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Our Founding Elders

Vale Uncle Lester Bostock

Founding Elder


Uncle Lester Bostock OAM was the Founding Elder and long-time Board member of both FPDN and the Aboriginal Disability Network NSW. Uncle Lester passed away in November 2017. We pay our respects to him as our Founding Elder and acknowledge his tireless work over decades to progress the rights and opportunities of Aboriginal people.

Uncle Lester was a proud Bundjalung man with disability who was at the forefront of promoting and protecting the human rights of Aboriginal people with disability in Australia over several decades.
Lester publicly introduced the concept of “double disadvantage” and how it relates to Aboriginal people with disability in 1991 when he gave the Meares Oration entitled Access and equity for people with a double disadvantage.
Uncle Lester is widely recognised as one of the pioneers of Aboriginal media in Australia.

Uncle Lester received numerous awards for community service over the years including a Centenary Medal, the NSW Law and Justice Foundation Award for Aboriginal Justice and in 2010 Uncle Lester was the NAIDOC Elder of the year.

Read Uncle Lester’s Eulogy.

Read the tribute.

Vale Aunty Gayle (Leila) Rankine

Founding Elder


Aunty Leila Gayle Rankine was Chairperson since the formal constitution of the First Peoples Disability Network in 2014. Her advocacy for people with disability goes back to the very beginning of our social movement. She was also widely known and respected as a leading voice for all Australians with disability.
Gayle was a Ngarrindjeri woman born in Raukkan (Point McLeay Mission) on Lake Alexandrina in South Australia.
Gayle represented Australia and FPDN at the United Nations in Geneva and New York.
Gayle was recognised for her extensive knowledge of the needs of people with disability across urban, rural and remote communities. She had a lived experience as a person with physical disability and as a carer of relatives with physical and neurological disability, including autism.

Read Aunty Gayle’s Eulogy

Read the tribute.

Our Board

Kay Sadler

Board Member


Kay Sadler is a Worimi woman of the Biripi nation born on the Pacific Highway, ten kilometres south of Taree.

Kay is a delegate to the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and a member of the Biripi Land Council. She holds a Diploma of Business (Governance) from Tranby Aboriginal College.

Maureen Logan

Board Member

Michael Evans

Board Member

Sereako Treloggen

Board Member

Rhys Nagas

Board Member

Community Advocates

Uncle Brian Tennyson

ELDA Council Chair

Aunty Louisa Uta

ELDA Council Vice Chair

Jane Rosengrave

Community Advocate

Research Community Partner

Dr Scott Avery

Senior Lecturer, School of Social Sciences - Western Sydney University

Our Staff

Damian Griffis


Lai Ha Wu


Paul Calcott

National Training and Resource Development Manager

Lisa Hindman

Strategic Business Manager

Ben Riemer

Administration and Communications Officer

Tennille Lamb

Director of Policy

Debbie Lee

NSW Sector Development Officer

Kelly Treloar

Disability Royal Commission Project Manager/ Closing the Gap Sector Strengthening Policy Officer

Carly Wallace

Disability Royal Commission Senior Advocate

Bernard Namok Jnr

Indigenous Advocate - Darwin, Cairns, Torres Strait Islands

Caterina Ponzio

Indigenous Advocate, Kimberley WA

Melicha Woodcock

Indigenous Advocate, Far North Queensland

Jordan Wishart

Indigenous Advocate Alice Springs/Tennant Creek, NT

Brian Tennyson

Paterson Street Hub Mentor

Alba Brockie

Paterson Street Hub Coordinator

Bobby Fish

Indigenous Advocate - Newcastle/Hunter

Nancy Bates

Indigenous Advocate - South Australia

Teegan Paasi

Policy Officer NSW CAPO

Friends of FPDN

Join the First Peoples Disability Movement. Add your voice and sign up as friend of FPDN. Friends will receive updates about our work and have opportunities to get involved and speak up.

First Peoples Disability Network Australia is a national organisation of and for Australia’s First Peoples with disability, their families and communities. Our founders are the leaders of the Aboriginal disability movement and in order to continue their legacy we want to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to connect and communicate with us, and each other.

FPDN’s purpose is to promote respect for human rights, secure social justice, and empower First Peoples with disability to participate in Australian society on an equal basis with others.

Become a Friend of FPDN:

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and stay informed!

    ELDA – Elders Living with Disability Australia

    FPDN is an organisation of and for First People with disability. We take pride in our culture, our communities and our history. Our Elders with lived experience of disability are the holders of knowledge and wisdom. We are proud to work with a number of Elders and our organisation benefits from their guidance and advice.

    As part of our Strategic Directions, FPDN is working to build its Elders Council, known as ELDA. ELDA ( Elders living with disability Australia) is a national advisory group of Elders with a lived experience in disability, who conduct disability business. ELDA currently has representatives from NSW, NT, QLD, TI and SA.