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ADA Australia

Our Structure

ADA Australia is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, with an independent Board of Directors. We employ more than 30 staff across eight offices to deliver high quality advocacy, guardianship support and education to people in the aged and disability sectors.

ADA Australia is funded by the Australian and Queensland governments for a range of specific services. Additionally, we undertake various projects in aged and disability related areas.

Our Board of Directors

ADA Australia’s Board of Directors provide governance and leadership in the achievement of the organisation’s strategic outcomes.



Liz Kearins – Chair – Elected to Board 2012

Cert. Journalism, Dip.Bus.Studies, FIML, MPRIA

Liz is a qualified senior executive, engagement and change professional, with 20 years’ experience in leadership across the public and private sectors, including utilities, healthcare, environment, tourism and media. She has a strong track record of driving organisation-wide strategy, engagement and culture change to achieve superior performance. Liz is currently a Senior Consultant with performance culture partners, Actrua.

Liz was previously General Manager, Strategy, People and Safety at Seqwater, leading the authority’s strategy, risk, quality, culture, people, safety, communications and engagement functions. She also held an executive role at Queensland’s Health Quality and Complaints Commission, where she led strategy and culture, stakeholder and community engagement, and complaint triage, early resolution and conciliation services.

In addition to her ADA Australia Board role, Liz serves as a Director of the Board for the Older Persons Advocacy Network.

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders, a certified Change Management Practitioner, an affiliate member of the Australian HR Institute, and a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and the International Association of Public Participation.



Paul Johnson – Deputy Chair – Elected to Board 2014

BSocSc (HumServ), DipBus (Frontline Mgt), Cert IV TAA

Paul’s career in the ageing industry has spanned two states, over two decades and across the spectra of service provider, industry adviser and public servant.  With qualifications in human services, training and management, Paul is passionate about exceptional customer service, redefining ageing, and enjoying life.  Paul is currently the Chief Opportunity Officer at BallyCara where he provides leadership in strategy, communications and business growth.  Paul actively engages with key stakeholders across Australia and continues to contribute to national policy development and reform of Australia’s aged care system through his involvement with Leading Age Services Australia.  Paul is an ADA Board Director and chairs the Quality & Compliance sub-committee.




Ian Edwards

Ian Edwards – Treasurer – Elected to Board 2015

MHA, BBus (HRM), AssocDip Bus (Mgt)

Ian has over 30 years’ experience in health and education sectors, including holding executive positions at Griffith University and various Queensland Health Units (Central Area Health Service, Health Service Directorate, Princess Alexandra Hospital and Organisational Improvement Unit).  He has also contributed to a number of commissioned reports, publications and conferences. Ian is currently the Program Director for Health Services Management On-Line and Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics at Griffith University and is responsible for the management of these programs.




Jennifer Pouwer – Director – Elected to Board 2017

B Occ Thy, GAICD

Jennifer has extensive senior executive experience in the government (Commonwealth and State) and non-government health and social services sector and since 2002 this experience has been supplemented with interest in corporate governance and Board roles.

As Chief Executive Officer of Mental Illness Fellowship Queensland, Jennifer navigated a merger with Richmond Fellowship Queensland (RFQ) and June 2019 saw the merger transition and associated projects completed. Presently Jennifer is Deputy Chair, Checkup, a not for profit, non-government organisation assisting communities to address health inequities.




Dan O’Sullivan – Director – Elected to Board 2009

BBus (HA), MACHSM, Commissioner for Declarations

Dan has more than 30 years’ experience in the Commonwealth Government, particularly in aged and community care, as well as previously holding positions at Wesley Mission and Blue Care. He is currently a Project Director with the Capital and Asset Services Branch of the Queensland Health.




