Our People

by Alison Dunn


Angela Tsoukatos
Chief Executive Officer
Bachelor of Social Work; Master of Management (Public Sector)

Angela has been the CEO of Participate Australia since February 2022. Angela is an experienced and versatile C-Suite Executive with a successful track record in Australia’s largest water utility, local government and the For Purpose Sector.

Angela has built several high performing senior teams who have provided services and led significant improvements in stakeholder and government relations, customer services, culture and corporate governance.

Between 2013-2017, Angela was a Director on the Board of the NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman and is currently a Director on the Board of SydWest Multicultural Services. Angela has supported and advised several boards, government forums and Customer Councils. In 2018, Angela was selected as one the Top NSW Public Sector Women. Angela has a Bachelor of Social Work (UNSW) & a Master of Management (Public Sector), UTS.


Freddy Ortega
Chief Operating Officer
Bachelor of Business (Accounting); Certified in Leading Transformations; Master of Business Administration – completing

Freddy joined Participate Australia as COO in February 2022, bringing decades of experience from the not-for-profit, education, telecommunications, energy, logistics, and retail sectors. Freddy is a dynamic and highly accomplished senior leader with a proven history of driving the strategic direction and ensuring operations align with organisational goals. Freddy has led strategic and transformation projects using people management insights, defining operational best-practice, and advising senior management on appropriate change management and transformation strategies.

Freddy is passionate about youth and community service. Between 2018 and 2022, he served as a Principal Business Partner Consultant, Director of Finance Operations and Finance Consultant for Mission Australia, SDN Children’s Services and YMCA NSW. Freddy also has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) from Charles Sturt University, certification in Leading Transformations from Macquarie University and is completing a Master of Business Administration from Victoria University. Freddy is a member of CPA Australia and a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders. 


Thom Calma
Executive Manager, Support
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology & Performance Studies)

Thom is a proud First Nations Australian, a member of Kungarakan people from Darwin, NT.  After moving to Sydney in 2005 and completing his studies at the University of Sydney, he joined Participate Australia in 2009 as a support worker and quickly found a passion for the sector.  Thom and the Support team aspire to a world focused on ability, inclusion and achievement, where people with disabilities feel they belong, are inspired and feel supported to make choices and live their best lives. They strive to maximize opportunities aligning with the goals and aspirations for people with disability in an innovative, empathic, person-centred and rights-based approach.  Thom has a strong interest in human rights, with a particular focus on the rights of First Nations people; people with disability; the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and LGBTQI+ rights. He supports these areas through various philanthropic work and advisory boards.


Elizabeth Pasoski
Executive Manager People and Culture
Diploma in Human Resource Management, Certificate IV in Work, Health and Safety.

Liz is an experienced HR professional who is committed to providing trusted advice and support for all stakeholders.  She has worked in a variety of Industries, including Community Services , International Freight Forwarding, Retail and worked on a variety of areas such as WHS, Wellbeing, Human Resources Management, Payroll, IR / ER and is experience in all aspects of Human Resources.

Liz is dedicated to partnering with the organisation and its people working to enable them to meet their clients’ expectations and career aspirations.  Liz has partnered, consulted, and advised leaders on a variety of HR initiatives including Strategic Workforce Planning, IR / ER, Driving engagement, Retention and Redeployment.  

“I have an unwavering commitment to the provision of superior service to business and people alike. With my skills, experience, and enthusiasm for all aspect of Human Resources and particularly passionate about developing and mentoring”. 


SUPPORT COORDINATION TEAM


Shika for web copy

Shikha Dhangar
Acting Manager, Support Coordination, Support Coordinator
Bachelor of Education; Masters of Commerce

Shikha has a background in teaching and as a support worker. Her experience helps her to build solid foundations and excellent rapport with participants and their families. Shikha is skilled at connecting participants and their families with a range of services. She is fluent in English and Hindi.


