G3ict – Vice President for Global Strategy and Development
James is an international technology policy leader. As G3ict’s Vice President for Global Strategy and Development, he leads the design and implementation of new worldwide advocacy strategies and programs to scale up G3ict’s global impact. He has experience applying both technology and public policy to important social and economic challenges. He has led efforts ranging from using technology to promote the inclusion and human rights of people with disabilities around the world to using technology to increase the economic competitiveness of aging industrial centers in the United States. He has broad policy and management experience in both the private and public sectors and at the federal, state, and international levels of government. Prior to joining G3ict, Mr. Thurston was Director of International Accessibility Policy at Microsoft, where he developed and executed a worldwide strategy to expand the company’s outreach on disability and technology issues to governments and NGOs around the world. He has also served as a standards leader for an international technology industry association, an economic and technology advisor to a U.S. senator and vice presidential candidate, and a senior manager for a national technology and economic development initiative of the U.S. government. James holds both a Master of Public Administration and an M.A. in East European Studies from the University of Washington, as well as a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Maine.
Head of Management and Marketing, Federation University Australia
Professor Philip Taylor has over 30 years of experience as a researcher, policy writer and advisor on workforce ageing. He presently holds Professorial positions at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom and at Federation Business School in Australia. He has written over 160 books, journal articles, book chapters, reports and commentaries on issues including individual orientations to work and retirement, employer behaviour towards older workers and developments in public policy aimed at prolonging working life. He has provided advice to senior politicians and served on a number of public committees in Australia, the UK and elsewhere. He has won major competitive grants from the Australian Research Council, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Economic and Social Research Council in the United Kingdom (@$5 mill) and substantial consultancy funding from various Australian, European Union and Singaporean agencies (@$2 mill), among others. He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and Associate Editor of the Cambridge University Press journal Ageing & Society. He was the 2018 Australian Association of Gerontology Glenda Powell Travelling Fellow on the topic of work and ageing.
The Speakers & Poster Presenters
Nur Amirah, Lecturer, Centre for Innovative Architecture and Built Environment (SErAMBI), Malaysia
Nur Amirah is a graduate architect who has worked in architectural practices and involved in research development related to Universal Design and accessibility previously. Graduated Master of Architecture (Part II) from Deakin University, Australia and B.Sc. in Architectural Studies (Part I) from IIUM, she is currently pursuing her PhD in Architecture at University Teknologi Malaysia. Her interest and passion are designing for the elderly, persons with disabilities and children ranging from detailed design to space requirements to legislative implementation strategies to innovative design solutions for access in the built environment. She has presented in conferences and workshops locally and abroad; also has facilitated in Access Audit simulation in buildings, conducted training for awareness and understanding of Universal Design application and organized Universal Design conferences in Malaysia.
Michele Barry, Consultant
Michele is an independent consultant who has worked in the health, aged care and disability sectors for over 20 years. She has led organisations to deliver a range of services including, assistive technology, client centred and supportive care, and education programs across Queensland and Victoria. Michele’s significant career roles include that as CEO of LifeTec Queensland and Better Hearing Australia, other executive roles have been with the Centre for Palliative care at St Vincents’ health care, Vision Australia and the Epilepsy Foundation. During her time as CEO of LifeTec Queensland ( formerly known as the Independent Living Centre), Michele led significant transformational change to extend the reach of AT in her state, during this time she advocated for significant Health and Disability policy change and delivered services to remote indigenous communities, she worked with the AAATE and presented a paper at the San Sebastian conference in 2008. As CEO of Better Hearing Australia, Michele and her team presented a paper at the first UD conference in Sydney. The presentation “Don’t forget about hearing” highlighted the need for acoustic awareness in Universal Design, to better support 20% of the population who experience hearing loss. Michele has a Master of Public Health and Master of Business Administration and has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement, advocacy, change management, marketing and strategy implementation.
