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Brisbane Speakers 



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Key Note Speakers

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Dr Grace Bitner

Research Fellow

PhD, B.Blt.Env., B.Arts, RAIA Affilliate (Lvl 2) 

The Hopkins Centre Menzies Health Institute Qld Griffith University 

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Greg Barry

Founder and Principal Consultant 

SDA Services 

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Francis Lenny

DDA Consult

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Harry Mitchell 

Vera Living

Development Manager

Vera Living


Lalia Burnet

M3 Property

National Director Health Aged Care and Seniors Living 


Alison McLeod

Managing Director

inhab Australia 


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Tony Rutherford 


Holding Redlich 



David Norris

Occupational Therapist 



Anna Ashenden


Social Ventures Australia 


Dr Grace Bitner is a research fellow at the Hopkins Centre with over a decade of experience researching inclusive environments and design for disability. Her academic career has been complemented by years spent working in design practice across both the private and public sectors.

 As a result, she has a keen awareness of the importance of bringing together theory and practice to ensure that research has positive real-world impacts. Grace has served on ministerial round tables for SDA and is also a member of the NDIA Specialist Disability Accommodation Reference Group.

Together, this experience and knowledge have facilitated an in-depth understanding of the complex challenges currently facing diverse stakeholder groups including, individuals with disability and their support networks, providers, design and development professionals, and government agencies.  

Greg has been devotedly involved in the SDA space since its inception in 2017 and is focused entirely upon assisting NDIS Participants on their SDA journeys, particularly on SDA approvals.  Greg has a unique combination of industry expertise, having also previously developed over 200 dwellings designed for people with disabilities, and lived experience, being co-carer for his severely disabled adult daughter. 

Francis relocated to Australia in 2012 working for a couple of different practices. Since September 2017, Francis has been consulting as a sole practitioner in Access Consulting
During this time Francis has worked with colleagues, designers, contractors, public authorities and numerous other key stakeholders to provide the most equitable built environments, infrastructure and public transport systems

Francis has provided advice and assistance across a broad range of Class 2 to Class 10 buildings in terms of:
•    Understanding & application of specific project brief requirements, initiated by the client
•    Assessment of legislative requirements to determine whether subject buildings are fit for purpose and meet the performance requirements of the NCC;


In cases when evidence is necessary to demonstrate that this is the case (when the performance requirements are not wholly met by satisfying the deemed-to-satisfy provisions of the NCC / Access Code of the Premises Standards) to work to develop performance solutions by following all or part of the 4 stage process as outlined in the Guidance document “Development of Performance Solutions” published by the ABCB;


Francis prides himself on his pragmatic and common sense approach in the delivery of robust & justifiable performance based outcomes in being part of the decision making process to deliver the design and construction of functional buildings 
•    Application of Federal, State & Council legislation to be applied to diverse types of projects within different states and territories
•    Comprehensive Design reviews
•    Detailed and pragmatic interim & final inspections of projects during various stages of Construction
•    Leading workshops with designers to navigate the maze of legislation which may apply to a project


About Harry Mitchel  

Harry is a development manager at Vera Living. Harry’s background is in the engineering industry where he specialised in design and business process automation. He has brought this passion for technology and efficiency to his role at Vera Living. Harry and the team at Vera Living strive to design and build houses with industry-leading assistive technology that is flexible, reliable, and simple to use. Our goal is to implement an assistive technology system in each home in a way that gives our tenants increased independence.


Laila is the National Director of the Health, Aged Care and Seniors Living team. She specialises in providing valuation and property advice.

Over the course of her career, Laila has worked across a range of asset classes including residential, commercial and industrial properties. In her current role, Laila undertakes valuations and advises clients in relation to medical, retirement, aged care and disability assets including going concern and freehold valuations on existing and proposed projects. Laila specialises in the valuation of large portfolios for financial reporting purposes together with providing extensive market, demographic studies, acquisition and divestment advice.

Laila has been working in the property sector since 1997 providing a range of valuation services in both the residential and commercial sectors and also spent five years managing and operating her own real estate practice.

Alison is a highly accomplished general manager with multi-disciplinary commercial experience on a national scale. Her professional services are now focused as a strategic advisor in the areas of advisory, acquisition/disposal, and influence in the areas of SDA and housing affordability areas.


This includes working collaboratively with the property development industry, finance industry , disability sector and public policy advisors 

Tony Rutherford is a Partner in the Projects and Infrastructure Group at Holding Redlich, a large commercial firm.


He has advised financiers, governments, developers, sponsors and contractors on large and complex infrastructure and housing projects in Australia, Asia, The US, the Middle East and Africa. His recent projects include the New Footscray Hospital PPP and the Victorian Public Housing Renewal Program PPP 

David Norris is a Queensland bred and trained Occupational Therapist.

In his 20 year plus career he has provided Occupational Therapy within Public and Private Hospital, Community, Rehabilitation and Aged Care sector for clients over the age of 45.
An occupational therapist and consultant with a wealth of experience in occupational ageing, elderhood and acquired neurological conditions and complex therapy needs.


 His focus is to work with people who experience cognitive changes and to optimise their strengths for maximum performance.

 David’s treated people with a wide range of conditions, with not only neurological and neurosurgical but also orthopaedic/musculoskeletal, oncological and complex general medical and congenital conditions.

His primary interests are in Memory Health, Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, Dementia and Ageing and how to maximise independence through rehabilitation, equipment technology, lifestyle modification and excitingly robotics! He’s super excited about the state of emerging therapy opportunities and regularly collaborates with a diverse network of national and international professionals.
Across Brisbane, clinically he is sought out for his practical, tangible and effective assessment to intervention skills.

Anna is a Principal in the SVA Consulting team, with deep passion and experience in supporting people and communities to thrive. Anna has 15+ years’ experience in supporting organisations to define and measure their impact, and consider future strategic directions for programs and policies. 


She also has the privilege of leading a coalition of individuals and organisations across the sector to develop and implement the Disability Housing Outcomes Framework.


Prior to joining SVA, Anna spent over a decade in the for-purpose sector, including with grassroots, national and international NGOs, governments, and the United Nations.


Anna is former Chair of the NSW SIMNA branch. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology (First Class Honours), a Master of International and Community Development, and a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact, as well as tertiary qualifications in participatory project management.

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