Executive Board

peter lockyer

Peter Lockyer, President

Peter Lockyer has been the President of the SAS Executive Board since 2019. 

He has contributed to making the voice of people with intellectual disability heard, especially in the organisation of Self Advocacy Sydney.

Peter was also active in setting up the new offices for our growing Leadership and Peer Support (LAPS) program. 

Professor Iva Strnadova, Secretary

Professor Iva Strnadova is the secretary of the Executive Board.

She is a current Professor at the University of New South Wales. 

She is a researcher focused on special education and disability. 

Her research aims to contribute to better understanding and improvement of the life experiences of people with disabilities.

Click here to see Professor Iva Strnadova’s full profile

Joe Refalo, Treasurer

Joe has an intellectual disability. 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.

“One step at a time” is a phrase Joe lives by. Joe leads by example and always encourages people to try new things. 

His positive attitude is welcomed by everyone and has been crucial in the development of others gaining new skills. 

He loves driving his car and going to the speedway at Granville.

Professor Trevor Parmenter AM, Patron

Professor Trevor Parmenter AM is the Patron of the Board. 

He has held many positions at different universities as a Professor and researcher, and has published widely on many disability issues. 

Professor Trevor Parmenter AM was awarded an Order of Australia in 2005 for his contributions to research, teaching and services to people with developmental disabilities. 

Click here to see Professor Trevor Parmenter AM’s full profile

Robert Strike AM

Robert Strike AM is a Board Member and is also the founder of Self Advocacy Sydney (SAS). 

Robert founded SAS after seeing the need for an organisation to help people with intellectual disabilities learn about their rights and gain confidence to speak for themselves.

He has also spoken at the United Nations in 2017 and 2018 about self advocacy for people with intellectual disability.  

Robert Strike AM was awarded an Order of Australia in 2015 for his contributions in the area of disability advocacy. 

Click here to see Robert Strike’s full profile

John Beard

John was elected to the Executive Board in September 2018, after 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 on the Board since taking over from his wife Lyn. Her passion supporting our board has been amazing and John’s commitment to supporting the board has been just as wonderful and appreciated by everyone.

John retired from Telstra, after a long professional career. His skills and experience have been vital in supporting the board meet their responsibilities. Furthermore, John’s extensive corporate and networking experience has been a huge benefit to our stakeholders.

Allen Gittoes

Allen was born with Cerebral Palsy and an intellectual disability.

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.

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