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Board & Staff

Valued Independent People Inc began with a small group of dedicated and enthusiastic people with a vision of a good life for their family members with a disability, particularly once they had left school.  Whilst the organisation has certainly grown in size, changed in the way we support individuals and families and our strategic focus, the majority of our Board members are still individuals with family members with a disability.  Coupled with the highly valued social role of family member though, each Board member brings with them a diverse and broad range of the necessary skills to govern the organisation.  Meet the Board…



Richard Diermajer

Richard holds a degree in Legal Studies and has an extensive background in mining law/administration within the mining and exploration sector. He has held several previous board positions with ASX listed mining companies and currently is chairman of Falcon Minerals Ltd. Richard has a son with disability and this has led him to playing a role in campaigning and advocating for the improvement of conditions and increased funding within the disability sector in Western Australia. Previous non for profit, board and committee positions held within the disability sector include Identity WA, Developmental Disability Council and CASA.


Joan Martin
Vice Chirperson

Joan has served on the VIP Board for the past twelve years. She served firstly as a committee member for six years, in the position of Board Secretary for five years and as Vice Chairman since 2014. Joan and her husband David were so grateful to VIP for the services that are provided for their daughter Ruth that Joan wanted to give back to the organisation in some way and so became Secretary of the Board in 2009. Joan has an extensive teaching, policy and report writing background and among a myriad of other things, can be credited for writing VIP’s response to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Draft Paper and creating the Board Induction Manual. Joan is also involved with presenting a “Parent’s Perspective” at the induction training courses for Identity WA.


John Connolly

John is a “Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants” and of “The Taxation institute of Australia”, a Registered company auditor, a Registered tax agent and, until recently, an Authorised financial planning representative. John’s experience in the financial world has been gained over the past 50 years where he has been variously involved:As an employee within the audit, secretarial and taxation divisions of two top 4 world accountancy practices, in Australia and South Africa ; As an accountant within one of Western Australia’s largest Ford Dealerships and; As the principal of his own Chartered Accountancy Practice, firstly, as a sole practitioner and, later, in partnership. The Chartered accountancy practice in which John was a principal was involved in advising small to medium businesses on accounting, taxation, financial management and general business matters. John retired from full- time practice in 2009 but still has an interest in an operating accountancy practice and in private business ventures .


Sue Meredith

Sue has worked off and on for Grant Transformers for the last five years in administration and has also helped out in the factory. Sue is a parent with a son with a disability but she has also been involved in numerous other community based organisations including the Angelmans Syndrome Association of WA. Sue is interested on how we’re all perceived by the community and believes that as a parent and Board member that it is up to ‘us’ to ensure that VIP is able to continue well into the future, fulfilling the needs of individuals and families.


Darrall Bosich

Darrall has been in the transport/mining industry all his working life, and has been in mining truck sales for the past 17 years, having previously been the manager of the Disability section at TL Engineering, an engineering firm who deal with vehicle modifications for individuals with a disability. Darrall’s son Adam is a client of VIP and watching the positive impact VIP has had on Adam is one of the many driving forces in Darrall’s vision for VIP. Darrall’s extensive management experience and knowledge of the needs of individuals with a disability assist the Board greatly in the decision making process and overall governance of the organisation.


Dave Newman

When asked what skills/experience Dave brings to the Board, part of his response was a ‘smiley face’! Dave brings much more to the Board of VIP as he has been on the Board of Management since 1998 and his experience and skills were gained mainly from being a Contract specialist for Woodside Energy Ltd and having held other Board memberships. Dave’s vision for the future is for VIP to continue to be a provider of quality care to individuals with a disability in our community.


Kathlene Hardie

Kathlene has a daughter Emma 19 who accesses VIP. Kathlene comes from a nursing background, where she trained in Scotland 31 yrs ago and has since worked in Sir Charles Gardener and King Edward Hospitals after emigrating to Perth 19 years ago. Kathlene has also had previous experience on a Board that provided respite services in Perth and her reasons for joining the Board are making sure our children get and have the best possible care and with quality carers too. Kathlene is interested in the training support workers get at VIP to maintain a high standard. Kathlene’s nursing experience is sure to assist VIP help to achieve this.


Liam O’Connor

Liam is a Corporate Governance, Risk and HSEQ professional with 8 years’ experience in establishing and implementing HSE and Quality Management Systems within the Oil and Gas, Transport, Mining and Civil Construction sectors. Liam is currently completing studies in Masters of Law and is a member of the Australian Institute of Directors, Safety Institute of Australia and the Australian Institute of Management.




Management Structure



Staff Members

Valued Independent People Inc (VIP) specialises in the provision of supports for people with significant intellectual and/or physical disabilities, including people with sensory and/or neurological disabilities and with behaviours of concern that have an impact on daily functioning and living. VIP is a valued part of community and individuals are respected and well known in the local community through support to make meaningful community connections. Meet our friendly staff members…


Tony Morley

After a successful career in the commercial world with organisations Shell UK, Mobil Oil and Argyle Diamonds, Tony started volunteering with Activ in 1999. He moved into the not-for-profit world and had roles with Activ, identity WA, CEO of RUCSN (now CHILD Australian), CEO of Noah’s Ark and CEO of Kids’ Camps. Tony has an advanced MBA from UWA and a B.Bus from ECU. He has been a Board Member with CLAN and RUCSN as well as Past President of Early Childhood Australia, Treasurer of NIFTeY, Vice Convenor of NADRATA, Committee Member of ECIA. Tony started with VIP (Valued Independent People) in May 2015.


Michelle Crook
Operations Manager

Michelle joined the VIP team in October 2013 as Base Manager for Hamersley. She began her career as a Support Worker in the United Kingdom in Forensic Psychiatry 22 years ago and in the time since has worked in most realms of the health care sector including paediatric and adult disability, acquired brain injury, quadriplegia, mental health and aged care. Having worked in supported accommodation, respite, community and hospital settings, Michelle brings an understanding of different operational model to VIP. She is a strong believer in the importance of team work and encouraging growth in the workplace, and is passionate about work practises embodying and reflecting The National Standards for Disability Services. Michelle took on the role of operations manager in July 2015


Jacqui Long
Training & Support
Workplace Health & Safety Manager

After studying Youth Work in 2003, then venturing into disability studies, Jacqui began at VIP (Valued Independent People) as a support worker at the Hamersley Base in 2004. In 2006 she was appointed a role that assumed the names of Senior Facilitator, Assistant Centre Supervisor and finally, following a contemporary shift in the organisation, the title of Assistant Base Manager. In 2011 she was appointed Base Manager (Duncraig) but chose to focus on a dedicated Project Manager Position, prior to going on long service leave. She spearheaded VIP’s allocation of a DSC funded pilot project on Effective Service Design, focusing on the implementation of Positive Behaviour Support and the Elimination of Restrictive Practices. Returning from long service leave in 2012, Jacqui was successful in securing the current joint role of Training and Support and Positive Behaviour Support Manager. Jacqui has a cert III & IV in both Youth Work and Disability and a Diploma of Community Services Management.


Annie Kerr
Manager Human Resources

Annie has been practising HRM in the Disability and Hospitality sectors for the last five years, and most recently has been working alongside Senior Management since August 2014 in identifying talent, employee relations, policy development and all aspects of generalist HR functions.
Coupled with hands on industry experience, Annie holds a Bachelor’s degree in HRM & Politics and is nearing completion of a B.Com in Management with the plan to continue into postgraduate studies in the coming years.


Latest News
Annual General Meeting of VIP


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