Cathy Basterfield, Speech Pathologist
Cathy Basterfield is an experienced Speech Pathologist, with a background of over 30 years working with people with Complex Communication Needs and Easy English. Cathy was awarded a Victorian Government Ethel Temby scholarship for an investigative study into international trends and accreditation for Easy English writing and publications in 2011. She is an acknowledged and skilled practitioner in the field of Easy English, being involved in the development of the first guidelines for writing Easy English. Cathy has a national and international reputation in the development of Easy English. She is a preferred provider for the Australian Federal Government for training in Easy English and also the development of Easy English documents for government department as they communicate with the public. Cathy owns and operates Access Easy English, working with government and non-government agencies in their implementation of Easy English.
Georgia Burn, Communication Access Coordinator, Scope
Georgia Burn coordinates the Communication Access Service, which operates out of Scope (Aust.)’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre (CIRC). The service works within a community capacity development framework, to assist businesses, services and organisations to become awarded with the Communication Access Symbol. A speech pathologist by background, Georgia has extensive experience supporting people with complex communication needs to access and be included in everyday society.
Jacob Matthew, Communication Access Coordinator, Scope
Jacob Matthew works at Scope (Aust.) as a communication access mentor and is currently studying his Advanced Diploma in Building Design at Box Hill Institute, as well as Access Consultancy at the Access Institute. As a disability advocate, Jacob advises on disability advisory committees and is an ambassador for the Chrisalis Foundation; a foundation that raises funds to provide resources, support and education to young people living with disabilities in Victoria. Jacob was born with cerebral palsy and as a result, utilises a range of alternative methods of communication. Jacob is passionate about raising the awareness of communication accessible and universally designed environments.
Garry Ellem, Community Planner Ageing And Disability, Lake Macquarie City Council
Garry has been involved in developing Tourism for Local Governments and State Government bodies for over 20 years with a focus on holiday parks. He is passionate about developing products that merge the needs of the community with the opportunity for tourism development and building a product with a higher level of social responsibility. Most recently Garry has been involved with Lake Macquarie City Council in managing their four holiday parks with a major focus on improving the access throughout the parks for customers with mobility requirements. This has included a “ground up” complete new design of accessible cabins, redesigning traffic flows and strategic planning and messaging of the parks. Garry has a background in accounting, operational management, project management and multi-site general management. Garry has a Masters in Business Administration and has previously held membership in the Governance Institute of Australia and on several community boards.
Shelly Dival, Autism Design Specialist Enabling Spaces
Shelly Dival, CF, is an autism design specialist with passion! With over 20 years of building design expertise, her grandson’s diagnosis was the catalyst for her research of our built environment and how individuals with autism relate to it. When awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship in 2017, she took that research internationally across 7 countries. Counted amongst a small number of experts worldwide, Shelly’s membership of the international Leadership Advisory Board (LAB) for “”A Place in the World”” research undertaken by Arizona State University has confirmed her global status, and as Australia’s pre-eminent conversationalist, her expertise is in increasing demand by government, industry and community alike. Shelly has a grand vision, “Imagine a world where people with neuro-diversity thrive at home, work and play. Where our built environment supports this so everyone can reach for their stars and nobody is left behind”.
Emma Goodall, Manager Disability & Complex Needs, Department for Education South Australia
Dr Emma Goodall works both publicly and privately to facilitate the best life outcomes possible for children and young people with complex needs. An adjunct Professor at the University of Wollongong and a member of the Australian Society for Autism Research (ASfAR) Executive Committee, she has just developed an online module on interoception for Torrens University and has been collaborating with the Australian Psychological Society to develop an autism specific course for psychologists. In her work with the Department for Education, Emma developed, trialed and is now rolling out a universal design for learning proactive and positive support for behaviour and well-being. She is writing this up as a thesis via University of Southern Queensland.
John Evernden, Director, Accessible Public Domain
John Evernden has degrees in Civil Engineering (1970) and Ecotourism (2050). He holds a Local Government Engineers Certificate and is an Accredited Disability Access Consultant, managing his own Access Consultancy. John was responsible for the development of the City of Sydney Braille and tactile street name signs in 1990, and has a particular interest in applying the Principles of Universal Design to the public domain. John has been a Director of CUDA for the past two years.
