Presenters A – Z

David Abela

David has been the Coordinator at Citizen Advocacy Sunbury for 30 years. He has had experience in recruiting advocates for people living in a large institution (Caloola), CRUs and various other living arrangements and situations. David has participated in numerous CAPEs and completed PASSING and various SRV events. He has come to understand the limitations and dangers of the service system in relation to vulnerable and disadvantaged people’s lives.

John Armstrong

John is a human service consultant with over forty-years experience as an SRV Trainer. He is a past President, Board Member and Citizen Advocate with the Citizen Advocacy Sunbury and Districts program. John has been a CAPE team leader for some ten program assessments. John is the current chairperson of Citizen Advocacy Australia.

Dr Michelle Browning

Michelle is passionate about assisting individuals and organisations to develop their skills in the practice of supported decision-making. She now does this through her business, Decision Agency.  Michelle completed her doctoral studies in supported decision-making at La Trobe University in 2018.  Over the last twelve years she has been involved in developing, implementing and evaluating trials of practice across Australia.  She has assisted government and non-government organisations to produce resources, policy and practice guidelines.  Michelle facilitates training, practice groups and supervision for supporters wanting to build their confidence as practitioners.  She also provides training for decision makers wanting to understand more about decision making and their rights.

Heather Buck

Heather’s involvement with Citizen Advocacy South Australia began in 1987. This was her advocacy orientation for a blessed role, which is still current, and includes both informal and formal components.

She has been on the Board for most of that time since 1989, except for a couple of short breaks over those years. Heather is currently Vice Chair and Public Officer. She has also served the Board in the capacity of Chair, and as facilitator of Citizen Advocacy South Australia’s Program Committee. She has also maintained a close interest in the annual relationship/program review. Heather has been fortunate in participating in three CAPE teams, and is a core member of the Citizen Advocacy Study Group.

Tom Doody

Tom has been involved with Citizen Advocacy for almost forty years. He was part of starting several Citizen Advocacy programs and worked as a coordinator for thirty years. Tom has led about thirty CAPE evaluation teams, attended a variety of advocacy training events, and designed and provided training and consultation to Citizen Advocacy board and staff. Tom has also been actively involved with Social Role Valorization teaching and consultation with a special focus on the role of third parties in fostering and supporting freely-given relationships.

Peter Edman

Peter has been described as a unique entity. He is a sixth-generation descendant of two First Fleet convicts. He was born and raised in Papua New Guinea and has experienced life and schooling from PNG to Sydney. Peter is a teacher with over 25-years’ experience across levels in both primary and secondary sectors. He has been a classroom teacher, teacher-librarian, small school principal, online learning teacher, digital learning mentor for teachers. He has also tutored PNG students at TAFE.  Peter is now a support teacher in inclusive education. He also runs his own education consulting and tutoring business, Square Peg Learning and Training.

Ewan Filmer

Ewan has been coordinator at Capricorn Citizen Advocacy, a State Government funded disability advocacy program in Central Queensland, since July 2013.  Before this he worked for 25 years in local government, mainly in governance and policy roles. He has also supported ex-prisoners. He has a range of current volunteer and advisory roles. Ewan has completed undergraduate studies in journalism and business and post graduate studies in public policy and governance.

Ewan gets a great deal of job satisfaction working alongside the management committee. Ewan finds that freely given relationships are of crucial importance for vulnerable people. They act as a check and balance to paid supports and help protect people from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.  Ewan travelled to the USA in 2016 with funding from the Citizen Advocacy Trust of Australia to research Citizen Advocacy and to participate in a CAPE of North Quabbin Citizen Advocacy in Massachusetts. He is a member of the Citizen Advocacy Study Group.

Denise Gray

Denise is a coordinator with Citizen Advocacy Perth and has worked there for just over a year.  Her previous roles involved engaging with people from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities.  Citizen Advocacy allows Denise to continue with her passion in helping others and she is keen to see how the Citizen Advocacy model develops and adapts as we move into the future.

