Photo above: Carol Bryant, Chair of Afford’s Board of Directors


The Australian Foundation for Disability (known as Afford) takes full responsibility and accountability for the failings identified by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (Royal Commission) – from 2015 to 2021.

Afford is also announcing the resignation of the following Board Directors, effective 19 February 2023:

  • Mike Allen, Director from March 2015 to 19 February 2023, Chair from November 2021 to 19 February 2023 and former Deputy Chair from November 2019 to November 2021;
  • Ross Fowler, Director from February 2004 to 19 February 2023 and former Chair from November 2017 to November 2021; and
  • Cliff Haynes, Director from November 2010 to 19 February 2023 and Chair of Afford’s Audit & Risk Committee from February 2019 to 19 February 2023.

Afford thanks Mike Allen, Ross Fowler and Cliff Haynes for their considerable service of eight, 19 and 13 years, respectively.

As of 20 February 2023, Carol Bryant has been elected Chair of Afford’s Board of Directors. Carol is qualified in psychology, education, nursing and governance. Carol’s experience and knowledge has been gained in senior executive roles across healthcare and complex organisations, including Westmead Private Hospital and Macquarie University Hospital. Carol has been a Director since September 2020 and Deputy Chair since November 2021.

Afford will be actively seeking new Board Directors with the skills and experience we need, including lived and actual experience of disability. This approach aligns with the transformation that has been underway at Afford since the appointment of Jo Toohey as Chief Executive Officer in November 2021.

The new Directors will join the three continuing directors Paul Umbrazunas (joined 2020), Joseph Connellan (joined 2022) and Claire Vissenga (Joined 2023). Our continuing Directors have a wealth of professional skills, governance expertise and lived or actual experience of disability. To read more detailed biographies of our Board Directors please visit our website.

The Afford of today is uncompromising in our commitment to safeguarding our clients and ensuring rights-led client choices and practice.

Media contacts:

Bree Godden, Director, Brand & Engagement
0404 316 382

Lyndal Stuart, Head of Public Affairs and Engagement
0410 850 642

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