Penny Galbraith, Galbraith Scott
Dr Penny Galbraith FAIB, FRICS is a project manager, builder and access consultant with a career-long interest in accessibility and universal design. Consultancy roles have covered a range of clients and built environment forms. Recently, Penny assisted the Australian Human Rights Commission build an evidence base in respect of housing policy and standards as well as delivering accessibility and universal design training in Sri Lanka. Penny is an Accredited ACAA Access Consultant, Director of the Centre for Universal Design Australia and Subject Matter Expert on disability for the Australian Building Codes Board. Strategy, research and futures thinking underpin Penny’s work.
Nicole Healy, Senior Research Officer, Victorian State Government
Nicole Healy is a Senior Research Officer in the Tourism, Events and Visitor Economy branch of the Victorian State Government. Nicole has more than ten years’ experience in the tourism industry, including with the former Tourism Victoria. The main responsibilities over this time have been providing insights to government, regional boards and industry. Since the release of the Accessibility research in 2018, Nicole has been informing government, industry and students on insights that can help to improve the experience for people travelling with a disability. This research focussed on domestic travellers with accessibility needs, aiming to understand their planning and travel experiences. It investigated drivers of and barriers to travel, who they travel with and the experience delivered. The most effective communication channels to reach this audience were also explored, including the best ways to support businesses to become (more) accessible. The market size and potential were also estimated.
Nikki Williams, Senior Inclusive Communities Officer, City of Greater Bendigo
Nikki Williams has worked in a range of health promotion roles since 2008, both as a consultant and employed in local government. At the City of Greater Bendigo, Nikki was involved in the development and implementation of the All Ages All Abilities Action Plan which will guide the City’s actions in improving the physical and social environment for all community members, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to fully and actively participate in activities and events across Greater Bendigo. This includes the overseeing the delivery of access and inclusion projects such as Information Linkages and Capacity (ILC) funded initiatives, the Inclusive Towns Project and Champions for Change.
Theresa Harada, Research Fellow, University of Wollongong and Thomas Birtchnell
Dr Theresa Harada is a Research Fellow at The Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space at the University of Wollongong, Australia. She is an experienced ethnographer with expertise in audio and audio-visual research methods, mobile methods and experimental research methods. Her research focus has been around everyday practices of energy use, mobility, and sustainable transport.
Rebecca Jamwal, Research Fellow, Summer Foundation Ltd
Rebecca Jamwal is a Research Fellow at Summer Foundation, and has worked with the Summer Foundation Research Unit since 2013. She leads projects that examine how built design, technology and support can be used to improve the opportunities and quality of life for people with disability and complex needs. The outcomes of her work will help to inform the development of future housing built for people with disability. Rebecca is an occupational therapist with six years of clinical experience working with people with complex care needs as a result of acquired brain injury. In addition to her work at Summer Foundation, Rebecca is the inaugural research lead in the Occupational Therapy department at Austin Health. Rebecca is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Living with Disability Research Centre at La Trobe University.
Martin Heng, Accessible Travel Manager & Editorial Adviser, Lonely Plant
Born in the UK, Martin Heng gained a BA and MA in English literature from Cambridge University before embarking on a career as an editor in 1985. He recently completed an MA in Communications at RMIT University in Melbourne. He left England in 1987 and lived, worked and travelled on four continents before migrating to Australia to start a family. He has worked for Lonely Planet since 1999 in numerous roles, including seven years as Editorial Manager. A road accident in 2010 left him a quadriplegic. He is currently Lonely Planet’s Accessible Travel Manager & Editorial Adviser, a role he has held since 2013. He has published a number of accessible travel titles, including a guide to Rio de Janeiro that was supplied to all athletes participating in the 2016 Paralympics. He also maintains the world’s largest collection of Accessible Travel Online Resources. His most recent publication is an Accessible Travel Phrasebook, featuring disability-specific words and phrases in 35 languages. Since 2014, he has become a regular speaker and moderator at conferences in Australia and overseas, including several UNWTO events. He was recently appointed to the Victorian Disability Advisory Council.
