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Board of Vision Australia convenes a Client Reference Group to gain advice and feedback on specific matters relating to the experience of our clients and direction of the organisation. This Group operates under Vision Australia's Client Reference Group Charter (Word, 45KB)

The Client Reference Group was established in October 2015.

The Vision Australia Board appoints members to the Group for a three year term. The Client Reference Group meet in person with Vision Australia’s Board twice a year, and at other times via teleconference.

Expressions of Interest in becoming a member of the Client Reference Group are invited through Vision Australia's website and social media platforms, in the FYI electronic newsletter, throughout the blindness and low vision community, through email lists and our Local Vision Australia Centres. Expressions of Interest are sought as vacancies become available.

The Vision Australia Board has appointed the following members to the Client Reference Group.

Nadia Mattiazzo

Nadia is sitting on the grass with her black Labrador Seeing Eye Dog, Olympia, sitting in front of her.

Hi, I’m Nadia and I have been a handler for eight years and my current dog is a Labrador/golden retriever cross named Olympia. In the past, I have been a member of Vision Australia’s SEDA Client Advisory Committee. I also enjoy volunteering for SEDA at open days and public awareness events. As a member of SEDA’s volunteer speakers network, I derive great pleasure from talking to groups about the work that goes into training a Seeing Eye Dog and the independence which I experience as a handler. I am very passionate about the amazing work which SEDA does but am also keen to ensure that we strive for service excellence.

I am also a founding member (and current Vice President) of Dog Guide Handlers Australia. DGHA is a consumer group which provides a national voice for people who use dog guides and we are committed to achieving a consistently high level of support to all dog guide handlers across Australia.

I am keen to support you in any way I can in your journey as a SEDA client. And yes! I have cats too!

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (m) 0407 887 366


Paul Hedley

Portrait photo of Paul's face

My name is Paul Hedley and I have worked in manufacturing, in many different industries over the past 40 years and have always been interested in understanding and using technology to enhance our lives. I am currently working as a Product Support Engineer and since losing my vision around 3 years ago,armed with a can do attitude, I have embraced technology to help me get on with life. Vision Australia, has given me much support, to help get me mobile and back at work full time. VA have also provided a broad range of support in other aspects of my life.

I am excited to be part of the CRG and look forward to helping VA and everyone in the blind and low vision community, be the best  that they can be. 

Phone: 0439 912 156
Email: [email protected]


Marilyn Embelton


Portrait photo of Marylyn

My name is Marilyn Embelton. I have been legally blind since the age of 15. I grew up in Kenya but have lived the majority of my life in Australia. My lived experience of vision loss has been challenging.  The support of family, friends, professionals and services that offered creative solutions to my concerns have been extremely helpful. 

I have worked in various sectors of government and non government and have, for the last 25 years worked in schools as a counsellor. My qualifications are in welfare, social work and I have a Masters of Counselling.  

I am very pleased to be a member of the Client Reference Group.  I am very passionate about using this opportunity to help people of all ages with vision loss to have access to excellent choices for technology  and the ability to use it successfully. I look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions.

Email: [email protected]


Dino Farronato

I am a lawyer based in Melbourne and am passionate about equality of opportunity for all. My parents migrated to Australia in the early 1950s from Italy and I grew up in the cultural melting pot of Canberra in the 1960s and 1970s. Having lived and worked in Indonesia for 3 years and in Hong Kong for 8 years I have a broad understanding of cultural diversity.

I cherish the values of a multicultural Australia and have deep respect for the contributions made by members of the community from culturally diverse backgrounds. It is obvious that overlaying a disability with English as a second language can create additional hurdles to a full participation in community life.

The CALD portfolio has been newly created. I see my role on the CRG as being the voice of people with low or no vision who have a culturally diverse background or English as a second language. I am keen to communicate directly with individuals or organisations on how to improve the services offered by Vision Australia.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (m) +61 430 373 575


Peter Ward

Portrait photo of Peter

I am a consultant to Galbally & O'Bryan Lawyers. I was a Partner for 24 years. I was an advocate in criminal law, and I am anxious to use those skills to advance the rights of vision-impaired people. In addition, I served as a Director on the Board of Management of RUIB for 20 years.

It is my wish that vision-impaired people live the independent life and that they are afforded the opportunity to live their life with dignity.

Email: [email protected]
Phone (m): 0418 395 280