Executive Leadership Team

Our Leadership team is headed by Chief Executive Officer Leisa Hart, who has over 15 years of leadership experience in the corporate and NGO sectors. 

Leisa Hart, CEO, DSA

Leisa Hart

Chief Executive Officer

Prior to joining DSA in February 2019, Leisa was the Chief Executive Officer of YMCA NSW where she led a team of 2,400 people responsible for the wellbeing of more than four million Australians annually. Previous roles include Director of Operations at Max Employment and Chief Operating Officer for Mission Australia as well as senior roles in the IT Services field. Leisa places a great deal of importance in values alignment with her professional works intent.

Craig Fisher, CFO, DSA

Craig Fisher

Chief Financial Officer

Craig is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and has over 30 years’ experience in the financial management of organisations in the public, private and not for profit sectors. Prior to joining DSA in March 2019, Craig was CFO of YMCA NSW and has held various senior financial management positions at Super Retail Group Limited in the Rebel Sport division.

Steve Saidi, CIO, DSA

Steve Saidi

Chief Information Officer

Steve joined DSA in March 2019 as Chief Information Officer, taking on a large and important transformation program for its technology environment. Steve has over 15 years’ experience in senior IT management roles including CIO for the Salvation Army and Head of Transformation for St Vincent de Paul. His passion is creating cultural change through the efficient and innovative use of technology. Steve has a bachelor degree in Economics and Finance, and qualifications in project management.

Carolynne Lepp, CRO

Carolynne Lepp

Chief Risk Officer

Carolynne has been involved in risk and change management for the past twenty years, across corporate, public and not for profit sectors. Carolynne has extensive experience in establishing enterprise risk and compliance programs, including business continuity and crisis management. Her qualifications are in Business and Change Management and she is a member of the Risk Management Institute of Australia and the Institute of Risk Management UK. Carolynne’s passion is creating safe environments for people to thrive in.

Nicole Karagiannis, EL, People & Culture

Nicole Karagiannis

Executive Leader, People & Culture

Nicole has over 15 years’ experience in the corporate, public and not for profit sectors. Prior to joining DSA in July 2019, she held positions with Westpac, Transport for NSW and Calvary Health Care. Nicole has a great appreciation for mission and purpose for NFP organisations and her work is her vocation. As an HR practitioner and accredited Executive Coach, Nicole is passionate about developing future leaders and is a strong advocate for great culture and high performing teams.

Heather Macrae, GM, Communications, Marketing & Fundraising

Heather Macrae

General Manager
Communications, Marketing & Fundraising

Heather joined DSA in April 2005 after a 17 year career in the public sector. Heather has worked in a variety of roles across DSA, is firmly committed to our mission and has a strong interest in stakeholder communications. With tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Management, Heather was appointed General Manager in November 2017 with oversight of the Communications, Marketing & Fundraising teams.

Caron Rooks, GM, METS

Caron Rooks

General Manager

Caron has a keen interest in social justice and brought considerable expertise and experience in both the education and not for profit sectors when she joined DSA in 2012. In her previous role at the Smith Family Caron led the design, development, implementation and evaluation of educational and preventative based projects throughout Australia, working across a diverse range of disadvantaged communities. Caron has a Bachelor of Education with Post Grad Honors in Economics and Adult Education.

David Charles

David Charles

General Manager
Packaging Solutions

David has extensive leadership experience in commercial manufacturing, including roles at Birch & Waite Foods, GrainCorp and Greens. He has extensive experience leading large and diverse teams, developing commercial strategies and implementing operational improvements which will support the growth of DSA’s customer offering, and increase and diversify the opportunities for supported employees. David joined DSA in November 2019.

Silvana Baute Cardoso

Silvana Baute Cardoso

Acting General Manager
Community Support Services

Silvana commenced acting in the role of General Manager, Community Support Services from 21 February, 2020. Prior to joining DSA, Silvana held many leadership positions throughout her career and was part of the Executive Leadership Team at Northcott Disability Services, including Director on the Board of the National Respite Association.  Silvana is a passionate people leader with over 20 years experience in the not for profit sector and has extensive experience in leading teams through change. She has a passion for team development, mentoring and coaching, and is well experienced in strategic planning and development, and implementing new initiatives and change across organisations.

Sarah Sammut

Sarah Sammut

Acting General Manager
Mentoring Services

Sarah joined the DSA team in March 2020 bringing more than 10 years’ senior management experience and expertise in strategy and leadership development and operational business transformation. Sarah is a strong people leader with experience achieving strategic organisational and operational alignment in both NFPs and corporates.

Make a donation

“I encourage you to consider making a gift to Disability Services Australia. Your support has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of people with a disability. Thank you.”

Leisa Hart – Chief Executive Officer

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