Henry Baldwin
Senior Support Coordinator
Bachelor of Commerce (Human Resources); Bachelor of Psychology (Hons)

Henry has a background in psychology, using Applied Behavioural Analysis to support children with autism and volunteering with the Centre for Emotional Health. He works with participants to connect people with services that make a meaningful life impact.


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Declan Heels
Senior Support Coordinator
Bachelor of International Business

Declan has recently joined the Participate Australia Support Coordination team, with a strong background in business administration and supporting children with disabilities in an education and sport setting.


Benjamin Corby
Support Coordinator
Diploma of Community Studies

Ben has a background as a support worker, providing one-on-one support to participants in their home and community.  He is experienced in working with people with disabilities who have complex medical needs and finding technology-based solutions to every-day problems.


Josephine Lee
Support Coordinator
Bachelor of Psychological Science

Josephine has completed a Bachelors in Psychological Science and has been working in the disability sector for over 5 years with experience as a support worker and support coordinator working with a wide range of participants. Josephine has worked closely with autistic children assisting each child to achieve greater independency and improve their social skills.



Marcela Varsavikova
Support Coordinator
Certificate of Education; Cert IV Assessment & Training; Adv Dip Disability; Adv Dip Community Services Management

Marcela has a background in working with community day programs, accommodation for complex mental health needs and crisis intervention. She primarily supports participants living independently or with their families in the community.



Rickey Wan
Support Coordinator
Bachelor of Commerce (Information Systems); Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)

Rickey has a background in psychology, delivering Applied Behavioural Analysis supports to children with autism. He primarily supports participants within the Young People In Residential Aged Care and Supported Independent Living/Specialist Disability Accommodation cohorts. Rickey has particular experience in transitioning people to more suitable accommodation and a keen interest in working with participants from ATSI backgrounds.



Merna
Justice Support Coordinator
Bachelor in Social Science, Majoring in Criminology & Criminal Justice 

Merna recently joined the Justice Support Coordination team. She has completed a Bachelor’s in Social Science, Majoring in Criminology & Criminal Justice. She has worked in mental health, disability, and the criminal justice system. Merna is passionate about providing support to people with a disability to promote inclusion, fairness, and independence.



Nathan
Justice Support Coordinator
Bachelor of Business & Master of Professional Accounting 

Nathan joined the Justice Support Coordination team in early 2022 having previously worked in the disability and justice sectors, including in residential accommodation and Corrective Services. Nathan is motivated to work closely with people with disabilities to access services which will assist them in reaching their goals.



Simona
Support Coordinator
Bachelor of Communications (Social & Political Science) & Bachelor of International Studies

Simona has over 5 years’ experience in the disability services industry including support work, rostering & intake, and day programs, with her most recent role being a support coordinator for 2 years. With a strong passion to help those of CALD communities, Simona speaks English, Arabic and French, and has built an excellent rapport with participants of intellectual and psychosocial disabilities and their families. Simona resonates well with her participants having lived experience with disabilities.



Erin O’Connor
Support Coordinator
Cert III Acute Care/Aged Care

After working in the aged care sector for over 5 years, Erin transitioned into the Local Area Coordination program at the roll out of the NDIS, assisting participants to develop and implement their first plans. Following 2 years as an LAC, Erin transitioned over to the NDIS to become an NDIS planner, including a year in the regional SIL team. After three years as an NDIS planner, Erin has changed her focus to be more outcomes based, working closely with people with disabilities to achieve their goals.



Carly Boscheinen
Support Coordinator
Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)

Carly has a background in psychology (honours) and mindfulness training. She has previously provided one-on-one Applied Behavioural Therapy to adolescents with autism and ADHD, teaches yoga at Egg of the Universe and was a research assistant at the Centre for Emotional Health for Macquarie University.


Anthony Haddad
Support Coordinator
Diploma of Community Services/Cert IV in Disability

Anthony has over 6 years’ experience as a Social Educator/Support Worker, specialising in Behaviours of Concern & Social Justice Participants before working as a Customer & Community Coordinator. Anthony has a passion for understanding others, helping them achieve their goals & reach their full potential.


