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Our Team

EAAA exists to make real and meaningful change. We do this primarily through advocacy, publicity and practical guidance.
Our Team
EAAA exists to make real and meaningful change. We do this primarily through advocacy, publicity and practical guidance.
Phillipa McDonald

Russell Westacott


Russell was a founding member of EAAA and is a co-chair of the organisation. He is a member of the advisory board of the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission.

Russell has 35 years’ experience working with vulnerable and marginalised communities. His background spans HIV prevention and health promotion in Australia and the USA. He has worked on broader health and wellbeing programs across the wider LGBTIQ+ community.

In 2020, Russell completed a ten-year tenure as CEO of Seniors Rights Service where he worked proactively with stakeholders to build a community-led response to elder abuse.

During this period, Russell contributed to the development of the Older Persons Advocacy Network, which delivers aged care advocacy to recipients of Commonwealth-funded aged care services across Australia.

Russell continues to be active in Australia’s national elder abuse prevention responses. He remains involved as a community representative in the United Nations process towards the development of an international convention for the rights of older people.


Phillipa McDonald

Jenny Blakey


With more than 18 years’ experience managing not-for-profit community services, Jenny is a foundation board member of EAAA and a part time consultant. She played a key role in the formation of EAAA and achieving federal government support for the national body.

Jenny was the manager of Seniors Rights Victoria for ten years until December 2020. Seniors Rights Victoria provides information, support, advice and education to help prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights, dignity and independence of older people.

Previously, Jenny held management roles in community services in the alcohol and other drug sector, as manager of Outreach Services at Windana and manager of Mary of the Cross, part of CatholicCare. Prior to this, Jenny worked in community legal centres for 15 years, including three years as a manager at Fitzroy Legal Service and several years as a manager at the Welfare Rights Unit (now Social Security Rights Victoria).

Jenny has held various board and management committee roles, including three years as the chair of the Fitzroy Legal Service board and two years as the chair of the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA) board.

Jenny holds a Bachelor of Social Work and Graduate Diploma of Business (Management).


Phillipa McDonald

Carolanne Barkla

Carolanne has more than 20 years’ experience as a registered nurse, lawyer and executive spanning health, aged care, legal, not-for-profit peak body, policy, sector development and social justice. Her experience includes guidance, expertise and program management with multiple stakeholders using best evidence, research, innovation, online platforms, applications and web-based apps providing services, resources, information and education.

Carolanne has worked in rural and metropolitan environments in SA and NSW as well as with CALD, ATSI communities and veterans. She is recognised for academic excellence in elder law, comparative aspects of Malaysian law and legal research on compulsory reporting in aged care.


Phillipa McDonald

Helen Wallace

Helen has more than 30 years’ experience working in human services delivery, social policy and planning, and community development in large and small government and non-government entities.

Her current role (since 2015) has a fulltime focus on abuse of older people as well as lawyer–social worker interventions.

Helen is a collaborator across sectors for raising awareness of elder abuse and law and policy reform to prevent abuse and improve Australian responses to it.



Phillipa McDonald

Vicki Woods

With more than 30 years’ experience as an owner/operator of a multi award-winning hotel in the Hunter Valley, NSW, Vicki has expertise in, and a passion for, the hotel, restaurant, wine, tourism, disability support and research industries.

She has more than 28 years’ board and committee experience in statutory authorities, not-for-profit, local government and industry organisations.

Vicki is passionate about the welfare and care of older people with disability and mobility issues. She has strong corporate governance skills, including risk management, gained through board experience and completion of the AICD Company Directors Course.

Vicki has demonstrated and successful fundraising and marketing abilities across various organisations and sectors. She offers excellent strategic and operational skills gained through business, board and committee experience.


Sue Leitch

Sue Leitch

A pharmacist with a health policy background and extensive experience in health and ageing policy, Sue has been the CEO of COTA Tasmania since 2012. She has a Masters of Ageing from University of Melbourne.

Sue has senior management experience in a number of organisations including the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and has served on several boards across her career, contributing to policy and participating in projects and programs that benefit the community.

She is the past chair of major disability provider Li-Ve Tasmania and is a member of the Community Council of Primary Health Network Tasmania.

Sue is a mosaic artist and is currently studying a Diploma in Fine Arts with a focus on painting and printmaking. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Her special areas of interest are ageism and its mental health impacts, health literacy, arts and wellbeing, and the role that age-friendly communities and inclusion can play to benefit the health and wellbeing of older people.

She is currently studying a Diploma in Fine Arts.


Phillipa McDonald

Clinton Bright

Clinton’s career commenced with one of the big four accounting firms, giving him the chance to build a unique skillset in finance, procurement, IT, risk and governance, payroll, administration, supply and distribution, property, project management and patient transfer operations. 

He’s been fortunate to lead and motivate teams across this diverse portfolio and has had the privilege of mentoring several trainee accountants who have gone on to complete their accreditation and enjoy successful careers. Clinton’s values, commitment to people and technical skills honed across various functions and sectors have been key contributors to the team successes he has enjoyed during his career.

As an experienced executive, Clinton has developed the skills required to create and deliver on organisational strategies. He has a successful record of developing and maintaining professional relationships across a range of stakeholders, both internal (e.g., boards, audit committees and national offices and committees) and external (e.g., ACNC, Department of Health, ATO).


Phillipa McDonald

Geoff Rowe

Geoff Rowe is the CEO of Aged & Disability Advocacy (ADA) Australia. Geoff’s career in human services spans more than 40 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), a Director on the Board of QCOSS and an Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) representative on the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA).

He is currently a member of the Notifications and Immediate Action Committees of the Medical Board of Australia, a Board Director at Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA) and a member of the Community Service Industry Alliance, Community Services Reform Council.

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 he travelled to the UK, Canada, USA and New Zealand to complete his fellowship.

He has a strong interest in human rights, social justice and inclusion.


Phillipa McDonald

Bev Lange

Executive Officer

A highly experienced consultant, senior executive and company director, Bev is a recognised leader, coach, influencer and innovator.

Her success as a senior executive and leader in government roles, community organisations and private companies demonstrates her commitment to community service and excellence.

As a consultant, Bev has assisted organisations with workplace productivity coaching, communication planning, governance, strategic development and general management.

Bev splits her working life as a business coach and executive officer with EAAA.


Katy Roy image

Katy Roy

Operations and Programs Manager

Katy brings twenty years’ experience working across the health and community sectors, from direct engagement with health consumers to more recent leadership roles with national peak body organisations focused on policy, advocacy and program delivery.

She has experience working in clinical workforce settings as well as patient and consumer-focused organisations managing programs that improve clinical care and an individual’s health and health literacy.

Katy has in-depth experience implementing organisational change and supporting teams in the adoption of new processes and technology to improve efficiency and more sophisticated reporting with benefits for regulatory and other governance requirements.


Phillipa McDonald

Brigitte Jonas

Brigitte is a freelance festival and event producer based in Sydney. With more than ten years’ industry experience, Brigitte has been involved in the planning and delivery of some of Australia’s largest and best-known events.

Her projects include national celebrations, music, car and cultural festivals as well as event presentation services for major sporting events across Australia and abroad.

Through Brigitte’s events experience, she brings skills in project management, planning, IT systems, business administration, sponsor activation and budgeting.