Our Board

CODA is an incorporated, not for profit community-based organisation. It is governed by a small and dedicated voluntary board that meets bi- monthly. The board is made up of 2 executive, 3 members, and 2 consumer representatives positions.

The Board of Management is the legal entity of CODA. There are a number of key responsibilities required of the board to ensure that CODA is fulfilling its stated objectives, and policies and procedures as specified in the Service Manual. Such responsibilities include legal responsibilities , financial responsibilities, and policy and planning.

If you are interested in contributing to and shaping the future of CODA, nominations for membership on the Board of Management can be submitted via either of the following:

  1. Written: Addressed to the Chairperson, PO Box 631 Mt Gravatt  QLD 4122
  2. Email: [email protected]
  3. Phone: (07) 3393 0766 and speak with the CODA Chief Executive Officer (CEO).


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Our Board of Management Members

Elected November, 2022.


Brendan Hawes

Brendan Hawes has degrees in both Project Management and Business and is a high level accomplished business leader with 30 years of commercial management, strategy and product development experience. His experience incorporates delivery and operational experience in various industry sectors, including Outdoor Advertising, Commercial Construction, Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical and Banking and Finance. A professional, problem solving executive and CFO, successful at leveraging career experience, to enhance the organisational productivity and efficiency across broad and various areas. Brendan joined the CODA board in 2014, and he is a Commissioner for Declarations Qld and a Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors.


James Purcell

James Purcell is an insurance specialist with more than 20 years of experience across the banking, financial services and legal profession/s. He has delivered complex advice to individual and corporate consumers in areas such as contract law, personal injuries litigation, estate planning and disability insurance.


James holds degrees in Business and Law and joined the CODA board in 2018 to leverage his experience and help protect and support people with disabilities to ensure they have the right to choice, dignity and respect. James is a volunteer Lifeguard and a member of the Gold Coast Disabled Surfers Association.


Almy Chang

Almy Chang is an accountant with over 20 years’ experience with broad range of responsibilities in highly complex and regulated industries.  She holds degrees in Accounting majoring in Taxation, Public Administration and Human Resource Management with operational experience in both public and commercial sectors.  She has experience in both domestic and international businesses working in industries which includes retail, logistics, independent retirement villages, aged cared, property development, infrastructure construction and currently health.


Almy has held leadership roles where she is responsible for helping in the preparation of company’s financial statements.  In addition, she has extensive regulatory experience with lodgements with numerous federal and state agencies, implementing and training in ERP accounting systems, comprehensive knowledge of corporate governance and business processes.


Almy joined the CODA board in November 2020 and would love to meaningfully contribute and serve CODA whilst making a real difference in the community.

Board Member

Nick Manolis

Nicholas is a self-motivated business technology professional passionate about driving innovation with an entrepreneurial spirit. A Specialist in Business Transformation leveraging off the latest technology offerings specialising in Custom Business Technology solutions.


Nicholas has experience in developing High end custom solutions for Large Organisations Such as Energex and Lyft being Awarded the most innovative use of Technology Australia

Board Member

Paula Johnson

Paula Johnson is a paediatric audiologist who has worked in the field for almost 20 years. She currently works at Hear and Say Centre, a non-profit organization and specialised provider of audiology and speech pathology for all people with hearing loss. Paula currently is the Group Program Coordinator for Hear and Say where she leads development and facilitation of the resilience and well-being programs for older school age children and young adults with hearing loss. Paula’s previous experience includes clinical work and leading the QLD paediatric team at Hearing Australia.  She has received awards recognizing her client-centred care and presented papers internationally. She graduated from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill with a Doctorate of Audiology in 2006 and worked in a large university hospital before moving to Brisbane in 2011. She brings her experience and understanding of NDIS to the Board.


In addition to her health care perspective, she lives with chronic illness. Seven years ago, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and has first-hand experience coping with the challenges of living with a disability, navigating NDIS processes, and the evolving needs of participants engaged with NDIS.  She is an advocate for choice within the disability sector and for better education and training for NDIS planners to understand the complexities/range of needs for those with Multiple Sclerosis.  Paula joined the CODA Board in January 2018.

Board Member

Ben Harvey

Ben is the Disability Advocate and Advisor at Forward Ability Support (FAS).  Ben suffered a spinal cord injury playing rugby union in 2003 and is a C4 incomplete quadriplegic; his decades of lived experience in navigating life after spinal cord injury provide a unique lens to the requirements of delivering quality and person centred care.  He is passionate about education and doing his part to help create disability-literate communities, as well as raising awareness of key policy matters affecting the livelihoods of those living with disability.


In addition to his work at FAS, Ben is also a member of the team at the O’Shea Laboratory, Boston University (USA), in his role as Spinal Cord Injury Advocate, where he provides consumer feedback on research priorities and contributes to strategic planning.


In his spare time, Ben volunteers with Hearts in Rugby Union (HIRU), a charity providing support to players who suffer major injury and permanent disability playing the sport of rugby.  Ben has taken on key roles in delivering two major fundraisers in the past year, providing support through volunteer recruitment and event management, and representing HIRU as a keynote speaker.

Board Member

Derrin Pomare

A Registered nurse with more than 20 years’ experience in emergency, surgical, and community nursing.  Derrin is passionate about educating the future health workforce and has been involved within the vocational education sector for over 7 years. Currently a state-wide manager for a QLD based Hospital and Health service providing facilitation support to students during their placement journey in regional and metropolitan areas.

Honorary Lifetime Member

Brian Algeo

Brian Algeo along with his wife of over 30 years, are Carer’s to Brian’s older brother who has a disability; they are parents to 5 children and currently Grandparents to 5. Brian has owned a small business for over 20 years and is involved in other not-for-profit community groups in which over the years he has performed in various roles that include Committee person, Treasurer, President, Secretary and Registrar. Brian has watched CODA grow almost from day one and was an active member for over 20 years on CODA Management Committee. Brian brings his financial and business management expertise to this organisation as well as personal experience of supporting his brother with a disability. Brian’s humour, passion and dedication to this organisation and industry as a whole is refreshing and inspiring.


Brian resigned from CODA board in 2013 and was awarded Honorary Lifetime membership for his dedication and commitment to CODA, spanning two decades.

Honorary Lifetime Member

Ben Lawson

CODA Disability Support honours the memory of Ben Lawson, who was apart of the CODA Community as a a service user of CODA supports, and a member of the CODA Management Committee in 2003-04 and from 2008 to 2016.


Ben held degrees in natural resource management and worked in the State Government on the development and implementation of natural resource management policies. In 2008-09, Ben served as the community representative in a Business CEO forum providing advice to the Federal Government on ways to improve the employment of people with disabilities.


Ben was awarded Honorary Lifetime membership in 2016 in acknowledgement of his significant contribution to the operations and growth of CODA during his 9+ years on the CODA Board of Management.  We will be forever thankful for the role Ben played in our organisation.