AQA is a member-based not-for-profit organisation and a registered public company limited by guarantee. For more than 30 years, we have resourced people whose lives have been disrupted by injuries, illnesses, and disability to participate in all aspects of life.
AQA exists to resource people to live well.
An inclusive community where people have access to the resources they need to meet the challenges of change and live fully.
A passion and need for spinal cord advocacy and support.
AQA Victoria was established in 1987, as the Victorian office of the Australian Quadriplegic Association, formed in Sydney 15 years earlier. Initially operating as a subsidised workplace, AQA Victoria staff members began making casual visits to spinal ward patients at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne. This approach, centred around learning from lived experience, quickly became a defining feature of the organisation. This service was developed and expanded under the broad title of Peer Support.
Over the years, the scope of our work has grown. Our services have expanded to include Home and Community Based Services, Allied Health Services, and a range of peer-informed and peer-led skill and capacity building programs. Recognising the broader applicability of the skills and knowledge AQA has been developing, we’ve broadened our focus from spinal cord injury to the wider community of people living with complex physical disability.
We’ve nurtured spaces where people can share, learn and connect with others: within our Community Network groups across the state, and through community members sharing their stories on our website, social media and in our newsletter. And we regularly use our voice and platform to channel our community’s wealth of knowledge and experience into debates on public policy that affects them.
Through all of our work, runs the belief that we all have something to offer. By making sure we all have the tailored support we need as individuals, we unlock our potential to be resourcing others to live well.
AQA began as a Melbourne office for the Sydney-based Australian Quadriplegic Association.
AQA Victoria began to deliver home-based care for people with severe disabilities in 1991 through the Qualcare respite program, one of the first such services to operate in Australia.
From its earliest days, AQA Victoria stood out as a place where people could find supportive relationships after a life-changing event that brought severe physical challenges.
AQA staff with quadriplegia have always reached out to people they believe might benefit from their lived experience.
Led by Peter Trethewey, AQA is seeking to build appreciation for the skills people gain from living through profoundly challenging events.
AQA Victoria Ltd (AQA) is a registered, public company limited by guarantee. The company has a constitution which outlines the organisation's key objectives and matters relating to membership, the appointment process of directors and their duties, scope of activities under which the board directors may act and procedural matters pertaining to the conduct of meetings.
BSW, Social Work; Grad Dip Rehab; Mast App.Sc, ISM
Chairperson; Convenor of the Governance Committee
Michelle was introduced to AQA through her work at the Transport Accident Commission, where for many years she managed clients with acquired brain injury or spinal cord injury. Over that part of her career she was most engaged by the opportunity to resource people as they realised their passions and developed their potential after injury.
Michelle sees AQA’s values and peer-based philosophy as aligned very closely with her own. Michelle has a sound background in industrial relations, and is experienced in not-for-profit governance, organisational development, employee management, and State Government compliance.
Board Member since April 2013
B.Sc/LLB (Victorian Legal Practising Certificate 2021) Deputy Chairperson; Member of the Quality & Risk Committee
David is keenly aware of how valuable AQA resources can be, having observed the profound ways in which a mid-life equestrian accident affected his father. He has preferred to work in environments where there is a clear social purpose, and has extensive legal, regulatory and compliance experience across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors, in Australia and the United Kingdom.
David is Registrar of Housing Agencies & Director of the Office of the Housing Registrar, and responsible for the regulation of community housing providers in Victoria.
Board Member since March 2014
FCPA, FCA, MBA
Treasurer; Member of the Finance & Audit Committee
Srini is a senior corporate professional with diverse experience in global companies across financial services, retail and in Local Government and Not For Profit sectors. Srini has a sound background in financial, strategic and M&A matters with expertise in the development and execution of business change strategies and transformation.
He has strong leadership and mentoring skills, with the demonstrated ability to motivate and inspire teams to performance targets and has a history of working effectively in cross-functional / cross-cultural environments.
Board Member since November 2022
Order of Australia Medal (OAM)
Company Secretary; Member of the Quality & Risk Committee
Dave is passionate about challenging community perceptions of what a person living with disability can achieve through doing things differently – perhaps by designing innovative engineering solutions, or engaging community support for an adventure.
Dave represented Australia at the 1996 Paralympics in wheelchair rugby, and has since flown a light aircraft solo around Australia and paddled the 2226 km length of the Murray River in a kayak. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2015, for his contribution to people with a disability through sport. He has been living with quadriplegia from a spinal cord injury since 1988.
David has worked in consultancy and government sectors across engineering, project management and governance disciplines. He is an adventurer, author, and speaker, and he volunteers with AQA as a Peer Mentor.
Board Member since May 2017
MBM / DipMA
Convenor of the Strategy & Innovation Committee
Joe has served the AQA Board in committee roles since 2012, having been invited to contribute from his business experience. Through his associations with other inspiring personalities working with AQA, he has become passionate about creating opportunities so that anyone with a disability can grow, develop and experience life to its fullest. He joined the Board as a Director in 2019.
Joe has a background in Sales, Marketing, Value Based Commercialisation, and Strategy Development and Implementation. He has worked for large FMCG retailers and manufacturers, among them Coles Myer, SPC Ardmona and Coca-Cola Amatil, and has been President of SMART Networking Group. He is General Manager of Australia’s leading organic health foods and products distributor.
Board Member since July 2019
BN, MHSM (Mon), MAICD
Convenor of the Quality & Risk Committee
Kylie is the Director of Quality and Patient Safety at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. She works with Peter MacCallum stakeholders to implement strategies to reduce the frequency of preventable adverse events. She is also a Board Director of the East Wimmera Health Service.
Kylie is a healthcare professional who specialises in clinical governance and enterprise risk management in the acute health sector. With extensive experience in both the clinical and non-clinical environments including project management, quality improvement, leadership and management of teams, Kylie strives to utilise teams to improve service delivery aimed at providing better health outcomes and experiences for patients.
Kylie began as an emergency nurse before focusing on risk management. She holds a Masters in Health Services Management and has worked in hospitals in Australia and the United States.
Board Member since July 2019
Master of Public Policy and Management
Member of the Strategy & Innovation Committee
Brydie is passionate about providing opportunities to people living with disabilities, and has a particular interest in engaging frontline workers through increased education, supervision supports, and the application of frameworks in practice.
Brydie is the Chief Operating Officer at Able Australia and has more than a decade of experience as a Director in Victoria’s public hospitals, tackling issues of patient flow and access, quality and risk management, and transition supports. Prior to this, she held strategic advisory and project roles with the Victorian Department of Health and the Commonwealth Department of Health.
Board Member since February 2021
Member of AQA Quality and Risk Committee
Jessica is a regulatory compliance and risk specialist who is passionate about delivering community outcomes. Jessica is currently a Regulation Manager at the Department of Treasury and Finance, regulating community housing providers to ensure low income Victorians can access housing that meets their needs. Jessica was previously the Secretary of a community life saving club.
Board Member since November 2022
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