Robyn Renton

Manager/Advocate/NDIS Appeals Support

 

Qualifications and Membership

  • Bachelor of Business
  • Diploma of Teaching (Technical & Adult Education)
  • Justice of the Peace (Qualified)
  • Board member – Cairns Community Legal Centre

Knowledge and Expertise

  •  Governance & Risk Management
  • Operational & Strategic Planning
  • Quality Assurance and Internal Auditing
  • Workplace Assessor & Supported Wage Assessor

 

 

 

 

Robyn is the Manager of Rights In Action Incorporated (RIA) with over 14 years’ experience in managing the independent advocacy agency and protecting the rights of people with disability.

Robyn Renton grow up in Western Sydney and moved to Broken Hill, NSW as a TAFE teacher in 1982, travelling to work in the remote and aboriginal communities such as Menindee, Wilcannia and Cobar.

In 1996, her family relocated to Cairns and she was employed in the position of Assistance Manager of Direct Employment Services (DES). DES was a specialist employment service for people with disabilities.

Robyn is active member in the Combined Advocacy Group Queensland, and a Cairns Community Legal Centre Board member. She is committed to her role(s) and supported by a proactive team of Advocates and a strong Board of Management.

Robyn has an extensive background in community services and business management and a vivacious attitude towards social justice and the rights of people with disability.

Previous Experience:

  • Disability Advocacy Network Australia – Board Member
  • Direct Employment Service – Assistant Manager, Disability Employment Officer, Supported Wage Assessor
  • Broken Hill Institute of TAFE – Head of Studies, Teacher, Open Learning Coordinator

 

 

 Jennifer Mc Cabe (BSW)

Assistant Manager/Advocate/NDIS Appeals Support

Qualifications and Membership

  •  Bachelor of Social Work (JCU)
  • Dip Counselling (ACAP Syd)
  •  Dip Mindfulness Integrated CBT (Dr Bruno Cahoun)
  •  Cert Supervision Training (Margaret Morell BSW)
  •  Cert IV Training & Assessment
  •  Member AASW – Australian Association of Social Workers

Knowledge and Expertise

  • Social Justice 
  •  Mental Health
  •  Domestic and Family Violence
  •  Homelessness
  •  Neighbourhood/Community Centres 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer is a Mental Health Social Worker with vast experience as a Counsellor and Group Facilitator and ran her own Counselling business for 10 years. She has also more recently worked as a Recovery Coach and as an NDIS Life Coach.

Jennifer has also run a Community Support Service (MCSS) as Team Leader for five years in the Mooroobool/Manora/Manunda areas providing support to disadvantaged people in these suburbs; creating a one-stop Hub for clients to access many social services and participate in groups at this Service.

Jennifer has also worked for JCU as a Sessional Staff member for eight years which included Tutoring Social Work students, marking and providing Supervision for them on work placements.
She has been on the Board of Rights in Action in the past for three years. She is very aware of the important role this Board plays in the successful running of Rights in Action to support people with a Disability.

As both her parents worked in travel; it followed naturally that she started her career in travel and worked in Reservations and Operations for a Domestic Airline, and Operations and Client Liaison for an International Airline in their Wholesale division. She has also worked in Hotels in the Sales & Marketing Department.

Studying as a mature aged student at JCU was a wonderful experience and graduating with her Bachelor of Social Work Jennifer feels it was one of the best days of her life! She has never looked back and loves her work as a Social Worker and brings a broad set of skills to her new role at Rights In Action.

 

 

 

 Bob Paten

Senior Advocate/NDIS Appeals Support  

Qualifications and Membership

  • Bachelor of Science University of QLD (Majors Zoology and Botany
  • Certificate IV Workplace Assessor
  • Certificate IV Workplace Trainer

Knowledge and Expertise

  • Employment Rights
  • Campaigning around Systems Advocacy
  • Board Processes and Governance
  • Anti-Discrimination Matters
  • Worker’s Rights

 

 

 

 

Bob joined Rights In Action in 2005 employed as a Part Time Advocate. Since then the organisation has grown with additional government funding and now he is employed as the Senior Advocate.

This role involves advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, being a mentor to our advocacy team and educating the local community. He has led systemic advocacy campaigns around issues affecting people with disabilities in Queensland.

Previous Employment:

  • Commonwealth Employment Service – Disability Jobseeker Adviser
  • Centrelink – Disability Officer
  • Community and Public Sector Union – NQ OrganiserCurrent Trade Union Positions:
  • The Services Union (ASU) -Social and Community Services Industry Committee Rep.(FNQ), -Branch Councillor (QLD), -National Conference Delegate
  • Cairns Council of Unions – Treasurer

Interests:
Bushwalking, Fishing. Current Affairs

 

 

 

 Dianne Wellington

Advocate/NDIS Appeals Support  

Qualifications and Membership

  • Bachelor of Science in Education, Honours
  • Diploma of Social Housing
  • Justice of the Peace (Qualified)

Knowledge and Expertise

  • Human rights and social justice
  • Organisational & management skills
  • Research and analytical skills

 

 

 

Dianne joined Rights In Action in 2014. As an advocate, she promotes and protects the human rights of vulnerable people in the community and works on a wide range of issues with a diverse group of clients.

