Board Members

Meet the passionate and talented
members of the CID Board.

  • Shu our chairperson

    Shu Hua Chan, Chairperson

    Sharing information and my story is very important to me.

    People with intellectual disability learn new skills when you work with them and you learn from them. We need a chance to grow into adults that can make decisions for ourselves.

    I speak 3 languages, Cantonese, English and Mandarin. Having people from non-English speaking backgrounds is very important on a board.

    I have spoken to the media a lot about health. I am very proud of this as we need to really get this message out there.

    I have been a carer, worked, and been a board member for CID. I understand how difficult it is to juggle all these things.

  • Fiona, Vice Chair

    Fiona McKenzie, Vice Chairperson

    I am very proud of the fact that I was the first female chairperson with intellectual disability at CID.

    At the moment I am the chairperson of our governance committee and that is really important to me because it means that women and people with intellectual disability can lead the way at CID.

    I do a lot of advocacy work, supporting our campaigns, and I have talked to a lot of politicians, letting them know what CID does and about big issues like health.

    Mentoring people is really important to me, especially in peer to peer work between people with intellectual disability. It really gets people motivated.

  • Tracylee

    Tracylee Stewart Arestides, Vice Chairperson

    I am an experienced communications and marketing professional. Having worked in the private and public sectors for several years, I have spent the past 15 years in the not-for-profit sector.

    I have worked in project and management roles in a range of organisations including Macquarie University, the Office of the NSW Ombudsman, and Down Syndrome Association of NSW. I am currently head of Communication and Member Services at the Cities Leadership Institute.

    I bring my experience as a senior manager with strong communication and people skills to the CID Board.

    I have a particular passion for addressing disadvantage through accessible communities and social inclusion.

  • Sonya Sinclair

    Sonya Sinclair, Treasurer

    I have  more than 15 years’ experience in auditing, risk and financial reporting. I provide training, advice and interpretation on governance, financial reporting and auditing principles.

    I work with clients including mid-tier chartered accountancy firms, Office of the Auditor-General, large companies and other government agencies.

    I believe it is important to make financial information accessible for everyone.

    As part of my work I help businesses improve their quality control and risk management and bring these skills to CID as Treasurer.

  • Gina, secretary

    Gina Andrews, Secretary

    I have been a public servant for more than 20 years with policy expertise in criminal justice systems, child protection, disability, NDIS, institutionalisation, and mental health.

    My PhD looks at the experiences of changes in law and policy for a group of children with intellectual disability admitted to Newcastle Mental Hospital in the 1950s.

    I also bring personal experience to the Board as my late uncle (Ricky) had an intellectual disability and lived in state care for the majority of his life.

    I volunteer as a ski guide with Disabled Wintersport Australia. My favourite activity is to guide children who have intellectual disability. Doing this makes me smile!

  • Steven

    Steven Cooke

    I have been doing advocacy for a long time and I really feel that it is an important responsibility. There are a lot of people with disability who aren’t as lucky as me and haven’t had the chance to speak up like I have.

    It is really important to get the NDIS right. I hear a lot about how it is going from other people and we have to keep doing advocacy until it is right for everyone.

    I like to be part of a team doing advocacy work and at CID I get to do that work with others.

    Being on the Board, I get to have my say and try to represent other people too.

  • Judith, Vice Chair

    Judith Lavender

    I try to be a strong advocate for women, people with intellectual disability and for anyone who is different.

    I believe that everyone has a right to be heard and to be treated respectfully no matter what they look like or who they are.

    I really like to do advocacy work at CID. Speaking up and being heard is important, especially about things like bullying and abuse of people with disability.

    My family is very important to me and I enjoy my job because I like to be busy. I was happy when I became a board member at CID, because I get to work as part of a team.

  • Judy

    Judy Harper

    I have worked in the community sector for 35 years, predominantly with people in contact with the justice system with complex needs, people with cognitive disabilities and in advocacy.

    I have been an independent representative on government and industry consultative groups and worked with support organisations to meet disability standards, develop new models of support and improve the quality of individualised supports.

