Disability services provider Achieve Australia has welcomed new board members Ms Kerry Stubbs and Dr Scott Avery. Kerry takes up the position of Chair on the retirement of Mr Richard Dinham who has played a key role in transforming Achieve Australia’s Board.
Achieve Australia CEO Jo-Anne Hewitt says Kerry and Scott have strong track records of ensuring the voices of people with disability are not only heard but play a direct role in innovation and policy work that impacts their sense of belonging in Australian society and their quality of life. This aligns with the passion and purpose of Achieve.
She says the new board appointments are part of a two-year process of review with a broader agenda of employing people with lived experience of disability at all levels of Achieve Australia including to its Board, Executive and service delivery roles.
Kerry was CEO of Northcott Disability Services for 12 years and is currently Chair of Northcott Innovation, where she had a direct role in the development of disability accommodation matching website, Nest.
A Worimi man and Aboriginal Scholar, Scott has extensive knowledge of the systems that support people with disability and experience in social policy research. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Indigenous and disability studies at Western Sydney University. Scott is also actively engaged with the First Peoples Disability Network Australia undertaking extensive community research. He is the author of ‘Culture is inclusion: a narrative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability’, which was published by the First Peoples Disability Network Australia in 2018.
“Both Kerry and Scott are outstanding thinkers and innovators. They are champions of social justice and practitioners of social inclusion as the most effective approach for creating services that are more responsive to the needs and aspirations of people with disability,” Jo-Anne says.
“Kerry has deep experience in our sector and Scott literally wrote the book on cultural inclusion for First Australians with disability,” she says. “Both Board members also have direct experience of including the voices of people with disability in their work. And as a deaf person who is connecting with the disability community, Scott has first-hand knowledge of navigating the barriers to inclusion for people with disability.”
“As a ‘for purpose’ organisation, Achieve Australia has a proven record of investing to improve services for the people we support as well as co-designing new services with people with disability. The contribution Kerry and Scott will make in this regard will be invaluable,” Jo-Anne says.
Kerry Stubbs says she is excited to be joining an organisation that is driving change across the disability services sector.
“Achieve is focused on delivering service excellence to the people we support but also on working with other leading providers to ensure service excellence is consistent across our sector,” Kerry says.
“Achieve is also committed to the NDIS inquiry and its goal of ensuring the highest standards and efficiencies in service provision and its future success,” she says.
Scott Avery says he accepted the invitation to join the Achieve Board because of the organisation’s commitment to inclusion for people with disability.
“Achieve represents the sort of integrity required to safeguard the choice and control of every person receiving services and is genuine in its passion to help realise a deep sense of belonging for people with disability from all cultural backgrounds,” Scott says.
· Board appointments strengthen Achieve Australia’s efforts to drive high service standards across the disability services sector
· Achieve elevating the voices of people with disability
· National Disability Insurance Scheme inquiry welcomed by Achieve
About Kerry Stubbs
Kerry has worked in the public and not for profit sectors as well as academia. She is a former Executive Director of St Vincent’s Hospital and has held other leadership roles at Sydney Water Corporation, and Australian Water Technologies. Kerry is currently a Deputy Chancellor of the Western Sydney University and a member of the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Sexual Assault Council. She holds qualifications from the University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, Stanford University and Harvard University.
About Scott Avery
Scott has extensive experience presenting on behalf of the First Peoples disability community to government and the United Nations. He serves on the advisory committees at the Lowitja Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research, and the National Disability Research Partnership. Scott also serves on several expert advisory groups at the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the National Disability Data Asset for the collection and use of data affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with disability. In addition to his PhD research completed at the University of Technology Sydney, Scott holds qualifications from the University of Sydney and University of Wollongong.
About Jo-Anne Hewitt
Jo-Anne Hewitt was appointed CEO of Achieve Australia in August 2019. Her extensive experience includes being former Executive Director Disability for the Benevolent Society. Jo-Anne has led transformational change in complex organisations, which served Achieve well when the organisation welcomed 700 staff transferring from NSW Government as part of the introduction of the NDIS. Jo-Anne is a member of the Alliance20 group of CEOs of leading disability service providers championing sector standards and the NDIS.
About Achieve Australia
A NDIS-registered for-purpose community organisation, Achieve Australia has been providing accommodation supports and other services to people with disability in NSW since 1952. Based in Sydney and the Northern Rivers region of NSW, Achieve supports more than 570 people with disability in NSW and employs approximately 1200 staff.
Achieve provides support services to people in their homes, offers activities people can take part in at day centres, employs and mentors people with disability in its social enterprises and offers short term accommodation and respite at its facility Summer Hill House.
In 2021, Achieve launched the Quality Champions Program where people with lived experience of disability are part of a team who interview people receiving Achieve services to identify areas for innovation or improvement. That same year, The Achieve Foundation was launched to drive research into two key areas - better housing options for people with disability and changing social mindsets that create barriers to social inclusion. The Foundation is also fostering a network of disability philanthropists and givers around Australia. Achieve Australia is also a joint venture partner with Leftfield Social Housing in Specialist Disability Accommodation provider, Inclusive Housing Australia.