Who we are
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.
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.
Acting Complaints Commissioner
Jason Stott is currently Acting Complaints Commissioner, having 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.
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.
Acting Chief Operating Officer
Joe Hanna joined the NDIS Commission as Director, Program Office and Corporate Support in October 2018, and has been acting Chief Operating Officer since early January 2020. Mr Hanna spent much of his career as a strategic procurement specialist in the Department of Defence before moving into broader managerial roles. He has extensive experience in all aspects of major contract development and management, as well as in business operations, project management, platform sustainment, governance, and general management.
Mr Hanna holds a master’s degree in business from Queensland University of Technology and a master’s degree in project management from the University of New South Wales.
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.
Branch Manager, Operations
Christine Bruce commenced with the NDIS Commission in July 2018 as the Deputy Complaints Commissioner and has been Branch Manager, Operations since September 2019. Ms Bruce brings more than 30 years of experience in social policy and an energy and commitment across a broad range of functions including corporate services, communication and engagement strategies, policy and program design, program implementation, and service delivery in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. She has delivered complex government services in western NSW working with Aboriginal communities on improving outcomes to deliver Closing the Gap targets to address Indigenous disadvantage. Ms Bruce introduced the national disability parking scheme and the national companion card scheme in 2010 and prior to joining the NDIS Commission she was leading the Department of Health grant program transition of the Department of Social Services Community Grants Hub.
Ms Bruce has served on a number of Boards, including the Institute of Public Administration in Victoria and has formal qualifications in project management and a Master’s in Public Administration. She has a deep understanding of the interaction and dependencies of the NDIS, the social security payments scheme and the not for profit sector in weaving a comprehensive framework to improve the lives of marginalised Australians.
Branch Head, Strategy and Engagement
Abel Macdonald joined the NDIS Commission as Branch Head, Strategy and Engagement in July 2018. He has significant experience managing government programs and developing policy in the areas of health, ageing and social services. Specifically, Mr MacDonald supported the development of quality and safety-related regulation in community- based aged care, pathology and radiation oncology. He has also led initiatives on best practice health care, including managing the national Clinical Care Standards Program for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.
Mr MacDonald holds an Executive Masters in Public Administration, and received the 2012 Department of Health Australia Day Award for his contribution to improvements in the delivery of cancer services to residents in regional and rural Australia.
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.