The MEDA program is managed by a community based committee that is elected annually. It is responsible for overall strategic direction, policy development, financial management and oversight of the paid staff members.

Melbourne East Disability Advocacy Management Committee (“The Committee”)

President: Mary Appleby
Joined the Committee of Management in May 2013. Mary holds a Masters in Human Resource Management and is a Certified Professional Member of the Australian Human Resource Institute. She is a dedicated HR generalist with over 20 year’s strategic and operational management expertise in education and hospitality. She is currently Associate Director at Dixon Appointments and provides leadership, management and advice of human resource functions to organisations.  She is also the Principal Consultant for her own HR consultancy and specialises in managing and developing teams, linking strategy to operational targets and business improvement. Mary is committed to advocating for people with a disability so that they are equally valued and are given opportunities to contribute to the community.

Vice President: Will Elder
Will joined the Committee of Management in June 2016.  Will is a Volunteer Citizen Advocate paired with Stephen since 2012.  Will is a solicitor at Phillips & Wilkins in Thornbury and holds a bachelor of Laws and Arts from Monash University.  Will provides legal advice to a wide range of clients in commercial and personal matters.  Will has volunteered with several groups supporting people with disability.  Will believes that everybody should be able to engage in our community.

Treasurer: Ainsley Corteling
Ainsley has been the Treasurer since 2008. Ainsley is a Certified Practising Accountant, Registered Tax Agent and has a Bachelor in Business Studies in Accounting and Diploma in Financial Services (Financial Planning). Ainsley has more than thirty years experience as an Accountant in various accounting and management roles in the private and not for profit sectors. Currently working in the health services sector.

General Committee Member: Catherine (Kate) Hollins
Kate joined the Committee of Management in 2012. Kate has more than 30 years management experience in the disability, community and residential aged care sectors. Prior to retiring Kate worked for 15 years as an executive general manager responsible for leading and developing corporate governance , strategic and operational strategies, quality and risk management, and business service development across multiple aged care residential sites. Kate has a deep commitment to community welfare that supports the most vulnerable people of the community.

General Committee Member: Merrilyn Shepherd
Merrilyn Shepherd is a volunteer citizen advocate in the program partnered with Carolyn. Since retiring from her role as Deputy Principal in a secondary school she has worked as a volunteer with several groups that support people with disabilities. Merrilyn has been associated with MEDA as a volunteer citizen advocate and Committee member since 1994.

General Committee Member: Sohila Malakooti

Public Officer: Robyn Taft
Robyn Taft is the Public Officer of MEDA, and a volunteer advocate and former committee member who has been associated with MEDA since 2006. Robyn is a semi-retired lawyer with a career history as an in-house counsel in both the private and public sectors.

Become a Committee of Management Member

The primary role of the committee is to ensure MEDA operates effectively and remains accountable. The committee is elected from the membership annually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), nominations are open to anyone who has an interest in advocacy and making a difference. Meetings are held monthly and the composition of the committee includes people with a variety of skills and experience from a diverse range of backgrounds with a shared commitment to assist MEDA in fulfilling its legal and ethical obligations, these include:

  • Consumers
  • Citizen Advocates
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Legal

Opportunities are available for anyone who has a passion and commitment to join an active, progressive and effective committee and contribute to the governance and future strategic directions of MEDA.

Click to read about our Consumer Advisory Group.