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Meet the Executive

Chief Executive

Our Chief Executive is responsible for leading the Executive and ensuring organisational functions and objectives are realised; and is responsible for the ongoing management of the organisation in accordance with the strategy, policies and programs approved by the Board.


Our Executive is made up of the Chief Executive and our Executive members. It provides effective leadership to drive and monitor the strategic direction of our organisation and establishing business plans to meet our strategic goals.




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Claire Robbs - Chief Executive
Qualifications: BSP, GradDipPsych, EMBA

Claire Robbs has been the Chief Executive of Life Without Barriers since 2011. Claire joined LWB in 2004 and led the operations division from 2005, working in the disability and child protection sectors in residential support, case management and behaviour intervention roles. In 2010 she was appointed Deputy CEO, Operations, a role she remained in for 12 months before being appointed CEO. Claire has led the organisation through a tremendous period of growth and diversification; from 4,800+ clients at the beginning of her tenure to LWB’s current client cohort of 18,000+ people receiving support. Most recently she led the organisation through the successful transfer of former NSW Government residential disability homes to LWB.

Claire is a current board member for the Community Council for Australia, a member of the New South Wales State Committee with the National Disability Services and was recognised as one of the AFR’s Top 100 Women of Influence for 2016/17. Claire has over 20 years' experience in the welfare and community services sector and holds a Bachelor of Social Policy, a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and an Executive MBA from The University of Sydney.





Angela Connors - Executive Director, Client Services
Qualifications: BA (sociology/politics),MComm, MSc, ANZSOG Executive Fellow
Experience: Angela joined Life Without Barriers in December 2014 and brings over 20 years' experience in the social and community services sector. Angela was most recently with the Department of Human Services in Victoria where she held senior roles in service delivery and operations, service development and design. Angela has worked to improve services to people with a disability, vulnerable children, the homeless and women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Since joining LWB in December 2014, Angela has worked with the teams across her portfolio to review and strengthen service delivery in Out of Home Care, disability support and programs for people living with mental illness. A key part of her portfolio is the management of services for clients in LWBs National Immigration Support Service, a program that supports people living in Australia while awaiting the outcome of refugee and asylum seeker applications.





Mary McKinnon - Executive Director, Practice and Quality
Bachelor arts and Social Work, BA in Media Art, ANZOG Executive
Mary joined Life Without Barriers in 2013 after nearly thirty years’ experience in a wide range of areas including disability, child, youth and family services as a practitioner, manager and administrator. Mary previously held the position of Director of Statutory and Forensic Services Design in the Victorian Department of Human Services. In this role Mary was responsible for the design of child protection, youth justice and disability forensic services in Victoria. Mary has also held a number of senior positions in Victoria including Director, Regional Operations Performance; Director, Child Protection, Placement and Family Services; Director, Child and Family System Advice (Cummins Inquiry); and Director, Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Strategy Unit. Prior to this Mary worked for nearly 10 years at Melbourne City mission in a variety of practice and management roles and in youth justice in South Australia.




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John O'Connor – Executive Director, Corporate Services & Finance

Qualifications: BComm, CPA 
Experience: John has over 25 years of experience across a broad range of sectors including mining services, transport, logistics and distribution, and has led teams across Australia, New Zealand, Asia and South Africa with leading ASX50 companies.  Prior to joining Life Without Barriers, John was the General Manager Finance for Patrick Bulk & Automotive Port Services, part of the ASX50 Asciano group where he played a key role in strategy development, organisational restructure and Mergers & Acquisitions.  John has also held a number of senior finance roles within the ASX50 Orica group including leadership roles across Asia Pacific and South Africa responsible for business integration, performance management and business efficiency. 




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Scott Orpin – Executive Director, People, Safety & Culture

Qualifications: Dip. Teaching (Secondary), BA (Politics), Masters of Commerce (Industrial Relations)
Experience: Scott joined Life Without Barriers in August 2015, after 25 years as a Human Resources and Health/Safety professional in the corporate sector in Australia and New Zealand for companies that include BHP and Asciano. He has significant experience in supporting and leading organisations through transformational change, taking an employee-centred approach to help staff identify the role they have in driving and achieving positive outcomes. Scott has also developed a successful person-centred model that guides his approach to industrial relations and safety change processes. It focuses on building relationships, developing respect, and delivering on outcomes benefiting the organisation and its people.





Brad Swan - Executive Director, Strategy and Engagement
Qualifications: B Bus (Public Admin)
Experience: Brad commenced as Queensland State Director in Life Without Barriers in April 2013. Prior to his appointment to Life Without Barriers, Brad was Deputy Director-General, Communities, Child Safety and Community Participation, Department of Communities responsible for child safety and community services in Queensland. Brad was responsible for development of the Helping Out Families initiative in South East Queensland and led work to re-orient the system away from a focus on tertiary intervention to more of a focus on secondary services to support families. Prior to this, Brad worked as Assistant Director-General in Disability Services Queensland, responsible for policy and program development. Brad has 29 years experience in Government working across child safety, disability services, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, education and vocational education and training.