People with Disability Australia welcomes new CEO

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Posted 1 week ago by Nicole Pope

People with Disability Australia has appointed its new Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Smith [Source: Shutterstock]
People with Disability Australia has appointed its new Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Smith [Source: Shutterstock]

National disability peak body, People with Disability Australia (PWDA) has appointed its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jeff Smith. 

From 12 August, Mr Smith will take on his new position in the organisation, one he is thrilled to be a part of. 

“I’m so pleased to be taking up this exciting and important role as CEO of PWDA, an organisation that has been leading the work on rights for people with disability for 40 years,” Mr Smith says.

“As a person with disability myself, I know how far we have come towards being fully included in Australia, but also how far we still have to go before we are truly equal.”

President of PWDA, Dr David Abello says Jeff brings a wealth of experience to the role, having previously worked as Director of the Environmental Defenders Office of New South Wales (NSW) for 14 years.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Jeff, given his experience in governance, resilience, strategic planning, capacity building and sustainability. 

“I’m excited about exploring a range of emerging human rights issues for people with disability with Jeff including how people with disability can be at the forefront of measures to deal with climate change,” Dr Abello says.

Mr Smith says he can’t wait to get started in his new role.

“I’m looking forward to working with the PWDA Board, our members, staff and supporters in advancing the rights of people with disability. 

“We have lots of work to do, and I can’t wait to get started,” he says. 

Mr Smith is a solicitor with a Masters of Law from Sydney University (majoring in Environmental Law and Policy) and regularly teaches postgraduate and undergraduate courses at Macquarie and Sydney University. 

He is also currently on the Advisory Committee for the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law (having been Chair for 8 years) and the Board of the Haymarket Foundation. 

Previously, Mr Smith was a Board member of the Total Environment Centre, the Environmental Planning and Law Association, and CLC NSW, as well as the Strategic Council for the Climate Institute.

Current Acting CEOs Matthew Bowden and Therese Sands will stay on at PWDA for a period of time. 

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