EXECUTIVE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
Board Member, Self Advocacy Sydney Inc. 2010 - Current
Bruce was born with Autism and Intellectual Disability. He loves maths and working on his computer. Bruce is a staff member at the Sydney University’s Centre for Disability Studies (CDS), Administration team. He is responsible for web site administration, help with conferences, photo copying, binding, coordinating mail outs and general office work. He is also a member of the CDS inclusive research group. Bruce joined CDS in 1998, and enjoys being part of the team.
Bruce is a strong Self-Advocacy supporter and has been involved with SAS since 1997. Bruce’s robust networking links with CDS has been very beneficial to all our SAS stakeholders - helping us keep up with the latest trends, research and studies relating to Self-Advocacy and issues relating to people with intellectual disability.
Board Member, Self Advocacy Sydney Inc. 2018 - Current
Iva Strnadova, Associate Professor.
Mgr. (Master of Special Education; Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic), PhDr. (Doctor of Philosophy; Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic), PhD (Doctor of Philosophy; Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic), Doc (Associate Professor School of Education UNSW, Fields: Special Education and Disability Tags: Ability and Disability, Special Needs Education)
Iva Strnadová is Associate Professor in Special Education at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Her research aims to contribute to better understanding and the improvement of life experiences of people with disability. She has a particular research interest in the well-being of people with developmental disability (intellectual disability and autism) and their families over the life span, diverse transitions in the lives of people with disability (particularly people with intellectual disability and autism); women with intellectual disability; parents with intellectual disability; and inclusive research.
Iva has a strong history of securing national and international research grants. Since 2005, she has been one of the CIs on more than twenty different research projects on both national and international levels. She conceptualised the research projects, managed research teams, and in some of the projects mentored fellow CIs in the application of the grounded theory approach.
Iva has published two professional books in the field of special education, co-authored nine other books and co-editored two books. She has also written thirty-seven book chapters and thirty-seven peer-refereed journal articles in prestigious journals in this area.
Board Member, Self Advocacy Sydney Inc. 2010 - Current
Joe has intellectual disability. He loves driving his car and going to the speedway at Granville. Joe has been a board member since 2009. Over this period, he has been working closely with SAS’ Administration Manager, Susana Marcora and the financial auditor, Karen Kelly CPA. His role as Treasurer has had him attend many additional committees and he has also headed up a range of associated Financial Sub-committees, overseeing the annual budget.
Joe has always been very helpful to SAS’ members and anyone wishing to use SAS’ services. Joe leads by example and actively encourages people to take on more responsibility by encouraging them all to take it one step at a time. His positive attitude is welcomed by everyone and has been crucial in the development of others gaining new skills.
Co-founder/President/Board Member, Self Advocacy Sydney Inc. 1986 - Current
President/Board Member, NSW Council for Intellectual Disability 1986 - Current
Board Member, Disability Council NSW. 2000 - 2015
Board Member, NSW Intellectual Disability Network Forum. 2010 - 2014
Board Member, Citizen Advocacy Western Sydney Inc. 1990 - 2010
Board Member, Intellectual Disability Rights Service Inc. 1990 - 2010
ROBERT STRIKE, AM
Robert Strike is regarded as a trailblazer - a diplomatic, but always strong, advocate - never wavering in his belief that people with intellectual disability deserve to be valued members of the community. Robert was born with multiple physical and learning disabilities, and also a formidable fighting spirit.
Robert lived in an institution from ages 3 to 17 years, leaving in 1975. During his childhood Robert had some negative experiences resulting in his decision to commit his life to bettering the lives of people with intellectual disability. There were limited opportunities to learn in the institution, and serious restrictions on personal freedom. On leaving, Robert made sure he exceeded all expectations. He has engaged in many educational opportunities he missed growing up. He has also shown that people with intellectual disability can have loving relationships and be successful parents, building an effective support network for his family of 3 young adult children with their mother Julie.
Robert's public work has been equally successful. Robert has made a significant difference to ensuring that the human rights of people with intellectual disability are acknowledged and met and to developing the knowledge, skills and confidence of people with intellectual disability. Robert co-founded Self Advocacy Sydney in 1986 and became a leading light in establishing the self-advocacy movement around Australia. Self-advocacy is about providing people with disability with the knowledge and tools to advocate for themselves, empowering them in a society in which they are significantly disadvantaged. Robert believes it is essential that people with intellectual disability have the confidence in their own abilities in order to better their lives. Robert has held many board positions including SAS President.
Robert works with the Intellectual Disability Rights Service where he educates people who work in the criminal justice system about the rights of people with intellectual disability. He has provided education to major public services like RailCorp.
In 1987 Robert became one of the first people with intellectual disability to be elected to the Board of NSW Council for Intellectual Disability. As the former Chairperson of NSW Council for Intellectual Disability, and current Vice-Chair/Board Member, Robert has engaged in education, advocacy and lobbying. He meets with government Ministers and politicians championing major policy issues. Every service provider, case worker, professional or government official who has met Robert has an enhanced appreciation of the needs, interests and abilities of people with intellectual disability.
Robert has also co-authored many publications. In 2009 Robert's work was recognised when the Hon Jenny Macklin MP presented him with the Minister's Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Disability Awards.
Robert Strike was recognised in the 2017 Australia Day Queen’s Honours List and appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to the community through advocacy and support roles for people with intellectual disability.
Robert and NSW CID's Inclusion Manager, RacheI Spencer, attended the UN Conference of State Parties to the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CoSP) talks in New York in 2017 and 2018, to make sure that people with intellectual disability are not excluded from society, and promoting Easy Read information for everyone.
Board Member, Self Advocacy Sydney Inc. 2010 - Current;
Secretary/Assistant Secretary, MDAA Inc. 2015 - Current;
Accessible NSW Transport Advisory Committee meeting since 2015.
NSW Ombudsman Disability Roundtable committee meeting since 2018
Sarah has Autism, intellectual disability and psychiatric disability. Since 2013, Sarah has been travelling to universities, private colleges, TAFEs, disability organisations and similar organisations to speak about the National Disability Insurance Scheme. She continues to build networks with other organisations and services promoting the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Having been a Living Life My Way Champion, and now being an NDIS Champion has been very important to her. “It makes me feel valued," says Sarah.
Since 2012, Sarah has spoken at conferences in New Zealand, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Hobart. She has received two encouragement awards and was nominated for an Inspiration Individual Achievement Award by Autism Spectrum Australia.
Sarah has a Diploma of Business, Disability, Case Management, Diploma of Leadership and Management, Certificate IV in Mental Health and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Her next education goal is to undertake the Diploma in Training and Design or vocational education and training. She would like to continue to develop her skills related to providing training and support for people with disabilities to advocate for themselves.
Sarah was one of the first people to attend Uni 2 Beyond (formally the Inclusive Education Program), at the University of Sydney through the Centre for Disability Studies. This initiative gives people with intellectual disability the opportunity to go to university classes and experience university life. I believe in the rights of people with disabilities to have choice and control over what they want to do. Breaking barriers to achieve individual goals. Just because you have got a disability doesn’t mean that you can’t do something. Sarah believes nothing will stop her helping others achieving their goals.
Board Member, Self Advocacy Sydney Inc. 2013 - Current;
Blacktown City Council Access Advisory Committee 2017 – Current;
NSW Justice Disability Advisory Council 2017 – Current.
Allen was born with Cerebral Palsy and an intellectual disability. Allen has been a client at SAS since 2013. Allen’s greatest highlight at SAS was in 2017, meeting The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd). Allen’s strong belief in Self-Advocacy has been inspirational, and an example to everyone: that it’s never too late to improve your quality of life.
Allen has managed to be elected as a board member and is currently a board representative on the following committees:
John has recently been elected to the Executive Board in September 2018. John has a long association with SAS. He replaced Lyn Beard, who was the Board’s support person, when she unexpectedly passed away in 2012. John has been steadfast in this role since taking over from his wife. Lyn would have been so proud to see John a SAS board member. Her passion supporting our board has been outstanding and John commitment to supporting the board has been just as wonderful and very much appreciated by everyone.
John retired from Telstra, after a long professional career. His extensive skills and experience have been vital in supporting the board meet their governance responsibilities. Furthermore, John’s extensive corporate and networking experience has been a huge benefit to our stakeholders.
SUPPORTING THE BOARD since 1986
TREVOR PARMENTER, AM, Emeritus Professor.
BA PhD FACE FAAIDD FIASSIDD FASSID
From 1997 until his retirement on 4 December 2009, Professor Emeritus Trevor R. Parmenter held the Foundation Chair of Developmental Disability, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. He is Honorary Professor in the Faculties of Education and Social Work and Health Sciences at the University of Sydney; and Adjunct Professor in the School of Rural Medicine, University of New England. He also held the conjoint position of the Director of the Centre for Disability Studies at the Royal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney.
Former positions include Professorial Fellow and Director of the Unit for Community Integration Studies at Macquarie University; prior to which he held teaching and administrative positions in the New South Wales Department of Education and Training.
He is a Past President of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) and former ex-officio member of the Board of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disability (AAIDD). He has worked closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
In 2005 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his contributions to research, teaching and services to people with developmental disabilities. In 2010 The Senate of the University of Sydney conferred on him the title of Professor Emeritus in recognition of his distinguished research and teaching career.
He has published widely on disability issues including employment, supported living, classification of support needs, behaviour support, mental and physical health, quality of life, autism, family studies, ageing, policy development and program evaluation.