The board of People With Disability Australia is pleased to announce that following an internal recruitment process, PWDA’s Interim CEO Sebastian Zagarella has accepted an offer from the Board to become PWDA’s CEO on a permanent basis. The appointment is effective immediately.
Mr Zagarella joined PWDA as Interim CEO in December 2020 and over the last nine months has overseen a comprehensive program of operational reforms in addition to leading PWDA’s external and internal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to working with PWDA, Mr Zagarella held senior roles at UTS College, NRMA, Qantas and Sydney Airport. He has also been a Board Director of Positive Life NSW for over five years. He is an accomplished senior professional with extensive operational experience across corporate, membership and not-for-profit organisations.
PWDA President Samantha Connor: “Mr Zagarella delivered exceptional performance and leadership during his time as Interim CEO and so the Board is delighted to welcome him as PWDA’s permanent CEO.
“The last year has been a significant time for PWDA as an organisation due to the impact of the COVID pandemic as well as a range of operational and governance issues.
“In spite of the turmoil, Mr Zagarella’s stewardship of PWDA has been exemplary and we look forward to him continuing to lead the organisation with great commitment, enthusiasm, ambition and success.”
PWDA CEO Sebastian Zagarella: “PWDA is a vital organisation for advancing the rights and wellbeing of people with disability or who are d/Deaf, not just here in Australia but around the world.
“I’m honoured and grateful to be given the opportunity to lead PWDA as CEO on a permanent basis and I look forward to continuing the work that I’ve started to ensure PWDA continues to deliver important outcomes for the people and communities we serve.
“Having lived experience of disability but being new to the disability sector and PWDA, the last nine months have provided me with a comprehensive insight into disability advocacy as well as disability health and rights. I also have a much greater appreciation of the incredible diversity, dynamism and determination of the disability community as well as the team at PWDA.
“So I would like to personally thank my colleagues across PWDA and the disability sector for making me feel so welcome and for supporting and guiding me. I look forward to continuing to work closely with so many talented and passionate people.”