Dr Lorna Hallahan

Lorna is Associate Professor in the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work at Flinders University. She holds a PhD from Flinders University (2005) and a Bachelor of Social Work from University of Queensland. Lorna has practiced in a range of settings, including disability advocacy and the management of a loss and grief service. Lorna is a major long-term contributor to the development and analysis of disability policy including the development and evaluation of the Trial of The National Disability Insurance Scheme. From July 2019 until late 2020, Lorna was seconded as Senior Research Advisor to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. While in this role, she completed a socio-cultural history of disability in Australia which highlights the persistent ambivalence in our world about whether disabled people belong in the shared pathways of community life or exclusively in serviced settings. <>. Lorna talks and writes regularly on ethical issues in complex human services.

Peter Hill

Peter is self-employed. He has four adult children with his wife, Lynne, two of whom have an Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis. Peter has been an advocate for nearly 22 years with Andrew, who has had struggles with family, health and service issues. Life is somewhat better for him now. Though some issues remain, these do not seem to affect him as much as they would do in the past. Occasionally, these issues can still give him grief. Their relationship has moved on from instrumental advocacy to a life-long relationship. They are good mates!

Heather Hindle

Heather started work in Citizen Advocacy in 1985, as a part-time coordinator of the first Victorian program. A year later, she became the coordinator of the newly established Citizen Advocacy Victorian Resource Unit. In 1998, Heather moved to Sydney to work at the Citizen Advocacy NSW Association, leaving when it was defunded in 2001. During these years Heather participated in SRV training and CAPE evaluations. She also travelled to North America a number of times to attend Citizen Advocacy lectures and conferences. There, she taught and learnt from international colleagues. Following her time with Citizen Advocacy, Heather continued to utilise her advocacy skills, working at the NSW Healthcare Complaints Commission for seven years.

Heather was the Secretary of Citizen Advocacy Australia Trust for 10 years, and is helping to coordinate the Citizen Advocacy Conference in 2023.

Heather demonstrates her belief in the value of Citizen Advocacy in her role as an advocate since 1987 and her support to family members with disability. She is now enjoying retirement, gardening and feeding her grand-dog zucchini slices.

Bob Lee

Bob has been involved in services for people with disability since 1978. From 1984 he has been involved in advocacy efforts aimed at protecting and defending the rights of people with disability. Bob has had involvement in a wide range of projects which have supported people with disability to move from restricted settings to regular lives in the community. In 1996, Bob was the founding coordinator of Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy program, a role he held for 20 years. Bob is well known for supporting the development of Citizen Advocacy in Australia and has hosted a number of successful learning events and activities to that end.

Sharon Lowe

Sharon is a founding member of Capricorn Citizen Advocacy. She is the current secretary of the committee of management and is a Citizen Advocate for a child. Sharon is Capricorn Citizen Advocacy’s representative to the National Citizen Advocacy Network. Sharon has considerable experience as a PASSING Team Leader and as a junior presenter of SRV.

Dr Zana Lutfiyya – Keynote Speaker

Ph.D. (Syracuse University); M.Sc. (Syracuse University); B.A. (University of Manitoba) Professor Emerita University of Manitoba

Zana grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and attended the University of Manitoba. During this time, Zana worked in recreational, residential and vocational services for individuals with intellectual disabilities. she worked as a coordinator for Winnipeg Citizen Advocacy from 1978-1981. She served on the board of Person-to-Person Citizen Advocacy in Syracuse (1988-1992) and on the board of Winnipeg Citizen Advocacy from 1997-2015.

From 1983-1992, she completed her graduate training and then worked in a postdoctoral position at the Center on Human Policy at Syracuse University. In 1992, she accepted a position in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. Her longstanding research interest has been identifying and examining the factors that help or hinder the valued social participation of individuals with intellectual disabilities in community life.

Zana also continued teaching SRV at the University of Manitoba to educators and in community sponsored workshops. She has served as a Senior Trainer at PASSING workshops and participated in and led CAPE teams. Zana has had the privilege of serving on 39 CAPE teams in Canada, the USA and Australia as a team member, leader, report writer, editor, and mentor. As a coordinator and board member, she took part in three CAPE assessments from the other side of the table.

