Who we are

Commissioner

Samantha Taylor is the Acting NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner. She commenced in the role of Registrar in March 2018, and worked to establish the commencement of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission in New South Wales and South Australia from 1 July 2018. In her role as Registrar, Samantha established and led the provider registration function, national compliance and investigation policy, national worker screening and the NDIS Commission’s state and territory operations. Find out more about Sam.

Registrar

Melissa Clements is Acting Registrar. Melissa commenced in the role of Deputy Registrar with the NDIS Commission in January 2019, and has more than 25 years of experience in the disability sector. This includes leading policy and program delivery and reforms supporting more than 100,000 students with disability in NSW public schools and work to support the transition to NDIS and its interface with education. Melissa has also held a number of roles with the NSW Ombudsman and Community Services Commission oversighting community and disability service provision, as well as a range of direct service delivery roles supporting people with disability.

Chief Operating Officer

Jason Stott joined the NDIS Commission as Chief Operating Officer in May 2018. Mr Stott has extensive experience in governance, program management and corporate operations. Mr Stott’s achievements include strategic governance reform, leading complex programs, and developing and implementing high profile initiatives and measures. He has led whole-of-government teams deployed to closely scrutinise international disasters, including the Bali bombings, the Middle East during the evacuation crisis, and the Christchurch earthquake.

Mr Stott is an alumnus of the Jawun program, in which he worked on competitor analysis, raised venture capital, and improved executive control within Indigenous social enterprises. He is also an Army Reserve Major who deployed on Operation CRANBERRY, Operation ASTUTE and Operation QUEENSLAND FLOOD ASSIST. In 2012, Mr Stott was awarded a commendation for outstanding professionalism, dedication to duty and commitment and, in 2015, he received the Prince of Wales Award, which sponsored study on leadership at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver Canada.

Senior Practitioner

Jeffrey Chan commenced as the Senior Practitioner, Behaviour Support on 9 July 2018. Mr Chan has worked in disability and health services for nearly 30 years in government, non-government and statutory roles. He was the inaugural Victorian Senior Practitioner with the responsibility of protecting the rights of people with disability subject to restrictive interventions and compulsory detention. Mr Chan was also Queensland’s inaugural Chief Practitioner and Director of Forensic Disability (a Governor-in-Council appointment) where he was responsible for protecting the rights of people with cognitive impairment subject to restrictive practices and those in the forensic disability setting. Prior to his current role, Jeffrey Chan was Deputy CEO of the largest intellectual disability service provider in Singapore.

Mr Chan was an International Rotary Scholar to the University of Sydney 1988. He received the Rotary Club of Ryde Pride of Workmanship Award in 2002 for this work in rehabilitation services. He was also a Finalist in the Australian Human Rights Award 2010 for Community (Individual) category for his work in protecting the rights of people with disabilities subjected to restrictive interventions. He continues to research and publish in international refereed journals in the area of disability.

Complaints Commissioner

Dr Lynne Coulson Barr OAM is acting Complaints Commissioner. Dr  Coulson Barr commenced in the role of Branch Head – South East, with the NDIS Commission in October 2020. She has diverse and extensive experience from a long career in the disability and mental health sectors and leadership roles in statutory complaint, oversight and regulatory bodies.

Dr Coulson Barr was Victoria’s inaugural Mental Health Complaints Commissioner. She also played a key role in the establishment and operations of the Victorian Disability Services Commission as the first Deputy Commissioner. She also served as the last President of the Victorian Intellectual Disability Review Panel, and as a member of various state and federal tribunal and statutory bodies, including the Administrative Appeals Tribunal as a specialist NDIS member.

Dr Coulson Barr’s career has been dedicated to safeguarding the rights of people with disability and mental health issues and ensuring accessible and inclusive complaint and review processes, as well as driving reform and cultural change in services. In 2020, she was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition of her significant service to community mental health and her roles in disability, dispute resolution and tribunals.

Deputy Registrar

Matt Barr is Acting Deputy Registrar. Mr Barr has extensive compliance and enforcement experience working with Commonwealth regulators in the disability, construction and financial services sectors. He has extensive experience in leadership having held a wide range of regulatory development and implementation roles, including leading the Australian Building and Construction Commission’s national audit and inspection functions.

Mr Barr joined the NDIS Commission in June 2019 and has been responsible for developing and implementing their compliance policy and strategy framework. Further, he has led the implementation of the NDIS Commission’s worker screening functions, including nationally consistent NDIS Worker Screening in conjunction with state and territory governments. 

General Counsel

Carolyn Strange commenced with the NDIS Commission in July 2018 as General Counsel. Ms Strange came to the NDIS Commission with a long and varied career as a lawyer and regulator in the NSW and Commonwealth public sectors, most recently as General Counsel at the NSW Public Service Commission, after starting out as a commercial litigation solicitor. Her other public sector legal experience has included positions in the Commonwealth Office of General Counsel, the NSW Environment Protection Authority, NSW Parliamentary Counsel’s Office and the Office of the NSW Solicitor General and Crown Advocate.

Ms Strange has also held senior management roles in non-legal positions with regulatory dimension, including Director, Quality Assessment and Regulation in the Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate of the NSW Department of Education and Director, Contaminated Sites in the NSW Environment Protection Authority

Branch Head – North Central West

Mr Philip Halton has more than 30 years’ experience in public policy, administration and regulation, acquired as a public servant and advisor across the Commonwealth, New South Wales and Queensland governments and as the head of a national industry association.

Mr Halton has extensive and challenging experience in frontline regulation. As the Deputy Commissioner of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission, he led Queensland’s response to the flammable cladding crisis and the enforcement of major new building safety and market fairness reforms. In prior roles, he led major prosecutions, led reforms in safety regulation and compliance programs, and worked under the scrutiny of Special Commissions of Inquiry.

Philip is an active member of the national advisory committee of the ANZ School of Government’s National Regulators Community of Practice.

Branch Head – South East

Sarah Hawke is acting Branch Head – South East. Sarah has come from the Department of Social Service where she was a Branch Manager in the NDIS Participants and Performance Group leading a range of policy and programs focused on delivering outcomes for people with disability.

Sarah previously led service delivery teams in the National Disability Insurance Agency and worked on the establishment of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, joining the Commission from day 1 as the inaugural Commissioner’s Executive Officer.

She started her career as a disability support worker and later trained as a legal practitioner, specialising in insurance and government law.