About

Promoting Disability Support Networks in Canberra

At CCI, we are dedicated to supporting people with disabilities to promote and develop their roles as valued, participating and contributing members of society. Based in Kambah, our team of friendly and thoughtful experts are committed to giving the disabled population of Canberra the tools that they need to gain independence and empower them to be involved as active members of their community.

Our Core Values

At CCI we recognise:
  • People with disabilities are important members of the community
  • Each person has unique needs and aspirations
  • Families and/or friends are critical in the life of each person with a disability
  • Planning with each person helps them meet their goals
  • Timeliness, flexibility and responding to cultural needs and values are important
  • People with disabilities and their family/friends are a valued resource for ideas, leadership, planning and evaluation

CCI Governance

CCI is governed by a Committee elected annually by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. The Committee consists of a President, Treasurer, Public Officer and ordinary members who represent families, people with disabilities, and the community. The aims of the Committee are to adhere to the Constitution and to ensure that CCI supports people with disabilities in accordance with our Purpose and Principles.

Staff

Ian Ross  Executive Director
Ian Ross 
Executive Director
Ian came to Community Connections as Executive Director in 2011. Ian Ross brings over 20 years of experience working in disability services both in Australia and in the UK. Ian has worked as a direct support worker, as a service manager, as a policy writer, and as a manager of tenders, grants, and contracts. As Disability ACT’s Senior Project Officer Ian supported the development of three family governance projects, and the establishment of many new individual support arrangements. Ian has a Bachelor of Arts. Ian describes himself as a proud father and partner, an avid reader, and a passable cook. He is very fond of games and puzzles, an admirer of architecture, and is all too often a reluctant gardener.
Debra Hogg
Manager, Support Services and My Choice Project

Debra moved to Community Connections after many years working as an Occupational Therapist, most recently with ACT Health's Community Rehabilitation Team. She has worked with people with disabilities and older people in Victoria and the UK in public health and private service. With her family she has had an active voluntary role with Interchange in Victoria as a host family for young women for 23 years. Debra accepted the position of Coordinator of the My Choice Self Directed Funding Pilot Project in 2014 and became the Manager of Support Services in July 2014. She is passionate about building people’s dreams and abilities and looks forward to a time when more people with disabilities are empowered to make real choices in their lives. Debra loves travel and sport and as a recent convert to cycling is enjoying trying to make this a part of as many holidays as possible.
Genny Newton
Finance Manager

Profile pending

Janet Cholewick NDIS Project Officer
Janet Cholewick
NDIS Manager

Janet emigrated from the UK to Australia in 2012. In the UK she commenced her career in debt management in the building industry before moving to federal government in the justice department, where she held a number of roles over a 22 year period. Here she began in administration in courts before moving to management roles. She developed a passion for finance which led her into a number of projects around financial development across the justice system. On moving to Australia she undertook a number of volunteer roles within the community before joining Community Connections in 2013 to help prepare the organisation for the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). She is still involved in NDIS related processes and finances. Outside of work Janet enjoys supporting her daughter at her many sporting events and is a committee member for her local Little Athletics centre. She also enjoys cooking, travelling and reading and has recently taken up running. 
Cherry Matthews Office Manager
Stuart Poole
Office Manager
Stuart comes to Community Connections with 15 years of experience working in the community sector across a range of programs and services. Stuart first got involved in volunteering to support people with a disability when he was in high school over 30 years ago. When Stuart isn't at work you might find him tearing around a race track in a ridiculously small car or touring in South East Asia. Stuart also enjoys tasting just about anything that can be cooked when he is on his trips away. Stuart loves his dog, cycling and four wheel-driving. In 2017 Stuart accepted the position of office manager, blending his experience for administration and working with the people we support into his new role.
Lee Harrison Manager, Homeshare
Lee Harrison
Manager, Homeshare
Lee came to Australia/Canberra in 2009 after emigrating from the UK with his family. In the UK Lee worked for over 20 years in the media industry. Lee started selling advertising in a national daily newspaper, then spent many years in the media industry. Lee then spent many years working in the exhibition/convention sector as a manager on the UK's largest annual trade fair. On moving to Australia, Lee sought a different career path. In January 2010 Lee was employed as a coordinator at Community Connections, Lee brought with him the ‘right attitude’ and has been trained in the disability sector; Lee has found the work rewarding and enjoyable. In November 2012, Lee started working as the Manager of our Homeshare program. Outside work Lee is very keen on most sports especially soccer, he also enjoys travel, music and reading.
Nicole Cameron Finance Officer
Nicole Cameron
Finance Officer
Nicole has worked in the hospitality and retail sectors for over 8 years, she then went back to school and changed careers, to work in the Business, Accounts and Payroll sector. Nicole has been the Finance Officer at Community Connections since 2005. Nicole also enjoys cooking, travelling and showing dogs.