Helen James, Sales Manager, Lifemark
Lifemark, a division of CCS Disability Action, was established in 2006 to alter the way homes across New Zealand were built and encourage developments to voluntarily incorporate accessible and universal design standards. Helen’s role is to identify projects and stakeholders receptive to the economic and societal benefits Universal Design provides and assist in the implementation of the Lifemark process to assure better performance outcomes. Projects currently using the Lifemark process include: One Central, an exemplar new neighbourhood of over 2000 private homes being developed in Christchurch’s CBD, local initiatives and projects with regional authorities across New Zealand grappling with the challenges of rapidly increasing ageing populations and bespoke retirement and social housing projects where performance outcomes are critical success factors. A globally recognised process developed by Lifemark guides and measures accessibility and performance outcomes and since 2006 has successfully influenced voluntary change across social housing, retirement/ lifestyle and the private housing projects across New Zealand. With New Zealand’s biggest government backed new housing programme underway the Lifemark process to provides an approach to deliver Universal Design outcomes at scale to assist in transformation of New Zealand’s housing stock.
Ryan Loveday, Director, Fulton Trotter Architects
Established in 1937, for over 80 years the practice has thrived in the delivery of specialised community architecture and social infrastructure projects. Ryan is a working architect, running a small team to deliver a range of education, health, aged care and cultural projects, often in rural and regional Australia. His skills and background are mostly as a technical architect with a reputation for resolving complex institutional projects. But with that experience has developed a sense of the bigger human issues at stake in our communities, leading to a growing conviction as designer, teacher, writer and speaker.
Adam Johnson, Edith Cowan University and APM
Adam completed his PhD in 2019 with a focus on universal design in local government, and the City of Bunbury’s goal to become the Most Accessible Regional City in Australia (MARCIA). Prior to this Adam was CEO of an independent disability advocacy organisation, and previously held employment in state government, local government and non-profit organisations in the areas of disability services and community development. Adam is currently employed with APM in community capacity building, and also delivers training to local governments and design firms around universal public design principles.
Margaret Kay, Consultant
Margaret Kay is a consultant specialising in policy and planning for inclusion. Margaret has developed an online learning course on inclusive tourism and worked with the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse to improve their data collection on accessible features of tourist destinations. In 2019 Margaret developed a masterclass on inclusive tourism for the Australasian Hotels Association. Recently appointed to the NSW Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing, Margaret has a strong background in policy development at both State and local levels. Working closely with the NSW government, she developed a range of resources to build the capacity of local government. These included guidelines to assist councils to develop Disability Inclusion Action Plans and an age-friendly planning toolkit. As a Board member of a not-for-proﬁt community care provider, Your Side Australia, an active member of the Centre for Universal Design Australia, and a volunteer with the Linen Service, Margaret recognizes the importance of supporting people to live at home for as long as possible. She has worked in ageing and disability policy for a not-for-profit provider and led the social and community policy team at Local Government NSW, the peak body for councils in NSW. Margaret has qualifications in Town Planning and Economics.
Linda Martin-Chew, Senior Strategic Policy Planner, City Of Whittlesea
Linda Martin-Chew Linda has worked as an urban, rural and health planner since 2008, both as a consultant and employed in local government. At City of Whittlesea, Linda was involved in the implementation of the Housing Diversity Strategy including strengthening Council’s planning policy on the delivery of accessible housing.
Guy Luscombe, Principal, System Architects
Architect and advocate for better design for older people, Guy Luscombe has designed a multitude of projects at all levels of care, has written extensively and is a regular commentator on the design of age friendly environments. He was co-editor of the book ‘Beyond Beige: Improving architecture for older people and people with disabilities’ and his Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship project, ‘The NANA Project – New architecture for the New Aged’ has received good coverage and resonance with architects, operators, government and older people alike. He is currently a Director of SYSTEM Architects, a New York based architectural studio; a Director of the AGEncy Project, a community based organisation looking at new ways to age in place; consulting on age friendly design and teaching at university on new ways to house older people.
