Our People

About  >  Our people

Michael Fox (Director & Chairperson) AM, B Arch, MTCP, FAIA, FPIA

Michael Fox is an architect, planner and access consultant with involvement in access and equity since 1980, including as director of Access Australia and related architectural practice Michael Fox Architects. He is a member of ACAA – the Association of Consultants in Access Australia.

Michael is a director and Chair of Rights & Inclusion Australia. International roles include extensive involvement in the drafting, adoption and implementation of the UN CRPD, ratified by Australia in July 2008.

From 2004 to 2008 Michael prioritised key global issues, including CRPD adoption, as President of RI Global, a New York based international organisation and network advancing the rights and inclusion of people with disability.

From 1996 to 2004 he was Global Chair of ICTA, the RI International Commission on Technology and Accessibility. Related activities include corporate board member, House with No Steps, Sydney 2001 to 2010; university lecturer in Access, Equity & Design; and ongoing membership of Standards Australia ME / 64 Access and Mobility Committees.


Image description: Image of Michael Fox

Louise Bannister (Director)

Louise Bannister has been advocating for herself and other people with disabilities most of her life, and has been working in the ACT disability community sector for more than 20 years.

She is passionate about the right for individual choice and control, and about creating a fully inclusive community through mentoring, education, advocacy, leadership, and accessible urban planning. Her work was recognised as recipient of the ACT Chief Minister’s Award for Inclusion by an Individual in 2012.

Louise is currently a member of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing. This follows recent terms as Chair of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Women, and on the ACT Disability Reference Group, as well as on the boards of Women With Disability ACT, and Health Care Consumers’ Association ACT.  She continues to work closely with ACT Health, and local government to improve women with disabilities’ access to housing, services, and education. As well as her director role with R&IA, Louise is Chair of the “Opening the Door” project reference group.


Image description: Image of Louise Bannister

Geoff Barker (Director)

Geoff Barker is the Principal and Director of PM+D Architects Pty Ltd [PM+D], with more than 40 years’ experience across a broad range of project types - housing, schools, health centres, recreation facilities, project management, planning and community development. The practice’s collaborative methodology and work have been recognised by many clients and professional institutions through testimonials and awards, such as the International Association of Public Participation Association [IAP2] for “Community Engagement” work in the Northern Territory and his work associated with “Housing for Health”, through Healthabitat.

He specialises in a people-oriented approach to the project development process - from planning, design, approvals, procurement, and construction, to the consideration of sustainability and future management responsibilities. This involves working with stakeholders as “partners in development” using varied communication tools, aids, and media, as well as music, art, visualisation and performance.

Geoff is a committed advocate for Universal Design principles and incorporating, as a minimum, a process that includes First Nations acknowledgement. His project development process is attuned to the special needs of clients and users, and the unique context and cultural precepts applicable to each project; and builds on his cross-cultural engagement, communication and community development skills. The framework for which involves the interrogation of constraints, the testing of key requirements and importantly the exploration of potential opportunities that might, overall, lead to broad community benefits.



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Andrew Clark (Director)

Andrew has a professional background as an Occupational Therapist and has worked as a clinician in both disability and Aged Care Services. He worked and managed a range of Home & Community Care (HACC) services. Andrew has worked as a senior policy and program officer in a broad range of government and non-government organisations (NGOs), including the Home Care Service of NSW, NSW Department of Ageing Disability and Home Care, and the National Home Modifications peak body.

As a researcher, he has worked in a range of Universities and NGOs investigating community care policies and practices. Andrew has led a range of co-designed projects with people with disabilities and older people. Andrew has published many peer-reviewed papers and presented numerous conference papers both in Australia and overseas, in community care practices and policies. In 1993 Andrew received a Churchill scholarship to investigate how emerging information technologies could help older people and people with disabilities navigate health and care systems effectively.



Image description: Image of Andrew Clark


Stephanie Gotlib (Director)

Stephanie Gotlib is a widely respected disability advocate and CEO in the not-for- profit sector with more than 25 years of experience. She is currently the Asia Pacific council representative for Inclusion International.

In recent years Stephanie has undertaken interim positions at VALID ((Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability), VALS (Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service), Communication Rights Australia and Inclusion International. She was the Chief Executive Officer of Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) from 2009-2019.

She has served on a broad range of Ministerial Advisory Committees and Expert Advisory Groups pertaining to broad areas of relevance including disability, children, education, young people, family sectors and the establishment of the NDIS. Stephanie also has experience of disability as a parent.

