmania, where I am the secretary.

I was very excited when I came across this opportunity, as I have long admired the policy and advocacy work of WWDA ensuring women with disabilities have their voices heard. As a woman living with MS and working in the disability sector, I have an acute knowledge of the state of disability services in Australia. I want to ensure the rights of women and girls living with disabilities are upheld and assist in building their capacity to control their own lives.

Outside of work I am mum to a gorgeous three-year-old daughter who I aim to raise as independent, open-minded and kind. 

Photograph of Jody BarneyJody Barney

I’m Jody Barney a proud Birri-Gubba/ Urangan Deaf Aboriginal /South Sea Islander woman. I’m currently living in country Victoria. I’m culturally connected to many women with disabilities across Aboriginal communities and importantly women who are within the justice system as a cultural disabilities consultant.

My commitment to all women is to join the voices of other women to improve the visibility of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women within the various sectors.  I deliver training across many communities. I work hard and will do so on the board of Women with Disabilities Australia to support the voices of the invisible women who aren’t able to find their voices yet!

I have board experience, Such as Koori Women Means Business to improve the needs of Aboriginal women, as well as being a Deaf Victoria board member to improve the access of Deaf women across Victoria. I’m currently the inaugural board member of  Koondee Woonga-gat Toor-rong, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Led Philanthropic Fund in Victoria. I am currently a Senior Fellow with Atlantic Fellows Social Equity Australia.

I want to join the WWDA Management Committee to bring cultural competency and awareness to the extremely broad and talented base of women already nominated. I am also there to learn and share together to provide my skills and expertise to assist in improving the needs of all women with disabilities especially our First Nations Mob.

Silhouette portrait of a head and shouldersKarleen Plunkett

I am a woman living in rural in north west Victoria with a physical disability and consider myself a community development worker. My values have always had the social justice / equality lens as I want to live in a country that is free from violence and inequity.

Over the years my career has allowed me to work with organisations such as BreastScreen and the Anti-cancer Council to create fully accessible services for women with disability. It’s about women with disability having total control and choice when it come to their health and well-being.

After living and working in Melbourne I had a tree change in 2001 and took a position in local government. This position enabled me to create change on a systemic local level and to implement several Action Plans. Over the last three years I worked with SARU on their Dangerous Deeds Exhibition, became a Co-facilitator for VALID’s Peer Action Group project, am a member of the Public Transport Advisory Committee and the Vline ARG and am on the Women with Disabilities Victoria Experts by Experience working group.

I feel I have a lot to offer WWDA and to be part of the movement to create equality nation-wide.

Photograph of Katie WorthingtonKatie Worthington

I am a woman who was born with Spina bifida & hydrocephalus. I am married with a 9mth old daughter. In addition to, my personal experience of living with a disability, I have completed a Bachelor of Human Services (majoring in Disability & Rehabilitation) from Griffith University. As well as, a Masters of Occupational Therapy Studies from the University of Queensland.

Throughout my working life, I have had the opportunity to work (paid & unpaid roles) with many people with a variety of disabilities & their families. I feel I have a thorough understanding of the key issues people with disabilities & families face in their day to day lives. Also, as a new NDIS participant I have an insight into the positive & negative impacts that the recent rollout is having in Queensland.

I have had experience as a committee member & chairperson of the Regional Disability Councils (Brisbane region) coordinated by the then Disability Services Qld. More recently, I was a committee member & secretary of a small non-profit organisation called Spinal Home Help.

As a result, I am full aware of the time & commitment needed to be a committee member & I have an in depth understanding of the importance of confidentiality & declaring any possible conflict of interest.

I am a current member of the Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Assoc. of Qld & Qld Disability Network (QDN).

Silhouette portrait of a head and shouldersNicola Stratford

I’m a woman with an acquired disability, living in Adelaide, South Australia. I am also the child of parents with congenital disability, both now deceased. From them, I learned to observe the world and how it functioned (or did not, indeed) for people with disability.

Much of my life has been spent working – formally and informally – to remove barriers and obstacles in society, which are by far the more disabling elements in life than any physical, emotional, intellectual or mental impairment.

I’ve worked as Chief Project Officer, Community Engagement in the Disability Policy Unit of the Department of Human Services, SA, for past 12 months. I’ve also just finished a once-in-a-lifetime three-year term as an individual (not corporate) member of the City of Adelaide Access and Inclusion Advisory Panel.

I’m an expert in digital accessibility, plain English, accessible event standards, and web site accessibility auditing (accredited by UniSA). I am a professional editor (applying shortly for full accredited member of the Institute of Professional Editors – Australia).

And most of all, I’m an articulate, forthright and exceptionally well-informed advocate for a world in which we no longer have to fight for inclusion and diversity, because they are commonplace rather than exceptional.

Silhouette portrait of a head and shouldersNicole Lu

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Social Sciences Degree at Macquarie University.

I am 21 years old and have been a member of the Youth Advisory Council for NSW Children and Young People.

I have advised government on issues affecting young people including young people with disability.

I have helped to organise events, and done event planning, I have been able to further develop my communication skills.

I was also the facilitator and program planner promoting inclusion for students with disability in High Schools; at my own high school I ran events, and also attended external events.

I have a strong passion for advocating for the human rights of young women and girls with disability.

I believe I would be a good asset to the WWDA Board. I have had some prior experience and I would be able to attend Board meeting regularly.

I am eager to contribute more actively to the work of WWDA.

Portrait photograph of Pamela MenerePamela Menere

Pamela lives in Corryong in North East Victoria and has been involved with WWDA since it’s inception, having held positions of Secretary and Treasurer of the Management Committee in the past and is currently Acting Interim President since September.  Pamela would like to continue in this role to assist with the revision of the constitution and re-structure of WWDA, have a vital informed and trained Board of Management of our wonderful organisation.

Pamela has been involved with several advocacy and disability related groups including the Victorian Women with Disabilities Network, Community Access Committee of Towong Shire and the Ovens and Murray Region Disability Advisory Committee of DHS.

Pamela is also actively involved with numerous other community organisations in her local area, recently retired following 21 years as an executive board member of Corryong Health.

She has worked in part time paid employment as an outreach employment counsellor with a disability employment agency and continues to provide volunteer advocacy to people with a disability as required.

A photograph of Tricia MalowneyTricia Malowney


I am a proud woman with a disability and I make disability organisations think about women with disabilities needs, and make health and family violence workers help women with disabilities too. I make sure they give us information that we can understand to help us make decisions.

I have a knowledge of disability beyond my own disability and have many female friends with disabilities who help to know about what needs to be done.

Women with disabilities must receive extra help if we need it and we must be employed to deliver training and write policy about us, and we must be paid.

I will work hard to help all women with disabilities to live the life they want to live by removing barriers caused by ableism, misogyny and other forms of prejudice.

I want to join the WWDA Management Committee, so I can use my experience in the Women’s and Disability Sectors to make life better for all women with disabilities.

I am skilled in governance as a Director at Scope Australia, Western Health, Independent Disability Services and Australian Orthotics and Prosthetics Association. I was the first chair of Women With Disabilities Victoria.