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WAiS Associates

The WAiS Associates are people or organisations that we connect with, within our local, national and international community who align with our WAiS values, and whose expertise and experience we value.

Information about our Associates can be found below.

John O'Brien and Connie Lyle O'Brien


John O'Brien and his wife and partner Connie Lyle O'Brien have been in the forefront of thinking and creating precedent setting innovations that helped to created full lives for people with disability the world over.

In addition to developing many of the person centred planning approaches used internationally, training thousands of facilitators and human service workers, they have also been writers with enormous insight and sensitivity.

Beth Mount


Beth's life work of four decades is devoted to the possibility that all people, particularly people with disabilities, are seen in the light of their capacities and potential. Beth has been instrumental in the design and ongoing development of person centred planning thinking and approaches.

Beth grew up in Atlanta during the 1960‘s civil rights movement. Beth was influenced by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call to remember that “we are all tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”

Beth has worked with people from many of New York City’s 140 cultures for the past two decades and has confirmed her understanding of the many ways that Dr. King’s vision touches the hopes and dreams of people.

Find out more about Beth

Kate Fulton


Kate has an extensive history working across Human Services working in a variety of roles including Executive Manager, Business Development Manager and for many years Kate worked as a Senior Consultant for the national training and development agency in the UK, Paradigm. Kate is a recognised Fellow of The Centre for Welfare Reform.

Kate has published many articles and discussion papers examining the role of human services and its developing self directed agenda over the last few years. Kate is currently based in Perth, Western Australia working in an organisation Avivo and also supporting many organisations in Human Services to respond to the National Disability Insurance Agency and the Consumer Directed Care approach.

Sheldon Schwitek and Shelley Nessman


Shelley and Sheldon have been involved in the lives of people with disability for more than 30 years.

Their organisation, In the Company of Others  understands and promotes the power of relationships within organisations and the larger community in support of social justice issues.

Their approach is to strengthen the effectiveness of social justice work in organisations, teams and with people using a framework that encompasses mindfulness, kindness, a Culture of Gentleness and the honouring each persons’ gifts and capacities.

John Armstrong


John Armstrong has worked in government, non-government and in consultancy roles since early 70's as a teacher, principal, adviser and team leader.

He has also held statewide training roles – specifically associated with matters of fundamental service practice. He was for eight years a member of the Victorian Intellectual Disability Review Panel.

Having been introduced to Social Role Valorisation in the early 80's, he went on to train and receive recognition as a Senior SRV Trainer with Dr Wolfensberger and the Training Institute in Syracuse NY.

Since 1991 he has worked as a self-employed consultant across Australia and New Zealand conducting training, consultancy and evaluation.

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