Helen Thomas
Administration Assistant

Helen came to Community Connections in March 2010. After leaving school Helen worked part-time in the horticultural industry but this was not to be a full time career. Helen came to Community Connections working part-time as an administration assistant to the Executive Director on a short term contract. During this time Helen found she enjoyed working in admin and decided to pursue a career in this field. In December 2010 she started full time as our Administration Assistant and has completed Certificate 2 in Business. When you phone us, it is usually Helen welcoming you. Helen enjoys trips away with her friends and going to musicals; she loves shopping, restaurants, chocolate and taking Kirby the dog for a walk
Di Taylor Coordinator
Di Taylor
Coordinator
Di arrived at Community Connections in 2007 after working for ten years with Disability ACT where she enriched many lives of people with a disability and the frail aged. Di worked as a facilitator of the A.C.E program in the ACT and as a day care facilitator for the elderly at Queanbeyan Home and Community Care. Di has been the recipient of many awards during her career. Di rediscovered her love of languages while working with people from many ethnic backgrounds. Di returned to T.A.F.E in 2004-2005 to update her social welfare qualifications, studying at night for two years. Di also owns and runs a successful small business on Sundays in Kingston. Di is the proud mother of a much loved son and daughter, she loves to travel, we can expect postcards from anywhere in the world. Di has completed a Diploma of Community Services Coordination in 2013.
Yvonne Lucas Coordinator
Yvonne Lucas
Coordinator
Yvonne started working at Community Connections in 2014. Yvonne has worked in community services for 19 years, working in both ACT and NSW, with people who have a disability and people who are frail and aged. Yvonne has previously worked as a support worker, coordinator, coordinating respite, case coordinator working with ageing parent carers. Yvonne loves music, running and going to the beach.
Muhammad Rahman
Coordinator

Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman joined CCI in 2014. Originally from Bangladesh, Muhammad migrated to Australia in 2007 as an international student. He has studied Community Services and completed a Diploma of Community Welfare Works in 2010. He has achieved his permanent residency in Australia as a skilled migrant in 2012. Muhammad comes to CCI with five years' experience as a community worker. He has worked with a wide range of vulnerable people in different industries including disability, care and protection, youth justice and people with dementia. He has also worked as a trainer/assessor of Community Welfare Works in a training centre at Bankstown, NSW. Muhammad is a very enthusiastic, energetic young man with a "can do" attitude. He has a passion for photography and travelling new places in Australia and around the world. In his time off, often he will take his car and go for road trips without planning anything other than to discover new places and capture hidden beauties with his camera.
Margaret Froggatt
Margaret Froggatt
Coordinator
Margaret started with Community Connections in May 2015. Margaret has been working in the childcare industry for the last 10 years, providing one to one support for younger children in childcare settings. Margaret has completed a Diploma in Disability and Disability in Community Services coordination in 2013.  Margaret is a proud mother to Sam and Jack, and the three of them can be found in shopping centers all over Canberra or swimming and simply 
enjoying life.
Margaret Froggatt
Lauren Anderson
Coordinator
Lauren started with Community Connections in August 2016. She has previously worked as a coordinator for NDIS participants, case manager for a brain injury team and is a qualified speech pathologist.
Lauren enjoys photography, going to musicals and travel in Australia and overseas. 
Kerry Bargas Coordinator
Kerry Bargas
Coordinator
Kerry started working at Community Connections in December 2015. Kerry has worked in community sector for over 20 years, working with people who have a disability, people with mental health issues and young people. Kerry has previously worked as a support worker, coordinator, and Team leader.

Committee Members

Bill Teece
President

Bill has had a 20 year career in the Australian Army and for more than 15 years now has worked in professional services firms in Canberra. Bill has worked for Ernst & Young (EY) for the last 4 years in an account director role. Bill has assisted in various community roles. In previous years, he worked with assistance to a project with Hartley Lifecare, and most recently with the EY Foundation for organisations such as Reachout and YWCA. Bill is passionate about helping in the local community and has also been involved in some sporting bodies in a volunteer basis for a number of years.
Athol Dale
Public Officer
Committee Member

Athol has had a 38 year career in the radio broadcasting industry. He has been actively involved in a volunteer capacity in the area of disability support. From 2003 to 2008, he served as Chairman of Special Olympics in the ACT and has been a member of the Community Connections Board of Management since 2005. He has an adult son who is supported by Community Connections.
Jeremy Cummings
Treasurer

Jeremy moved to Canberra in 2013, after completing university in Victoria and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. He commenced work as a government lawyer with a Commonwealth government department, and subsequently commenced working in private practice.  Jeremy has previously volunteered as a committee member for his local athletics club, and is presently involved in a number of sporting organisations as a participant.  he is interested in history and is currently completing an Honours degree in that area. 
Elsie McDonnell
Committee Member

Elsie spent her working life in a wide variety of roles in the education sector, including early childhood education, the TAFE sector and special education. During the last twenty-five years she worked with students with a wide range of disabilities. She has a Masters Degree in educational administration. She was the principal of The Woden School for a period of nine years. In 2003 she was the recipient of the Centenary Medal for services to students with disabilities.  She enjoys gardening, travel and playing bridge. 
Diana Nasr
Committee Member

Diana Nasr is a single mother of two children; her eldest (son) has an intellectual disability with Autism, ADHD and mild hearing loss. Diana has been an advocate for her son & children with a disability in the education & disability sector for the past eight years. In the past Diana has volunteered as a parent representative on a number of government & non-government committees. Diana is a PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrow with Hope) Facilitator/Grapher. Diana is currently studying towards her Diploma in Business & Diploma in Disability.
Simon Gordon
Committee Member 

Simon is the CEO of the Settlement Council of Australia, the national peak body for the settlement of refugees and migrants in Australia. Simon is highly experienced in leadership and senior management, with over 20 years experience in policy development, strategy and program management in the Commonwealth Government and not for profit sectors.  Simon's previous roles include deputy CEO of Reconciliation Australia, Manager of the Indigenous Policy Branch of FAHCSIA, and senior consultant with Supply Nation. Simon has a doctorate in political science.

People with disabilities are important members of the community. Call our friendly team to find out more on (02) 6296 1133.
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