Debra has worked in Residential Aged Care and the community providing direct support to older people and their carers in South Australia, Queensland, and Victoria. She joined ERA in 2006 and has held many distinct roles over the past 17 years, including Intake, Advocate, Senior Educator, Advocacy Manager, Programs Manager and Deputy CEO.
She has travelled across Victoria promoting the rights of older people, providing information to the community and education to aged care workers. Debra has spoken at many conferences on the rights of older people to live free from abuse and to receive person-centred care. She holds qualifications in Leadership and Management, Community Development and Mediation.
Jan joined the ERA Board in April 2021 with a background in the Federal and Northern Territory Public Service, the mining industry, merchant banking, consultancy and tourism. Most recently, she has been a refugee advocate and a Consumer Representative on a significant project for Breast Screen Victoria. Jan strongly believes in human rights and equity, particularly for those whose voices are not always heard.
A Board member since 2013, Lis has worked as a teacher, researcher, editor, and language consultant to community organisations. Direct experience of the aged care system through family members has shaped her concern for the human rights of older people, particularly the need for better information, advocacy and support.
Naresh Raja, Treasurer
A qualified accountant, Naresh has served as ERA’s Treasurer for several years. With a focus on implementing sound financial management and reporting systems both in Australia and abroad, he is currently Chief Financial Officer for six companies. He is also Treasurer of the Springvale-based charitable organisation, Friends of Refugees.
Caroline is the Community Education Coordinator at Open Place, the Victorian service for Forgotten Australians, and Chair of the national peak body, the Alliance for Forgotten Australians. A regular conference speaker and participant in national reference groups, including the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, Caroline joined the Board in 2019 with a particular concern for Forgotten People in aged care.
Sonia Di Mezza, Director
Sonia is the CEO of Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services, solicitor, and human rights lawyer. She has worked as the Deputy CEO of the ACT Disability, Aged and Carers Advocacy Service (ADACAS), leading the Older Persons’ Advocacy team for over eight years in Canberra. Sonia specialises in advocating for the rights of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Alison joined Elder Rights Advocacy in April 2023 and is a retired lawyer and financial services professional. Her experience is across risk management, compliance, audit, legal and governance, having worked in these areas for the superannuation and funds management industry for over 37 years. Alison was motivated to join the board of Elder Rights Advocacy to support the challenges facing older Australians (including financial (in)adequacy), and to give back to the community.