Current Committee Members


VALID is an independent incorporated association managed by a committee of management. The VALID Committee of Management is elected annually by the members of the association. The VALID Committee is supported and informed by the VALID Self Advocacy Forum, a sub-committee of members drawn from VALID's Regional Self Advocacy Networks. VALID’s Constitution states that two people with disabilities must be elected by the Self Advocacy Forum each year to join the Committee of Management.

Committee Members 

President John Handley

Vice President Janice Castledine

Second Vice President John Leatherland

Treasurer Peter Dibbs

Secretary Deb Johnson

Committee Member Thea Calzone 

Committee Member Mark Thompson 

Peer Action Group Representative Mary Nickson

Having a Say Local Refererence Committee Representative Leah Scott

Self-Advocate Representative Jane Neubeker

Self-Advocate Representative Shannon Joyce

Peter Dibbs

Former TAFE Accounting and Business teacher (20 plus years!). Peter also ran his own Tax Practice from home in Mentone until 2014 when he decided it was time to go to full time fun mode.

A dedicated traveller who in 2015 added Alaska to the beautiful spots visited since first leaving Australia over 40 years ago. Hopeful of becoming a Grey Nomad but currently not in possession of a caravan. A disappointed but hopeful Demons follower.  Enthusiasms: Good food, red wine, red sports cars, jazz and group exercise classes.

Deb JohnsonDebs Johnson

Debs is a married mum of four and a retired SRN/midwife.  Her eldest two sons, Will and Andrew, have autism and multiple disabilities and are in DHHS residential care, yet still needing frequent assistance from their mum!  Daughter, Holly, is doing Occupational Therapy at Monash Uni and her youngest son, Lachie, also has autism and is making friends and doing well at his local high school. 

Debs was part of the VALID Fight the Fee Hike campaign and loves being on the VALID committee. She has lobbied on disability-related issues and is passionate about the impact of privatisation of the disability sector upon DHHS residents. In her spare hours, Deb loves photography, gardening, the Geelong Cats and completing Sudoku puzzles without cheating. 


Janice Castledine

Janice is currently employed as an Economist in the banking industry. During the course of her career Janice has lived and worked overseas in many countries which has given her ‘the wander lust’ and really enjoys travelling. Being a Melbourne girl, footy is always on the menu, along with live theatre, movies, horse racing, and catching up with family and friends.

Janice advocates for many families and especially families who may have a family member with behaviors of concern.  Janice co-facilitates a Peer Action Group for Valid for families who have a family member who displays behaviors of concern. Janice is currently holding the position of Vice President of VALID.

Janice is a mother of two young men, one of whom has profound Autism.  He is the reason why Janice is passionate for social justice for all people with a disability.


Thea Calzoni

Thea Calzoni is an independent writer and parent support facilitator at Melbourne City Mission. Mother of Julian, a vibrant young man with an intellectual disability, she values government and community support to enhance the capacity of people with disabilities


John Handley

John was a solicitor in Melbourne and Shepparton for 11 years until he accepted an appointment to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal as a senior member in 1989. Prior to retirement in 2015, he additionally had responsibilities for the Tribunals mediation practice, case management and was responsible for the NDIA list in the Victorian registry.  He has subsequently completed a Cert. IV in Disability, volunteers one day pw at the Lower Plenty site of Araluen and provides monthly summaries of AAT and Federal Court decisions of NDIA appeals to the advocacy team at VALID.