Belinda West
Support Coordinator
Cert IV Community Services Work; Diploma Community Welfare Work; Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Sociology).

Belinda has recently joined the Support Coordination team following over 5 years’ experience working as a Planner for the National Disability Insurance Agency specialising in Early Childhood Intervention, Assistive Technology, SIL/SDA and Unscheduled Reviews. She is focused and passionate about assisting Participants to achieve their NDIS goals. She also brings a lived experience with a disability.


CORPORATE SERVICES TEAM


NATOLI Andrea

Andrea Natoli
Manager, Partnerships, Marketing and Diversification
Bachelor Adult Education; Masters of Marketing; Bachelor of Law.

After a 20-year career in corporate sales and marketing, Andrea decided to give back to the community by joining the for-purpose sector. Her experience in this sector spans early childhood and early intervention, medical and home-based nursing, intellectual disability and neighbourhood centres. Her expertise is the growth of organisations through strategic marketing, sales initiatives, and development of strategically aligned and mutually beneficial partnerships. Andrea also sits on the Board of the Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre as its Vice Chair.


Dipika Amlani
Coordinator, People & Culture
Degree in Human Resource Management.

Dipika holds an Advanced Program in Human Resource Management from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow, India and she is a Certified Life Coach and NLP Master Practitioner-NFNLP, USA. Dipika has over 10 years’ experience in competency mapping, organizational development (OD) processes, employee engagement activities and surveys, leadership development, and succession planning. She is an expert in developing training programs for different experience levels in the organization, and she is proficient in framing and implementing policies, procedures, and training as per the business strategy and requirements.


Luke Leonard
Manager, Safeguarding & Quality Assurance
Bachelor of Visual Arts, Cert IV in Disabilities, Cert IV in Assessment & Training

Luke joined Participate Australia in May 2008 starting as a support worker after working in the arts and hospitality. He has worked in a variety of roles and departments. In his role as Manager Support he works with a team dedicated to ensuring the people we support engage in meaningful activities of their choice. Luke is passionate about equality and social justice and enjoys cooking, travelling and arts.


Fiona Sives
Executive Assistant 

Fiona joined Participate Australia in May 2022. She is a versatile and dedicated administrative professional with over 15 years’ experience working in the medical device sector including the leader in implantable hearing solutions, Cochlear Ltd. Fiona is compelled to work within human-centred, benevolent organisations, to fulfill her yearning to be a valuable and caring member of her community. At the end of 2022, Fiona will complete a Bachelor of Speech and Hearing Sciences at Macquarie University.


Damon Collum
Systems Analyst
Cert IV Disabilities; Cert II Auslan

Damon joined Participate Australia in 2010 and is part of the support team, overseeing program delivery, staff and the development of future initiatives to drive our activities into the future. His work ensures that service delivery is at the highest standard and that the technology and systems that we engage with maximise efficiency. With family members who have a disability his hope to see that all people can live a life of equality and inclusive drives his passion for working in this sector.


FINANCE TEAM


Eric Hong
Manager, Finance
Bachelor of Economics (Accounting)

Eric joined Participate Australia in 2013 as finance coordinator after working in a range of accounting and finance roles in a number of industries. In 2017 I was promoted to Assistant Finance Manager and subsequently Manager, Finance. He enjoys working at Participate Australia, and together with the team, he maintains high ethical standards.  Eric has have a young family and an interest in autosports. 


Lucy Lu
Senior Coordinator, Finance
Bachelor Economics; Master of Economics; Postgraduate certificate in Accounting

Lucy joined Participate Australia in January 2021, with strong knowledge and experience in accounting, finance and taxation as well as a background as a Reporting Analyst in various commercial industries.  Lucy’s responsibilities include end to end billing processes across all teams, maintaining accounts receivable, various reporting and analysis tasks and the preparation of annual budgets and forecasts.


