Our Executive Team
ELINOR STRATFORD MNZM-PRESIDENT
A West Coaster, having lived in both rural and urban areas, Elinor has a good understanding of issues such as rurality and other disparities. Currently a WCDHB member Elinor has seen a change in the development of collaborative relationships locally, regionally and nationally, within the Health and Disability sector, working together to support the communities access to these services. Elinor has spent a number of years serving on the Executive Committee and is a Life Member of the Federation.
LISA MARTIN-VICE PRESIDENT
Lisa is the CEO of Disability Connect based in Auckland. They deliver disability information and advice Auckland-wide including via their range of seminars and print publications. Disability Connect runs a social work service and a culturally targeted disability information service also. Lisa is the proud mother of a 24yr old man with autism and intellectual disability. She has a particular interest in the support needs of those with high and complex needs.
BRIAN ERIKSEN - TREASURER
Brian is the General Manager of the Taranaki Disabilities Information Centre Trust. He has over 25 years of experience in the disability sector and he sits on many Boards and Committees in his community. A former Federation President, Brian continues to serve as our Treasurer. A great rugby fan and former coach, he has also been described as a golf nut who can count to 80!
NOEL MATTHEWS - COMMITTEE
Noel has worked in the disability sector for 14 years as CEO of NorthAble. He was initially introduced to this sector when he first left school as a Psychiatric Assistant to work in Tokanui Hospital during the 80s. Noel is really proud to be a former President, and as an Executive member of the Federation he understands the defining opportunity we all have in the development of a new and better way of working.
KAREN BEARD-GREER - COMMITTEE
Karen is the CEO of Independent Living Charitable Trust and holds a range of leadership and governance positions within the disability sector. She is a strategic thinker open to new ways and is known for her skills in transformation and challenging the status quo. A past Federation President, Karen is committed to ensuring a new future for DIAS as providers of not only information, but also diverse services to meet the needs of our consumers across New Zealand.
SONIA THURSBY (CHAMBERS) MNZM - COMMITTEE
Sonia is the CEO of the YES Disability Resource Centre and PHAB Association Sonia has worked in the sector in New Zealand for 24 years and prior to that in the UK. As a qualified youth worker Sonia has a passion to support young people with disabilities to be the designers and deliverers of services and projects that meet their needs.
SCOTT AMBRIDGE - COMMITTEE
Scott has been with Enable New Zealand for ten years. He promotes a strong culture of innovation, customer co-design and person-led practice. With over 20 years’ experience in operations and general management, Scott manages Enable New Zealand’s relationships with many entities across the disability sector. Over the last 12-18 months, Scott has been actively involved with government and disabled people in the co-design and implementation of the transformed disability support service prototype, Mana Whaikaha, in the MidCentral Region.
DEBBIE WEBSTER - COMMITTEE
Debbie has been part of the disability sector since 2005. Beginning in Invercargill with the Disability Resource Centre Southland and from 2015 as Service Manager of the Disability Information Service Otago. She has spent time over these years in project management roles for the Federation, administering consumer consultation projects for the Ministry of Health. She values and enjoys people, sharing in their stories and journey and helping people source what they need to be informed and make choices that are right for them. Her philosophy is simple, best reflected in these words, he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata. It is people, it is people, it is people.