Deaf Children Australia’s Senior Management Team brings a wide range of professional and sector experience to our work. The team also includes individuals with a lived experience of deafness, and parents and family members of deaf young adults. The Senior Management Team works collaboratively with the Board and benefits from their diverse perspectives and experience.
Senior Management Team
- Chief Executive Officer – Roz Keenan
- Russell Flynn – National Manager, Client Services
- Noel Henderson – General Manager, Development and Fundraising
- Lisa Patience – National Manager, Employment Services
- Colleen Ostrofski – Site Manager, Sign for Work Queensland Office
- Zarina Tremellen – Manager, Operations
- Loretta Walshe – Communications Manager
- Angela Woodruff – Company Secretary
Roz Keenan joined the Board in 2014 and resigned her position in August 2017 to accept the role of Acting CEO of Deaf Children Australia. She is now CEO with a 12 month appointment.
Roz has a wealth of experience as a strong advocate working in the disability sector for 16 years. She played a key role as a DCA staff member for eight years and since resigning from that position, has served on DCA’s Board for the past four years. She holds a Diploma of Teaching Early Childhood, a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and a Diploma of Life Coaching.
As a mother of three young adults, one of whom is profoundly deaf, she is committed to empowering and supporting deaf and hard of hearing children and youth to strive for achievement, and assisting their families to support them on their journey.
Russell’s work in health and community services has encompassed front line support, executive and senior management roles in education, youth, early years and early intervention, statutory services / child protection, health services design and delivery, alcohol and other drugs, and indigenous services.
He has also worked in rural, regional and remote services, lifestyle support, sector development, employment services, mental health and suicide prevention, community development, institutional reform, research, policy and advocacy.
His experience has been at local, regional, statewide and national levels including implementation and delivery of complex national projects and the establishment of national and state peak bodies.
Russell’s involvement with the Deaf community and introduction to its culture and language began more than 20 years ago. He previously worked as Community Services Manager for Deaf Services Queensland. Russell has personal experience of hearing loss and tinnitus, and family experience of deafness.
He started working with Deaf Children Australia in September 2015. Russell says, “I have a strong professional interest in engagement with service users and other stakeholders in the development of services and systems. I am also passionate about capacity building to empower people’s active participation in the services and supports they receive.”
Noel joined DCA over ten years ago and has been a Board Member, Chairman and more recently, the General Manager of Development and Fundraising. Noel is a professional member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia and is responsible for development of external relationships and income generation including through donor management, partners, corporates and philanthropy. Prior to joining DCA, Noel worked for some of the largest Information Technology companies in the world with new and emerging technologies.
Noel says, “I have been fortunate to follow my passion to work full time in the Deaf sector. I am a post lingual deaf person and I see technology as the great equaliser for deaf people.”
Lisa has worked in Recruitment and Employment for over 20 years. Her most recent role, before returning to Sign for Work at Deaf Children Australia, was with the Brotherhood of St Laurence which she joined in 2009. Here she established their Innovation Funded Centre for Work and Learning, Yarra. This Centre provided local jobseekers with a range of intensive job search services and activities. In 2011, it was recognised by the State Government’s Department of Housing as a model which could support public tenants to increase their economic participation.
Lisa ran a recruitment agency for 8 years before moving into the not for profit sector in 2000. She worked with specialist Job Network providers and used her knowledge of recruitment practices to empower her clients. She joined Sign For Work in 2006 as an Employment Consultant/Job Search Trainer and later Site Manager. During this time she assisted in the delivery of a State Government jobs initiative, Career Start. This program supported recently qualified people with a disability with a range of supports to assist them to enter into employment. A partnership was developed with the Department of Transport which employed over 20 participants. This work was recognised when in 2008, the Department was named Diversity Australia’s “Employer of the Year”.
Lisa is passionate about developing and delivering programs which support and empower people on their journey to work.
Colleen has worked within the Deaf sector and community for 21 years. Colleen’s roles across this time range from Case Manager, Professional Interpreter and Receptionist, right through to Site Manager.
In 2013, Deaf Children Australia won a contract with the Federal Government to provide a Deaf Specialist Employment Agency, Sign for Work, in Queensland, which became the only one of its kind in the state. With her extensive knowledge and skills in the employment arena, Colleen became the Site Manager.
Colleen says, “It is my privilege to work with such wonderful, caring and respected people amongst both staff and our clients”.
Zarina has worked in the community sector for over 20 years, 15 of those in managerial roles. She has been with Deaf Children Australia since 2004. During much of this time, Zarina has managed government contracts for labour market programs that support disadvantaged job seekers into work. While at DCA, Zarina has also managed a number of projects including the development of DCA’s volunteer program and the research for the Auslan for Employment pilot project for DCA/NSW Deaf Society. This research led to securing the initial five million dollars funding from the government for clients to access Auslan support (what we now know today as EAF funding).
Currently the Business Operations Manager for Deaf Children Australia, Zarina’s role encompasses managing a variety of departments within DCA including Human Resources, Accounts, Information Technology, Building Management, the volunteer program and special projects such as the work experience program for deaf students.
Zarina says, “I was originally motivated to join DCA as it offered the chance to work for a unique employment service encompassing both generalist clients and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. I found that unique approach and commitment to client servicing to be throughout DCA. The staff’s passion to make a difference is what keeps me here.”
Loretta joined DCA with a breadth of experience in communications, marketing and fundraising across many not-for-profit organisations including Cancer Council Victoria, Austin and Repatriation Hospitals, Red Cross, Guide Dogs Victoria, CatholicCare, Rural Health Workforce Australia and Kildonan UnitingCare and CARE Australia.
Loretta has also been on the Committee of Management and coordinated the communications for Life, Love and Health for ten years. This is an international aid organisation operating in Timor-Leste that supports maternal and child health, builds schools, and delivers emergency aid, clean water and sanitation.
As a child, Loretta experienced hearing loss for many years. She says, “I can really relate to the experiences of children who are hard of hearing. I want to help empower deaf and hard of hearing children and young people through sharing their stories and making their voices heard.”
Angela joined DCA in April 2015 as the Company Secretary. She comes to DCA with over 18 years’ experience in law and communications. After qualifying as a lawyer, Angela moved to London for five years to further her w
On returning to Melbourne, Angela worked in several senior roles in the Victorian Government culminating in serving as the Acting General Counsel for the Taxi Services Commission.
Although this is her first not for profit role, she has previously volunteered as a mentor and tutor for underprivileged children both at the Ardoch Youth Foundation and Tower Hamlets Primary School in East London.
Angela states, “I am honoured to be part of such a worthwhile organisation and aspire to provide robust advice and support to enable the DCA Board and management team to continue their inspiring work with deaf and hard of hearing children”.