Board & Staff


Catherine Clark


Catherine Clark is the current President of Deaf Victoria, having taken up the role in February 2019. She has a long personal and professional career in the Deaf sector for over 30 years, taking on leadership roles in both as a volunteer, manager and leader within her community. Her most recent appointment was a member of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council (VDAC) and a Board member of Deaf Children Australia. She has extensive experience in project management, community development, strategic planning and maintains a highly ethical and personal approach to her work. With lived experience as a Deaf person, Catherine looks forward to achieve the objectives set out in Deaf Victoria’s strategic plan, 2018-2023.

Preferred pronouns: she/her

Nicholas Steer


Nicholas currently works at Expression Australia as an Administration Assistant. Nicholas currently serves as Vice-President on the Deaf Victoria board. In his own time he volunteers with the YMCA on the Youth Parliament program as a Parliamentary Leader and Youth Governor. With his qualifications in Business (Cert IV) he aims to build on his knowledge and strengthen Deaf Victoria’s position as an advocacy organisation, providing advice and input on the strategic layer of the organisation.

Preferred pronouns: he/him

Ryan Malonda


Ryan is a young and highly passionate Deaf professional working in the Australian Public Service (APS) at the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). He has worked with NDIS participants for the last three years to support them to develop and receive high quality NDIS plans in line with relevant legislation.

Ryan brings to the Deaf Victoria Board an in-depth technical knowledge of the disability sector, legislation and interface with mainstream and community services. He draws from both his own lived experience as a Deaf Queer man as well as his industry knowledge of disability, given past experience as a Disability Support Worker and Auslan Teacher.

Ryan long term goal is to become a practicing psychologist to support d/Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals with their mental health. In his spare time he volunteers as a Communication Guide for Deafblind individuals and loves to visit his Deafblind friends at the annual National Deafblind Camp each year.

Ryan is a proud father to three cats.

Preferred pronouns: he/him

Karthik Vijayanandam


Karthik is a qualified Teacher of the Deaf and Language interventionist and has worked in a number of other roles such as Deaf Role Model and Mentor and Project Leader for a number of Deaf organisations across the world. He is extremely passionate about ensuring that Deaf children and adults have quality and equitable access to education and language. Karthik has held numerous board and committee positions in London and Wales before relocating to Australia. He holds a number of relevant qualifications to this effect, such as Masters in Language Intervention and Hearing Impairment, a certificate in Emerging Leadership from Bastow institute of Leadership and a Diploma in Auslan. He is currently completing his Cert IV in TAE to further consolidate his experience in training and guiding adult learners. He was an active member of the International Federation Hard of Hearing Young People (IFHOHYP) organisation from 2004 to 2007, where he represented the UK in the European Youth Parliament, attending week long study sessions in Strasbourg and Budapest, which further developed his skills in leadership and strategy.

Preferred pronouns: he/him

Olivia Beasley

Board Member

Olivia has background in advocacy & stakeholder engagement and is a Projects and Engagement officer in deaf society organisation. She is from Deaf family and she brings lived experience of Deaf community and culture to Deaf Victoria with strong passion in sharing advocacy skill. Olivia also have strong involvement with Victorian Parliament through Youth Parliament Program, with the experience, she is able to bring understanding of educating political system and advocacy skill to young community.

Preferred pronouns: she/her

Hannah Britton

Board Member

Hannah is a proud Deaf woman who has an immense passion for the Deaf community especially within community advocacy and equality in sports. Hannah recently graduated from Deakin University with Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science and Bachelor of Business (Sport Management). Hannah also recently completed Diploma of Interpreting (LOTE to English) from RMIT University. Hannah’s goal is to create a movement that aligns with Deaf Victoria’s values for the Deaf Community with exciting opportunities. Hannah currently works in the Disability Sector as a Local Area Coordinator for NDIS. Hannah is also involved in Deaf Sports especially with the Deaf Aquatics Australia, she is the Australian Deaf Swimming Team’s current Team Manager.

Preferred pronouns: she/her

Stephanie McDonald

Board Member

Stephanie McDonald is an energetic Deaf professional who brings a wealth of knowledge and successful experience in compliance and operations management, policies and guidelines, data analytics and reporting metrics. She currently works as a Team Leader at the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and prior to this, worked in the Telecommunications industry at Telstra for four years as a Business Operations and Compliance Lead.

