Our Board

It is with great pleasure that we introduce the backbone of our co-operative – a collective of passionate and dedicated individuals with lived experience of disability.

Each board member brings a unique perspective, expertise, and unwavering commitment to empowering our community. Their visionary leadership has been instrumental in shaping our co-operative’s mission. Each come from diverse backgrounds and experiences contribute to the richness of our cooperative’s discussions and decision-making.

Together, this dynamic team is dedicated to fostering inclusivity, advocating for accessibility, and championing the rights of individuals with disabilities.

Their collective expertise and lived experiences serve as a guiding force, ensuring that our co-operative remains a vibrant and supportive community for all.

Strong & Capable Board

From left to right: Leanne, Abi, Graeson, Clair, Peter, Raphael & Guy.
Missing: Rebecca & Kym.


Peter Rutter

Beyond Bank Representative

I am deeply motivated to advance inclusivity and empowerment within the disability space, aligning with Strong & Capable’s mission and values. 

Having worked closely with the community sector for many years, I’ve witnessed the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities, which fuels my determination to contribute actively to initiatives promoting accessibility, advocacy, and support for all.


Kym Mercer

lived experience

I am a single mother of a 21-year-old daughter with disability and I also live with a disability. 

I work as a counsellor and I mentor people on how to get the best and most out of their NDIS packages and the Scheme overall. I am a qualified support coordinator supporting people with their NDIS plans. I host an online Centrelink group of nearly 64,500 people. 

I am involved a lot in community work to help people live the best life they can. I believe in sharing my knowledge and skills and giving back to help others.  

Abi Wheeler

Carer's SA REpresentative

With a consistent record of delivering fit for purpose solutions that drive improved business performance, Abi has over 18 years of experience in the HR sector, with roles across recruitment, HR general management and organisational development. More recently coming from a large global manufacturing company as Group Manager, Employee Experience, Abi has a passion for inspiring, engaging and enabling collaborative people and business focused solutions across all areas of business. 

Abi holds a Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Leadership and is currently undertaking a Master of Business Administration.


Leanne Galpin

Lived Experience

Bio coming soon.

Raphael Murphy
Lived experience

I have enjoyed a rich, varied, and successful career of organisational consulting, strategic planning, consumer & social research, marketing & communications and Board and Committee Membership across diverse organisations. Most recently and relevantly I have been engaged by organisations serving children, aged care, people living with disability and in fostering environmental sustainability.

I identify as neurodivergent and am the proud parent of an autistic/ADHD man. He is an NDIS participant and has experienced many of the inequalities and disappointments that the Strong & Capable Cooperative strives to overcome. As his parent I have watched him suffer from people’s prejudice, ignorance and the systemic issues in our community, in finding a career and in forging social connections.

Rebecca Jones

Lived Experience

I have a Bachelor of Education and work as a teacher, disability advocate and workshop presenter for several SA Autism/Disability organisations.
I am an Autistic adult and parent of an Autistic child, with additional lived experience of chronic health conditions and mental ill-health, and experience utilising NDIS plans. I’m passionate about advocacy, inclusion and lifelong learning which all interlink with being a member of/working for the disability community.
I joined Strong & Capable because I truly believe that when communities share experiences, knowledge and skills, we are stronger together, empowered, and these put us all in a better position to make real differences that will improve the lives of us all.

Cassie Yang

Support Coordinator

In addition to Master of Social Work, I have Bachelor of Human Resources Management, Certificate III in Disability and Certificate III in Aged Care.

I am a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). I have 6 years employment experience in the mental health and disability fields.

I am competent at establishing and maintaining professional relationships with people through applying therapeutic communication skills, person-centred approach and social work theories. 

Natalia Palacio

Marketing Coordinator

Specialist in marketing and communications with 10 years of experience in corporate and digital marketing agencies environments.

Natalia is passionate about marketing and working with organisations to help them build, growth and develop their online presence to reach out to more people. She’s in her final year of her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at Torrens University.

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