Our Board of Directors


Photo of 2019 Board. John, Matt, Sharon, Peter, Nigel and Des
2019-20 QDN Board Of Directors. From left: John MacPherson (deputy-chair), Matt McCracken, Sharon Boyce, Peter Gurr, Nigel Webb (Chair) and Des Ryan
with Company Secretary Colleen Popadopulos and CEO Paige Armstrong.
Absent: Stacy Miller


Des Ryan

Chairperson, Rockhampton

Des Ryan

Des has a twenty-year history with not-for-profit boards in Central Queensland providing care services to people with disabilities or training. Des has been a board member of Spinal Life Australia’s since 1996, resigning in January 2018, and leading the transition from a community-based board to a mixed board with a diverse skill set from the business and corporate sector.

Des has established a business which continues to offer employment to people and a vast range of experience with organisations supporting people with disabilities.  Des was an awarded Rotary and Companion of Central Queensland University recipient and in 2013 was a recipient of the Order of Australia Medal in 2013 for service to people with disabilities.

With 50 years personal experience with a disability, Des is hoping he can influence change, driven by the members of this network so that we can influence the direction of the NDIS into the future. Des says the highlight of his life as a person with a disability has been employment and volunteering. These are the two areas, in my mind, that put the cream on the cake. I would like to be able to maximise that opportunity for many others now and into the future.


Sharon Boyce

Deputy Chair, Toowoomba

Sharon Boyce

Sharon is a part-time education academic and consultant in disability awareness across the state. She is passionate and committed to social justice – empowering people with a disability and supporting real living independence.

Sharon is the Chair for the Queensland Disability Advisory Council and Regional Chair of the South West Regional Disability Advisory Council.

Among the awards she has received are the Queensland Regional Achiever Award in 2012 for her work in awareness raising and creating inclusive communities across Australia, a Human Rights Award in 2008 for her contribution to creating inclusion across the community, and a Disability Action Week Award in 2003 for her work writing an accessible children’s story book.



Jane Britt

Board Director, Brisbane

Jane Britt, Board Director, Brisbane

Jane has a unique blend of personal experience with disability; expertise in the disability sector; a reputation for high-quality performance; a passion for advocacy and is a human rights expert.

Jane is the National Policy Officer at Blind Citizens Australia, a disability-led organisation, where over 75% of the staff and 100% of the board have lived experience of vision impairment or blindness. Jane is a graduate of Vision Australia’s Graduate Start program in Service Innovation and Design. She has worked with the Disability Leadership Institute as an Engagement Guru and as a freelance writer for the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) and Eureka Street.

As an integral member of QDeNgage, Jane has provided advice and feedback on disability for government consultations with QDeNgage.
She has been a member of the Reference Group for Deafblind Australia and is a Founder of Achilles Brisbane, a not-for-profit organisation assisting people with disabilities to lead an active lifestyle.

Jane brings to the Board considerable experience from across the disability sector. She is an active member of Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) and a member of the Expert Advisory and Quality Review Panel for Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA). Jane has recently been awarded a 2020 Vision Australia Award for her commitment to advocacy. The awards acknowledge people and organisations who contribute time and resources to support the work of Vision Australia and the wider blind and low vision community.


John MacPherson

Board Director, Brisbane

John McPherson

John is a founding member of QDN and is a strong believer that the network enhances its members’ lives and empowers them through information and representation.

John has a highly developed skill set around technical areas. He has represented QDN on many committees and forums including technical advisor during the drafting of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport, one of the authors of the Premises Standard, author of the Accessible Rail Code of Practice, and authored or commented on numerous QDN responses to DDA related draft technical documents and DDA related legislation.

John currently represents QDN on:

• Queensland Rail DDA Advisory Group;
• Transport and Main Roads Access Committee;
• Australian Network for Universal Housing Design;
• Queensland Action for Universal Housing Design.


Peter Tully

Board Director, Ipswich

Peter Tully, Board Director, IpswichPeter Tully grew up attending CPL Queensland (previously Cerebral Palsy League) in New Farm and was involved in all areas of the centre into his early adult life.

