Workbridge, Where abilities equal employment


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Gaye Austin


Gayle Austin is Vice President of the Executive Board of Deaf Aotearoa, and holds its health and employment portfolios. She is a registered nurse and midwife.


Gayle identifies as Deaf. She is believed to have been the first registered Deaf midwife in New Zealand, and now works as a midwife at Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

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Paula Waby

Council Member

Paula Waby has been involved with the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand and is currently on their governing Board. She is a member of Dunedin City Council’s Disability Issues Advisory Group, and is Local Coordinator for the Otago Blindness Network. Paula is President of the Dunedin branch of the Disabled Person’s Assembly and on the Southern DHB's Community Health Council.

Stevie Stevens

Council Member

Stevie Stevens is an executive member of Ngāti Kāpo O Aotearoa. Of Nga Puhi descent, Stevie lives in Hamilton.

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Tina Mataiti

Council Member

Tina Mataiti is a Disability Information, Advice and Support Service Coordinator at Vaka Tautua and is a founding member of Vaka Tautua’s Cook Island older people’s groups. She was a Pacific consumer representative for the Ministry of Health.

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Barbara Burton

Council Member

Barbara Burton works in the areas of employment law, contracts, human rights and diversity. A published author on employment-related matters and employer representative on the former Labour Court.  She contributes to international bodies representing employers, including the International Labour Organisation and the International Organisation of Employers and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) of the OECD of whose Employment Labour and Social Affairs committee she is a member. She is a former member of the National Advisory Committee on the Employment of Women and has a long-standing interest in disability issues.

Melissa Woolley

Council Member

Melissa Woolley is the Public Service Association (PSA) Union National Organiser responsible for overseeing the Union's work in the disability sector.  She worked as been a support worker and service manager at Idea Services for six years and is an advocate for an Autistic friend.

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Donald Neal

Council Member

Donald Neal is a member of the Blenheim and Top of the South People First groups. He has been a member of the National committee and is now Chairperson of the Blenheim group and has received the Leona Gitman’s award for his work in self advocacy for people with learning disabilities

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