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the board

Clara Harris

Chairperson

Clara is a Disability Advocate, a Mum and alongside her husband, a Director of their family’s farming business.  Her adult son is autistic and non-verbal, and for more than a decade she has publicly shared her family’s story to promote awareness, acceptance and opportunity for people with disability. She tells their story from fighting to be heard to get a diagnosis for their 18 month old babe, through to today as they guide him through to a fun and purpose-filled future.  Clara has been a member of the School Council of Holland St School in Geraldton for seven years and has been on our Board for four years, taking over the role of Board Chair in late 2020. She has undertaken not for profit Board training and is determined to assist people like her son to be seen and heard, and to make change.

Paula Alsop

Secretary

Paula Alsop comes to us primarily from a finance industry background, holding various leadership roles encompassing Human Resources, Administration, Operations and Compliance. Having worked in organisations ranging from not for profit, start-up and small through to national and international, she has developed a curiosity in organisational culture and development.

When Paula moved from Sydney to Western Australia in 2003, she worked for three years with the Geraldton Sunshine Festival and came to understand the strength and fabric of the Geraldton community. She is now pleased to step into the realm of governance and contribute her experience in community building to the mission of MWCLA; creating choice and opportunity for those living with the challenges and limitations of disability, as they find their place alongside us all in the beautiful coastal city of Geraldton.

 

Katie Sluka

Treasurer

Katie is an accountant, a member of CPA Australia and a sole practitioner in her own public practice in Geraldton.  Wanting to use her professional knowledge of non-for-profits to benefit the local community, Katie is honoured to be on the MWCLA Board.

Ian Dempsey

Board Member

Ian is a part-time shipping agent and full-time carer for his partner Tammy.  He is currently a member of Marine Rescue Geraldton as well as the Batavia Local Emergency Management Committee. Throughout his life Ian has been passionate about making contributions to the local communities in which he lived. While in Port Hedland he was an active member of the Hedland State Emergency Service and in Victoria was a Trustee for the Australian Lions Children’s Mobility Foundation and founded the Children’s Mobility Picnic which won the City of Melton Community Project of the Year.  He also founded the Melton Adventure Playground Association which built an inclusive adventure playground suitable for children with disabilities over one weekend with the help of 400 volunteers.

Jo Luxton

Board Member

Jo has lived in and around the Midwest region all her life and is an active member of the local community.  A qualified educator, Jo currently works in a local high school with children with disability as the Head of Learning Support. Jo’s passion is to empower the lives of children with disability through education and creating opportunities to shine and follow their dreams. Motivated by MWCLA’s vision, Jo joined the MWCLA board to share her extensive knowledge and insight into the needs of young people with disability in the local community.   Jo is passionate about living in a community that embraces all abilities and provides people with disability meaningful opportunities to transition from school to adulthood and into the wider community, meaningful employment and an independent life.

Jenna Denton

Board Member

Jenna is a lifelong resident of Geraldton and has experience working across various sectors including education, mental health, disability, health and business. Jenna has worked for the NDIA for a short period, where she gained significant knowledge of internal functions and frameworks within the scheme. Across her diverse history, Jenna has developed community engagement, service design, marketing, strategy, advocacy and leadership skills to an executive level.

Jenna is aware of the challenges and opportunities for regional people; particularly for those living with a disability and/or complex needs. She is passionate about regional equity and enhancing opportunities for individuals and whole communities and thrives on bringing people together, building networks and working collaboratively for positive outcomes.

Geoff Mackin

Board Member

Geoff is married with three adult children and 6 grandchildren whom are absolutely adored.  Geoff and his wife have lived in Geraldton for more that 25 years. Prior to that, they lived in the Midwest community of Carnamah for 10 years.  Geoff retired in July 2020 after working more that 21 years at the Geraldton Port (Midwest Ports Authority). Prior to that, Geoff worked for 10 years with BP and 15 years with Co-operative Bulk Handling (CBH).

Geoff has a strong volunteering background including with Variety the Childrens Charity Midwest, sporting clubs and associations as well as school Parents and Citizens Associations. Geoff is passionate about helping others in whatever capacity he can.  Geoff believes his role as a Board member will give him the opportunity to have a strategic role in helping people with disabilities to have meaningful and rewarding opportunities within the Midwest community and beyond.

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