Professor Rhonda Galbally AC has been a CEO, Chair and board member for over thirty years, across business and the not for profit sector, the public sector and philanthropy.
As a woman with a lifelong disability, Professor Galbally first began focusing on disability rights and policy in the early 1980s while working at the Victorian Council for Social Services. Professor Galbally next became the CEO of the Sidney Myer Fund and the Myer Foundation, in that role she served as Chair of the Australian Association of Philanthropy.
Professor Galbally was appointed as the founding CEO of a number of new organisations, including the Australian Commission for the Future, the Australian International Health Institute, the Australian National Preventative Health Agency and Our Community Pty Ltd. Professor Galbally established the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) as the first organisation in the world to use a levy on tobacco for tobacco control, reducing demand for alcohol, tackling risk factors for heart disease, cancer and diabetes, injury prevention, sexual health and mental health promotion. Professor Galbally was appointed as the Independent Chair of the Review of Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Legislation (the Galbally Review).
Professor Galbally chaired the Royal Women's Hospital. She was a member of the expert four-person panel that developed the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. Professor Galbally then went on to chair the Federal Government's National People with Disability and Carers' Council.
Professor Galbally was a board member of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and Principal Member of the Independent Advisory Council which provided advice to the NDIA about the importance of self-determination, social and economic inclusion, peer support and contemporary living models including the right to a mainstream life for people with disabilities.
With a career spanning many decades and positions at the highest levels, Professor Galbally considers that a highlight was developing the National Disability and Carer Alliance that brought together people with disabilities, families and carers with services to campaign for the National Disability insurance Scheme by developing the Every Australian Counts Campaign.
In accepting the role of Commissioner, Professor Galbally is keen to utilise what she has learned from her broad experience which gives her a detailed understanding of some of the major interfacing systems, including health, education, justice and housing. But most of all Professor Galbally brings decades listening to and working shoulder-to-shoulder with people with disabilities and families in fighting for the human right to be able to live lives fully in the community, without fear of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.