Eloise May

Eloise has been an advocate for equality all her life.  She has been a coordinator at Citizen Advocacy Perth since 2014 and is passionate about the rights of people with intellectual disability.  Eloise would like to see the Citizen Advocacy model advance into the future in a relevant and innovative way.

Rosey Olbrycht

Rosey became involved in Citizen Advocacy after years of following the work of Dr Wolfensberger, specifically Social Role Valorization and PASSING. She began that journey in the mid-1980’s while studying social work and working one-to-one with people with disability.

She joined Citizen Advocacy South Australia in 2000, initially on a part time basis, and continued to further her understanding of the experiences of people with disability, vulnerability and ways to truly make a difference. Rosey has led a few PASSING teams and has studied SRV 10 with John Armstrong. She has presented at SRV and other conferences and is a member of the international SRV and CA communities. Rosey’s Citizen Advocacy journey has enabled her understanding to continue to grow through participating in CAPEs, and as a core member of the Australasian Citizen Advocacy Study group.

Although about to retire, Rosey’s interest and support for Citizen Advocacy continues. She believes Citizen Advocacy is still one of the most powerful ways of providing the protection, support and opportunities necessary for vulnerable people to reach their potential and become who they are truly meant to be.

Andrew Oliver

Andrew is the founder and director of Do For One, a Citizen Advocacy-based program in New York City, USA. He is a social services professional with 18 years of experience assisting adults with developmental disability. This assistance includes their journey to acquire paid work, living at home more independently, building freely-given relationships, volunteering, and finding a sense of belonging in their community. His ideas have been shaped by his training at the Training Institute for Human Services of Syracuse University, the Citizen Advocacy network, and Joni and Friends network. His work has also been informed by a wide range of experiences at his former employer Job Path. This included helping people with disability discover what they are good at and finding employment and social networks that best match their contributions.

Mitchel Peters

Mitchel Peters is a former co-ordinator of Citizen Advocacy Eastern Suburbs in Perth, Western Australia. He has also served on that program’s board of management. Mitchel maintains an active interest and involvement in safeguarding Citizen Advocacy. He has been a member of the Citizen Advocacy Study Group since its inception in 2016. This group meets annually to discuss and learn about the sound implementation of Citizen Advocacy.

James Rostas

James is the current secretary of Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy and is relatively new to Citizen Advocacy. He has been a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner. His special interest is mind-based afflictions and pan-cultural philosophy of mind models and their past and present interpretations.

Jennifer Smith

Jenny was a founding member of Capricorn Citizen Advocacy and is herself a Citizen Advocate. As the current President of Capricorn Citizen Advocacy, Jenny has been actively involved with this organisation since its inception.  She is a core member of the Citizen Advocacy Study Group. Jenny is Capricorn Citizen Advocacy’s delegate to the recently formed Queensland Independent Disability Advocacy Network. She is a former Director of Disability Advocacy Network Australia, and a former Deputy Chairperson of the Queensland Disability Advisory Council.  For several years, Jenny participated in the Combined Advocacy Groups of Queensland, as well as the Advocacy Development Network. Jenny’s strong commitment to Citizen Advocacy has seen her participate in Citizen Advocacy conferences, CAPE teams and other evaluations, and reviews of both Citizen Advocacy programs and service providing agencies. Jenny currently works for Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion as a Decision Support Advocate.  Prior to that, she worked for three years as an NDIS Appeals Advocate. She has a strong appreciation of the various forms of social advocacy for people with disability.

Glenys Videon

Glenys began working at Citizen Advocacy South Australia in 2005. This was on the eve of a Citizen Advocacy Conference which was quickly followed by a CAPE.

Prior to joining Citizen Advocacy South Australia, Glenys worked at Minda Inc. This is a large service provider organisation with a history spanning over 100 years and other various other government departments and organisations.

Jack Yates

Jack has been a staff trainer in the disability field for over forty years.  For that whole period he has been a senior teacher in the workshops of Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger’s, teaching on  Normalization, SRV, history of services, and moral issues.  Jack was also a pioneer and continuing practitioner of person-centered planning, and has been the team leader of several CAPE assessment teams.