Our Team

We have a dedicated team of passionate individuals working at Down Syndrome Victoria. Meet our team below.
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Our Team

Chief Executive Officer

Daniel Payne

Commencing in the role in 2019, Dan is known to many of our Down Syndrome Victoria community as he – with his wife Corina and children Holly, Abby and Tyson – has been an active member since 2010. Between 2016-19, Dan was a member of the Down Syndrome Victoria board and helped to ensure that the voice of our members was consistently front of mind in all our decision-making. Prior to commencing at Down Syndrome Victoria, Dan worked within the financial services industry for 14 years in a variety of roles which provided valuable and extensive experience in leadership, program management and business performance. Dan brings a great balance of advocacy, empathy, understanding of our sector, commercial focus and positive energy. Dan is motivated and privileged to work alongside people with Down syndrome and their families to reach their potential and live the life they choose.

Down Syndrome Victoria Advisory Network

DSV Advisory Network Chair

Matthew O’Neil

Matt has been a dedicated DSV advocate for a number of years; representing DSV on the Down Syndrome Advisory Network (DSAN), volunteering and speaking at a variety of DSV events. Matt works for DSV chairing our advisory network. Matt is also involved in other project opportunities that present throughout the year at DSV.

About his position Matt said, “[To] work with DSV is to show what I am about, it is a part of my life of living with a disability. I want people to look up and I believe I have a voice.” 

DSV Advisory Network

Jenny Bowden

Jenny is passionate about getting people out into the community and would like to give a voice to people with Down syndrome.

DSV Advisory Network

Keziah Glenane

Kez is passionate about being able to meet up with groups of friends and provide a voice for her community.

Kez would like to help people with Down syndrome to get a paid job in the community and live independently.

DSV Advisory Network

Colby Hickey

Colby is passionate about politics, writing, news and history. His dream is to help disadvantaged people in the community. Colby believes that his experience as a neurodiverse person gives him a unique insider perspective into the world and how people of neurodiverse backgrounds fit into society. Colby wants to advocate for others.

DSV Advisory Network

Katherine Mansour

Kath is passionate about studying and is learning new skills every day.  

She loves being involved in community pursuits and fundraising events designed to raise awareness for Down syndrome.

DSV Advisory Network

Emily Porter

Emily is a passionate advocate for people with Down syndrome. Her advocacy work has seen her travel to Canberra to speak at Parliament House, as well as become a National Health Ambassador for Down Syndrome Australia. Emily is married and lives with her husband Michael.

Support Team

Shelley McCarthy

Family Support Manager

Sonia Bonadio

Sonia is a social worker and a parent of a child with Down syndrome. She has worked with services in the disability sector, mental health and community based prenatal services. In 2016 Sonia worked as a MyTime Facilitator for DSV and thoroughly enjoyed her time facilitating the group, providing her with a great opportunity to gain understanding and knowledge in many areas relating to families who have or who are caring for children who have Down syndrome.

Debby Fraumano

Adult Support Manager

Debby Fraumano (she/her)

Debby is a social worker who has been working in a range of social services in Victoria for the last thirty years. She started out in family services supporting vulnerable families before specialising in disability. Debby has experience in working in direct service with people with disabilities, case management and advocacy, information sharing and training.

Debby is a parent of an adult with a disability, and as such also experiences the trials of the disability world, having firsthand experience of navigating the NDIS, health, housing, education, employment and ageing. Debby is also a keen equine enthusiast and loves spending time with her herd of horses.

Programs & Projects

Janice Chan

Program Director: Projects & Training

Janice Chan

Janice started her career in the health sector as a physiotherapist, and went on to gain a range of skills in the public sector, before moving into the disability sector where she has worked for the last 20 years, including at DSV since 2018. Being a strong advocate for her son with Down syndrome throughout his life has instilled the values and beliefs which are the foundation stones for shaping an inclusive and ‘typical’ life for her son, into his adulthood.

Janice is passionate about using her lived experience, disability sector knowledge and to benefit the DSV community.

Health Project Manager

Zoe Shearer

Zoe has worked in the not-for-profit sector for the last 16 years, delivering projects in a wide range of sectors in workforce capacity building. In particular in the last three years Zoe has worked in the health and aged care sectors to build capacity of professionals to work with people with disability and complex support needs and the NDIS to facilitate getting supports to live an ordinary life in the community.  

She is passionate about working with communities that facilitates real change founded on social justice, equality and inclusion, as well as ensuring information is targeted, practical and brings about better outcomes for people with disability and those that support them.

Project Manager: Employment Connections

Brendon Gray

Brendon has over 25 years’ experience as a project and program manager, including team leadership roles, across the private, government and not for profit sectors. Brendon brings both an employer and employee perspective to the Employment Connections project and is passionate about coaching and supporting people to have enjoyable and fulfilling working lives. 

Outside of work, Brendon is a big supporter of the Melbourne Storm and (according to his long suffering wife, family and friends) a follower of too many other sports! Brendon has lived experience in the disability sector where his older brother has severe autism and intellectual disability.

Regional Coordinator

Linda Jungwirth

Linda lives in country Victoria and has five children (mostly adults now). She has a teenage son with Down syndrome and is passionate about inclusion and opportunities for all people. She has been a member of DSV for many years and is excited to be a part of the DSV team. Linda strongly believes in working to create the world she wants to live in, and has engaged in volunteer work and many community projects over the last twenty years.

As the Regional Family Network Coordinator, she works with family networks around the state. 

Club21 team

Helen More

Program Manager: Club21 and Volunteers

Helen More

Helen began at DSV as a volunteer with the Club21 program in 2013 and jumped at the chance to take on the role of Club21 Coordinator in 2018. Down Syndrome Victoria and Victorian Council of Social Service gave her the opportunity to complete a Certificate IV in Disability at RMIT graduating in 2019.

Helen is passionate about Club21 and promoting the inclusion of people with Down syndrome in the community.

Club21 Teen & FitSkills Coordinator

Brad Cresswell

Brad joined DSV from Down Syndrome Queensland, with eight years under his belt as a dedicated volunteer through to a Program Coordinator specialising in early adult education.

He also played a key role in the creation of the UniLife program at Griffith University – a pioneering course designed specifically for young adults with Autism. Brad continues to serve as a board member and is active in the continued growth and success of this vital education offering.

Having recently relocated to Melbourne, Brad is excited to take on the challenge of Club21 Teens Coordinator, as well as group facilitator for FitSkills.

Brad is passionate and committed to achieving inclusion and rights of people with disability.

Club21 Facilitator

Cindy Huynh

Cindy started volunteering with Down Syndrome Victoria back in 2019. Cindy has a teenage sister who lives with Down syndrome who has inspired her to follow her passion in disability support.

Outside of work, Cindy spends her time training in Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing), bouldering, and strength and conditioning. She is an advocate for inclusivity and is grateful that she gets to support people living with disability to have choice and control in their life. 

Club21 Facilitator

Catalina Gonzalez

Originally from Medellin, Colombia, Catalina came to Australia in 2009 to pursue her passion for dancing and people. She is a very engaging dance teacher, entertainer, and facilitator of activities for seniors and people with disabilities. She is a Zumba instructor for seniors’ communities, Dance & Roll, a wheelchair dance group, and she has been teaching Zumba to Club21 participants since May 2020. 

Catalina came on board as Club21 Facilitator in 2021. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion and making a positive impact doing what she loves in her unique way.

Club21 Facilitator

Andrew (Andy) Sims

Andy joined DSV as a Club21 Facilitator in early 2023 with over 25 years of experience in disability services. With the past 15 years working at Scope Australia, Andy currently works at the Scope Lilydale Lifestyles Option service as a Disability Service Worker (DSW).

Andy delivered the successful Scope Recharge program prior to the pandemic, which helped to engage participants across the Eastern region with a variety of recreation programs while giving respite to families and carers.

Like Club21, Recharge facilitated lots of new experiences for participants from concerts to sporting events, blacksmithing to Harley Davidson rides around Melbourne, art and cooking classes. 

Andy looks forward to meeting more DSV participants and working with DSV staff and volunteers.

Andy is committed to inclusion and the rights of people with disability.

Club21 Facilitator

Dana Jobling

Dana is a Club21 Facilitator for the Geelong region. She has recently completed her undergraduate Psychology degree. Dana has worked as a crisis supporter for Lifeline and has had experience working for the Victorian Government’s Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.

Dana has been working as a disability support worker for the past couple years and has recently become a Yoga instructor. Alongside her work and study experiences, having grown up with an older brother who has Fragile X syndrome, Dana has developed a strong passion for working in the disability sector and promoting inclusivity and social connectedness.

MyTime Team

Senior Program Manager, MyTime

Madison Robinson

Madison was a Club21 volunteer for many years prior to joining the DSV staff. 

Madison now manages the Victorian MyTime program, with over 45 peer support groups around Victoria. 

With a degree in Psychology and Psychophysiology she is passionate about helping people and making a positive contribution to the Down Syndrome Victoria community.

Education Team

Paula Kilgallon

Education Manager

Paula Kilgallon

Paula is an experienced teacher who has worked in primary schools in both Australia and overseas. She also has experience teaching socially disadvantaged children with Berry Street. Paula has post graduate qualifications in Psychology, having completed a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Professional Psychology with Monash University. Paula joined the Education Support Team in January 2019, and is committed to helping students achieve their goals.

Ro O'Dwyer

Education Manager

Ro O’Dwyer

Ro is an experienced classroom and Reading Recovery teacher who has worked in a variety of educational settings over many years. Ro completed graduate studies in Special Education and joined DSV as an education consultant in 2019.

