Meet the Team

Prof David Hayward, Acting Director
Senior Advisor, Public Policy and the Social Economy, RMIT University
David was Dean of the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies from 2009-2016. Between 2007 and 2013 he was a member of the Board of Directors of Melbourne Health, the second largest health service in Australia incorporating the Royal Melbourne Hospital.  In 2015 he was an invited member of the expert panel appointed to review the University of Western Australia’s undergraduate degrees. In the same year he was invited by VCOSS to become a seconded member of its governing board.  He is a life member of VCOSS in recognition of three decades of policy advice, education and training for the Victorian not-for-profit sector. In 2016 he was appointed to the Panel of Experts for the Hong Kong Council of Vocational and Higher Education Qualifications.
Sally Thompson
Deputy Director Sector Engagement & Capability Development
Sally has worked in leadership roles in TAFE, Higher Education and in the not for profit Adult and Community Education sectors. She began her career as an adult literacy teacher in communities characterised by intergenerational disadvantage, including remote Indigenous communities, and her professional interests have stemmed from these experiences. She is the former President of the Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council and former member of the Victorian Adult Community and Further Education Board. She has recently worked for the Australian Education Union in women’s policy and is a current Governance Group member of the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria. Black and white headshot of sally thompson
Paul Ramcharan, Acting Director Research
Associate Professor Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University
Paul has been involved in research for and with people with disabilities for over twenty years and has maintained an ongoing interest in self advocacy over that time, his most recent  being an ARC linkage with colleagues at La Trobe University and Reinforce (a self advocacy group) about the history of self advocacy in Victoria.  Since arriving in Australia in 2006 Paul has undertaken research around the views and experiences of people with disability and family carers of restrictive practices and has subsequently developed a Road map for Achieving Dignity without Restraint.  Paul maintains a keen interest in disability research, human rights and inclusive research practice. Black and white photo of paul ramcharan
Anthony (Tony) Graham, Acting Director Education and Training
VE Manager, Industry Enagement & Partner, RMIT University
Tony has 20 years’ experience in the health and community services sector in governance and senior management roles.  His sector experience includes acute health, youth, aged care, disability and mental health service provision at a state and regional level.  Anthony’s past five years has been spent as a workplace consultant educator in the design, delivery and evaluation of leadership and management programs focused on community service workforce strategies.  His academic interests include fundamentals of community service workforce development and the relationship between workplace culture and learning. Black and white photo of Anthony Graham
Lee Newnham, Executive Officer
Lee provides executive and administrative services to the Acting Director and staff of the Institute, and acts as a liaison between the Institute, RMIT University and VCOSS.  Lee was previously Business Development/  Marketing Manager at Moores, a legal firm which has a focus on the not-for-profit sector.  Lee has a strong understanding of both the opportunities and the challenges faced in the sector and is passionate about assisting the Institute in achieving its goals. black and white photo of lee smiling
Mary Sayers, Stakeholder Engagement
Deputy CEO, Victorian Council of Social Service
As Deputy CEO at the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS), Mary works to support the organisation, members and the development of policy and sector sustainability activities. Prior to VCOSS she was Manager Family, Children and Young People at the City of Whittlesea between 2012 and 2014. Until 2012, Mary worked nearly 9 years at the Centre for Community Child Health where she was responsible for early childhood policy, translation of research into practice, workforce development, service development and evaluation projects and initiatives. Mary is on the Board of QEC Early Parenting Centre and is currently President of the Board. Black and white photo of Mary Sayers
Chelsea Ayling, Communications Officer
Chelsea provides communications and events support to the Institute. Her background includes Federal, State and local government including extensive communications work in Canberra, Alice Springs and the APY Lands for the federal Closing the Gap Remote Service Delivery project. Her experience includes leading an organisational rebrand and website development, creating multiple state-wide Award programs for community organisations and local governments and comprehensive communication strategy development and implementation.