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We are dedicated to maximizing the inclusion, job-retention and advancement of current and future professionals with SCI. SCIP is solely and permanently committed to meeting the complex and emerging needs of professionals with SCI within the employment landscape.

Steering Committee Members

SCIP Members

Martin Heng

Working for the iconic guidebook publisher Lonely Planet, Martin has always lobbied for services for people with disabilities. He founded a Blog and a Pinterest account in 2013 to raise awareness on the issue. In late 2013 he was appointed the Lonely Planet’s Accessible Travel Manager and started to moderate Lonely Planet’s Thorntree branch, Travellers with Disabilities. He also established the Travel for All community at Google+.

Accessible Travel Manager and Editorial Adviser at Lonely Planet

Dr Raelene West

Of all the words that could describe Raelene's commitment to creating positive changes in the disability arena, 'passionate' fits best. Raelene's passion has grown steadily throughout her 20 years lived experience of quadriplegia that fostered a particular interest in improving disability support services and accessibility to the built environment. Along the way, Raelene has gained a wealth of experience in disability advocacy, serving on numerous committees, and has participated in academic research and administrative work. Raelene has a PhD in Sociology - Disability and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. She is currently working as a research assistant at RMIT University.

Research Assistant at RMIT University

John Koumourou

John Koumourou has spent 33 years at HP in a wheelchair, but is rarely in one place for very long. Over the course of his career in the Services Supply Chain organization - starting with HP Australia in Melbourne and then with Asia Pacific for 12 years before moving to the global team - John has had three passports expire and has traveled on business more than 1 million kilometers (at least 620,000 miles).

Global Supply Chain Integration Project Manager at HP Inc.

Shane Brand

A former Wheelchair Rugby Paralympian, Shane Brand has changed jobs twice in the 15 years he has been a quadriplegic. While his main roles have been IT focused on software testing and environments management, Shane was also a disability consultant to ANZ. This role was to assist in making improvements to the employees and customers of the bank. This was achieved through the running of wheelchair workshops - where people in wheelchairs perform specific tasks to highlight issues and create change in business thinking. During one such workshop , a number of ANZ tellers and members of the ANZ Board took up the challenge to exit the building, catch a tram and make a cash withdrawal from an ANZ ATM at the top of Collins Street, all while using a wheelchair! This resulted in changes to ATM’s for easier use.

Senior IT Consultant at Capgemini

Emma Bloom

Emma Bloom is the Project Coordinator at Spire, a service division of AQA Qualcare Victoria. She started with AQA in 2015 and has since adopted an interest and passion in improving the lives of people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI), including returning to employment and study. Outside of work, she is studying a Social Work degree at La Trobe University.  

Spire Project Coordinator

Spire Project Coordinator

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Sandra South

Before starting at the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG), Sandra worked for an allied health professional body as the Research and Policy Manager and as a Research Fellow at the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden.  She was a Board Director of the National Alliance of Self-Regulating Health Professions.  Her work has given her a good understanding of the health, disability and aged care sectors from a Government policy perspective.  Since her sacral fractures in 2016, Sandra has got to test the Australian health and disability sectors from a consumer perspective.

Dr Sandra South, Senior Policy and Research Officer, Australian Association of Gerontology

Alex Coombs

Incomplete T1 quadriplegic gay man living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). Commenced working in public hospital social work for over twenty years ago in Perth (WA) until the lure of the bright lights and cultural life of Melbourne became too tempting in mid-2008 . Now working part-time within the Infectious Diseases Social Work team at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne since 2013 post SCI -rehab. Special interests in people living with HIV, Hep C and genetic bleeding disorders and men's health.

Social Worker, Alfred Hospital

Nazim Erdem

Nazim Erdem is the Team Leader at Spire, a service division of AQA Victoria, and has been with AQA since 1997.  Over the years he has worked on various projects, mainly focusing on empowering those who have a spinal cord injury to return to their communities, including employment. His passion is to see people return to work or reinvent themselves. Outside of work, Nazim is a five time Paralympian in the sport of Wheelchair Rugby, having won two gold and two silver medals. He has travelled the world and is an Order of Australia Medal recipient.

Spire Team Leader

Paul Mangopoulos

Paul was admitted to practice Law as an Australian Lawyer in 2015. He is admitted to practice in the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of Victoria and has over 15 years of relevant work experience as legal clerk/paralegal with the former practice of GSM Lawyers. Paul has obtained the following academic qualifications:

  • 1993 Bachelor of Arts with honours in politics and economic history

  • 1994 Graduate Diploma in Commercial Law

  • 2014 Juris Doctor Degree in Law

  • 2015 Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Leo Cussen Centre for Law

He also holds the following memberships: Member of the Law Institute of Victoria; Affiliate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; Member of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association.

Paul has the knowledge to offer professional and practical legal advice to our clients. He has the capacity to research a wide range legal issues and problems. He is also capable of effectively representing client’s interests in both simple and complex negotiations and transactions. Away from the office Paul enjoys reading, and drinking fine wine. He also enjoys following the fortunes of Melbourne Victory and Manchester United. In his spare time Paul has been able to make some profitable investments in the share and property markets.


Marty Korytowski

Marty has pursued his many life interests, and returned to study in the environmental field, most recently to complete a Masters in Social Science, majoring in Environmental Planning, at RMIT University. He has also worked as a self-employed Sustainability Consultant, and currently works in the Civil and Landscapes Construction industry. Marty has also been a member of the Development & Funding Committee at AQA since 2014, and participates regularly in volunteer events at the Royal Talbot & AQA. Marty is living with C5 incomplete spinal cord injury since 2006 and is able to walk without aids.

Civil and Landscapes Construction Industry

Gerard Stevenson

Gerard is a former educator who moved into sales. In 1999 he established 'Well Imagine That Pty Ltd', which provided corporate training for a range of leading companies. He has authored four books - 'Stand on the Shoulders of Giants', 'Release the Giant', 'Think Like a Giant' and 'Hey, What's the Big Idea?'. In 2014, after an accident, Gerard became a ventilator dependent quadriplegic. Using stories from his books, spinal research, and personal experiences, he has created a blog which has over 500 subscribers around the world. He is an active volunteer and a committee member of the Australian Ventilator Users Network and a member of the VASS Steering Committee.

Author, blogger, public speaker

Trevor Alan Carroll

Sharyn Craven

Linda Barclay

Malcolm Harding

Charles Heerey

Matt Lennox

Paul Mariager

Lachlan McLeod

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We are dedicated to building a supportive and collaborative network of individuals (with and without disabilities) and organisations who adhere to our values, mandate and philosophy of supporting individuals with a SCI in the employment and workforce environment.


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