National Experts

National Experts

State Experts


Christine Bigby
Research Leader, Living with Disabilities Research Group, La Trobe University

Christine is a leading disability researcher in Australia with particular expertise in the field of adults with intellectual disability and their families.

New South Wales

Patricia OBrien
Patricia O’Brien
Director, Centre for Disability Studies, University of Sydney

Patricia is a Professor of Disability Studies at the University of Sydney. Her research interests lie in advocacy, deinstitutionalisation, inclusive education and more recently inclusive research.



Friederike Gadow
Research Fellow, Centre for Disability Studies

Friederike has background in disability research and speech pathology. Her current work focuses on promoting inclusion of people with intellectual disability in tertiary education, consultancy for NSW Government in the area of person centred approaches and behaviour support, as well as disseminating practical knowledge and expertise on disability issues through Diploma level and postgraduate teaching.


South Australia

Dianne Chartres
Dianne Chartres

Dianne has over 30 years’ experience as a human services practitioner, service manager, executive and policy analyst – predominantly in the disability field, rights protection and safeguarding of vulnerable adults.



Jill Wishart

Jill is the mother of a 44 year old man who has a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Since his birth Jill has worked extensively to ensure he has the same opportunities as all other citizens to achieve and has supported him to have dreams and goals that were not disability focused. She joined with other parents with similar aspirations and represented them on Boards of Management at State and National levels on policy development. Jill is a regular Lecturer and Tutor at Flinders University in the Disability Studies degree.



Margaret Reynolds
Margaret Reynolds

Margaret has a background in education, public policy and human rights advocacy. Her teaching career has included primary, special and tertiary education and her early work with children with disabilities greatly influenced her future career path.



Christina Ryan
General Manager, Advocacy for Inclusion

Christina is an expert in the field of non-profit governance and management. Her skills lie in the areas of change management, human rights implementation, human resources dilemmas, and good practice governance and management. Christina has sat on a number of Government advisory bodies concerned with the topics of women, disability and the community sector. She has also sat on many non-profit boards and holding positions of both chair and deputy-chair. Christina has been a member of Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) for 20 years. She played a key role in the use of mainstream forums by women with disabilities at the United Nations.