Meet our emerging leaders

QDN has appointed 21 emerging leaders who will participate in the program from February 2021 to November 2021.

Vinnie Batten  – Brisbane

man in yellow shirt standing smiling

What are you passionate about changing in world? I want to work towards having corporations have less influence on our government, for governments to listen to science, experts and advocacy groups to help people in need and our planet in need.

Tulasa Rizal – Cairns

Lady in black shirt standing smiling

What are you passionate about changing in world? I want to achieve a public speaking role to give awareness to people out their whether they might be disabled or not, that they should be accepted in our communities.

Tim Ormerod – Brisbane

Man in striped shirt with arm folded standing

What are you passionate about changing in world? I would like to gain experience in leadership through working in advocacy roles. I would like to speak and discuss with people in government and community on issues with inequality and disadvantages for people with disability. Issues like finding full time employment and transport access are important to me.

Tammy Royale – Townsville

Lady in wheelchair in black dress

What are you passionate about changing in world?  I want to try and help people with disability with emotional and social isolation in Townsville.

Pippa Rodgers – Donnybrook

Lady in white shirt smiling at camera

What are you passionate about changing in world?  My goal is to change the way that council thinks about building footpaths as some are uneven and some don’t go all the way to where they are meant to which is a safety issue.

Paul O’Dea – Brisbane

Man in maroon shirt with his arms at his side. He is smiling at camera.

What are you passionate about changing in world? My goal is to make sure that people with disability get equal wages no matter where they work including Australian Disability Enterprises.

Morgan Stevenson  – Rockhampton

What are you passionate about changing in world?  My goal is to educate managers in the workforce about people with disability and how to treat people with disability in the workplace.

Melissa Ryan – Brisbane

What are you passionate about changing in world? My goal is to get funding to get changes to disability.

Megan Telford – Toowoomba

What are you passionate about changing in world? I want to build better relationships between the deaf and hearing communities. I also want to develop my mentoring and leadership skills around disability advocacy.

Martin Broad – Emerald

What are you passionate about changing in world? I want to promote my story and talk on the dangers of alcohol and alcohol abuse. I hopefully can be paid a wage to share my story with the wider community.

Kate Dufty – Gladstone

Lady iwth red shirt, sitting smiling

What are you passionate about changing in world? My goal is to influence and educate on the lack of accessibility in the tourism sector.

Jeni Lewington – Brisbane

Lady in light pink shirt in wheelchair smiling

What are you passionate about changing in world? My small issue aside from accessible toilets, is the release of Julian Assange who has been in a UK prison for 2 years and before that in detention in the Ecuadorian embassy for 8 years for simply reporting on US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would like to continue efforts to have him released by working with other people involved in the campaign.

Heather Livingston – Ipswich

Lady with black dress standing smiling

What are you passionate about changing in world? I want to teach the owners and organizations how to treat their animals better than they have been to reduce animal cruelty.

Grant Higham – Brisbane

Man with brown shirt standing smiling

What are you passionate about changing in world? I am interested in representations of disability in the media as currently people have misunderstandings around disability and what it entails. I also wonder how we might reduce stigma around schizophrenia, of which I am diagnosed, such that people have a better understanding of what the condition is to reduce stigmas.

Danielle Pittis – Mt Isa

Lady with hands on hips smiling

What are you passionate about changing in world? My dream is to change the word ‘disability’ into ‘diversability’ to give people confidence  fulfilling their dreams whether it be hobbies or employment.

Cody Skinner – Brisbane

Man in chekcered shirt standing smiling

What are you passionate about changing in world? My issue is how to make workplaces more diverse as well as more inclusive.

Belinda Harris -Brisbane

Lady with graduation gown on sitting smiling

What are you passionate about changing in world? I am most passionate about changing the tourism industry to become more accessible and inclusive for all. My experiences with not only physical inaccessible environments but also the lack of detailed accessibility information and unwelcoming staff with negative attitudes have highlighted the need for the tourism and leisure industry to become more accessible and inclusive for everyone. My travel experiences and reading about the travel experiences of others with a disability, both good and bad, inspired me to pursue an education and career in tourism and to become an advocate not just for accessibility and inclusion in everyday life, but an advocate for accessibility and inclusion in tourism.

Angela Kalantzis – Brisbane

Lady with black shirt standing smiling

What are you passionate about changing in world? I am wanting to alleviate the isolation felt by people living with visible and invisible brain injuries and the isolation felt by the families and caregivers.

Adrian Pooley – Brisbane

What are you passionate about changing in world? I want to make changes to ‘productivity wages’ that people with disability are given through Australian disability enterprise work. I want to bring that wage closer to the award wage for qualification related employment as the gap is currently too large.

Morgan Hermann – Charters Towers

What are you most passionate about changing in the world ? I am most passionate about the stigma of a disability changing.   I find it very common that when I’m out somewhere.  People will talk to the person I’m with and act like they don’t see me.   People with disabilities are just that.  People.  No need to act different around us.

Patricia Marsh -Rockhampton

lady in black pants sitting down. Smiling at camera.

 What are you passionate about changing in world? My biggest issue is access and I want to educate people on access.