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Our Team

Stuart Schonell – CEO

Stu has had a multi-discipline career including CEO of a registered training organisation, small business owner in the games industry, university academic teaching in business and higher education, and a researcher investigating the impact of emotion on ethical awareness. Stu now finds himself in the disability sector, using his knowledge and expertise to support others and using his lived experience of disability to advocate for systemic change.




AWA Advocacy Team

Cyra Tanduyan – Social Media Marketing

Since graduating from Ateneo University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance, Cyra has worked as a graphic designer. Her love for design, social media, and connecting with people brought her to digital marketing.  She supports Advocacy WA’s corporate, project and advocacy teams in promoting services, events and workshops across the South West community.





Hellen Madzingira – Lead Advocate

Previously Hellen worked as a crisis accommodation support worker at Accordwest and disability support worker for Activ Foundation.  Hellen joined Advocacy WA in 2021 and has been leading the Individual Advocacy team since August 2022. Hellen completed her Bachelors’ Degree in Social Work at ECU in December 2020.




James Gordon – Property/Reception Officer

James joined Advocacy WA at the end of 2021. He maintains the assets and equipment of the organisation and performs administrative work as well as occasional IT support. Outside of work James is also a volunteer bush firefighter with the Bunbury brigade.


Joanne Elliot – Finance / Property Officer  

Jo’s background has been in banking and insurance along with Community Services, more recently, Social Work in Crisis Management, working with clients who face multiple and severe challenges. When asked why she wanted to work at Advocacy WA Jo said that she wanted an opportunity to work with like-minded individuals who share the same passion for social justice.




Joan Sang – Individual Advocate

Since completing a Bachelor of Social Science (major in Human Services) and a Bachelor of Social Work from ECU, Joan has worked in the disability sector as an NDIS support coordinator and support worker. Joan also has experience in the aged care sector and loves using her knowledge, skills and experience to help people achieve their goals.




Jan Marshall – Administration Officer

After completing a Diploma of Community Services (Welfare), Jan has worked extensively with disadvantaged people, supporting them to reach their goals and achieve a better quality of life. She now enjoys applying her skills and knowledge to help build better processes and systems for Advocacy WA. Originally from NZ, Jan has lived and worked in many parts of Australia.



Lorelei Giorgi – Reception Officer/Accountability

Lorelei is responsible for managing the front desk, greeting clients, answering telephones and other Administrative/Accounting support duties. Lorelei says, “I love learning new skills and volunteering in my local community at the Withers Progress Association.  I enjoy playing video games, photography and would like to travel the world”.



Margaret Fogarty – Intake Officer

Margaret has several years experience working as a National Quality Systems Team Leader for SDA homes and Incident Management Officer for a disability service provider. As the Intake Officer, Margaret’s responsibilities will include conducting intake and assessment with AWA clients.




Rhoda Murerwa – Individual Advocate

Since graduating from Latrobe University with a BA in Psychological Science, Rhoda has worked as a recovery worker for a mental health service provider. She has also worked in therapeutic out-of-home care settings in Victorian child protection services.  Rhoda uses her passion and experience in supporting people experiencing mental health distress in her AWA advocacy role.

Ryan Couanon – Projects Administration Officer

Ryan  has recently completed a Cert IV in Community Services, and worked as a disability support worker and administration officer with an NDIS plan management organisation. Ryan also participated in Advocacy WA’s Economic Participation Project, conducting workplace accessibility audits for a number of businesses in the South West region.

Sara Gunning – Community Disability Advocate

Since graduating from the University of Kent, Sara has worked as a project manager, marketing consultant, trainer and facilitator in the private and public sectors. In recent years, she has worked with The Smith Family, Anglicare WA, Financial Counselling Network and Community Living Association delivering projects in the areas of disabilities, community capacity-building and financial wellbeing.

Tania McInnes – Chief Grants Officer

Tania is an Aboriginal woman who has worked in several senior roles across the Australian Public Service in the Northern Territory and Canberra. These included the NT Director for Aboriginal Health based in Darwin and Canberra. Tania has a lot of experience in Aboriginal Health, Employment, and the NDIS. Tania holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration, and a Bachelor of Science.