About us

Learn more about the ICLA community.

Our History

ICLA was first established in 1984 to aid a group of boarding house residents in Bondi who were facing eviction. “Rotorua” was a privately-operated boarding house for more than ten years, providing secure, supported accommodation for up to 29 people with psychosocial disabilities. When the property was put up for sale, the residents again faced the insecure tenancy and lack of support often experienced by people living with complex mental illnesses.

A group of local community health workers, students and family members formed the Independent Community Living Association, and were able to negotiate with the NSW Department of Housing to secure appropriate alternative accommodation.

The original mission of ICLA was to promote acceptance, interaction and participation in the wider community with the aim of supporting people with psychosocial disabilities to live in shared accommodation, and avoid homelessness, institutionalisation, hospitalisation or living in sub-standard homes.

Today, Independent Community Living Australia (ICLA) is a not for profit Australian company limited by guarantee, which employs over 130 people and delivers mental health and psychosocial disability services and supports across NSW and delivers virtual peer support Australia wide.

Our Employees

Our values underpin all our work, and our way of operating.

We recognise that diversity in our workforce contributes to ICLA’s success and benefits our employees, and people we support. We support an inclusive working environment, providing equality and fairness in all ICLA functions, from employment to the provision of services. We are a proud member of ACON’s Welcome Here Project.

We are committed to developing and growing our people whilst creating a workplace that supports and encourages our staff to participate in a range of professional development, learning and wellbeing initiatives.

Our Stories


“I enjoy working at ICLA because the work is always interesting and the people I work with are passionate about improving the lives of the people we support. I like knowing that the ultimate goal of the work I do is to benefit people. ICLA has provided me with good opportunities for career progression and to gain experience in different areas of the organisation.”

Annika’s career journey with ICLA commenced in 2018 as an Executive Assistant and Annika has held various roles such as Embark Project Manager and NDIS Navigator, Quality Advisor and most recently promoted to Quality and Engagement Manager.


“I joined ICLA as my professional background is in community mental health supporting vulnerable people and leading staff and teams. ICLA felt like the right fit for me along with the values they hold and mission they are striving to achieve in the mental health space. I enjoy working at ICLA as I’ve experienced a positive and supportive team culture across all levels of management which has allowed me to settle into the organisation and my role comfortably and confidently. I love my job, the people I work with and the opportunity to facilitate change and make a difference with staff and consumers”

Noura is one of our recent hires and works as our Site Leader, managing our Site Supervisors to help ensure that the people we support in our Supported Independent Living program are living their best life and are achieving their goals.

Our Board

Nigel Harvey 

For the past decade, Nigel Harvey has been a Director of Independent Community Living Australia (ICLA) and has Chaired the ICLA Board for the last 4 years. Nigel has extensive experience in the financial world, with over two decades worth of work in the financial commodity markets and corporate finance. Nigel has specialised in the Asia Pacific region including China for energy price hedging and has over 10 years’ experience in business journalism based in London and the Middle East. Nigel has a passion for leading in the non-for-profit sector, having been Director of a surf club and other non-for-profits.  

Nick Coles 

Nick Coles started his working life in executive recruitment in the financial markets. Since then, he has spent the majority of his working life in financial markets research, initially conducting competitor analyses of the investment banking industry. Nick’s research now has a particular focus on investor sentiment of the S&P/ASX200. Nick developed a proprietary, fully integrated, technology platform to run annual research projects and provide clients with sophisticated, actionable insights and analytics. 

Gaybrielle Robinson

Gabbi has almost 20 years’ experience working for organisations with a social purpose. With quality management experience across mental health and addictions, disability, aged care and international quality, risk, health and clinical standards she brings a strong knowledge of regulatory compliance. Gabbi has a keen interest in understanding the experience of people and ensuring compliance has a person-centred approach and provides in-depth understanding of the intricacies of managing compliance within an evolving client care environment.

Jorida Zeneli

Jori’s mission is to contribute to one of society’s greatest challenges – equitable and accessible health care services for everyone through innovative models of care, effective allocation of resources, and technology. With a background in international health economics, public policy and business administration, Jorida has worked in the US, Europe and Australia across Federal and State Government agencies, private and non-for-profit sectors. Jorida specialises on health and social services, investment management, health promotion, disease prevention and social determinants of health and is passionate about mental health and wellbeing.

Rebecca Thompson 

Rebecca’s career has focused on financial markets with senior roles at investment banks J.P. Morgan, Citigroup and Credit Suisse, and more recently in the capital advisory business at KPMG. Currently a director and co-founder of MarketMeter, an interactive market insights company, Rebecca’s goal is to promote corporate best practice and facilitate responsible investment practices. Outside the corporate arena, Rebecca uses her financial and analytical skills toward supporting the non-for-profit sector and in particular, the area of mental health. With personal experience of the toll mental illness takes on families and friends, Rebecca is passionate about making a difference in the lives of those affected. 

Mark Spurr

Mark has senior leadership experience with commercial and Not-for-Profit organisations including Goodman Fielder, Meat and Livestock Australia, The Smith Family and Disability Services Australia. He is currently involved in leadership development as a Hub Chair with Non Profit Australia (NPA). Board experience includes roles as Director, Managing Director and Company Secretary in Commercial, Not-for-Profit and International Business Councils. He is a Bachelor of Business Studies, Fellow Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Certified Practicing Accountant.

John Della Bosca

Throughout his professional career and personal life, John has maintained a strong interest in policy development particularly disability and Drug and alcohol policy. He has demonstrated this through his leadership of large progressive organisations such as the General Secretary of the ALP, as a social reformer while in a leadership role in the NSW Government. Later as an advocate for the disadvantaged and marginalized he has had successes in changing government positions, the most outstanding examples being the establishment of Sydney’s Medically Supervised Injecting Center and his role as Every Australian Counts Campaign Director. During his career John has served on a large number on NGO, government, private and cultural boards. John is currently a professional consultant in the disability and Mental health areas and had a stint as Research Director at the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University until October 2020.