Dominique Saunders has been a lawyer for almost 30 years, she was previously a social worker. She has held positions as General Counsel at Barwon Health, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and Western Health, deputy president of the Mental Health Tribunal and special counsel in the health and aged care team of a respected mid-tier law firm.
For her achievements in the law she has been recognised by Australian Women Lawyers/Women Barristers Association for General Excellence In-House Government Law, as well as by the Law Institure of Victoria for General Excellence in Human Rights and Government Law.
She moved to Geelong in the summer of 2018 and runs a home based legal practice with a focus on health, ethics and diversity.
Cameron Bray has worked in social services and government since the early noughties. He spent over five years in London working to improve the social, health and housing services for disadvantaged people. This included a time working at a not-for-profit agency providing support to people with a disability and those experiencing homelessness.
Since 2008 he has held a variety of executive roles in the Victorian Public Service, with a focus on law reform in the criminal justice system. He has a particular interest in therapeutic justice and finding ways to prevent people – particularly young people – from entering the gaol system.
He is a comparatively new (and very happy) Geelong resident, having moved with his family from Melbourne in 2017.
Shirley Humphris has a 7 year old granddaughter who was NDIS participant number 3 in July 2013. Getting the right plan for intense, complex needs has been an exhausting process for the family. That journey has been an eye-opener into the struggles for disability rights and the battle of bureaucracy.
Shirley is working as a Radiographer at Barwon Medical Imaging Hospital Geelong. She qualified in the UK and emigrated to Australia in the 70’s under the assisted passage scheme, with a plan to give it the two years required of the fare then return. She found the lifestyle and opportunity in Australia the best place to raise a family. Shirley studied part time at Deakin university and has a BA major in psychology.
Shirley was a stay at home mum with her four children and passionate about supporting new mums and their babies. She was active in the Childbirth Education Association, the establishing of Geelong Montessori kindergarten, formed the Leopold Nursing Mothers’ Association and was a qualified breastfeeding counsellor for 9 years.
With a background in the difficulties parents face without the complication of disability, Shirley has become an activist with a particular drive to enable the support for parents who are managing their own and/or their child’s disability as part of their parenting.
Shirley’s particular focus has been through sharing her learning of NDIS through social media and sadly seeing the distress of many struggling with lack of support. The imbalance of power dealing with government bodies, for those with intellectual and psychological disability is particularly disturbing. Shirley hopes to be of assistance to Villamanta’s work in addressing the legal rIghts of people with disabilities.
Brenda currently lives in Geelong West after moving from Melbourne around six years ago. For 25 years, her professional life involved working with young people and adults who seek support and guidance to achieve their personal, educational and career goals.
Brenda’s work has lead to the development of strong networks in the youth, education and disability sector. She has worked in the Education and Welfare sectors both in Melbourne and Geelong. Brenda worked in a volunteer capacity for Villamanta for around two years.
Brenda’s son has complex disabilities so she has a broad knowledge of the disability sector. In her working life she had a strong commitment to supporting the families of young people by introducing them to options that will improve their relationships and communications and foster a positive was forward for their family.
Brenda’s interests are swimming, tango, reading, film and walking.
Brenda says she’s looking forward to working with Villamanta as a Committee member in 2020.
My name is Jackie Cruickshank, I am the parent of an adult with CP and other complex needs. Also growing up in a family with a sibling with a disability, I have always been aware of the many challenges families of disabled people face.
A few years back our family had the need to use Villamanta legal services and we found the service exceptional. So I am proud to have been accepted to become a committee member of Villamanta, and hope my contribution can be of value to others.
Les is currently president of AdamSupport Inc, a non-profit organisation whose main focus is empowering and supporting his son Adam. In the 1980-90’s, Les was a founding member and Chairman of ‘Chandler Co-operative’, one of 13 disability groups forming the Victorian Parent Advocacy Collective (VPAC). VPAC in-serviced school communities and supported children with disabilities to access their local schools through the Victorian School Integration program. This enabled Adam to complete his VCE, after which he decided he never again wanted to be segregated. His high needs and the families experience in those early years was instrumental in his success for early access to the NDIS. The NDIS now provides him with the supports he needs to live an independent life.
Amanda Millear is Villamanta’s Deputy President and has been a member of the Committee of Management since 1995, 26 years and has been the Deputy President for at least 22 of those years. Amanda is the second longest serving Committee member and longest serving Deputy President and a person who has a disability. In her role as Deputy President, Amanda sometimes chairs the bi-monthly committee meetings, which she enjoys.
Villamanta’s Deputy President, has been a member of the Committee of Management since 1995, 26 years and has been the Deputy President for at least 22 of those years. Amanda is the second longest serving Committee member and longest serving Deputy President and a person who has a disability. In her role as Deputy President, Amanda sometimes chairs the bi-monthly committee meetings, which she enjoys.
Neville Porter is an Ordinary Member of Villamanta’s Committee of Management. Neville has been on the Committee since it started 29 years ago.
Neville attends acting classes at Karingal which he has been doing for a number of years, which he really enjoys.
Neville works at Douro Street GENU in North Geelong. Neville is good at his job and is a member of the Geelong Football Club cheer squad. “Go Cats!” Nev also sings in a choir once a week at the Wesley Church.