Amendment to Terms of Reference and Appointment of Members - Inclusion (Disability) Advisory Panel

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


Memorandum by the Chief Executive Officer


To Council:


The Inclusion (Disability) Advisory Panel was established by Council in November 2012 to provide expert advice to the City on inclusion and access for people with disability.

The Panel’s role is to provide advice to improve inclusion and access in the City’s projects, services and facilities and on how to best engage with the needs of the disability sector across all the City’s policies, strategies and plans. The Panel’s Terms of Reference were initially developed in consultation with key disability sector representatives.

Panel members have a broad range of expertise in disability inclusion, policy, strategic planning and consultation and have a high level of expertise in key areas such as access, urban planning, economic participation, arts, housing, transport, mental health, media and communication and legislation.

Since 2013, the Panel has met every two months, providing the City with high quality, expert advice and guidance to improve inclusion and access for people with disability across all the City’s functions, including new initiatives, major projects, strategies and policies. Some of the key strategies and policies the Panel has commented on over the past few years include: Sustainable Sydney 2050, Inclusive and Accessible Public Domain Policy and Guidelines, Inclusive and Accessible Event Guidelines, Community Safety Action Plan, Social Sustainability Policy, Waste Strategy and Action Plan, Creative City Discussion Paper and the Economic Development Strategy, to name a few. This input from the Panel has substantially improved inclusion and access outcomes in the City.

The current Panel is composed of 10 members: five members that have served two two-year terms (2016-2019) and five members that have served one two-year term (2018-2019). Under the current Terms of Reference (Attachment A), revised and endorsed by Council in 2017, Panel members can serve two two-year terms with an option to extend this for an additional year to a maximum of five years.

Amendment to Terms of Reference

The Panel was consulted on a proposed amendment to the current Terms of Reference to increase the minimum term length from two years to three years. Panel members would therefore be able to serve for a maximum of six consecutive years, comprising two three-year terms. This change is consistent with other advisory panels at the City, such as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel and the Nightlife and Creative Sector Advisory Panel. This extension will also help to ensure greater consistency and that the knowledge and expertise of the Panel is retained. Should this amendment be endorsed, current members will be eligible for the extended term.

Proposed amendments to the Terms of Reference are detailed in Attachment A.

Re-appointment of members and appointment of new member

In accordance with the proposed amended Terms of Reference, five Panel members who were appointed in 2016 and have served two two-year terms will now be extended for a further two years to the end of 2021, this is up to the maximum six-year term. These members include:

·             Judy Harwood;

·             Julie Millard;

·             Mark Tonga;

·             Morwenna Collett; and

·             Phillippa Carnemolla.

In accordance with the proposed amendment, the other remaining four Panel members who were appointed in 2018 and have served two years will be extended to the end of 2020, with the possibility to serve an additional three-year term until the end of 2023 (subject to ratification by Council). These members include:

·             Max Burt;

·             Nidhi Shekaran;

·             Sabrina Houssami-Richardson; and

·             Tara Elliffe

In August 2019, Panel member Riana Head-Toussaint informed the City that she would be resigning from the Panel due to other commitments. Ms Head-Toussaint was appointed to the Panel in 2018. We thank her for her valuable contribution.

According to section (J) in the current Terms of Reference, any member may resign by giving written notification to the City. The Chief Executive Officer may appoint a new member on consultation with the Panel.

At their meeting on 2 October 2019, Panel members agreed that the shortlisted applicants from the most recent recruitment round would be reviewed to select a replacement member. All Panel members have been given an opportunity to review the skills and experience of shortlisted applicants and have recommended the appointment of Leonie Jackson.

Ms Jackson has extensive experience working in the disability sector in advocacy, teaching, and service delivery roles. Ms Jackson has unique experiences as both a Deaf person and as a professional working in a number organisations with a focus on the deaf community.

She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Deaf Society based in NSW. Ms Jackson is an advocate for the Deaf community and is dedicated to preserving Deaf culture. Ms Jackson is currently the Chair of the Games Organising Committee for the 2022 Australian Deaf Games.

It is recommended that Council ratify:

(a)        the reappointment of five current Panel members appointed in 2016 for a further two years, up until the end of 2021:

·             Judy Harwood;

·             Julie Millard;

·             Mark Tonga;

·             Morwenna Collett; and

·             Phillippa Carnemolla; and

(b)     the appointment of a new panel member for a one year term to replace outgoing member Riana Head-Toussaint:

·             Leonie Jackson.


Ms Jackson will be eligible for reappointment for an additional three-year term in line with other Panel members appointed in 2018. In accordance with the requirements of the Terms of Reference, all members are appointed in an individual capacity and more than 50 per cent of the members are people with a direct experience of disability, either personally or through a caring and support role.

These appointments will bring the Panel membership to 10.


It is resolved that Council:

(A)        approve the amended Terms of Reference for the Inclusion (Disability) Advisory Panel, as detailed in this memorandum and as provided at Attachment A to the subject report;

(B)        ratify the reappointment of five current Panel members: Phillippa Carnemolla, Morwenna Collett, Judy Harwood, Julie Millard and Mark Tonga for a further two years; and

(C)       ratify the appointment of a new member to the Panel: Leonie Jackson for a one-year term.


Chief Executive Officer

Moved by the Chair (the Lord Mayor), seconded by Councillor Scott –

That the memorandum by the Chief Executive Officer be endorsed and adopted.

Carried unanimously.


Report author: Christine McBride

Publication date: 09/12/2019

Date of decision: 09/12/2019

Decided at meeting: 09/12/2019 - Council

Accompanying Documents: