Our Team

Meet the Down Syndrome Australia team.
Our Team thumbnail.

The Down Syndrome Australia Team

Chief Executive Officer 

Darryl Steff

Darryl joined Down Syndrome Australia in January 2023 from his role as CEO of Down Syndrome Queensland where he led the organisation for over 7 years successfully advocating for the needs of people with Down syndrome.  Darryl’s has over 20 years of experience in commercial and financial management, governance, process improvement and the leadership and management of teams.  This experience, combined with being the parent of a child with a disability provides Darryl with a unique insight and perspective enabling him to successfully advocate for change for people with intellectual disabilities.

Operations Manager

Christine Walsh

Christine manages the operations, finance, and governance for Down Syndrome Australia. Christine is a Chartered Accountant with over 10 years of experience gained in public practice working with clients in the not-for-profit and corporate sectors.

Zoe du Cann

Manager, National Website and Inclusive Information

Zoe du Cann

Zoe oversees the implementation of the national website and national information project for Down Syndrome Australia and coordinates resources, information and accessibility. Zoe is an allied health professional with 20 years’ of experience in non-profit organisations, disability, rehabilitation, and assistive technologies. She is undertaking post-graduate research on disability, dementia and the use of smart technology.

National Health Project Manager

Natalie Graham

Natalie leads the Health Project for Down Syndrome Australia. Natalie holds a Master’s degree in Public Health, has an extensive experience in health and has worked as an ICU Nurse and Hospital Coordinator in Melbourne’s Hospitals for over 25 years. Natalie brings with her knowledge and experience of Down syndrome from firsthand experience, as a mother of an adult daughter with Down syndrome and also as a board member and later Chair of Down Syndrome Victoria. Natalie has a strong belief that everyone has the right to be able to advocate for themselves (with or without support, as they choose) and should be listened to and communicated with.    

Administrative Assistant

Lyn Williams

Lyn is the Administrative Assistant to the CEO, Board and DSA Staff. She has an extensive background in executive assistance and office management/administration in the not-for-profit and corporate sector. During her career she has also worked as an instrumental music teacher and creative arts director.

Rachel Spenser gives a peace sign alongside a colleague at the UN COSP

Senior Advocacy Manager

Rachel Spencer

Rachel leads the systemic advocacy and policy work at Down Syndrome Australia. Rachel has worked in disability rights for over 20 years. She enjoys supporting people with disability to be leaders in this work. Rachel studied Social and Community Development and is now completing a Masters in Human Rights Law and Policy. 

National Communications Manager

Alyssa Shaw

Alyssa has held leadership roles across government, private and not-for-profit organisations. She is driven to create structural change to achieve economic and social equity, and realise wellbeing for individuals, institutions, and communities. She has managed national campaigns and projects including Raise the Rate, NAIDOC Week and universal access to reproductive healthcare. She has also served as the CEO of a charity focused on student welfare. Alyssa is currently the Chair of Better Renting, and Co-Founder of 4 Day Week Australia.

Project Coordinator

Gemma Clark

Gemma leads the Pathways to Independence Project for Down Syndrome Australia. Gemma holds a Bachelor in Public Health and has a background in family support and project management. Gemma has a younger sister with Down syndrome and is committed to ensuring the community that we live in is a truly accepting and inclusive place for all people.

Voice Editor

Nathan Scolaro

Nathan is the editor of Down Syndrome Australia’s VOICE journal. He is a writer, editor and communications specialist who helps individuals and organisations tell their stories. Previously the editor of Dumbo Feather magazine, he enjoys a good ‘deep and meaningful’, as well as shining a light on ideas and work that help bring about a more beautiful world.

Communications Officer

Kate Jeremiah

Kate oversees DSA’s social media, newsletters and other communication channels. With over 15 years of experience in communications, marketing and events in both not-for-profit and corporate settings, she enjoys crafting clear, engaging, purposeful content and effective communication strategies. Above all, Kate’s passion lies in working with values-driven organisations to share inspiring stories that truly resonate with readers. 

Inclusion Lead

Alison Richardson

Alison lives in Sydney/ Warrane and is an ally for people with disability, a champion of inclusion and diversity and an advocate for equality. This has been demonstrated across her 20 year career working  alongside people with disability, their families and supports mainly in inclusive arts contexts. Her passion for empowering people has led her to establishing employment opportunities, mentoring programs and training and education pathways for people with disability and she received a Churchill Fellow to explore inclusive mentoring and training programs in the arts across the UK and Europe. Alison’s approach is collaborative, responsive and open to the needs of the community and she is passionate about the power of storytelling as a transformative tool to enact change. She also loves ocean swimming and her dog, Buddy.

DSA Health Ambassadors

Ten self-advocates with Down syndrome from across Australia work with DSA as Health Ambassadors. Each Ambassador has a story to tell about their journey within the health system. The Health Ambassadors want to share this information to ensure that in the future, people with Down syndrome get access to better quality care. These self-advocates believe that through improved communication between people with intellectual disability and health care workers, health outcomes for people with disability will improve.

Read more about our Health Ambassadors or book a Health Ambassador to speak at your organisation on our website here.