After starting a computer business in Brisbane, Peter moved to Ipswich in 1997. In 2002, Peter joined the staff at Catalyst Church Ipswich as a volunteer, providing IT support, which he is still doing today.

Peter joined QDN in late 2006 and in April 2009 became the QDN Ipswich Regional Facilitator. In 2017 Peter received QDN life membership.

Peter brings to the Board valuable lived experience, skills gained through past volunteer and contractor roles within QDN, and expertise in community engagement.

He is a valued member of the Ipswich community, striving to make Ipswich a welcoming city for people living with disability.


Peter Gurr

Board Director, Townsville

Peter Gurr

Peter was born in Cairns and has grown up in Townsville. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis four years ago. A boilermaker by trade and a licensed building contractor, Peter operated his own business in the building industry until three years ago when his son took over.

He has a Diploma in Community Service with electives in disability.

Peter brings to the Board his extensive business knowledge, and a passion for helping other people with disabilities and learning more about himself. He is finding the disability sector interesting and challenging.

He is an active QDN member taking on roles including Regional Facilitator, Convener of the Townsville Local Support Group, and Peer Facilitator for QDN’s Ready to go Project.

Peter has been married to Joy for close to 30 years, and they have two great kids, Emma and Lachlan.


Gary Matthews

Board Director, Mackay

Gary Matthews

Gary has several years of experience as a Director and Company Secretary.  He has skills and knowledge in corporate governance and strategic planning including overseeing the development of several programs, including projects for people with disability.  Gary has in-depth knowledge of housing issues and policy having held housing related jobs in both the public and private sector.

Gary is a member of the Access and Inclusion Reference Committee of the Mackay Regional Council in his capacity as a QDN Regional facilitator where he has the opportunity to advise and collaborate with Council and businesses about access issues. Gary has an Arts Degree with majors in Social Science and Media and Communications.

As a member of QDN for eight years, a regional facilitator for the Mackay Local Support Group since 2013 and a QDN peer facilitator with the “Ready to go” project Gary brings a great depth of knowledge and lived experience to the board of directors. Gary has a disability, having been born with Spina Bifida.



Stacy Miller

Appointed Board Director, Gold Coast 

Stacy is an appointed skill-based director of the Board.   As a lawyer, with 16 years’ experience and a partner of her own firm, Stacy will bring her knowledge and expertise to the board discussions and deliberations.  

She has vast experience working across a broad range of areas of law, including litigation, intellectual property, insolvency and Royal Commissions.  Stacy is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland, a solicitor of the High Court of Queensland and a member of the Queensland Law Society.   

She is  looking forward to contributing to QDN’s work, engaging with QDN members about the needs of people with disability in Queensland, and how she can further human rights law in our community and advance the position of people with disability. 




Colleen Papadopoulos

Company Secretary, Brisbane

Colleen is a practicing Chartered (Corporate) Secretary and Independent Director with board/committee experience in a number of capacities, including Chair, Deputy Chair, Executive Director and Independent/Non-executive Director.

Her professional qualifications include a Master of Public Health, and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance.

She has credentials as a Performance Auditor, Strategic Analyst, Risk and Project Manager, with (honours/cum laude) undergraduate degrees in Writing (Humanities: technical, business, creative writing), and Society and Culture (Behavioural Sciences: anthropology, socio-biology and environmental psychology).

She is a mediator and facilitator, with experience teaching independent living skills and in assisting people with disability and disadvantage.

Colleen’s service to the Board is informed by over 25 years’ experience in governance and public administration, largely devoted to understanding and addressing complex social and organisational issues in the health and community services sector (both US and Australia).

She has a passion for assisting community boards to build governance capacity and improved performance, and has a record of successfully leading companies through audit and compliance improvement, incorporation, transition, restructuring and culture change.

Colleen is a Fellow Member of Governance Institute Australia and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (UK), and Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors.


About Our Board

Please click here to contact the office for individual contact details.

From time to time Board vacancies arise. Please let us know if you wish to register an interest in Board vacancies. Otherwise, the Board is elected at the Annual General Meeting each year, between September and November.