The Management Committee


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Australian Centre for Disability Law (ACDL) is incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW) and governed by the Management Committee.

Expressions of interest in joining the Management Committee can be forwarded to the Operations Manager.

The Management Committee comprises of the following volunteers:


Rosemary Kayess Chairperson: Rosemary Kayess

Rosemary Kayess is a human rights lawyer, and Director, Human Rights and Disability Project, of the Australian Human Rights Centre at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales in Sydney, where she teaches international human rights law. Rosemary is also A senior research fellow at the Social Policy Research Centre UNSW. Rosemary was a member of the Australian government delegation to the General Assembly ad hoc Committee for the negotiations on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is a member of the AusAID Disability Reference Group. She has a commitment to human rights for people with disability and is excited to be part of the disability rights movement at such a dynamic time of change.


Ebru SumaktasVice Chairperson: Ebru Sumaktas

Ebru Sumaktas has over 10 years of experience working within the disability sector in various positions that have allowed her to work with state and federal laws that protect the rights of people with a disability and their families.

Having lived the experience of living with a vision impairment, in addition to her employment history that consists of NGOs and NSW Government disability agencies, Ebru is committed to improving the rights for people with a disability in employment, education and equitable access to accommodation and information.


Jenny GreenSecretary: Jenny Green

Jenny Green joined the management committee in 1999. She has over 25 years of experience in disability and not-for-profit management.  Currently she is the Program Director of the Postgraduate Community and Not-for-profit Management Program at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Prior to her appointment at UTS she was the State Manager of Disability Services in NSW TAFE. She is a member of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal in both the Community Services Division and the Guardianship and Protective Estates Division.

Her areas of interest and research are values based organisations, careers and human rights.


Lai Ha WuTreasurer: Lai Ha Wu

Lai Ha has been Treasurer for almost 6 years having joined the Committee in 2005.  She holds a Bachelor of Economics (Hons), a Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting and Finance, and is a member of the Institute of Public Accountants (MIPA). Lai Ha has an extensive background of accountancy/book keeping practice in the community sector and almost 15 years’ experience in the disability sector.  She held the position of Finance Manager at People with Disability Australia for 10 years before moving to her current position as Finance Manager at the Mental Health Association NSW in 2007. Lai Ha also provides financial services for the Aboriginal Disability Network NSW and the First People Disability Network (Australia).  Apart from her financial skills and expertise, Lai Ha brings to her role personal, life-long, experience of disability and her personal experience as a migrant from a non-English speaking background.


Ya’el FrischCommittee Member: Ya’el Frisch

I’m a young lawyer with cerebral palsy and a passion for social justice (not entirely related!), and I loved volunteering at community legal centres as a student. I’m excited to contribute to ACDL’s work.

My interests include music, movies, politics and a good debate! I’m also addicted to TV shows depicting the law as I’d like to be, a force for empowerment and social change.


Julian Laurens

Committee Member: Julian Laurens

Julian brings a wealth of knowledge of community and social justice concerns as well as management and administrative matters to the Australian Centre for Disability Law. Julian has worked in a variety of roles within the community and not-for-profit sector including in children’s and youth services, disability services and homeless services. Julian has also worked at the peak body for Community Legal Centres in NSW, and is currently working at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales as a Project/Research Officer. Julian is particularly passionate about access to education and justice for people with disability and/or mental health issues, especially children and young people. Julian has a BA (Education & History) (Distinction) from UNSW, a Certificate IV in Youth Work (Distinction), and is completing an LLB (UNSW).


Michele Nealon Committee Member: Michele Nealon

Michele Nealon has significant experience in community management and the not for profit sector. She is passionate about excellent governance and continuous improvement in community organisations. Michele is a current member and active contributor to the Disability Council of NSW, the Deafness Council of NSW and Deafness Forum of Australia. She is committed to supporting the rights of people with disability and proactively encourages the community to be inclusive of all people.



Joanna NicolCommittee Member: Joanna Nicol

Joanna Nicol has spent her career working to help governments at all levels as well as the private sector see the value of, and work towards including the broadest range of people in all aspects of civil, social, community and business. She has worked at local, state levels in NSW and WA and federally in Australia and the UK. She has also done work in the private sector helping to implement change management. Degrees in areas like psychology and public policy have helped her do this, although she is the eternal student.

Joanna enjoys reading, writing (but not arithmetic), good food, and travel. She is a tech geek and also blogs. She lives in Sydney.



Heidi ForrestCommittee Member: Heidi Forrest

Heidi is a life-long disability activist and bases her advocacy on her lived experience of disability both as a person with disability and also the parent of a son with disability. She lives in regional NSW in the Hunter Valley and has recently completed a law degree at the University of Newcastle. Heidi has significant experience in organisational governance in the not-for-profit sector and has previously been the president of People with Disability Australia. She has a strong social justice background, with a passion for inclusion and a ‘Fair Go’ for everyone.