Disability and Inclusion Advisory Board

The Disability and Inclusion Advisory Board is comprised of Deakin representatives and external experts in the field, including people with disability, course alumni, and representatives from industry bodies who employ our students. The board contributes to the relevance and currency of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses in disability and inclusion and the ultimate success of our students.

Industry members

Alexandra Gunning (Chair)

Director, Operations Support Division, National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)

Alexandra has extensive experience across the disability services sector having commenced her career working with people who have a disability in early 1981. Her experience includes several specific roles ranging from a direct care practitioner, learning and development, behaviour intervention support specialist, forensic services, and project management (including capital and service redevelopment roles).

Alexandra also has senior leadership experience across a variety of roles whilst working in the Victorian State Government, Transport Accident Commission, not-for-profit Disability Services sector and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

Alexandra was instrumental in establishing one of the NDIA’s first trial sites in Victoria (2013) and has since managed a number of program areas within the NDIA’s participant experience, policy development, market and sector development and communications and engagement divisions.

Alexandra is also a board member of the Victorian Disability Worker Registration Board, and Samaritan House Geelong (a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting men experiencing homelessness).

Jacqueline McKim

Jacqui McKim has extensive experience in the community services sector, having spent close to a decade working in client engagement and diversity and inclusion in not-for-profit organisations. Jacqui has a lived experience of cerebral palsy, and strongly believes in the value of people with disability sharing their lived experience to inform and influence the systems and services they engage with.

Jacqui is currently the Diversity and Inclusion Advisor at genU, and a non-Executive Director of the Kids Plus Foundation.

Nadia Mattiazzo

Nathan Despott

Deakin members

Professor Jennifer Watts, Head of School, Health and Social Development

Associate Professor Angela Dew, Lead, Disability and Inclusion

Dr Joanne Watson, Director, Postgraduate Disability and Inclusion

Graduate representatives

Ms Miia Tolvanen

Student representatives

Ms Bridge Charter

Ms Julia Manning

Julia is currently undertaking the Master of Disability and Inclusion at Deakin. She is particularly passionate about inclusive technology and services, specifically for people with speech, language and communication needs.

Julia has professional and volunteer experience in disability contexts domestically, in Europe and within the United Kingdom. She is currently employed at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission where she helps to resolve instances of discrimination through her work as a Conciliator.

Mr Jeremy Finkelstein

Jeremy joined the advisory board in 2021 and is a current Disability and Inclusion student. Jeremy has been working in the industry for almost seven years now, starting as a disability support worker and foster carer in Melbourne. Jeremy currently studies part-time while working full-time managing a not-for-profit that focuses on support provision and mentoring for children and young adults.

Jeremy has lived experience with Autism Spectrum Disorder, which was diagnosed just after finishing secondary school. This has given him a unique perspective and he has applied that experience to his focus on how intellectual disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder can affect someone in their late teens or early adulthood.


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