DSWA is governed by a Board of Directors. Each Board member brings unique professional skills, including, finance, strategy and business expertise, education and health to make up the Board Skills Matrix. Many also bring a lived experience of Down Syndrome through a family member.
Nia Parker – Chair
Nia is a mother of a young adult with a diagnosis of Down Syndrome. Nia’s lived experience gives her a good understanding of accessing services and support, particularly in rural and regional areas of our state where Nia has worked as a physiotherapist. Her areas of interest include employment, social opportunities, and independent living options.
Jemma Henderson – Treasurer
Jemma is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and NZ and has over 12 years’ experience working as a finance professional. She has a background in audit, financial and management accounting and has worked across a number of industries locally and internationally including mining and resources and tourism assets.
Aaron is an award winning marketer and expert in growing and protecting reputation capital. Named in Campaign Asia’s 40 under 40 leaders list, he is a former Managing Director of PR Week’s communications agency of the year. An accomplished company director and graduate of the AICD, he has credentials in cyber security, strategy and risk from RMIT and finance through Harvard Business School. With deep experience unlocking innovation to build and benefit community, as well as growing fundraising capability, Aaron is proud to serve on a number of NFP purpose-driven Boards.
Jason has worked in the Perth IT industry for over 25 years with experience delivering technology programs, strategic planning and operations management to diverse industry sectors including resources, aviation and energy.
Jason has two daughters, one 22 years old and 19 year old Sian who lives with Down Syndrome.
Emily is Mum to a teenage daughter who has Down syndrome and Type 1 Diabetes. Her daughter was born in 2008, and the family have lived regionally for 9 of the 14 years of her life. As a result Emily can provide an important perspective on families living in regional WA.
Emily previously worked at Down Syndrome WA and as result has knowledge and connections within the Down Syndrome WA community. And now runs her own Support Coordination business.
James has worked in the environment, regional development and agriculture sectors, across four states over fifteen years. He has had roles delivering strategy, governance, evaluation, data and projects.
Kelly is a mother of three adult children and her oldest son lives with Down Syndrome. Her family have experienced the services of DSWA on several occasions to support her son including open employment.
Kelly is currently the HR/OHS Compliance Manager for WA’s leading Bedding retailer with 9 Retail and 4 Warehousing and Logistics outlets in the Perth CBD. She brings experience from a 10+ year career in human resources, industrial relations, and OHS/ regulatory compliance.
Kelly is looking forward to giving back to the members and families of DSWA.
Hayley grew up with an older sister, Sarah, who has Down syndrome. The family lived in a regional area and her parents fought to give Hayley’s sister the same opportunities as her three siblings, including access to inclusive education and employment.
Hayley has previously held positions on the Boards of Down Syndrome NSW and Down Syndrome, including as Chair of Down Syndrome NSW from 2019 to 2021. And was the co-ordinator of Aim High in Subiaco and Up! Club (East) in Sydney.
She is a lawyer, with 12 years’ experience working in the areas of insurance, construction, commercial and corporate law.