To contact a member of staff, call 1800 033 660, or visit our Contact page.
Chief Executive Officer – Deb Deshayes
General Manager, Operations – Angela Jaeschke
Executive Assistant – Christina Micallef
Finance Manager – Gwendoline Rai
Project Manager – Bettina Twyman
Communications Co-ordinator – Amila Dedovic
Information and Administration Officer – Samantha Marsh
Policy and Advocacy Manager – Jackson Reynolds-Ryan
National Policy Officer – Corey Crawford
NSW/ACT Advocacy Projects Officer – Tony Delmadoros
National Advocacy Officer – Martin Stewart
National Advocacy Projects Officer – Peta Hogan
Engagement and Consultation Officer – Layal Hage
Project Officer: Eye to the Future – Madison Braim
Project Officer: Eye to the Future – Claire Dorling
Admin Assistant – Cheryl Gration
Business Support Officer – Natasha Brake
Board of Directors
President, Chair Fee for Service Committee
New South Wales
Fiona was elected BCA President in December 2021, after serving as a director since 2017. Other positions have included BCA Vice President, Chair National Policy Council and President of the National Women’s Branch. Totally blind since early childhood, Fiona studied Law and Arts at the University of Melbourne and worked as a lawyer and public servant, before choosing to be a stay-at-home mother to her six children while continuing to serve the community as a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor with the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Fiona lives on Dharug and Gundungurra country in the Blue Mountains, where she is the single parent to three of her younger children.
Contact: Email or call on 1800 033 660
Vice-President, Branch Liaison Officer
Chair, Business Continuity Committee
New South Wales
Chair, BCA Engage
Helen Freris is a not-for-profit, community, and disability sector leader with more than 20 years experience in capacity building, service and training delivery, program design and coordination. She is strongly committed to social justice, equality and inclusion, and brings community sector experience of service delivery and management within family service and disability organisations.
Helen is currently Health Services Program Manager at Women with Disabilities Victoria, and serves as a member of the Board and Policy Council of the World blind Union Asia Pacific region
Prue Watt OAM
Chair, National Policy Council
Australian Capital Territory
Chair, Finance Audit and Risk Management Committee
Australian Capital Territory
Andrew joined the BCA board as a director in December 2020. He is currently Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee. Prior to joining the board he was a member of BCA’s National Policy Council.
Andrew worked in the Australian Public Service for over 25 years where he led project teams engaged in the production of national statistics, change management and technology development.
Joanne Chua is from Adelaide South Australia. She is from a culturally and linguistically diverse background. With extensive experience in social and community development work, some of her professional highlights include working with people who were HIV positive in Rwanda, refugees in Uganda, people who are blind and with disability in India and Nepal and women with disability in Vietnam. Joanne has also worked as a support coordinator for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), as a Youth Mentor for a multicultural refugee group in South Australia and a fellow mentor for Australia awardees studying at Flinders University. In her free time Joanne is a finger painting visual artist, a blind photographer, and has organized fashion shows for women with disability in South Australia, Vietnam, and Nepal. She holds various directorship positions with international organizations, service minority and disadvantaged communities in Africa, Asia and beyond.
First appointed as a director of BCA in November 2019. He has worked in the disability sector for over 30 years at the University of Tasmania. He has served roles as a Director of Royal Guide Dogs Tasmania and as a Director for Disability Voices Tasmania. Additionally he has previously served as a Director of BCA in the early 2000’s.
He is a person who has an acquired vision loss and understands the barriers and difficulties that this may cause.
Francois Jacobs is a sessional academic teaching in the Disability and Inclusion pathway at Deakin University. He also consults on digital accessibility as a freelancer, and his most recent work includes representing the student perspective for an advisory group on accessible procurement with the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training.
Prior to emigrating from South Africa in 2015, Francois worked as a degree qualified IT Business Analyst with over twelve years technical and strategic experience in various sectors including Long Term Insurance, Customer Feedback Management and Retail (Reward and Loyalty program).
In his spair time, Francois enjoys recreational running and volunteering with organisations that align with his interests. He is passionate about advocacy issues such as accessible voting, ride-share and digital accessibility. Francois previously served on the Board of Description Victoria where he contributed towards making arts experiences more accessible to blind and vision impaired audiences. After completing a term as Treasurer of Dog Guide Handlers Australia he continues his involvement with the organisation as a general Committee member, and also serves on the Disability Advisory Committee of Disability Sports and Recreation Victoria.