Tina Merk, Engineer, Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, UAE
Tina’s primary role in the organisation is to provide consultation services in universal design, particularly relating to the built environment. Her educational background is in architecture and she specialises in accessible design. Tina attained her Masters qualification from Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany in 2009 and has worked exclusively in this field ever since. Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination was established in 2004 and is the government entity charged with the provision of rehabilitation, care and comprehensive support services to people of determination in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The organization also serves as an umbrella organization, overseeing all private rehabilitation centers across the Emirate, while working closely with a wide range of both government and private entities toward comprehensive inclusion of people of determination in all aspects of life. Zayed Higher Organization has 18 centers across the Emirate providing therapeutic, educational and social supports for people of determination.
Jenna Mikus, PhD Candidate, Queensland University of Technology
Jenna Mikus has an educational background in mechanical engineering, business, and sustainable environmental design and a professional background in digital transformation, change management, and most recently tech-enabled smart building strategy. Over the years, her experience has evolved from generalized consulting in the 2000s to more creative, building-focused strategy work in the 2010s. 18 months ago, she founded a consultancy that leverages her international educational and professional experience to focus on developing a more human-centered design approach to the built environment. She named the company the Eudae Group, referring to Aristotle’s concept of eudaemonia or human flourishing, thus encouraging design that prompts a symbiotic human-to-environment eudaemonia. A year later, she decided to ground her work in academic theory by accepting a scholarship invitation to pursue a PhD in Queensland University of Technology’s Faculty of Creative Industries in Brisbane to study with top Urban Informatics experts who specialize in meaningful design across people, place, and technology. She now focuses both her consulting work and academic research on how best to design for optimal human health and wellness, wellbeing, and experience—thus paralleling the conference’s focus on thriving—for all.
Fiona Morrison, Director Open Space, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Fiona Morrison is leading more than $160 million in State Government Open Space Programs. This includes developing the Everyone Can Play program and the Strategic Open Space program. Fiona has over 20 years of experience and expertise in landscape and open space, including within the development industry at Lendlease, State Government and local government including Ryde, Newcastle and Woollahra. During her time with local government she delivered many award-winning projects and programs including inclusive playspaces and strategic planning for open space. Notable industry successes include the Everyone Can Play program and contributing towards the creation of a 900 hectare Regional Park in Western Sydney as a part of the delivery of new master planned communities.
Jack Mulholland, MetroAccess Officer, Maroondah City Council
Jack Mulholland has an extensive background in project management with a particular focus on addressing gaps in the community and reducing social isolation of people with a disability and their carers. This includes award winning projects such as the Stroke a Chord Choir, Pathways for Carers and Changing Places Facilities.
Hana Phillips, Occupational Therapist – Swinburne University
Hana’s background is occupational therapy, with an interest in adults and disability. With broad experience within the public and private health sectors, her interests include adaptive technology and environments. This lead to a PhD in understanding how design principles may improve the utility of aids and improve personal independence.
Terri Preece has a broad health and aged care industry career that spans more than 25 years, with the past 9 years at Dementia Training Australia (DTA) as a Senior Environments Design consultant. In 2019 Terri joined the Evoke Collective Australasia, an organisation committed to creating enabling environments for older people that support their way of life, and in 2020 was also appointed as a Design Associate with the UK based Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC). Terri has carried out international research on dementia environments and translated design principles into a number of audit tools and guidelines, including the DTA dementia-friendly community environmental assessment tool. As a member of the Australian Network for Universal Housing Design (ANUHD), Terri believes the principles of dementia design are friendly for everyone and champions dementia as a focus in inclusive community design.
Bec Renton, Health and Science Research Student, Deakin University
My name is Bec Renton, I am currently completing my Health Science Honours research project at Deakin University under the supervision of Dr Kevin Murfitt and Dr Kate Anderson, I have worked in the disability sector for over 15 years in various roles and capacities, I have also undertaken community development projects to enhance social participation, and I am a strong advocate for universal design in the built environment and finding ways we can best ensure a universally designed world becomes an actuality.
Sarah Seddon, Former Chairperson and Board Member, Destination Melbourne
Sarah Seddon is an experienced and connected events, tourism and hospitality professional. With a strong background across the full development project lifecycle, including strategy, research, planning, financial modelling, design, construction, sales and marketing, she has been able to successfully deliver many key national and international projects, in all facets from agency, client to developer.