Stephanie’s experience has enabled her to confront issues regarding fairness, equal opportunity, participation in the community, acceptance of differences and “best practice” in service delivery and advocacy. Stephanie has frequently challenged the system to make improvements for people with disability.



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Jeramy Hope (Director) MBA, CMgr FIML, MAICD 

Jeramy Hope is a Divisional Director for one of Australia’s largest Disability Providers, utilising his over 22 years of experience in the sector. His unique skillset draws upon broad sector and community expertise (not-for-profit, disability, aged & youth sectors) and business acumen (he holds an MBA & is a Chartered Fellow, Institute of Managers & Leaders). He demonstrates great practical experience in leadership, advocacy, and stakeholder engagement.

As an employee of a disability support provider, as a person who lives with a disability himself, and as a carer of a child with a disability, Jeramy brings many different and hugely valuable perspectives to our Board. This includes through his heightened understanding of the human rights issues relevant to people with disability.

Through his senior leadership positions with disability providers across NSW and QLD, Jeramy has previously played an instrumental role in organisation department restructures, realigning organisational missions, cultures and values, and implementing significant change.

With extensive experience leading through systemic change, and digital transformation, including sector reform, Jeramy will continue to use these skills to assist R&IA.



Image description: Image of Jeramy Hope


Zel Iscel (Director)

Zel Iscel was born blind and arrived in Australia with her family at the age of six. She began her education with no English but learned quickly because she loves to talk.

Zel completed her degree in Politics and Government at Edith Cowan University in 2003 and became involved in disability advocacy while at university. After her graduation in 2003, Zel lived and worked in London for two years, where she contracted the travel bug. She has been travelling since.

Along with R&IA, Zel is also currently on the Board of DADAA, and is the Chair of Blind Citizens WA.

Zel also runs her own consultancy Inclusive World, where she provides training in areas like disability awareness, consultation on inclusive events and projects, and conducts website tests for accessibility.

When not working, Zel loves to travel and hang out with family and friends.


Sarah Robson (Director)

Sarah Robson is a Banking, Risk Management and Transformation Executive with over 20 years’ experience working in financial markets across the US, UK, Europe, and Australia.

Sarah has specialist experience in Operational Risk, Compliance, Governance, Privacy, Cyber Risk and Financial Crime and for the last decade, has been leading large-scale transformation and regulatory remediation programs in the Banking Sector.

Sarah has a Masters in Commerce (Univ. of Sydney), a Masters in International Relations (Macquarie University), and a Bachelor of Economics (Macquarie University). She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.



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Michael Sadhu (Director)



Michael Bleasdale (Executive Officer, based in Sydney)

michael.bleasdale@‌riaustralia.org | phone: +61 (0)499 900 006

Michael Bleasdale is the Executive Officer of R&IA, after previously serving as one of its directors. Prior to taking on this role Michael has held leadership roles in disability advocacy organisations and peak bodies, including People with Disability Australia and Home Modifications Australia.

Starting out as a direct support worker, Michael co-founded and ran the Australian Disability Network from 1994 to 2001, focused on encouraging new thinking about disability rights and service system paradigms, including the introduction of individual funding. He has taught at the Australian Catholic and Charles Sturt universities, and was the Principal Researcher at the Disability Studies and Research Institute in 2004-2007, from which he conducted an AHURI research project “Supporting the Housing of People with Complex Needs”. Michael has published numerous articles throughout his career and delivered conference papers and workshops internationally, including in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Japan and South Korea.


Image description: Picture of Michael Bleasdale

David Havercroft (Project Director, based in Canberra)

david.havercroft@‌riaustralia.org | phone: +61 (0)423 604 558

David Havercroft is leading the Opening the Door project for R&IA, having started with the organisation in late 2019 to work on our ACT Accessible Housing Innovation Project. 

David moved to Canberra in 2019, after 16 years living in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). From 2016 to 2019 he worked with Aboriginal-owned architecture practice Tangentyere Design, working on a range of urban and remote projects including accessible housing. From 2009-2016 he was Central Australian Policy Officer with NT Shelter, the peak housing and homelessness organisation in the Northern Territory.

His career reflects a longstanding concern with social justice issues and their intersection with housing. In 2011, David was awarded the Amnesty International Australia June Fassina Meritorious Award for SA/NT in recognition of human rights work with that organisation.

When not at work, he is focused on the co-design of a quality life with his two children and (occasionally) reaching a flow state on Canberra’s mountain bike trails.


Image description: Image of David Havercroft