Board of Management

The PDCN Board of Management has a role regarding the good governance of the Physical Disability Council of NSW and implementing its Strategic direction. The  PDCN Board meet regularly through each year to monitor PDCN’s progress against the plan and other statutory and financial requirements.

In addition the Board of Management receive training on Governance yearly and revisit and review Governance documents and guidelines relating to the manner in which the Board of Management conducts its business, to ensure the currency of Board practices.

  • Chris Sparks
    Chris Sparks President

Chris Sparks (President)

Chris Sparks was elected to office in October 2016.

Chris is a wheelchair user whom brings a wealth of corporate experience to the PDCN Board, and with a base in rural NSW offers a unique perspective into the needs of our regional and rural members.

He has recently retired from his position as the Chief Executive Officer of the Assistive Technology Suppliers of Australasia, and previous to that held numerous Managing Director and Business Systems consult positions of various commercial entities where he has applied sound strategic and commercial business practice to deliver solid sustainable business performance.

Chris has a diverse background in sport also, representing both Australia and NSW in Wheelchair Basketball, and was awarded the 2000 Australian Sports medal for contribution to sport.

In addition, he has also worked in sports journalism, commentating at the Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games and for FOX and ABC sports, 2UE and ABC radio.

Chris is a former Board Member of the Disability Council of NSW, Northcott Disability Services and Chairman of Wheelchair Sports NSW. 

  • Matthew Kayrooz
    Matthew Kayrooz Vice President

Matthew Kayrooz  (Vice President)

Matthew has worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years, with senior management experience across product and claims management, customer service and dispute resolution.

Matthew has worked for several insurance companies, including NRMA, AAMI and his current employer, Suncorp.

Over the last 10 years, he has worked in Compulsory Third Party Insurance, the personal injury scheme, looking after people injured in motor vehicle accidents. This work has involved developing a CTP product with affordable premiums for motorists that offers fair and adequate compensation to injured people, especially those with serious injuries.

Matthew has developed experience and an interest in finding ways to assist injured people in their recovery and attempting to get them back to their lives.

Matthew’s role in CTP also includes involvement at government and industry levels around developing improvements and amendments to the existing CTP scheme.

Matthew is married with 3 children and has keen interests in sport and music.

Matthew also currently sits on the on the Board of Technical Aid for the Disabled.

Matthew joined the PDCN Board in October 2015

  • Simone Stanford
    Simone Stanford Treasurer

Simone Stanford (Treasurer)

Taking up a position on the PDCN Board in October 2017, Simone has many years of experience in running successful businesses, and ensuring compliance with ATO, ASIC and other relevant entities. In addition, she has held the position of Treasurer for a private school, liaising with the Dept of Education to increase State and Federal subsidies, and securing grants and overseeing administrative, financial and investment options in this role.

Simone has also held positions of Director and Secretary on company boards, holds a Bachelor in Psychology and also worked as a telephone counsellor for Telefriend.

Having lived with quadriplegia for over 30 years, Simone is also acutely aware of the challenges faced by a person with a significant disability, and is now learning firsthand the impact of ageing with a disability. She believes in the importance of long-term planning to ensure people with a disability are well set up to gain their independence, and remain that way for as long as possible, and is looking forward to bringing her wealth of personal experience to making a positive contribution to the PDCN board.

  • David Jeffries
    David Jeffries Secretary

David Jeffries (Secretary)

A PDCN Board member since November 2015, David has recently left his position as Marketing Director of Invacare Australia and New Zealand to establish his own Assistive Technologies business, South West Mobility.

Whilst working for Invacare, he assisted in launching their digital strategy, integrating social media and a digital marketing system. In addition, during his eight years there he worked with the international marketing groups in Europe and America to establish Invacare’s Global Marketing Council.

His true passion is sport and through Invacare’s events and sponsorships, he played an active part of sports development in Australia and New Zealand, which truly lived up to Invacare’s brand promise “Making Life’s Experience’s Possible”.

David currently coaches wheelchair basketball, volunteers yearly at the Wheelchair Sports NSW Junior Xmas Camp, and is a previous Board member of Queensland Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

  • Jacob Cross
    Jacob Cross Board Member

Jacob Cross (Board Member)

Jacob is a young man on a mission!

He is a firm believer in giving people a voice when they may not be able to advocate for themselves, and ensuring all people with a disability gain the most out of life and achieve their goals.

At only 23, Jacob himself is well on the way to achieving his. He is currently studying Urban Planning at Western Sydney University, and working part-time in a planning and consultancy firm to build his skills in this area, hoping to become a town planner or access consultant upon completion of his degree, as he feels this will allow him to use his lived experience to ensure the built environment becomes a more accessible place for people with a disability.

Jacob is also passionate about sport, representing Australia at Powerchair Football, and is player representative on the Board of the NSW Powerchair Football Association.

Jacob joined the PDCN Board in October 2017.

  • Julia Mansour
    Julia Mansour Board Member

Julia Mansour (Board Member)

Julia is currently a Senior Solicitor in Strategic Litigation at PIAC, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, and holds a wealth of experience in disability discrimination and human rights advocacy.

Julia’s previous roles include Judicial Associate at the High Court of Australia, Solicitor at Womens’ Legal Services NSW and as a sessional lecturer for the Faculties of Law at University of Melbourne and UNSW.

Julia holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from UNSW, and a Masters of Laws from Columbia University. She is qualified to practice as a solicitor in NSW.

Julia has joined the PDCN board in October 2017, as she feels passionately about disability advocacy, and hopes to contribute her skills in the legal and policy work done by the organisation.

  • Michael Rabbitt
    Michael Rabbitt Board Member

Michael Rabbitt (Board Member)

Michael has recently retired after a long corporate career in senior management roles in the insurance industry, holding down operational, sales portfolio and strategy roles, and says he is looking for new challenges!

Joining the PDCN Board in October 2017, Michael brings a wealth of experience in developing and implementing strategy, ensuring customer’s needs are met and leading teams through significant times of change.

Michael is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and is also currently on the Board of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia.

  • Rex Betar
    Rex Betar Board Member

Rex Betar (Board Member)

Rex Betar is a current Associate at McKinsey and Company, consulting for both private and government clients.

He has functional experience in rapid turnarounds and transformations, strategy and organisational review and has designed and conducted business modelling for companies such as Qantas and the Nous Group.

Rex holds a Masters of Human Rights Law, a Master of Business (Oxford) and is admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of NSW.

As a young man with Cerebral Palsy whom made the journey from wheelchair to Oxford graduate, Rex uses his experiences to mentor others with cerebral palsy on career and independent living, and is a sought after motivational speaker.

Rex is the most recent member of the PDCN board, taking up a casual vacancy left by an outgoing Board member, and is looking forward to bringing his lived and business experience to the governance of the organisation.

Serena Ovens (Public Officer)

PDCN Executive Officer Serena Ovens is currently serving as Public Officer.