Disability Funders Peer Network Meeting

Wed, 5 Jul 2023 03:00pm - 04:00pm AEST

The Disability Funders Network will explore opportunities for collaborative funding in disability inclusion. In the first part of the session, attendees are invited to discuss learnings and recommendations on improved employment experiences and outcomes for people with disabilities. Donna Purcell, NDIA Disability Champion and a Director on the Board of Australian Network on Disability, will talk about her Churchill Fellowship research on organisations paving the way to establish programs employing people with disability.

Please note: This session will be recorded. Presenters will share their thoughts and views in conversation, but this webinar will not offer any financial advice.

Network Chairs

Kirsty Nowlan – Executive Director, The Achieve Foundation 

Kirsty Nowlan is the Executive Director at The Achieve Foundation, leading large systems change initiatives across both international development and in Australia.  She has worked across areas as diverse as ageism in Australia, child mortality and fragile and conflict-affected states. Underpinning all the roles in her career is a deep commitment to social justice.  Kirst is dedicated to making better outcomes happen for people with disability and shaping society to embrace the diversity of human experience as a strength.

Alongside her work with The Achieve Foundation, she is on the boards of The Centre for Social Purpose – a membership organisation that works to support operational excellence in for purpose organisations – and Peacifica, an Australian-based organisation that aims to promote peace through genuine partnerships with Pacific Islanders.  She holds a PhD on international law and politics and her thesis explored the evolution of new forms of power through citizen activism around international trade negotiations. 

Nick Taylor – Disability Portfolio Lead for a private philanthropic trust and the Chairman of the Board for Wheelchair Sports NSW

Nick Taylor is the Disability Portfolio Lead for a private philanthropic trust, and the Chairman of the Board for Wheelchair Sports NSW. A native of South Africa, Nick grew up in a sports obsessed family of four siblings. In 1998, just after he finished high school, Nick was involved in a serious car accident that left him paralysed from the waist down. At the time, Nick was leading his team in the South African National Basketball Championship and despite his absence from the grand final, his team would go on to win the national title in overtime. They dedicated the win to their fallen captain, who would also be named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

Nick received a bachelor’s degree in business science in Cape Town, including spending a year on a wheelchair basketball scholarship at the University of Texas. Going from strength to strength, Nick then secured a role with a leading international management-consulting firm in Johannesburg and got back to representing South Africa, playing wheelchair basketball in both the World Championships and the Paralympics.

In 2006 Nick immigrated to Australia to build a brighter future for himself in Sydney. He became an Australian citizen and sat out of international competition in wheelchair basketball for three years so he could switch his nationality in order to represent Australia. He did so at the highest level by playing in the London Paralympics in 2012, winning a silver medal and two years later in Korea, he and his team would be crowned World Champions! 

Key Speaker

Donna Purcell – Disability Advocate, Member NDIA and Director on the Board of Australian Network on Disability 

Donna Purcell is a disability advocate known for her work in developing and leading change for the greater inclusion of people with disability in Australia. She is a member of the senior leadership team of Australia’s National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and a Director on the Board of Australian Network on Disability. As a person with lived experience of disability, having a vision impairment, she is passionate about creating accessible and inclusive communities where people are supported to be their best. Australia ranks a poor 21 out of 27 in Organisation Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries when it comes to employment for people with disabilities. Donna believes Australian employers, both public and private, lack leadership and a culture of inclusion for the employment of people with disability and, she wants to change this. Her Churchill research in 2022 examined the attitudes and strategies used by individuals and leadership teams that have successfully established ongoing and sustainable mainstream employment for people with disability. Donna has qualifications in management, human resources and Accessibility and Inclusion and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has represented Australians with disability at an international level and is actively involved in the disability community via participation on Boards and Disability Advisory Committees.

This event is for Philanthropy Australia funder members only.