Our Board of Directors


The Board of Directors is elected by the Members of the organisation for a two year period with half standing down annually. The Board is ultimately responsible for the governance and performance of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA).

The Board consists of an elected President, a Chairman (these may be the same person), and other Directors. The maximum size of the Board is nine. Persons with disabilities constitute a majority of the board.

All Directors operate in a voluntary capacity. They meet at least once a month and more frequently if needed. In addition, many of them serve on sub-committees of the Board, which look at specific areas of operation or issues of interest.

Download Spinal Cord Injuries Australia's Charter of Board Operations


Stewart Calderwood

Stewart Calderwood, Director since 2012.

Stewart suffered a spinal injury in 1994, in a diving accident, was left temporarily paralysed and went through intensive therapy within a spinal unit which undoubtedly aided the recovery. He subsequently became involved with the Back Up Trust, a UK charity assisting those paralysed through spinal cord injury to inspire independence and to encourage everyone to get the most from their lives.

Stewart moved to Australia several years ago and wanted to be involved with a charity addressing the needs of people with spinal cord injury which is passionate about transforming lives.

Stewart is currently a Director at Ord Minnett. He has corporate background in the finance sector with over 25 years’ experience in London and Australia. He has client relationship management experience in a wide range of institutional and corporate clients. He will use his corporate and financial back ground to bring the needs of the charity and its members to the awareness of the Corporate Sector.

Stewart  is a member of the CEO Liaison Sub-Committee


Brad O'Hara, Chairman since 2015.

Since joining the board of SCIA in March 2010, I have seen the organisation go from strength to strength. Today, SCIA is an organisation that continues to put people first, and it’s this commitment that keeps me coming back to the boardroom to work with my fellow directors to position this organisation at the centre of providing our members with much needed support and advice.

You may have read recently that the Board of SCIA approved a partnership with the University of Technology Sydney, Spinal Cure and SCIA to work with like-minded individuals to further research in the area of Neurostimulation, a potentially life changing project for all Australians with spinal cord injury. It’s this and other work that SCIA is undertaking, that will position the organisation at the forefront of supporting individuals with a spinal cord injury.

Personally, I have been working with the team at SCIA to establish a specialist wheelchair assist program. We are in the early stages of doing our research, but it looks promising.

2017 is shaping up to be very exciting for SCIA and I am very happy to be part of it.


Christine Tink

Christine Tink*, Director since 2016. Acting SCIA President.

I’m a wife and a mother to three kids and the family dog, and the owner of an interiors and homewares e-commerce store. A motor vehicle accident almost 8 years ago left me with a C4/C5 spinal-cord injury.

I’m passionate about discovering new ways to increase both the availability and affordability of assistance equipment, infrastructure and services.  Since requiring a wheelchair I have become acutely aware of the cost of equipment and the limitations that cost can place on the lives of individuals. I believe that it shouldn’t cost the equivalent of a small car to get about in the world in the same way that ambulatory community members can.   

Accessibility shouldn’t be limited to our local environment.  I’ve always had a passion for travel and I’m currently researching ways to offer greater support, information and affordability for wheelchair travellers.  I maintain an attitude that anything is possible and I look forward to a time when accommodation provisions for wheelchair travellers are the norm not the exception.

I’m excited to be included on the board at SCIA as I believe that my business experience and passion for making a difference will benefit the wider SCIA community.


Brett Stevenson

Brett Stevenson*, Director since 2016.

Brett comes from a pioneer farming family in the Dubbo district of NSW. After graduating from University in 1983 he commenced a career in Commodity Futures markets with Dalgety Australia. Due to the deregulation of the Australian dollar and interests rates in December 1983 he progressed into financial markets working with the ANZ Bank in New Zealand, ANZ Bank in Australia, Midland Bank in Australia and the United Kingdom and Swiss Bank Australia. In 1993 Brett moved back into Agricultural commodities heading up Treasury and Group Risk at Dalgety Australia. In 1995 he commenced his own company specialising in price risk management services in Australian agriculture which he still operates today.

In January 2010 Brett had an accident whilst on holiday leaving him C5/C6 incomplete quadriplegic. In becoming a director of SCIA he has the following to offer; ”Having spent 33 years in business of which 20 years has been establishing my own business I bring an understanding of what is required to ensure strong customer relationships in competitive industries. I forecast change coming as a result of the NDIS and I want to help to ensure a strong support environment for people who have experienced a spinal cord injury.”


Mark McCauley

Mark McCauley*, Deputy Chairman since 2016.

I was admitted to Practice Law in June 1977. In July 1978 I was made a Partner of a mid-sized law firm. My law practice was mainly commercial. I was advising clients on the purchase of an island near Hamilton Island when I was involved in a helicopter crash. I was aged 35 and married with 4 young children when the accident occurred. After 5 months in hospital I returned to work. In December 1988 I became a Consultant to the International law firm Baker McKenzie. I was the head of the Corporate Division for nearly 5 years. In 1993 I was appointed a lecturer at the College of Law. 

In the course of my professional career I have been a director of 3 public corporations. I am a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and recently completed their intensive courses on Foundations of Directorships and Governance Foundations for Not For Profit Directors.

SCIA, along with most Not for Profit organisations, is facing a very challenging future with the changes to government funding. I have both the legal and practical experience to assist the Board in developing strategies to meet these challenges.             


Michael Rabbitt

Michael Rabbitt*, Director since 2017.

Michael joined the SCIA Board in 2017 and brings with him a wealth of experience managing profitable portfolios, leading teams of people and developing and implementing strategy. He has an extensive corporate career primarily in the insurance industry and has held senior positions, including at the NRMA. This has given him a strong understanding of the balance a member based organisation needs to strike between providing member benefits and delivering sustainable profit to ensure it is able to continue to deliver for its members long term.

Michael sustained paraplegia in a compensable work accident in 1992 so has a good understanding of the issues faced by people with spinal cord injuries. He has completed qualifications in company directorship and has been a director of a number of joint venture companies in the past. Most recently he has focussed on his corporate career and transitioned into Career and Executive Coaching.

Michael is excited about the opportunity to be part of a Board helping SCIA and its members navigate the transition into the NDIS, with all the change and focus and operating model that requires.

* Denotes a person with a disability

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