Deaf Connect wraps up impactful 2023 with major changes to governing board

Published on: 1st December 2023

Following the Annual General Meeting on November 18th 2023, Deaf Connect has this week announced significant changes to its board composition.

Leonard (Len) Bytheway has been elected Chair of the Board of Deaf Connect and will be supported by newly elected Deputy Chair Sarah Lowe along with both new and continuing Board Directors.

This quarter has marked the conclusion of the constitutionally mandated terms for several Directors, including the current Chairperson, Ralph Collins, and Deputy Chairperson Cameron Miller.

Also concluding their time on the board are

  • Kathryn Armfield
  • Michael Boneham
  • Douglas Evans
  • Brian Halse
  • Sarahjane Thompson

Deaf Connect Acting CEO, Isabelle Swanston said that the outgoing board members have made invaluable contributions during the evolution of the organisation, and the formation of Deaf Connect.

“Our existing Board have guided the team through the merger of Deaf Services and the Deaf Society, service continuity during COVID-19 and the development of Deaf Connect as a national service provider and social impact organisation”, Mx Swanston says.

“Without the contribution of these outgoing board members, particularly our departing Chair, Ralph Collins and Deputy Chair Cameron Miller, Deaf Connect would not be in our current strategic position to deliver support to our community.

“On behalf of the organisation, our members and our community I would like to thank all of you for your dedication to Deaf Connect”

The Deaf Connect membership and board have elected new Directors who will support the vision of the organisation into the future. The board is a geographically diverse group, and half of the board identify as Deaf or hard of hearing themselves.

  • Timothy Morgan, South Australia – Newly elected by the membership
  • Steven Hodgetts, Western Australia – Newly elected by the membership
  • Jasmine Rozsa, New South Wales – Newly elected by the membership
  • Peter Miller, Queensland – Newly elected by the membership
  • Sarah Lowe, New South Wales – Re-elected for a further term
  • Vince Lam, New South Wales – Re-elected for a further term
  • Hannah Britton, Victoria – Newly appointed by the Board
  • Robin Mack, Queensland – Continuing
  • Stuart Lummis, Queensland– Continuing
  • Leonard Bytheway, Queensland –Continuing 

Newly elected Chairperson, Len Bytheway has been involved in the Deaf Community for 40 years and is fluent in Auslan. His experience includes 12 years as a CEO, and training as a teacher of the Deaf. Len has also previously been awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study access technologies for Deaf and hard of hearing people.

“I’m honoured to have the opportunity to lead the Deaf Connect board through this next chapter, and work with the Executive team, and staff cohort to ensure the best possible outcomes for all Deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing Australians,” Mr Bytheway says.

“I’d like to congratulate our incumbent board members, and our newly appointed Deputy Chair, Sarah Lowe. I look forward to working closely with you for our community.

“It is an exciting opportunity to be adding a range of fresh perspectives and experience to our Board – representing both governance and management experience, and the lived experience of Deafness across the country.

“On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank our outgoing board members, including Ralph Collins and Cameron Miller for their leadership and support of the organisation and their commitment to continued growth, innovation, and excellence in serving the Deaf community.”

Membership of Deaf Connect is open to all members of the Deaf Community, and interested individuals. Membership provides a number of benefits and allows participation in setting the direction of the organisation and sharing in its success. Visit the Membership page to find out more.

Related Articles