With a career spanning over 30 years working for property and services giants such as Walker Corporation and Spotless to start ups and medium size enterprises, Sarah is now founder and director of boutique consultancy Sabre Collective. As a long serving volunteer on key tourism and event boards and advisory councils, Sarah is a passionate advocate on the visitor experience. As former chair of Destination Melbourne, Sarah continues to champion Visitability® – a concept formed and developed in 2011.
Emily Steel, Occupational Therapist
Emily is an occupational therapist, manager, and academic. Her research is focused on assistive technology policy and practice, to enable people with disability to lead successful and productive lives. She is also involved in the drafting of new international standards on cognitive accessibility, to make products and systems easier to understand and use.
Michael Walker, Principal Advisor Universal Design, Victorian Health nd Human Services Building Authority
Michael Walker leads DHHS (Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority) in the introduction of Universal Design principles. He is a strong advocate for embedding the principles of Universal Design in relevant DHHS policy and across projects relating to the environment (physical and programmatic). Michael has provided input into policy and projects ranging from health infrastructure, aquatic centres, play spaces, and multi-sensory environments to significant state and national level projects such as the Melbourne Park Redevelopment, Skilled Stadium and major hospital redevelopments. Michael ensures that method of practice is adopted by VHHSBA and is recognised that the creation of social and economic value by connecting people in the environment is more efficiently and effectively achieved using Universal Design principles. In addition, Michael has gained much knowledge and expertise in overseas trends through his working in different countries (international award winner) and is a member of the Victorian Design Review Panel with the Office of the Victorian Government Architect. He is a triple paralympian in wheelchair basketball.
Margaret Ward, Co-convenor, Australian Network for Universal Housing Design
Originally an architect, Dr Margaret Ward PSM has been an advocate, public servant and service provider in the areas of housing and disability. Margaret has spent much of her career working towards the adoption of housing design which includes everyone regardless of age and ability. Her thesis explored the notions of voluntariness and responsibility in providing inclusive housing within a framework of distributive justice. Margaret Ward co-convenes Australian Network for Universal Housing Design, which seeks regulation of access features in all new housing construction through the National Construction Code. She has followed the machinations of industry, government and human rights advocates on this issue since 2002.
Valerie Watchorn, Lecturer, Deakin University
Valerie Watchorn is a lecturer in occupational therapy at Deakin University. She has a strong research interest in universal design of built environments, its application and evaluation. Most recently Valerie has begun investigating how users, particularly people with lived experience of disability, can be involved in the universal design process.
Evan Wilkinson, Regional Coordinator, Sport and Recreation Victoria
Evan Wilkinson is based in Geelong and works in partnership with councils across the Barwon and Great South Coast regions. One component of Evan’s role is to work with Councils by providing design advice and support during the development across a range of sport and active recreation projects. Covering a range of facility types including aquatic centres, sporting pavilions, play spaces and skate parks, Evan works closely with council to apply a consistent Universal Design overlay to these projects to ensure that they can cater to a broad range of users and consider innovation. Evan’s understanding of community sporting facilities and major projects has been enhanced in previous roles working in the Metropolitan Community Infrastructure and State Facilities team, working on projects including the Craigieburn Leisure and Aquatic Centre, Lakeside Stadium redevelopment and the Essendon Football Club’s Tullamarine Training Facility.
Katherine Webber, Independent Consultant
Katherine Webber is a practitioner in social planning and community development working to address inequality and social injustice. She has worked with a range of government and non-government programs to address social issues and achieve results, including in local and state government social planning and community development in Australia and the Pacific. Katherine has led city wide-planning initiatives and the development and implementation of responsive community plans, programs and activities to improve social inclusion and community safety. She has on-the-ground experience supporting diverse organisations and communities in community research and participatory stakeholder consultation, with a particular commitment to women’s rights and gender equality. Katherine was the recipient of the 2018 Rodney Warmington Churchill Fellowship to increase inclusion and accessibility in public toilets by researching taboos, design, policy and legal barriers. She travelled to USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, The Netherlands and Germany talking toilets.