    Along with professional experience I also bring to the Board personal lived experience being the legal guardian of a person with an intellectual disability with complex health needs for over 25 years.

    I have also advocated for two people in contact with the justice system.

  • Quang

    Quang Nguyen

    I believe in speaking up and being seen.

    My culture is very important to me and I am bilingual but I often use technology to communicate and do presentations. New technologies can help people with disability to lead better lives. I love to try new experiences.

    Independence is very important and I believe making transport accessible can change the lives of people with disability. I have been on many transport advisory groups.

    I am on the boards of Diversity Disability Alliance and the Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association.

    I received a National Australia Day Council Australian of the Year award in 2012 and 2014.

  • Irena

    Irena Reiss

    I am a practicing lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience in commercial litigation, dispute resolution and other areas of the law. I have acted for clients across the private, corporate and not-for-profit sectors.

    I have a longstanding commitment to human rights, corporate social responsibility and inclusion.

    I am a parent of a Special Olympics athlete and a Director of Special Olympics Australia. I am a member of various committees including the Law Society of NSW Human Rights Committee focusing on disability rights, corporate governance, diversity and inclusion.

    I bring to the Board of CID my lived experience of having a child with an intellectual disability together with my broad professional experience.

  • Melinda

    Melinda Smith

    For many years I have worked to support people with disability who are in contact with the criminal justice and forensic mental health systems.

    I have worked in disability services for the Integrated Services Program, Community Justice Program and the disability justice sector. I am currently working with the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network.

    I have developed services and systems to support people with disability, particularly intellectual disability. I have also developed and delivered education for staff who support people with disability. I bring this understanding and experience of the issues faced by people with intellectual disability to the CID Board.

  • Jack

    Jack Stewart

    I think the justice system, mental health and transport are big problems for people with intellectual disability that I would like to work on.

    Talking to people in the community about what is right and wrong is important, so we know what advocacy we need to do to change things the government does. We need a fair go and to be treated right.

    Advocacy is not backing down on the big issues. We need determination, courage and a sense of humour to get our work done.

    I am really proud that I am a director on the CID Board. I never expected it!

  • Robert

    Robert Strike AM

    I believe strongly in citizen advocacy, and in self advocacy. I started Self Advocacy Sydney, because there is nothing more important than helping people speak up and give things a go. Mentoring is a huge part of my work.

    I love training people and trying new things! I have done a lot of training for organisations, such as the NSW Police in how to work with people with intellectual disability.

    In 2017 and 2018 I spoke at the United Nations about how to include people with intellectual disability.

    I received an Order of Australia in 2017 for my services to the community in the area of disability advocacy.

  • MJ

    Michael Sullivan

    I have worked in advocacy for many years and I enjoy speaking at events about important issues like stopping the abuse and neglect of people with intellectual disability.

    I have worked on improving health of people with intellectual disability, especially mental health.

    I have been on a number of reference groups and advisory boards representing the voice of people with intellectual disability. It is really important to involve people with intellectual disability in decisions and planning.

    I encourage younger people to learn to speak up, because that next generation of leaders is very important. People need to see role models to imagine themselves doing this work.

  • Tracy Wright

    My career has focused on working with vulnerable groups in the community and human service sectors. I am an experienced executive leader, program director and change manager. My passion is to contribute to positive social change.

    I am currently working as a consultant, using my knowledge and skills to support vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community. I have been working closely with government, not-for-profit and non-government organisations.

    I have an in depth operational knowledge of change management combined with expert communication, collaboration, and relationship management skills. I bring all these skills and experience to the CID Board.

  • Justine O'Neill, CEO

    As Chief Executive Officer of Council for Intellectual Disability I am proud to lead a team that advocates for the rights of people with intellectual disability and to build on CID’s mission to create a community where all people with intellectual disability are valued.

    I have more than 20 years’ experience in service delivery, advocacy, policy development and management in health, ageing, justice and disability contexts. Before joining CID, I was the acting Public Guardian for NSW and I have been active in the movement towards support for decision making for people with cognitive disability.

    I enjoy working with CID’s members and striving together to build a more inclusive and welcoming community.

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