Prior to working at Telstra, Stephanie came from a disability background, working as an Employment Consultant supporting LGBTIQ+ and Deaf/Hard of Hearing people. Stephanie is passionate about supporting young deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and regularly volunteers with ‘Hear for You’, a non-for-profit organisation that focuses on support and building confidence in teenagers and young adults with a hearing loss through workshops and programs across Victoria.

Stephanie has completed a double degree of Health Science and Clinical Prosthetics and Orthotics (Masters) at La Trobe University, later going on to complete a Graduate Diploma of Information Technology (Business) at Swinburne University. Stephanie enjoys a good Netflix binge but can also be found on long beach walks with her Spoodle, Benji.

Preferred pronouns: she/her

Rachel Brisbane

Board Member

Rachel has excellent theoretical and working knowledge of governance and strategy as a foundation for board work. In her professional life, she manages projects and has experience in preparing bids, grants, business cases and contract transitions. Previous board roles have included working with organisations involved in advocacy and representation where Rachel played a pivotal role in improvements such as business restructure to return a profit and substantial increase in operating budget. Rachel is really looking forward to giving back to the Deaf community who, since childhood, have always shared Auslan and Deaf culture so generously.

Preferred pronouns: she/her


Philip Waters

General Manager

Philip Waters was a Senior Consultant at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, and before that a Senior Policy Officer in the Office for Disability in the Department of Health and Human Services (now Department of Families, Fairness and Housing). Philip was a Board member of Deaf Victoria in 1999 and he is delighted to return to Deaf Victoria in a management role. Additionally, Philip has supported many organisations over the last 15 years in a voluntary capacity. He served on boards and advised various Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO’s), both in Australia and internationally. He brings with him a passion to make a difference in the lives of Deaf people and their families.

Preferred pronouns: he/him

Sherrie Beaver

Research Officer

Sherrie has been at Deaf Victoria since 2015 in both board and staff positions. With 15 years of experience in community development, community engagement and research across various roles, she brings her expertise to the organisation as the Project Coordinator. She has also been working as a casual academic at Deakin University since 2016. Prior to Deaf Victoria, Sherrie has worked at VicDeaf (now Expression Australia), The Deaf Society of NSW, Education Queensland, as well as board positions for Queensland Association of the Deaf, Deaf Sports and Recreation Queensland, and Deaf Australia (NSW). She is passionate about empowerment, engagement, and strengthening the Deaf community. In her spare time, Sherrie can be found writing, creating content, reading, and travelling. Sherrie holds a Bachelor of Arts – Cultural and Social Analysis (Western Sydney University) and a Master of International and Community Development (Deakin University) and has plans to begin Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in early 2021.

Preferred pronouns: she/her

Maxine Buxton

Partnerships and Communications Manager

Maxine is an Auslan Interpreter by trade, however, has held a number of coordination, leadership and management roles within the Deaf sector over the last decade. She was a board member then President of ASLIA Victoria and throughout her career has managed a number of services including community engagement, video remote interpreting, Auslan learning programs and major projects funded by the NDIA and other philanthropic organisations or foundations. Most recently she was the Engagement Manager at Expression Australia. Maxine is passionate about advocacy and inclusion to allow Deaf people to fully activate their citizenship in their everyday lives. Outside of work, she loves dance and being involved in theatre and the arts.

Preferred pronouns: she/her

Catherine Dunn

Advocacy and Outreach Team Leader

Catherine is a strong advocate for equal access and opportunities and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (Professional) majoring in sociology. She has extensive policy consultation and advocacy experience, evident in her roles under the Equality and Youth Branch which includes the Victorian Youth Congress, partnership with Parliament House of Victoria and Victorian Youth Parliament program as a volunteer. All her work is based on a passion where she works towards an equitable future by creating transparent and accountable relationships between the community, service providers and the government.

Preferred pronouns: she/her

Sara Weir

Outreach and Communications Officer

Sara Weir is a driven Deaf professional who has worked in several roles in education and advocacy within the Deaf sectors. She was a Youth Parliamentarian member in the YMCA Youth Parliament program and a member of the Youth Disability Advocacy Service’s steering committee. She continues to empower and strengthen the Deaf community through her role as a Youth Associate and Auslan Access Consultant at the Parliament of Victoria. With her experiences in various roles, she brings her expertise and creativity to Deaf Victoria as an Outreach and Communications Officer. Sara is passionate about accessibility, diversity and inclusion. Outside of her work, Sara enjoys photographing and creating arts.

Preferred pronouns: she/her