PDA's Board of Directors

Liz Reid (NT) President

Experienced professional with 25+ years’ experience in the community, disability and social justice sectors. Dedicated career in assisting others seek equitable opportunities to participate fully in their communities. Passion for seeking demonstrated economic and social outcomes.
Liz is the Executive Officer of YouthWorX NT. A not for profit organisation committed to partnering with Territorians in supporting their lifelong social, economic and career success. Responsible for the management of diverse programs which include life and career coaching, the delivery of services to support employability skills. Liz administers the overall operation, strategic development and corporate health of the organisation including finance and human resources.

Prior to YouthWorX NT Liz was the National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) for the Northern Territory for a decade. This role provided information, coordination and referral services to increase and improve transitional pathways for Territorians with a disability between families, community, school, post-secondary, education and subsequent employment. 

Liz is a current Board Member of Integrated DisAbility Action (IdA NT), the PDA representative and Co-deputy Chairperson on the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) Board.


Fran Vicary (QLD) Vice President

Fran's professional ethos is that people holding a variety of belief systems and ‘shared values’ of compassion, respect, justice, can work together to lead change within the disability sector, through learning and person-centred practice. Fran is an authentic person who values input from others. She has courageous conversations with colleagues and has relationships with many leaders in the disability sector in Queensland. Fran used these communication skills as Chief Executive Officer of QDN. In that role, she worked with people with disabilities who were articulate and passionate about their rights and wants as well as people with disabilities who were more reserved and still exploring ideas of choice, control and how these are balanced when working with support workers and disability service providers. In this work, Fran used focussed conversations, circle practice and co-design to support people with disabilities to develop a plan for what their life could look like when scaffolded by respectful and responsive supports.

Fran now works with Carers Queensland as Area Manager overseeing NDIS Local Area Coordinators in the Ipswich Region.


Talia Spooner-Stewart (ACT) Treasurer

Talia's mantra is:

“Don’t judge me by my disability, but provide an opportunity for me to show you my ability”

While Talia has Multiple Sclerosis, her passion is promoting not what she has but what she can do. Talia works hard to change how others perceive someone with MS and many others in our communities with a physically disabling condition. Talia takes great satisfaction in proving and promoting that the impossible is possible. Give someone with a physical disability an opportunity and Talia has no doubt that you will be amazed and inspired by that person’s tenacity and self-belief to try and make it happen

Engaged in the hospitality industry for most of her working life, Talia found her work was always about providing customer service and going above and beyond for others. In other words, it was a one way street that employers and customers imposed expectations but did little to recognize or encourage people like Talia. It wasn’t until Talia left the hospitality industry that she found her voice. A voice that was heard by a company that believed in and promoted inclusion and diversity and in giving her a chance to translate and utilise her skills and experience for mutual benefit. 

Talia is an advocate for inclusion. She believes that no matter who you are, or what your condition, you should be provided an equal opportunity and that it is up to each of us to then achieve our outcomes.


Jonathan Shar (NSW)


Jonathan Shar is currently studying at Macquarie University and managing his own charity, Australian Disability.









Bruce Becker (SA)

Bruce is a public participation specialist and has worked in South Australian Government for 13 years, most recently in the area of disability policy. His main role is to enable people living with disability (and their families) to shape and inform State and Local Government responses to the wide topics that are related to 'disability'. Bruce has led the development of single SA Government disability engagement strategy. He is an active member of the national body of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and has presented at numerous conferences on South Australian model for the engagement of people living with disability.

He previously worked in the areas of disability therapy services where he developed a coordination and referral services system to improve access to therapy services for people with disability in combination with service coordinators and managers of the supported accommodation facilities. He previously worked in the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and TAFE sector as a contracts coordinator finalising training agreements between the RTO's, employers and trainees.

His passion is for people living with disability to have independence in their lives. More than just the mantra of 'choice and control' he has spoken publically to a wide number of varied audiences about the right to control economic resources. Significant financial allocations are now made to the disability sector and through his presentations Bruce outlines the evidence (that in the contemporary systems), resources are mostly going to support non-disabled people.

Bruce is currently completing a Masters Degree in Human Rights.


Gabrielle Trenbath (WA)

Gabrielle has a strong interest in politics, international relations and community development. She is a Fellow of Leadership Western Australia as well as a graduate of Rising Leaders Programme and LeadAbility course. Gabrielle sits on the Board of Avivo: Live Life which is WA based organisation that assists people to live independently in the community.

In 2011 she completed a traineeship to become an Assistant in Nursing (a position she works in to this day) and through this she was able to become financially independent while pursing interests and hobbies outside of work.

Gabrielle holds a Masters in Diplomacy and Trade from Monash University as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Policy Studies and undergraduate degrees in Politics and Communications from Murdoch University.

She has participated in the United Nations Graduate Study Programme, undertaken internships in China and at the Australian High Commission in Malaysia and volunteered in India, Ghana, Thailand and Romania. Gabrielle has successfully completed a Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

Since Gabrielle has lived experience of Cerebral Palsy, self determination, capacity building and living a fulfilling life are important values.


Mary Reid (VIC)

Mary has been a passionate advocate and educator in the disability sector throughout her life. In the 1980s, her lobbying of federal parliament led to the amendment of the Disability Services Act and the establishment of home-based assistance (i.e. attendant care) for people with disability. She founded AQA Qualcare, a respected Victorian disability service provider, and has led numerous government advisory committees.





PDA's Staff

Simon Burchill - Manager

Simon's background is in the public service (where he worked in education and human resources) and, more recently, the community sector (where he worked as a disability support worker and rostering officer).  Simon has also provided voluntary administrative support to disability organisations, off-and-on, for a number of years.

Simon's aims to provide PDA members with a range of engaging and useful resources that will be accessible to all members. 


Trish Johnson - Finance










PDA is a member of the Disability Australia consortium.