Will is 26 years old and has played and loved cricket since he was seven years of age. Will lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder which means he cannot read or write and finds conversational communication challenging. His fine and gross motor skills are affected which means he cannot do the most basic daily tasks and requires assistance with certain aspects of his daily life.
Will has become the inspiration behind Willo and travels to every community to invite people to get to know him on behalf of all those who live with intellectual challenges.
He is inspiring and influential because he lives life authentically and by example, and inspires people to see beyond the label, the behaviour and the perceived disabilites. To affect one person at a time means we can affect the behaviour of communities to be more inclusive.
He is our champion and inspiration.
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency, Mrs Hurley
Linda and I are delighted to become Joint Patrons of Where There’s a Will.
We have had the pleasure of meeting Will and the team. Will’s passion and enthusiasm are infectious and what Where There’s a Will has accomplished is highly impressive. From a simple idea – teaching Will skills through refurbished cricket bats – to a growing community across Australia, Where There’s a Will is having a big impact. They are creating awareness about the ability in disability and encouraging communities to come together to integrate and support those with a disability.
It is an uplifting and inspiring journey and Linda and I are delighted to be part of it. We look forward to supporting the team as joint Patrons and encourage all Australians to join us.
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd)
WILLO BOARD MEMBERS
Founder & CEO
Ange is the Founder of Where There’s A Will and mum to Will Clarke, the inspiration behind Where There’s A Will.
Ange has created many inclusive programs over the past 24 years to ensure Will and many others like Will have options and choice to lead fullfilling lives and feel they truly belong in their communities. She has championed inclusion and choice for 24 years and has been a passionate advocate and voice for those who do not have a voice.
When there were no community sports Ange helped administer Special Olympics to her region. When there were no cricket events that catered for Will’s passion Ange created the ANZAC Day cricket match on Bradman Oval and supported the Dream Cricket Program with Patron The Hon John Howard OM AC.
When there were no music options Ange created SING. An event that brought together 11 choirs from around the region who mentored people with intellectual disabilities for three months and gave them an experience unlike anything they experienced previously. It concluded with a concert with each choir singing their song and then coming together as a mass choir of 450 singers and an audience of 850.
When Will left school and Ange realised there were limited work options and no clear pathway for his future, she founded Where There’s A Will.
Ange now knows her greatest challenge lies ahead … inspiring every community in Australia to be truly inclusive.
Paul specialises in aviation and is a skilled professional and senior naval officer with over thirty years experience in Defence. Paul has held significant managerial and leadership positions with the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Air Arm where he has served as Chief of Staff and more recently has Commanded a Squadron of over 200 service men and women. Influential with excellent communication skills, Paul thrives on leading and working with people and has an extensive network both inside and outside of Defence. Paul’s core strengths are his proven interpersonal skills and his ability to establish connections, where he has a natural ability to engage and influence and build meaningful relationships. Paul’s passion lies in leadership and cultural development with a particular focus on building trusting and collaborative teams founded on positive relationships and rapport, demonstrated good judgment and expertise, and consistency in decision making.
Paul is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Company Director’s Course (GAICD) and lives on the South Coast of New South Wales with his wife, Sarah and three grown-up daughters.
Paul felt privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to the community out of uniform and to use his experience and skills to influence a broader community view of inclusivity.
Geoff has over 30 years’ experience in people management and cultivating relationships with many organisations throughout Australia. His focus has always been to develop long term relationships and deliver enduring value for clients. Geoff’s passion is business development, his family and community.Geoff has owned and managed companies across numerous industries. The experiences gained through operating those businesses and working with so many people, drives his passion to connect with people and understand their needs and goals. His inquisitive nature and willingness to learn has allowed him to connect people and solve complex problems.
Geoff was raised on a family property near Orange in the Central West of NSW and now lives in Port Macquarie on the Mid North Coast of NSW with his wife Natalie and their three adult children. His contribution to community includes holding executive roles in the Junior Surf Life Saving Community, Port Macquarie and Wauchope Chambers of Commerce as well as being the Regional Manager of the NSW Business Chamber.
Geoff is Ange’s big brother and Will’s uncle. He was humbled to be asked to join them in their quest to change the way we see disability and build a stronger foundation around inclusive communites.
As an educator I have learned: to work with people where they are, figure out their needs and to be prepared to add value to their lives. It takes passion and motivation to teach, imagination and humour to keep people checked in, and empathy and patience to provide them with what they need. I’m a big believer in giving learners the opportunity to unlock their own potential and the power to believe in themselves.
As a highly qualified teacher, manager and educational consultant, with expertise in learning disabilities, I’ve enjoyed a successful career working in a diverse range of roles and settings. I have worked as a teacher P-12, in leadership roles in mainstream and special education settings, and as a consultant, assessor, trainer, manager, director and CEO in the not for profit and corporate sectors.
I also employ these strengths in managing my own business as a special education consultant specialising in learning difficulties and disabilities. In 2004, I established Make the Connection – Education Services which continues to grow and develop to meet the growing needs within this field. As the conduit between research, best practice and clients, I am passionate about increasing awareness of learning disabilities, by working directly with students, offering advice to families and providing professional development for educators
Simon Bouda began his journalism career in 1976 as a part-time copyboy for News Limited where he worked for four years before moving to the Daily Telegraph in 1980. While there, he covered everything from finance to police rounds.
Simon reported on the Thredbo landslide tragedy. In 1999, he covered the peace-keeping effort in East Timor as he travelled with the Australian forces on day one of the mission. In 2000, while covering the Fijian Coup, Bouda survived an attack in which a cameraman was shot. In the same year, he moved to London to work as a Nine News correspondent.
From London, Bouda reported on all major news events in Europe and the Middle East including the war in Afghanistan, September 11, the deaths of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, the Manchester Commonwealth Games and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
At the end of 2004 Bouda joined A Current Affair as a senior reporter based in Sydney. Within a few weeks he was assigned to cover the Boxing Day tsunami, which claimed an estimated 300,000 lives across Asia. Bouda arrived in Sri Lanka within 24 hours of the disaster and filed reports and live cross for A Current Affair and Nine News as well as the network’s other news programmes . He returned to the Nine News team in February 2007.
Simon Bouda is the author of three books. His most recent, Survival, is the story of the Thredbo landslide, which was made into a telemovie. He lives in Waverley in Sydney with his wife and two children.