Meet the team
The Let’s Talk Disability workshops are delivered by a diverse group
of passionate and energetic individuals. Meet the team!
Sarah worked for Guide Dogs NSW ACT as a public speaker and community trainer for many years, where she developed a passion for social justice and equality.
Sarah has been vision impaired since birth, and with her gorgeous guide dog Angelina, Sarah loves the honest and interactive format of Let's Talk Disability.
When she isn't presenting or working at her other job, Sarah loves rehabilitating StandardBred race horses after their racing career is over, and giving them a second chance as the world's best pleasure horses! When at home, Sarah loves finding a sunny patch to curl up in and read a good book, while simultaneously coming up with creative reasons for avoiding the house work.
David has a commitment to disability activism and building a collective voice for people with disability. He has also had extensive experience in politics working on several campaigns at local, state and federal levels and is currently a Councillor at Lake Macquarie City Council. David holds a degree in Political Science from the University of New England. David was born with Lumbosacaral Agenisis and is a wheelchair user.
Samson works as a presenter and public speaker and is kept busy due to his engaging and informative style. Samson is passionate about self-advocacy and the right for people with disability to live the life they choose. Samson’s hip hop music can be found on YouTube as he continues to challenge people’s perceptions of what people with disability are about.
Leigh says he was born to be a public speaker. He does a lot of work around human rights and advocacy through the NSW Disability Council, the NSW Disability Ombudsman and Community Disability Alliance Hunter. Leigh has an intellectual disability known as Down syndrome. Social change was always Leigh's passion. He wants to make positive difference everywhere, from local and state level, even the world!
Kerrie was born with a physical disability called Spina Bifida and firmly believes that having a disability should not hold a person back from living a full and active life and achieving their goals and dreams. She is passionate about disability advocacy, travel, music, singing, socialising with friends and family, going to live concerts, theatre productions, and generally making a positive difference in the lives of those around her. Kerrie is looking forward to continuing her career in disability advocacy.
Andrew brings to the program years of experience working in the disability sector; from government positions to NGO roles and running his own business around building the capacity of people with disabilities (PWD) in his local community.
As a below-knee amputee, Andrew brings a unique perspective to Let’s Talk Disability, having both disability sector and lived experience of disability. He is active in face-to-face and online community peer support, working with organisations such as Advocacy and Peer Support for WA Amputees and Limbs for Life.
Andrew has a passion for seeing PWD achieve their goals and dreams, however big or small. He says, “Life should revolve around opportunities. Let’s Talk Disability is an avenue that empowers people with disabilities to become more influential in their communities and to open up the doors. By working with the Let’s Talk Disability team, we are making a difference by breaking down barriers and letting people know what it is like to live with a disability.
Andrew is a trained saxophonist, an avid jazz lover and plays in two bands. He plays in 2 or More with his vocalist wife, and Café Jazz, a seven-piece ensemble.
Jess lives with psychosocial and physical disabilities. Her primary conditions include C-PTSD and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
She has lived independently for three years now and loves the community but is looking forward to being able to access it on a more regular basis.
She is a passionate advocate for disability rights believing that through her own journey she can use her voice to help raise awareness to help better services, accessibility, respect and awareness for people with a disability and their support networks.
She also has a wide range of hobbies including modelling, singing, hand sewing quilts, girl guides, acting and sit down comedy.
Zel was born blind in Turkey and arrived in Australia with her family at the age of six. She began her education with no English but learned quickly because she loves to talk!
Zel became involved in disability advocacy while studying a BA in Politics and Government at Edith Cowan University. After completing her degree, Zel's love of travel took her to London for a two-year working holiday. Zel returned to Australia to begin her career in Disability, working in state, national and international roles.
Zel currently is a user-analyst specialising in technology for the blind and vision impaired. She also runs her own consultancy, Inclusive World, where she provides advice on matters and projects relating to inclusion.
In addition to working in primary schools, teaching young children about disability,
Ben has also worked as an art facilitator, DJ, co-radio host and tutor. He loves to travel and eat out with friends. The spicier the better!
He is the recipient of a string of Rotary Awards, and most recently awarded Outstanding Service for the Student Youth Network Community Radio Broadcast.
Ben has Cerebral Palsy, affecting his gross and fine motor skills. He walks with forearm crutches and use a manual wheelchair for outdoors. Ben also has a vision impairment which makes looking at distant objects a challenge.
Cath is a well known and highly regarded community leader. Born blind Catherine is committed to sharing her experiences as a person with disability in the hope that we focus on what is common to all people rather than our differences. Catherine has extensive experience in written and spoken communications and is committed to people with disability participating in the community in all the ways they choose to, enjoying the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers. She has a Bachelor of Communications and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and is a regular speaker and peer facilitator at conferences and workshops.
