Senior Leadership Team
Elizabeth Barnes – Chief Executive Officer
Elizabeth provides leadership to our organisation to successfully implement the Board’s priorities and to achieve goals to deliver a broad range of quality services to clients who have vision loss or a disability.
As CEO her role involves developing, implementing and managing services and driving the organisation forward so that VisAbility can reach the next stage of growth.
As an Occupational Therapist, Elizabeth has extensive management and leadership experience in the not-for-profit health, aged care and disability sectors. She has previously served in a variety of executive roles including CEO of leading primary health care provider 360 Health and Community, and CEO of Directions Disability Support Services.
Elizabeth’s skill and expertise is managing high quality, relationship-based person-centred care.
To see individuals blossom and transform makes my work in the disability sector so enriching and rewarding. I am very privileged to work with an organisation which is so effective in enabling people to achieve their dreams and live a good life.
Debra Barnes – Deputy Chief Executive Officer (MBA GAICD FAIM)
Debra is responsible for providing effective and inspiring leadership support by developing, implementing and managing operational aspects of the organisation. Working in partnership with the CEO and executive team, Debra is accountable for the development and execution of the organisation’s strategic plan and goals and leads a team of senior executives and managers across client services, marketing and fundraising and Guide Dog Services.
Debra has over 25 years’ management and leadership experience in the health and human services industry, having worked across the healthcare sector in both clinical and corporate roles, and across acute, private and primary care sectors. Before joining VisAbility Ltd – Guide Dogs WA, Debra held a number of senior executive and senior management position in health and the community care sector, including CEO for the Western Australian General Practice Network and establishing and leading a successful start-up entity, Primary Care WA. Debra has a MBA from the University of Western Australian, a Graduate Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.
I never cease to be inspired by the amazing stories of courage and tenacity of the individuals we serve. I am truly passionate about what I do and it is a privilege to be a leader in an organisation where its people are so professional, knowledgeable and skilled, and most importantly empathetic in making a difference in the lives of people with disability.
Carol Solosy – Executive Manager, Corporate Governance
Carol began her career as a Librarian in State Government and has tertiary qualifications in Computing Science and Education. Since joining us over 20 years ago, Carol has worked in various Senior Management roles with responsibility for the organisation’s Library, Industry Skills Centre and Assistive Technology Service. Her current role encompasses: quality, compliance, policy formulation, human resources and customer services.
I am proud to be part of an organisation in which everyone contributes their passion and expertise to help create positive outcomes for people with a disability. In partnership with our inspiring clients, generous supporters and dedicated stakeholders, we constantly strive for better and new ways to realise our purpose, which is “a vision for independence”.
What better way to spend each working day?
Kary Macliver – Executive Manager, Client Services
Kary is responsible for providing strategic leadership, business development and day to day management of innovative and efficient client services for VisAbility. Client Services encompasses Gateway Services, Independent Living Services, Accessible Information Services and Children and Youth Services.
Kary has comprehensive experience in working with people with a disability, Aboriginal Australians, mental health services and remote communities gained from more than 25 years in the not for profit sector – 15 of these in senior management roles.
These roles include National Contract Manager where she was responsible for services to more than 35,000 clients per annum and General Manager Partnerships and Development where she led her team to secure contracts totaling $512 million dollars over a three year period.
Being a leader at VisAbility requires me to constantly challenge myself and my team to think and work differently in order to achieve the very best results for our clients. I derive enormous satisfaction from knowing that we have had a positive impact on the life of a person with disability no matter how small it is.
Melinda Nota – Chief Financial Officer
Melinda Nota joined VisAbility in 2014. As the CFO, she brings financial rigor, discipline and financial transparency to VisAbility. Her operational insights, superior analytical skills, project management and merger and acquisition skills help steer VisAbility through a period of steady growth and long-term financial sustainability. She has more than 26 years’ experience in senior management and finance executive roles within the commercial and not-for-profit environment across different industries particularly in the following sectors: financial audits, telecommunications, banking, retail, production, engineering systems, health advocacy and disability services. A passionate supporter of learning/mentoring and the academe, Melinda also had over 5 years’ experience as university lecturer. She recently did part- time tutorial classes at Murdoch University.
Melinda is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) a Certified Public Accountant (MIPA) and a professional member of the Australian Institute of Management. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Lyceum Northwestern University, studied Taxation Law at Curtin University and earned her post graduate degree in Professional Accounting at University of New England. Melinda believes that in the not-for-profit space, having sustainable resources to fund your mission is much better than just having the good intention (mission). The aim should always be a long-term commitment to your beneficiaries and stakeholders and financial sustainability is the key.
Imagine a place whose core mission is to care for the plight of people with disability and whose commitment is not just for a fleeting period but for the long-term. To be a part of this amazing work is a great privilege! In working with VisAbility, I can actually be the change that I want to see in the world!
Nevellene Linquist – Executive Manager, People and Brand
Nevellene provides executive leadership of VisAbility’s people and brand strategies. Ensuring synergy between all brand and people initiatives in the strategic direction of the organisation, Nevellene is responsible for brand image, experience, and promise, and disseminating it throughout the organisation. Providing strategic, tactical and collaborative leadership to align VisAbility’s culture to its brand promise, Nevellene is also responsible for ensuring that through contemporary, engaging, collaborative people and culture initiatives, VisAbility is successful in attracting, retaining and building its capabilities.
Nevellene’s passion lies in creating workplaces where people are supported to pursue and achieve their areas of passion and expertise, to contribute to a higher purpose and most importantly to feel joy and impact in their work. Nevellene’s career in human resources has also seen her working in the mining, electrical and technology start-up businesses.
Imagine a workplace where people are challenged and motivated, where they feel a sense of purpose, joy and impact in their work. I am inspired and amazed by how our people empower our clients and each other, every day. I see each one of our people as architects of our culture. I feel truly blessed to work for VisAbility.