Our Team


Daniel Leighton

CEO, Inclusion Melbourne

Daniel is the Chief Executive Officer at Inclusion Melbourne. Daniel joined the organisation following a range of roles across the sector including in policy, program development, research and program management. He has a deep commitment to evidence based practices, and supported the establishment of the Annual Roundtable on Intellectual Disability Policy at La Trobe University. Daniel’s passion for person centred services and his progressive approach saw him appointed as an expert adviser on the design of the NDIS in the area of control and choice.

Daniel is the Chair of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Australia’s largest community foundation, and serves on the state committee for National Disability Services, where he chairs the Research Advisory Group. He is a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Applied Disability Research in Sydney, the building healthy communities advisory committee at Latrobe University and serves on the editorial board of the journal Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

When he gets home from work, his dog usually greets him with a pair of clean socks taken from the laundry.

Nathan Despott

Manager, Inclusion Designlab

Nathan is the manager of Inclusion Designlab, Inclusion Melbourne’s engine room for policy, projects, quality and communications. In the past four years, he has coordinated pioneering projects in community development, NDIS readiness, inclusive oral health, electoral equality, choice for people with intellectual disability and supported decision making. Nathan also supports the quality and communications functions of Inclusion Training.

Nathan is eager to use applied research and communication strategies to target the key areas of life and practice that will lead to inclusion and transformation in the lives of Australians with intellectual disability. He began his journey in the disability sector working with adults and children with intellectual disability in residential and respite settings.

A fierce LGBTIQ rights advocate, Nathan has graduate qualifications in communications, social science, theology, and linguistics. He’s also slightly obsessed with science fiction and Eurovision.

Jenna Hepburn

Project Officer

For the last 3 years, Jenna has been working closely with multicultural communities to tackle the shame and stigma associated with mental health and addictions, and to increase access to support services. She is motivated to help families and individuals to access and participate in support services, and is thrilled to be leading the NDIS readiness for families suite of services for Inclusion Designlab. Jenna finds being able to walk through every step of the process and empower Australians with intellectual disability to reach their goals an enormous privilege.

Having a varied background in public health, health promotion, research, and OH&S, Jenna finds studying a habit that is hard to break. Along the way she has developed a love for policy and working on big picture change, so much so that she has been known to cancel plans so she can stay home to watch election and budget coverage with a huge bucket of popcorn.

When she is not doting over her ‘fur-baby’, Jenna can be found actively supporting Melbourne Victory, or letting out her competitive nature during a ‘friendly’ game of mini-golf.

Lucy Norvill

Continuous Improvement Officer

Lucy’s many roles at Inclusion Melbourne include Continuous Improvement Officer, direct support professional, project worker and Leisure Buddy. (She finds the organisation infectious.) Her diverse skills allow her to ensure the organisation’s practice, policy and project work continually inform each other.

Although not diligent enough to have enrolled for her graduation ceremony, Lucy is the proud owner of a Bachelor of International Studies, with a particular interest in migrant and refugee communities and holds an award for academic achievement in Global Crime. Currently, Lucy is completing a Graduate Diploma of Adult Education and Training.
Lucy is keenly interested in the intersection between women’s empowerment and the gendered experience of people with an intellectual disability. When a small moment of spare time comes her way, Lucy writes for a sustainable marketing blog and makes promises to herself that she will one day return to reading for pleasure.

Paul Matley

Project Designer

Paul is an accomplished performer, dancer and public speaker.  The former Ambassador for Emotion 21, Paul has performed and presented at the World Down Syndrome Congress in South Africa and India. Working part time assisting the facilitation of recreation activities at a local aged care home, Paul still has time to pursue his passion for the arts. At present he does theatre work with Rawcus and recently completed a collaborative piece called ‘Inkrewsive’ with the 2Hot2Handle hip hop crew. Paul loves his work, his life and especially his independence.

“Let nature takes its course or go with the flow, enjoy life, have fun, respect every day and never let opportunities slip through your fingers.”

Paul, 2015

Marita Dunphy

Communications and Grants Officer

Marita Dunphy is the Communications & Grants Officer at Inclusion Melbourne and has experience in both the commercial and community sectors, having previously led corporate bid submissions as well as working with the Centre for Excellence in Child & Family Welfare, developing materials for foster caring and championing the important role of caring for children in out-of-home care. Marita and her husband currently foster children for emergency and respite care.

Alexandra Lewis Gargett

Project Officer

Alexandra is leading the Legal Access project at Inclusion Melbourne. This project will produce resources for supporting people with intellectual disability to understand and use the legal system.

Alexandra is deeply committed to the values of social inclusion and believes that everyone thrives in a community that is built on these principles.  She has worked for 10 years as a physiotherapist in community disability services in Sydney and Melbourne. In 2011 she decided to pursue a research career to better understand the social barriers that limit the participation of people with a disability in our society. Since that time she has worked as a research associate at the University of Sydney on projects for the Centre for Disability Research and Policy and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Workforce Development in Rehabilitation and Long Term Care at the University of Sydney exploring the inclusion of people with a disability in international and community development activities. Her experience as a physiotherapist working with CALD communities also prompted her to explore cultural perspectives of disability through a PhD thesis.

She continues her work with the University of Sydney part time “on her other days”. On the “rest of her days” she spends her time retrieving a toddler from the top of jungle gyms and kicking a football (the round variety) around a field with a great group of women.