three people smiling at a document

About Us

Regional Disability Advocacy Service (RDAS) traces its origins back to July 1990 when the Disability Persons Regional Council – Upper Murray was established. It later changed its name to Disability Advocacy & Information Service (DAIS) in 1999.

Meanwhile, Disability Advocacy Network (DAN) commenced in June 1992 in Wagga Wagga. DAIS & DAN merged in July 2017 to become Regional Disability Advocacy Service.

Under the RDAS Ltd umbrella there are two separate business arms:

  1. Advocacy services; and
  2. Plan & Connect
    (NDIS Support Coordination & Plan Management)

While these business arms operate independently of one another, both operate under the same organisational mission which is to empower, inform, support and advocate for people with disability so that they can live the life they choose.

Purpose of RDAS

As stated in the RDAS Constitution, we exist to:

  • Advocate for the rights of people with disabilities as defined under the Disability Discrimination Act and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Provide information and support and promote positive change in the lives of people with a disability and their carers
  • Promote and protect the rights of people with a disability by systemically advocating and influencing all levels of Government and service providers
  • Empower individuals to advocate for themselves
  • Resource and support disability-related groups and initiatives
  • Promote inclusion of people with disability as valued and active members of their community

Our Team

Portrait of Sheridan Leonard

Sheridan Leonard

Chairperson

Sheridan has had a long association with RDAS, commencing as a volunteer. Sheridan has worked for a disability employment service assisting people with disabilities to maintain employment.

Portrait of Paul Power

Paul Power

Vice Chairperson

Paul is a seasoned professional with over 12 years of dedicated experience in the disability industry. He has worked tirelessly to drive change, ensuring equitable opportunities for people with disabilities to access, participate, and achieve their goals, particularly in tertiary education and subsequent employment.

Paul’s commitment to promoting inclusivity and empowerment led him to his current role as a Development Consultant with the Hidden Disability Sunflower Program. In this capacity, he leverages his wealth of experience and management skills to make a meaningful impact, striving to create a more accessible and inclusive world for individuals with hidden disabilities.

Portrait of Alex Bond

Alex Bond

Treasurer

Alex is an experienced qualified chartered
accountant with over 10 years of experience in the accounting and finance industry. He has a deep understanding of the financial challenges that non-profits face and is passionate about using his skills and experience to support RDAS support people with disability and their families.

Portrait of Colm Cox

Colm Cox

Director

Colm currently works for a Federal Government regulatory agency, coordinating the delivery of strategic projects. His experience ranges across
project and program management, business process management and improvement, strategy implementation, and managing teams. Colm recognises the critical role that RDAS plays in advocating for people with disability and their families so that they have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Portrait of Karen Perry

Karen Perry

Director

Karen has a personal lived experience of Hearing and Vision loss. She as an Independent Advocate and Hearing Loss consultant. She brings with more than 30 years’ experience in small business management.

Portrait of Skye Roberts

Skye Roberts

Director

Skye is a qualified lawyer and company secretary, with strong experience in corporate governance, compliance and risk management. Skye is passionate about supporting causes focused on assisting vulnerable sectors of the community to
obtain equitable access to essential services and ensuring fundamental human rights are respected and upheld.

Portrait of Rebekah Donders

Rebekah Donders

Director

Rebekah has previous professional experience in Marketing & Public Relations, but in more recent years has obtained degrees in counselling and chaplaincy. She is a compassionate, discerning, curious, courageous, fiercely empathetic, and committed team player with a proven track record in leading teams and projects, and facilitating dynamic leadership and self-esteem development programs for companies and schools across Australia.

Our Executive Officer

Portrait of Ben Foley

Ben Foley

Executive Officer & Company Secretary

Ben Foley is the Executive Officer and Company Secretary of RDAS, having joined the organisation in August 2022. He has extensive governance, stakeholder-management, sales, marketing, financial management and
strategic planning experience.

Ben is a passionate advocate for rural and regional Australia, seeking equality of rights and access/ inclusion for all. He is a board member of Regional Development Australia – Murray and remains involved with several local community organisations.

Membership

RDAS is a membership organisation and our members help to strengthen the impact of our work and what we can achieve for people with disability. We welcome all members of the community (individuals and organisations) to join us.

Membership is free and you can apply to become a member by Applying Here

The Advocate

The Advocate newsletter

RDAS produces a quarterly e-newsletter called The Advocate. The target audience is people with disability and their carers/family members.

Subscribe

View our latest edition here

infoTree

RDAS produces a monthly e-newsletter called InfoTree that is specific to agencies / community groups with an interest in the disability sector and contains news and events taking place in our service region.

Subscribe