Stephanie Gallagher – Director – Elected to Board 2017

Master of Laws, Master of Health Administration, Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Arts ( Psychology and Economics)

Stephanie has acted for Queensland Health and other health industry clients over the length of her career, which spans more than 20 years. Her experience includes acting in; matters arising from the public and private health sectors as both a solicitor and barrister, in an advisory capacity, in relation to and appearing on behalf of QH to defend claims, in litigation and before regulatory bodies and tribunals. For more than 15 years she sat as a member of institutional ethics committees of tertiary hospitals advising on matters of health service management, matters of public health and clinical governance.



Our Executive Management Team


Geoff Rowe

Geoff Rowe – Chief Executive Officer

B. Soc. Wk.

Geoff Rowe has occupied the role of CEO of ADA Australia since September 2014. Geoff’s career in the human services sector spans more than 30 years, including fifteen years in senior and executive positions in the Queensland Government, and more than 20 years in the not-for-profit sector. Prior to his current role, Geoff held senior roles with the Endeavour Foundation and Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland. Geoff was previously the community representative on the Queensland Physiotherapists Registration Board, Independent Chair of the Strategic Governance Group for the Non Schools Organisation Program (Education Queensland) and a Director on the Board of QCOSS. Geoff is an Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) representative on the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA) and a member of the Notifications and Immediate Action Committees of the Medical Board of Australia. In November 2018 Geoff was awarded the prestigious Paul Tys Churchill Fellowship to study world’s best practice in preventing and responding to Elder Abuse in aged care and the community. In 2019 Geoff will travel to the UK, Canada, USA and New Zealand to complete his fellowship.
He has a strong interest in social justice and inclusion.




Karen Williams

Karen Williams – Manager of Human Rights Service

BSW, M. HlthSvcMgt, JD.

Karen Williams is a Social Worker, Manager and a Lawyer, with more than 20 years’ experience in the health and mental health sector. Karen has over 10 years’ experience as a lawyer, with an interest in legal matters concerning people who have had their capacity questioned. This gives her experience in aged, mental health and disability law. In 2015, Karen was awarded a National Disability Award for advocacy, in recognition of her work in the sector.

Karen is currently the manager of the Human Rights Services, which includes advocacy before the Queensland Civil and Administration Tribunal.  We assist approximately 300 people per year with their Guardianship and Administration matters.

The Human Rights Service also includes our Elder Abuse advocate who responds to people with concerns about Elder Abuse in residential aged care in the greater Brisbane area.




Kathy Chandler

Kathy Chandler – Manager of Corporate Services

DipMgt, DipHR, CertIVGov, CertIVSmBusMgt

Kathy has 30 years’ experience in financial management, human resource management and governance, including previous project management and executive officer roles within government.

Kathy is currently ADA Australia’s Corporate Services Manager, and Company Secretary for the Board of Directors.  Kathy is also Board Secretary for Queensland Community Services Employers Association (QCSEA).





Rebecca Kok – Manager of Advocacy Services

BSocWk, Dip Mgt, Dip CSC, CertIVTAE

Rebecca is a Social Worker who has worked at ADA Australia in various roles for the last 15 years’ working in the areas of aged care, disability and mental health. She currently holds one of the Manager, Advocacy Services positions leading the advocacy team across the state.






Rebeca Daniloff – Manager of Advocacy Services

B Sp Path, Grad Cert Bus Admin, Cert IV TAE

Rebecca has over 20 years experience working within the disability sector, initially working as a speech pathologist with adults and children and then moving into various management roles. She has been involved in numerous projects promoting communication and community participation for people of all abilities.

Rebecca currently holds one of the Manager, Advocacy Services roles and supports advocates across the state. She is currently completing her MBA at QUT.



Our Organisation

ADA Australia’s current Strategic Plan is operational from 2016-2020. To view a copy, go to ADA Australia Strategic Plan 2016.

ADA Australia is an ISO 9001:2015 certified agency committed to excellent customer service and continuous quality improvement.

ADA Australia works closely with many other departments and organisations. See Strategic Alliances for more information.