Who we are

Commissioner

Mr Graeme Head was appointed on 16 December 2017 as the inaugural NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner.  Mr Head has a wealth of leadership experience in regulatory environments. Mr Head set up the New South Wales Public Services Commission in 2011, as inaugural Commissioner, and is uniquely qualified to oversee the development of the NDIS Commission. Find out more about Graeme.

Registrar

Samantha Taylor commenced in the role of Registrar with the NDIS Commission in March 2018. Prior to this, Ms Taylor was Executive Director of NDIS Implementation in the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. In this role, she led NSW negotiations on the NSW NDIS agreement, and managed all facets of the NSW transition to the NDIS, giving effect to the $6 billion agreement with the Australian Government. She also advised on the transfer of NSW Government-operated specialist disability services to the non- government sector. Ms Taylor held senior executive roles for over 15 years in the NSW public service working in human and social services portfolios.

In 2017, Ms Taylor was awarded a Public Service Medal for her leadership in disability reform in NSW.

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

Robert Griew joined the NDIS Commission as Complaints Commissioner in April 2020. Mr Griew has extensive experience in leadership roles across a wide range of areas of social policy and across sectors. He has senior executive experience in the Commonwealth, state and territory government, and non-government sectors; he also has significant experience in consulting to government.

Mr Griew’s public service  experience spans health, education, aged care, child protection and other social policy domains. Notably, he was the Secretary/CEO of the Northern Territory Department of Health and Community Services, and has held Associate Secretary and Deputy Secretary positions in the Commonwealth.

Deputy Registrar

Melissa Clements commenced in the role of Deputy Registrar with the NDIS Commission in January 2019. Ms Clements has more than 25 years of experience in the disability sector in a range of policy, program and service delivery roles. Previously she was Director, Disability, Learning and Support in the NSW Department of Education, leading policy and program delivery and reforms supporting more than 100,000 students with disability in NSW public schools. She also led work across the Department to support the transition to NDIS and its interface with education provision.

Ms Clements held a number of roles with the NSW Ombudsman and Community Services Commission for over 10 years, oversighting community and disability service provision as well as a range of direct service delivery roles supporting people with disability.

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 commenced with the NDIS Commission in October 2020 as Branch Head – North Central West. He was previously the Deputy Commissioner of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission, where his work focused on upholding consumer protection, building quality and public and worker safety, and promoting security of payment and financial solvency in the construction industry.

Mr Halton has also led safety regulation at the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, was the head of compliance at the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, and led safety and regulatory strategy for NSW’s Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator.

In addition to his regulatory background, Mr Halton has strong skills in stakeholder consultation and an affinity for regional Australia, having previously been the national head of a rural industry association.

Branch Head – South East

Dr Lynne Coulson Barr OAM joined the NDIS Commission in October 2020 as Branch Head – South East, bringing 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 Commissioner 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.