Jessica Hong
Payroll, Finance Coordinator
Bachelor of Economics; Cert IV Bookkeeping

Jessica joined Participate Australia in February 2020 with a background in the retail industry.  She controls end to end payroll process, accounts payable and handles the financial records of Participate Australia.


SUPPORT TEAM


Irene Enrica
Manager, Support
Bachelor of Psychology, Masters of HR Management

Irene oversees the operations of the activity team and has a background in the community services sector, focusing on social engagement and mental health in the multicultural community.  She joined Participate Australia in 2012 as a support worker and moved to the coordination team in 2014.  Irene was the Learning and Development Specialist and Human Resources Coordinator at KPMG Indonesia for 4 years, is fluent in both English and Indonesian and is currently learning to speak Korean.


Jodie Harmer
Senior Support Facilitator

Jodie has been with Participate Australia since October 2015 as a Coordinator in the Support team, coordinating the Flexible Respite Packages. She has worked in the disability sector in varying capacities for 14 years, including working in the Hunter region where she gained experience with the NDIS.  Jodie has a background and qualifications in Art Therapy and Counselling .


Joanna Kazzi (currently on maternity leave)
Senior Activities Coordinator
Bachelor of Inclusive Education and Disability Studies; Masters of Human Services

Joanna joined Participate Australia in 2012 as a support worker, working across all programs within the organisation before taking on a role within the Activities Team in 2016. In this time Joanna has designed programs that provide valuable and new experiences for participants. She seeks out and maintains partnerships with external organisations, assists with grant applications and  grant implementations. Joanna is passionate about keeping children safe and incorporates this knowledge into the planning and development of programs offered by Participate Australia. Joanna is fluent in English and Arabic.


Helen An
Support Facilitator
Cert IV and Diploma of Community Services, Master of Social Work

Helen joined Participate Australia in November 2016 and worked  as a support worker in disability sector for 4 years. She studied Social Work and Community Services and has a passion for working in the welfare sector.


Gabriella Antelmi
Activities Coordinator
Cert IV Community Services

Gabriella joined Participate Australia in 2016 as a support worker and has worked as a Team Leader in adult group activities, school holiday activities and individual support. She became an Activities Coordinator in October 2017, focusing on individual support. Gabriella has a strong passion to give back to local communities whether it is setting up a community garden with a fellow support worker or volunteering. 


Donette Ashok Kumar
Support Facilitator
B.A. ( Psychology & Sociology); B.Education, Post Grad Case Management Disability.

A teacher by profession, Donette has 15 years experience in the education sector. She began at Participate Australia in 2011 as a support worker and team leader, working across all programs. During her time here Donette has also worked as a Support Facilitator and Senior Coordinator in Community Liaison.  She is passionate about supporting people with disabilities and their families and dedicated to ensuring the best opportunities and outcomes so participants reach their NDIS goals. In addition to English, Donette is fluent in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi.


Reena Ashok Kumar
Support Facilitator & Intake

Reena started working at Participate Australia in April 2014 after working in the hospitality and events industry for 2.5 years. She is in the process of completing her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and International Relations.


Lily Djumadi
Activities Coordinator
Bachelor of Computer Science; Certificate of Teaching

Lily joined Participate Australia in 2015 as a support worker. Her many years of teaching overseas  has shaped Lily’s desire to develop and help others. In her current role, she designs and facilitates programs to improve an individual’s social inclusion through goal orientated activities aligned to NDIS plans, working closely with participants and carers to achieve this. It brings Lily  tremendous joy to see participants engage with our activities in a meaningful way.  Lily is fluent in both English and Bahasa Indonesia, and also speaks Hokkien at home.


Nicolas Fodor
Senior Support Facilitator
Bachelor of Arts (English)

Nicolas joined Participate Australia in 2018 as a support facilitator following a decade of customer based, health focused roles. He has worked with families, fitting baby seats to cars; in ergonomics, fitting supportive seats to bad backs, and most recently he supervised a Hearing Clinic in Marrickville.