Executive Leadership Team
Our Leadership team is headed by Chief Executive Officer Leisa Hart, who has over 14 years of leadership experience in the corporate and NGO sectors.
Chief Executive Officer
Prior to joining DSA in February 2019, Leisa was the Chief Executive Officer of YMCA NSW where she led a team of 2,400 people responsible for the wellbeing of more than four million Australians annually. Previous roles include Director of Operations at Max Employment and Chief Operating Officer for Mission Australia as well as senior roles in the IT Services field. Leisa places a great deal of importance in values alignment with her professional works intent.
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Information Officer
Steve Saidi joined DSA in March 2019 as the Chief Information Officer. He has taken on a large and important transformation program for the organisation’s technology environment. Steve has over 15 years’ experience in senior IT management roles including CIO for the Salvation Army and Head of Transformation for St Vincent de Paul. His passion is creating cultural change through the efficient and innovative use of technology. Steven has a bachelor degree in Economics and Finance, and qualifications in project management.
Chief Risk Officer
Carolynne has been involved in risk and change management for the past twenty years, across corporate, public and not for profit sectors. Carolynne also has extensive experience in the establishment of enterprise risk and compliance programs, including business continuity and crisis management. Carolynne has qualifications in Business and Change Management and is a member of the Risk Management Institute of Australia and the Institute of Risk Management UK. Carolynne’s passion is creating safe environments for people to thrive in.
People & Culture
Nicole has over 15 years’ experience in the corporate, public, and not for profit sectors. Prior to joining DSA in July 2019, she held positions with Westpac, Transport for NSW and most recently Calvary Health Care. Nicole has a great appreciation for mission and purpose for not for profit organisations and considers her work as her vocation. As an HR practitioner and accredited Executive Coach, Nicole is passionate about developing leaders for the future and is a strong advocate for great culture and high performing teams.
Community Support Services
Lyudmyla Dendtler joined DSA in February 2017 with over 20 years experience in disability, working for large providers such as Wesley Mission and Northcott. Lyudmyla’s drive for inclusion, person centred culture of support, and research and development of quality programs has led to many successful outcomes for people with a disability, their families and carers. Lyudmyla has been involved in the transition to the NDIS from its inception and supported the implementation of quality and sustainable service models. She is tertiary qualified in Business Management, holds a Bachelor Degree in Inclusive Education and Disability Studies and is a graduate and member of Australian Applied Management Colloquium.
Darrell O’Loughlin welcomed a move to the Not-For-Profit sector when he joined DSA in 2010. With a career spanning more than three decades and with twenty two years with a Global Industry, Darrell has held numerous senior management and business consulting roles. In April 2016 Darrell took on the additional operational responsibility of supporting DSA’s Australian Disability Enterprise workforce.
Wayne Zahra welcomed a move to the not-for-profit sector when he joined DSA in 2014. Wayne has worked across a number of industry settings including disability, mental health, forensic, child protection and education for both Government and non-Government organisations. Wayne joined DSA as a Lifestyle Mentoring Service Manager with experience working in ADHC’s Community Justice Program. He has a keen interest in working with people with an intellectual disability and complex behaviours of concern using empirically-based models, change management and strategic leadership. Wayne graduated with a Master of Psychology and a Master of Commerce from the University of Western Sydney. He is a registered psychologist with clinical, education and development endorsement and is a member of the Australian Psychology Society.
Communications, Marketing & Fundraising
Heather Macrae joined DSA in April 2005 after a 17 year career in the public sector. Heather has worked in a variety of roles in Corporate Services, Business Services, Quality and Stakeholder Relations and has a strong interest in stakeholder communications and submission based fundraising. With tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Management, Heather was appointed General Manager in November 2017 with oversight of the Communications, Marketing & Fundraising teams.
Caron Rooks has a keen interest in social justice and brought considerable expertise and experience in both the education and not for profit sectors when she joined DSA in 2012. In her previous role at the Smith Family Caron led the design, development, implementation and evaluation of educational and preventative based projects throughout Australia, working across a diverse range of disadvantaged communities. Caron has a Bachelor of Education with Post Grad Honors in Economics and Adult Education.
Make a donation
“I encourage you to consider making a gift to Disability Services Australia. Your support has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of people with a disability. Thank you.”
Leisa Hart – Chief Executive Officer