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.

Claire Robbs

Claire Robbs

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.

The Chief Executive is accountable to the Board and responsible for the organisation's ongoing management in accordance with the strategy, policies and programs approved by the Board.

Claire is a highly skilled strategist with more than 20 years’ of experience in the human services and community sector that began in front-line service delivery. Claire began her journey as a disability support worker. Throughout her career, she has maintained a strong belief in the delivery of great services, influencing social policy and doing good for future generations.

Claire has extensive experience working in disability, mental health, aged care and out-of-home care services. Since becoming Chief Executive in 2011, Claire has developed Life Without Barriers to become an organisation that is led by values and driven to disrupt the barriers that far too many people face in our communities.

With a strong reputation in the sector and with Government, Claire is revered for her ability to collaborate and partner in a truly authentic way, and is a prominent and reliable voice on ways to deliver high-quality supports for people seeking support and services from the non-government sector.

Claire leads more than 13,000 staff and carers nationwide.

  • Leanne Johnson

    Leanne Johnson

    Leanne is the Executive Director, Disability and Mental Health at Life Without Barriers. In this role, Leanne leads a team of more than 4,500 dedicated and skilled essential staff, all of whom are committed to improving lives of people with disability and supporting mental health.

    Leanne is a highly regarded leader, with experience spanning across disability, mental health, public heath, and human services sectors. Before joining Life Without Barriers, Leanne’s most recent role was Executive Director and General Manager of John Hunter Hospital. During her tenure, Leanne led a team of 5,500 staff through the pandemic, ensuring the hospital was in the best position to withstand the impacts of COVID-19.

    Leanne remains passionate about both public health and supporting people with disability and supporting mental health. She hopes to continue to bridge the gap between these two industries. Ultimately, whatever Leanne leads, she does it with purpose, respect, and passion. She always stays focused on the person at the centre – whether it be staff members, clients, or the wider community.

  • Mary McKinnon

    Mary McKinnon

    Mary is the Executive Director, Group Risk Performance and Impact at Life Without Barriers. With more than thirty years of senior experience in a wide range of areas including disability, child, youth and family services, Mary is an experienced leader focused on driving practice improvement through the implementation of evidence-based practices and programs into people focused service delivery.

    As the former Director of Statutory and Forensic Services Design in the Victorian Department of Human Services, Mary was responsible for the design of child protection, youth justice and disability forensic services in Victoria. Mary has also held senior positions including as 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.

    Mary has a deep commitment to improving the immediate and long-term outcomes of children in out-of-home care and has a passion for relevant research and demonstrable impact measurement that can be shared across the sector.

  • John O'Connor

    John O'Connor

    John is the Executive Director, Corporate Services and Finance at Life Without Barriers. John provides leadership of more than 400 staff and oversees financial governance and corporate support services for one of Australia’s largest not for profit organisations. John has held a number of senior leadership roles including as Chief Financial Officer and General Manager in a range of large scale, international industries.

    John has a demonstrated capability to improve financial performance in a values led culture with his team and has an interest in sharing his experiences as to how good financial stewardship can maximise social impact in the human services sector.

  • Brad Swan

    Brad Swan

    Brad is the Executive Director of Strategy and Engagement at Life Without Barriers. Brad leads a team of highly skilled professionals across business strategy, partnerships and fundraising, business development, marketing strategy, communications and media and the nurturing of Life Without Barriers foster carers. Brad has significant experience in the provision of human services, especially in programs for children, youth and families, an area of expertise he led during his former role as Deputy Director-General for the Queensland Government – Department of Communities.

    Brad has extensive operational experience and considerable expertise in disability services, specifically the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

  • Jane French

    Jane French

    Jane is the Executive Director Child, Youth and Family at Life Without Barriers.

    As a registered psychologist, Jane has extensive experience in the health and human services sector. She has held senior positions within Medibank, MacKillop Family Services, Save the Children, 1800 RESPECT and worked with children and families for many years. Working closely with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses for Child Sexual Abuse, Jane played a pivotal role in designing the support services for survivors and staff of the Commission.

    Jane brings considerable government and policy experience to Life Without Barriers but also has a solid, hands-on understanding of child protection, having worked as a practitioner, manager and trainer for many years.

    As Executive Director Child, Youth and Family, Jane leads more over 1300 professionals who are committed to providing the best outcomes for vulnerable children and young people.

    Jane is passionate about supporting staff to put the safety and wellbeing of children and young people first in all they do.