New leadership role for disability advocate

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A Tasmanian community leader and disability advocate has embarked on an invaluable 12-month development program, taking on the role of Intern Director on the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) Board.

Hobart’s Alysse Gavlik, who lives with a disability acquired from a motor vehicle crash, has recently commenced her volunteer role for 2022 and will be mentored by TCF Chairperson Sally Darke.

Ms Gavlik is a member of the Premier’s Disability Advisory Committee and Women with Disability Australia and is the Senior Consultant, Community Development and Engagement with the Road Safety Branch of the Department of State Growth.

Ms Darke said that Ms Gavlik was the second person to take on the role of Intern Director, which had been developed to build the capacity of Tasmanians to serve on boards and to broaden the diversity of the TCF Board.

“We have long recognised the opportunity to develop our community leaders, and this role in particular is excellent for participants wanting to build their governance skills,” she said.

“Alysse is participating in TCF Board discussions, observes the grant assessment process and will assess applications during the year.

“Not only is she a committed advocate for people with a disability in Tasmania, but she has a strong desire to improve her governance and leadership skills, which will assist her greatly in her work and roles representing people living with a disability.

“The TCF board and staff are benefitting from the perspectives Alysse brings to discussions, particularly ensuring we consider all aspects of disability and how we continue to build a more inclusive community through the work we do.”

Ms Gavlik said she was looking forward to experiencing how the TCF operated and how strategy guides grant assessment and decision-making processes.

“I also want to gain the skills, knowledge and experience to better engage with organisations that have an impact on people with a disability, because often people with a disability are underrepresented in the leadership roles within those organisations” she said.

“My ultimate goal and passion for people with a disability is for us to be included in society in a meaningful way, and gaining meaningful employment is a big part of that.

“I became a quadriplegic from a motor vehicle crash and my physical disability is very visible, but there are many people who have a disability that can’t be seen and it is important that they are heard and understood by all of society.

“I enjoy bringing the perspective of people with a disability to the TCF board table, because everyone’s on a journey of understanding disability better and I have an opportunity to accelerate it.

Ms Gavlik will continue to travel the state and attend board meetings throughout the year.

Intern Directors cannot be appointed to the TCF Board for a period of at least three years after their term concludes.