Board Members




Dr. Sophie Holmes - Chairperson

Dr. Sophie Holmes has 30 years experience as a Consultant Psychologist. Since 1996 she has provided intellectual and clinical leadership as the Director of Williams Road Family Therapy Centre, which is a leading training provider in family therapy and also a broad range of psychological services to families. She was born in Australia of Polish parents who came to Australia as refugees after World War II. Her parents passed on their language, culture and a strong sense of social justice.

Dr. Sophie Holmes has a longstanding special interest in disabilities and improving the mental health of all families, particularly CALD families. As Director of the Williams Road Family Therapy she has drawn together a team of family psychologists, social workers and counsellors who provide services in at least 12 different languages.

Dr. Holmes personally supervises and trains practitioners to work with families where a family member has a chronic disability, mental illness, developmental/ intellectual and physical disability. Some practitioners have developed programs and methods to work with children and families where the parents have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

Dr. Holmes was a founding member of the Board of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) initially in the role of Secretary and then the Chair of the Ethics Committee. She is a delegate to the PACFA Council and is also currently on the board of the Australian Association of Family Therapy (AAFT) holding the position of Treasurer, and is a former president of AAFT.



Jan Ginis - Deputy Chair

Jan is employed as a Specialist Audiologist and Clinical Adviser with Australian Hearing. As part of her role, she is required to deliver academic and other papers internationally and around Australia.  She joined the Board of Management in 2000 at the annual general meeting.



Gillian Meakin - Treasurer

Gillian is an experienced executive manager with a commitment to compassion, dignity and social justice. A qualified CPA, Gillian has over 20 years experience in financial and corporate services management in public sector and not-for-profit organisations both in the UK and Australia including:  aged care, social care, education (schools & tertiary), state and local government. Gillian is currently General Manager Finance, Business and Innovation in the Department of Justice and Regulation.



Joan Cooney - Secretary

Joan brings to ADEC experience in the disability sector, having worked in organisations both in Australia and overseas. She also has extensive governance experience having served on several Boards.

Joan has been a long term advocate for adults and children, having worked in special education settings. Spanning over 40 years she has worked in Australia and Africa.

Between 2004 and 2008 Joan worked at ADEC as the Manager Access, Equity and Education. She is currently working at Annecto, a community based organisation in a strategic partnership management position, liaising with universities, schools, businesses, community and allied health.

Joan is passionate about people's rights and is a strong advocate for the civil liberties of refugees and asylum seekers.



Dr Hua Cao - Board Member

Dr Hua Cao was a qualified medical doctor in China. In 1987, she migrated to Australia to pursue her Ph.D in Psychiatry.

Having a strong interest in Chinese Medicine, Dr Cao also gained a Bachelor degree of Applied Science, majoring in Chinese Medicine. From 2000 to 2004, Dr Cao worked at ADEC as the Coordinator for the Transcultural Mental Health Access Program.  She has also worked for the Northern and Melbourne Division of General Practice from 2004 to 2006 as the Coordinator of the Better Outcomes in Mental Health programme.

Currently, Dr Cao is working as a private Chinese medicine practitioner and China regional director at the Health Careers International Inc.

Since 1994, Hua has heavily been involved in the mainland Chinese Community. She has been the committee member and the Secretary General of the North East Member Chinese Association for over 20 years.



Jimmy Jacob - Board Member

Jimmy Jacob is a senior financial accountant who has high expertise in accounting and finance. His international work experience and proficiency spans across sectors such as Management, Finance, Cost accounting, Compliance, Sales, Manufacturing and Education.

He continues to collaborate, coordinate and work with non-profit management committees and Boards. His leadership is underpinned with innovative and accountable working style. He has been successfully delivering viable financial decisions and feasible business solutions from the beginning of his career.

Currently, Jimmy is the Company secretary to Health Careers International Pty Ltd, Institute of Health and Management Pty Ltd and HCI Holdings Pty Ltd. He holds a master’s degree in business administration and bachelor’s degree in Commerce.  He is also Associate member of CPA Australia, member of Australian Institute of Company Directors and Affiliated Member of the Governance Institute of Australia.