Ro is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience with teachers to support schools to become more inclusive environments for young people with Down syndrome.

Education Consultant

Carolyn Warren

Carolyn is an experienced primary teacher who has worked across all levels F-6. Throughout her teaching career Carolyn has worked with multiple students who needed extra care and consideration. She has a passion for inclusion and enjoys working with teachers to help this happen within the classroom and the school environment. Carolyn joined the Education Support Team in January 2019 and is dedicated to assisting and supporting students and teachers across Northern and North Eastern Victoria.

Education Consultant & MyTime Facilitator

Dianne Hickey

Dianne is an experienced special education teacher who has spent many years in the classroom as well as in the role of Equity and Inclusion Leader in schools in the Barwon region, Victoria. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Ed), Graduate Diploma (Sp Ed) and Graduate Diploma in Mental Health for the Teaching Profession. Dianne joined the Education Support team in October 2020 and is committed to advocating for access to education, and inclusion of all learners, in our schools.

Education Consultant

Megan Bramble

Megan is an experienced special education teacher with a Bachelor of Education and a Graduate Diploma of Special Education. She is committed to promoting inclusion, empowering individuals and maximising learning outcomes. As a member of the Education Support Team since September 2021, Megan is dedicated to supporting students and teachers in the Gippsland Region.

Communications and Events Team

Communications Manager

Lucinda Bain

Growing up with a sister who has Down syndrome developed Lucy’s strong belief systems and passion to work towards a society that values true inclusion, equity and opportunities for all individuals. After working at organisations such as YMCA Victoria, the Epilepsy Foundation, EACH, and Deakin University, she has found her niche in the fabulous communications team at Down Syndrome Victoria. 

Lucy has a degree in Disability Studies along with qualifications in Professional and Creative Writing.

Events Coordinator

Vanessa Ientile

Vanessa has spent the last seven years working in the not-for-profit sector supporting some of the most disadvantaged individuals, families and communities. She has extensive experience in events and fundraising and is passionate about using this to raise awareness, advocate for inclusion and opportunities and give a voice to those who may not be heard. Her commitment to impacting lives in a positive way has seen her be involved in community organisations, volunteering and assisting with children with disabilities. Vanessa also brings with her a degree in Media and Communications and keen interest in relationship building, stakeholder engagement and helping people reach their potential.

Vanessa is currently on maternity leave until some time in 2024. In the meantime, Nicole Bryson can be contacted regarding DSV events.

Events Coordinator

Nicole Bryson

Nicole has worked in the education sector for the last 25 years, as well as volunteering for local community groups including DSV.

Growing up with an aunt who has Down syndrome helped Nicole build a strong sense of justice and passion for voice. She is now a parent of a child with Down syndrome and aspires to bring about change to create an inclusive community.

Nicole feels privileged to work at DSV and is passionate about making a positive contribution to the DSV community.

Business Operations

Mara Wookey

Finance and Administration Manager

Mara Wookey

Mara joined DSV in January 2019 after having worked in the disability sector for 12 years at the Association for Children with a Disability in administration, finance and payroll.

Mara’s adult son Matthew has an intellectual disability. She has experienced firsthand the ongoing need for support, services and funding required by families and understands the importance of helping individuals feel empowered by the decisions they can make to achieve personal goals.   

Down Syndrome Victoria’s focus of empowering individuals with Down Syndrome, allows Mara to be part of a dedicated team that helps individuals achieve independence through our education and training programs.

Anna Cook

Administration and Database Officer

Anna Cook

Anna joined DSV in June 2017 having previously worked in administrative roles in the education and childcare industries.

She enjoys working at Down Syndrome Victoria because she loves being part of an organisation that is working towards positive change.

Administration, Voice, Personal Assistant to the CEO

Stephanie Papaleo

Stephanie joined DSV in 1998 and is our longest serving member of staff. She really likes working at DSV in her current roles which includes administrative support to the CEO and the DSV staff team.

Steph has lots of experience in the administration area and has a Certificate 3 in Business Administration. She also volunteered at Brotherhood of St. Laurence.

Compliance Manager

Leonie White

Leonie has a background in education and has worked within the disability sector for over 17 years, initially in parent support followed by coordinating the MyTime program for Playgroup Victoria. Leonie began working at DSV in 2012 and over the journey has been heavily involved in the process of DSV’s NDIS registration and seeking grant funding.  She has a daughter with Down syndrome and passionately advocates for people with disability and their families.

Grants and Partnerships Manager & Compliance Officer

Stephanie Ah Lam

Stephanie joined DSV in September 2022, and is passionate about contributing and making a meaningful impact on society.

Stephanie has over 5 years’ experience in Relationship Management, creating lasting connections with people from various backgrounds. Stephanie is committed to nurturing the great networks DSV have established, create new partnerships and actively seek funding that aligns with DSV’s values and goals.