Who we are
Tracy Mackey is the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner. She commenced in the role in January 2022 and has been appointed for a three-year term.
Tracy has extensive professional experience in policy, programs and regulation across a number of portfolios including town planning, housing, environment and social services.
She has deep experience in government having spent time in all three tiers and comes to the NDIS Commission most recently from the NSW public sector. Tracy was most recently the Chief Executive Officer at the Environment Protection Authority leading the organisation through a period of transformation. During her time with the Commonwealth, Tracy held senior executive positions in immigration, health and ageing, community and emergency services.
Tracy has also spent time at the executive level at a large not for profit provider, at a multi-national consulting firm and leading her own consulting practice. Complementing her executive roles Tracy brings experience as a non-executive director on a number of Boards.
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
Ms Lisa Pulko commenced as the NDIS Commission’s acting Chief Operating Officer in April 2022 for a 12-month period. Prior to this role, she was the Assistant Secretary, Finance Enabling Groups in the Department of Defence.
Ms Pulko has worked in a number of roles across the Department of Defence and the Department of Home Affairs and its previous iterations. She has been responsible for improving financial systems, policies and processes at Defence, as well as contributing to the design of sustainable budgeting arrangements. Ms Pulko delivered the Commonwealth Budget for Home Affairs, designed prioritisation frameworks and business improvement approaches, negotiated large contracts and delivered high quality and timely advice to support sound decision making by government.
Ms Pulko also has previous experience in a big four advisory firm and in a small Commonwealth Government agency.
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.
Sian Leathem is the Complaints Commissioner. She commenced in the role in January 2022 and has two decades of senior executive experience in both State and Commonwealth agencies across a range of dispute resolution and regulatory areas. Prior to joining the Commission, she was the Registrar and CEO of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), which is responsible for conducting independent merits review of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws, including a range of decisions relevant to the NDIS.
Sian led the project team responsible for merging twenty-two existing tribunals into the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) and performed the role of Principal Registrar of that amalgamated tribunal.
Prior to her role at NCAT, Sian was the Registrar of the Workers Compensation Commission of NSW. She also has a wealth of legal policy experience that she gained through various roles in the NSW Attorney General’s Department and in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Sian has received an Excellence in Government Legal Service Award from the Law Society of New South Wales and an Excellence in Leadership Award from the NSW Department of Justice. In 2011 Sian was the recipient of a Young Public Sector Leader Award by the Institute of Public Administration Australia.
Melissa Clements is Deputy 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.
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, Governance, Planning and Performance
Alisa Chambers commenced as Branch Head, Governance, Planning and Performance in February 2022. Her role supports the Commissioner, parliamentary process, communications and engagement, and the implementation of the NDIS Commission’s strategy.
Throughout her career, Alisa has worked in areas that deal with highly sensitive and complex social issues, such as aged care, child protection services, early childhood education and environmental regulation. She is committed to improving communities, particularly for the most vulnerable among us.
Alisa has designed and delivered major reform and cultural change programs on behalf of government and organisations. She has an inclusive leadership approach, coupled with qualifications in change leadership, which allow her to skilfully manage diverse stakeholder priorities to deliver an optimal outcome.
General Manager – Policy, Markets and Insights
Andrew Whitecross is the General Manager, Policy, Markets and Insights, on secondment from the Department of Social Services (DSS) since May 2022. Mr Whitecross leads a new division providing strategic policy development and advice, market design and oversight, data and analysis activities, and major projects and initiatives, and whole of Government disability policy.
In DSS, Mr Whitecross was responsible for policy on the development of the NDIS provider market, specialist disability accommodation and the implementation of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework, including the establishment of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and the public consultation process on the establishment of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability.
Mr Whitecross has more than three decades of social policy experience with DSS, providing strategic policy advice on payment adequacy and targeting, rent assistance, promoting participation and the interactions with other government policies and programs. He led policy development for the 2008 09 Pension Review. Most recently, Mr Whitecross served as acting Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies from October 2020 to April 2022.
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
Mahashini Krishna is acting Branch Head – South East. Mahashini has over 10 years experience working with vulnerable communities, particularly individuals who have endured significant trauma. Mahashini has led multidisciplinary teams and delivered numerous state-wide programs. She has held senior roles in the NSW public service in legal and leadership capacities, including as the NSW Commissioner of Victims' Rights and the Registrar of the NSW Victims Compensation Tribunal. Her most recent role has been with NSW Health leading a range of projects in the Education Centre against Violence. Mahashini has a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts degree.