Previous Experience:

• Community Housing Tenancy and Property Management
• Primary School Teacher, Papua New Guinea and Queensland

‘My previous work experience includes community housing management on the Atherton Tablelands and primary school teaching in Papua New Guinea and Queensland. Working in social housing for 12½ years helped prepare me for my advocacy role. I was fortunate to be able to assist people with disabilities in the community to secure long term, safe and affordable housing and referrals to local support networks. I was also involved in securing a Nation Building Grant to increase the accessible, universal design housing stock in Atherton. “

 

 

 

  Marlene Levasseur  

Advocate/NDIS Appeals Support

Qualifications and Membership

  • Bachelor of Laws LL. B
  • Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice
  • Cert IV in Financial Services
  • Advanced Certificate in Management D
  • Diploma in Adult Education
  • Certificate IV Workplace Assessor
  • Certificate IV Workplace Trainer

Knowledge and Expertise

  • Legal research and analysis
  • Board processes
  • Complex file and case management
  • Facilitation and stakeholder consultation
  • High organisational and writing skills

 

 

Marlene has acquired a diverse skill set over the years across a range of industries, including legal, accounting, building and construction. These skills include: office administration, bookkeeping, paralegal, taxation and legal.

Having achieved this skill set and wanting a more rewarding work life which could include giving back to society and helping people, Marlene, as a mature aged student, undertook and completed a law degree so she could assist members of our society experiencing disadvantage, discrimination or vulnerability. Marlene’s community-based focus lead to being offered a role as Advocate with Rights in Action and she is now able to defend the rights of people with disabilities utilising her life experience, work experience and legal skills.

Prior to working at Rights in Action, Marlene worked as a law graduate at the Homeless Persons Legal Clinic (Lawright) at Cairns and gained valuable insight into the issues surrounding people due to disadvantage, disability and vulnerability.

Previous Experience:

 

  • ING Australia – Executive Assistant to in House Legal Counsel Risk Management
  • Minter Ellison – Paralegal to head of mergers and acquisitions corporate
  • Law Society of NSW – Executive Assistant to President
  • Allbuild Services – Office Administrator/Bookkeeper
  • Cape York Accounting – Taxation Consultant

 

Angelika Williams

  Advocate   

Qualifications and Membership

  •  Diploma Management
  •  Cert IV Mentoring Diverse Groups (Indigenous Mentor)
  •  Indigenous Social & Emotional Wellbeing Trainer
  •  Cert III Business Admin

Knowledge and Expertise

  •  Disability Employment Services (DMS/DES) Team Leader, Employment Consultant, On-The Job Trainer
  •  Job Services – Employment Consultant, Job Coach & Trainer
  •  Complex Case management & individual support
  •  MH Mentor – supporting carers of individuals with a psychosocial disability
  •  MH recovery practice framework
  •  Working with people with Borderline Personality Disorder
  •  Mental Health 1st Aid (2011)
  •  Suicide Awareness & Prevention
  •  Indigenous Social & Emotional Wellbeing (Deadly Thinking)
  •  Cultural Enabler & facilitator
  •  Accidental Counsellor Technician (TACT)

Currently Studying

  • Advanced Diploma Community Sector Management

Before starting as an Advocate with Rights in Action, Angelika worked at the Dept Communities Disability Services for 2 ½ years as a Service Advisor in the SAT Intake and Assessment team.

Angelika also worked as a Wellbeing Mentor for Anglicare NQL for 12months, case managing and supporting Carers and parents to individuals diagnosed with an ABI, a psychosocial or mental illness as well as parents whose young or adult children were diagnosed ASD or Asperger’s. Angelika did a lot of travelling to towns as far south as Tully, north to Thursday Island; out west to Mount Isa, up to Ravenshoe and across the Atherton Tablelands.

Other jobs Angelika has held over the years include working in a Centrelink Call Centre; as a Legal Secretary for Native Title; she was a Team Leader and Employment Consultant in both Disability employment services and mainstream employment agencies i.e. Job Active and a few short-term roles whilst living interstate in places such as Perth, Darwin, Ingham and Rockhampton.

With many years’ experience and skills in working with, supporting and assisting people with a disability, Carers and families in our community ~ Angelika is passionate about social justice, equity for all and advocacy on matters where people have been blatantly discriminated against or their human rights have been violated.
Outside of work, Angelika enjoys glamping (camping in style), is patiently creative on a sewing machine; is unreservedly addicted to social media just for the photos or a good laugh; loves a bargain/sales and prefers to spend time with her family and extended families.

 

 

  

 Mary Klansek  

Administration Officer   

Qualifications and Membership

  • Certificate III in Business Medical Administration
  • Certificate II in Business Administration

Knowledge and Expertise

  • Administration & data collection
  • Computer technology
  • Web design and development
  • Internal auditing

 Currently Studying

  • Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention with Lifeline

 

 

I was a Medical Receptionist for 8 years before joining Rights in Action, prior to this I was a full-time mum.

Working in the medical field gave me an opportunity to deal with all kinds of people and situations. Helping people when they were unwell gave me satisfaction knowing that I made their day a little brighter. We also treated patients who had a disability and patients who had mental health issues.

After working in this field for 8 years I felt it was time for a change and that’s when I joined Rights in Action. I didn’t know what to except when I joined RIA but I was quiet surprised to see the amount of people with disabilities that needs an organisation like Rights in Action to speak up for them on their behalf.

I have been with Rights in Action for 8 years as the Administration Officer and I have enjoyed being part of an organisation that has helped so many people with disabilities resolve their issues and make their life more independent.