Our Board

Our board of directors sets the direction and policy on key issues, based on the agreement of our members. It makes sure the organisation is focused on its purpose and strategic objectives, and manages its resources efficiently and effectively.

Serena Ovens – Chair

CEO, Physical Disability Council NSW

Serena Ovens is the current DANA Chairperson, having first come onto the Board in 2018. She is a member of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Institute of Community Directors Australia and has significant governance experience, having also held director positions on numerous community sector boards including The Junction Neighbourhood Centre and Neighbour Connections NSW. 

Serena is also the CEO of the Physical Disability Council of NSW (PDCN), the peak systemic advocacy body for people with a physical disability in NSW. Serena has worked as a senior executive for 18 years, previously as the State Education Manager for the Asthma Foundation, overseeing all aspects of the Registered Training Organisation and a team of over 200 trainers across the State. Before this, she ran a small business and has strong finance and business development expertise. 

Serena also currently leads the NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance, a group of 22 NSW advocacy organisations who have successfully campaigned for the continuation of NSW government funding for the disability advocacy sector and sits on over 20 State and Federal advisory bodies advocating for the equitable inclusion of people with physical disability. 

Image of Serena Ovens, smiling
Deborah Wilson – Deputy Chair

CEO, Independent Advocacy North Queensland

Deborah is the Deputy-Chair of DANA, a position she first held in 2017.  

Deborah is also the CEO and Secretary of Independent Advocacy in the Tropics Inc, an organisation which seeks to empower people with disability through independent advocacy. 

Deborah has a wealth of experience in both the private and not for profit sectors in management and governance, administration, client services, ICT, marketing, WH&S and event management.  Along with this, she also has management committee experience having served in a variety of roles in both the business and sporting arenas.  

Deborah is a member of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Institute of Managers and Leaders and was a Finalist in the AIM’s Excellence Awards – NFP Manager – Townsville Region. 

 

Deborah Wilson smiling

Geoff Southwell – Treasurer

CEO, Leadership Plus, VIC

Geoff is the Treasurer of DANA and the Chair of the Finance and Risk Committee. Geoff has been on the DANA Board since 2018. 

Geoff is the CEO of Leadership Plus, an organisation which supports and promotes social justice and human rights for people with disability through individual advocacy and systemic advocacy in Victoria. 

Geoff also sits on the Board of the Victorian Disability Worker Commission and the Mental Health Legal Centre.  

 

Image of Geoff Southwell smiling

Fiona Campbell – Director

Manager, Independent Advocacy SA

Fiona has been on the Board of DANA since 2017 and is a member of the Finance and Risk Committee. She is the manager of Independent Advocacy SA, which advocates for vulnerable individuals with intellectual disability and those who are identified or treated as having an intellectual disability in South Australia. 

  

 

Fiona Campbell smiling

 

Terri-Ann Dwyer – Director

Manager, TASC Legal and Social Justice Services, QLD

Terri-Ann joined the Board of DANA in 2019. Terri-Ann is the Manager of TASC’s Social Justice Services team, where she oversees the operational framework, implementation, analysis and delivery of advocacy and social work services.  

Before joining TASC in 2014, Terri-Ann worked for more than two decades in a variety of roles in the disability sector.  She has held positions in organisations spanning both large state-wide non-government service providers and smaller regional providers.  With qualifications in disability, training, and business, she has strong experience in leading teams, providing direct support to clients, education and training as well as implementing new programs. 

As Manager of TASC’s Advocacy and Social Justice programs, Terri-Ann’s recent achievements include overseeing the successful implementation of new Intake systems, technology, and processes to better support clients; and developing new partnerships with the University of Southern Queensland to run research, student advocacy and counselling projects.  She frequently speaks and presents to the media, local community organisations and service providers, and at network and interagency meetings, particularly on the topics of disability advocacy and elder abuse. 

Terri-Ann Dwyer smiling
Jenny Hughes – Director

CEO, Advocacy for Disability Access & Inclusion, SA

Jenny joined the Board of DANA in 2018 and is a member of the Finance and Risk Committee. Jenny is the CEO of Advocacy for Disability Access and Inclusion (ADAI) and Catalyst Foundation. Jenny is a member of several not for profit and Government Committees with a focus on health, wellbeing, ageing and disability. 

Prior to working at ADAI Jenny has worked over 3 decades in community services, community engagement, strategic and social planning, collaboration, public speaking, and facilitation. This work has been undertaken across all tiers of Government and the charitable sector. In addition, Jenny has also worked in the private sector and has owned and managed a consultancy. 

Jenny’s work includes a strong focus and commitment to human rights and working collaboratively on projects and programs which foster social cohesion within a strengths-based approach and engagement across a wide range of sectors and issues.

 

Jenny Hughes smiling

 

Wendy Prowse – Director

CEO, ADACAS, ACT

Wendy joined the Board of DANA in 2021. Wendy has been the CEO of ADACAS since 2020, an organisation that provides advocacy and information services to people with disability, people experiencing mental ill-health, older people, and their carers. ADACAS provides these services in Canberra and on the South Coast of NSW. 

Prior to working at ADACAS, Wendy held various senior management positions in the finance, health, and community sectors, working for national as well as local Canberra organisations. She has experience working in the commercial and not for profit sector. 

Wendy’s passion and dedication to social justice and human rights has underpinned all her working and volunteer roles.  Wendy has held various non-executive board director positions and is currently a Board Director for the Australian Red Cross. 

Wendy is a member of the ACT Government’s Inclusion Council, a member of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders.

 

Wendy Prowse smiling