People with Disabilities WA (PDWA)
Samantha has been an advocate for the rights of people with disability since the early 1990s, and throughout her professional life as a social worker. Through this time she has worked and advocated in many disability-related areas including employment services, individualised funding and person-centred planning. Highlights of Samantha’s work have been her time with the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO); her involvement in development of self-directed funding and direct payments in Victoria; developing policy on self-directed services in the community sector in WA; being involved as an ‘expert’ in the NDIS development, and subsequently on co-design groups with the National Disability Insurance Agency Independent Advisory Council. Samantha has kept coming back to employment as a key driver for the inclusion of people with disability as active and valued citizens.
Samantha has been involved as a volunteer with many community organisations on management committees and Boards of governance, including being a past chair of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, and past chair of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability in Western Australia. Samantha spent 6 years as a Local Government Councillor at the City of Stirling (2011-2017). Currently she is Executive Director of People with Disabilities WA and is focused on ensuring the voice of people with disabilities is heard in decision making.