Since qualifying as a mature age student with an honours degree in social work, Andrew has worked in various roles in both government and community based settings. Some of these settings include disability, youth justice, child protection, adoption and permanent care, academia, epidemiology, mental health, project management and consulting for the Office of Professional Practice (OPP). At the time of his motorcycle collision over three years ago, Andrew was facilitating groups for first time parents in the context of family violence prevention, and providing professional development for maternal child health nurses focusing on father inclusive practice. Andrew’s road trauma resulted in serious injuries and left him living with permanent disabilities. Andrew currently works across a range of projects, most recently co-facilitating human rights workshops to range of workers in the disability sector.
Leeanne is a person with Autism who has a strong interest in disability advocacy and theatre. She has performed in ‘Chase The Feeling’ for two seasons in 2016 and 2015 as well as ‘History Of Autism’ for three seasons in 2015, 2014 and 2013. Her interest in advocacy has led her to deliver frequent guest presentations on the topic of autism at TAFE SA. She has also presented at conferences, schools and parent groups.
Leeanne has a Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies, a Master of Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts. She is currently working on a Master of Disability Policy and Practice degree. Outside of work, advocacy and university, Leeanne has enjoyed playing Yu-Gi-Oh! (Trading Card Game) and Laser-Tag. She has represented Adelaide for these activities at national events. Leeanne is also an Adelaide Crows supporter and sits in the Crows cheer squad at home games. Currently in her leisure time, she is enjoying playing Artemis, serving as a starship Communications Officer.
John has an Advanced Diploma in Health and Safety and is currently studying Disability Support. In his spare time, he coaches a youth basketball team.
John was diagnosed with OCD, anxiety and depression as a teenager and is a firm believer that having a disability does not hold a person back from achieving their dreams. John enjoys the opportunity to break the barriers between myth and fact around mental health.
John is passionate about helping people have a better understanding of disability, disability advocacy, tattoos, music and basketball.
Meaghan studied an Arts Degree in Popular Culture. She has over ten years experience facilitating and training adults in the Finance and Insurance sector.
Meaghan lives with two mental health conditions. She is articulate and passionate about engaging people in conversations about mental health and furthering their understanding of psychiatric conditions. Meaghan is proud to work on the Let’s Talk Disability team.
In her spare time, Meaghan loves walking her two incorrigible black pugs whom she has ambitions to train as therapy dogs. She enjoys keeping fit through gym sessions, journaling, meditation and watching films with her teenage son.
Mel has worked in various advocacy roles for the past six years, and has both lived and professional experience of disability. Mel has Cerebral Palsy.
Most recently, she has worked as a Get More Skills capacity building facilitator in the NDIS readiness workshops and a senior presenter for Let’s Talk Disability.
Mel has also been a community connector for the Physical Disability Council of NSW, where she has facilitated peer groups for people with a disability to build their social confidence and feel more connected to their community. Mel has a passion for social justice and helping others with disability explore life possibilities.
In her spare time, Mel enjoys travelling both locally and internationally. Most recently, she travelled to Japan for a holiday.
Mel acknowledges that having a disability brings with it challenges, but she believes this should not be a reason to pass up life’s opportunities.
"A dream without a plan is just a wish." - Katherine Paterson
Scott is a passionate advocate for the rights of people with disabilities and has more than fifteen years of experience in live presentation behind him. Scott is always ready and willing to share his experiences of living with a disability and loves to show people that, even if he can't see the world around him, he understands it in ways that some people never thought possible. Scott always has a positive spin on the world around him and never lets his disability get in the way of enjoying life. In his spare time, Scott likes to go to the movies, spend time with his young family or share his passion for human rights with all who will listen.
Ming is legally blind, studying Economics and Finance at the University of Western Australia, and likes to think that she is more exciting than her degree sounds. Ming enjoys the opportunity to work towards social justice for everyone, and believes that a big part of this is making positive changes to the way people with disabilities are perceived in society. People with disabilities might be different, might do things a little differently - but so does everyone else. People with disabilities might need some help sometimes - but so does everyone else. Ming would like to see the day when disabilities are regarded no more than hair colour, eye colour, shape or size - something that is what makes an individual an individual, but is not the definition of them. Apart from working with the whacky Let’s Talk Disability crew and studying, Ming divides her time between being an advocate on the Youth Disability Advocacy Network, training in the little-known Paralympic sport of goalball, and finding ways to travel the world. Of course, there are also the all-time favourites - sleeping, eating and eating. Ming hopes to be seeing you at one of the workshops!