Ambassadors of the Illawarra Centre for Enablement (ICfE) share the values of the Centre and have themselves enabled individuals, organisations and communities to achieve their potential. They value respect, integrity and authenticity, and strive to make the world a better place for others which is the spirit underlying the aims of this Centre.

ICfE collaborates and stands together with them, and in particular with the Ambassador-in-Chief to achieve the vision of the Centre for the Illawarra community.  


Dr Michael Barbato


Dr Barbato has been in medical practice for more than 50 years and has been a palliative care physician for 30 years. During this time, he has held the positions of Medical Director at the Sacred Heart Hospice, Darlinghurst, NSW and the Palliative Care Unit at St Joseph’s Hospital, Auburn, NSW and was Director of Palliative Care for the ACT. Prior to his retirement in 2011 Michael did regular locum work for the Central Australia Palliative Care service. Together with his wife Ann he now runs courses on the art of midwifing death for professional and community groups. He has a long-standing interest in the care of the dying, the experience of unconsciousness and unusual events around the time of death. He has spoken at national and international conferences and is the author of three books on death and dying.

(photo Tina Fiveash)

Roy Rogers

Roy Rogers has significant experience in Construction, Marketing, Executive Management and Leadership. His experience has come from working with a variety of companies including BHP, EMAIL Group and The Flagstaff Group holding various positions from Construction Manager to General Manager and CEO. Roy has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Master of Management. Roy’s strengths are in developing strategies that lead business performance and growth, manage organisational change and developing organisational culture that improves personal growth and business performance. Roy takes an active role in the business and community being a member of the Business Chamber Regional Advisory Committee, mentor for the Leadership Illawarra development program for emerging leaders and a foundation supporter for the CEO Sleepout in the Illawarra. In 2016 Roy was the recipient of the Illawarra Business Chambers’ Leader of the Year Award. Roy Rogers is currently the CEO of Flagstaff. He is planning to expand the Flagstaff Group (which employs and assists hundreds of people) to mentor people with a disability who want to start their own business. He is also Deputy Chair of The Housing Trust, formed in the Illawarra in 1983 to prevent homelessness by providing community housing and is now the second-largest housing provider in the Illawarra delivering subsidised rental homes to over 2000 people.

Debra Murphy

Debra is an advocacy and strategy executive, with significant experience in the mining, infrastructure and industry association sectors.  Senior management roles previously held with Illawarra Business Chamber, BHP Billiton, Thiess and Australian Industry Group.  Management Consultant with BizVoice. Debra’s skills include proactive relationship development with clients, industry networks and government.  Strong lateral thinking, negotiation skills, stakeholder engagement, strategy development and attention to detail.  Strong change management and communication skills are used to turn strategy into action with payoffs. Debra has specialised in government liaison, advocacy and regulatory change, and has delivered on significant regional economic development projects including Port reforms, infrastructure and planning reforms. Debra is currently the CEO of Regional Development Australia Illawarra (RDA Illawarra). Debra has an MBA (with Merit) from the University of Wollongong. 

Professor Gordon Wallace AO

Gordon Wallace was born in the city of Belfast in Ireland where he attended primary school. His boyhood ambition was to become a professional soccer player. However, in 1972 his family emigrated to Australia and settled in Geelong where he completed his high school education. He became interested in Science while at Oberon High School.
He went to Deakin University in Geelong and played soccer for the local Geelong football club. Gordon Wallace played soccer for the All Australian University team winning a University Blue for Sport at Deakin.
Gordon Wallace graduated with a BSc Honours (Chemistry and Physics) in 1979 and then received a PhD in 1983. He returned to his home country, Ireland, where he lectured for two years at University College in Cork. In 1985 he decided to return to Australia to take up an appointment at the University of Wollongong (UOW). In 1990, at the age of 32, he was appointed a Professor. He has worked at UOW and lived in Wollongong for more than 30 years.
He was awarded an Australian Research Council QEII Fellowship in 1991, an ARC Senior Research Fellowship in 1995, an ARC Professorial Fellowship in 2002 and a Federation Fellowship in 2006. He was awarded a DSc from Deakin University in 2000. He has published more than 1,000 refereed research papers on inherently conducting polymers for intelligent material systems, as well as the book Organic Bionics. He has supervised the work of almost 100 PhD students. In addition to being awarded a number of research prizes, Gordon Wallace was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2003 and of the Australian Academy of Science in 2007.
He was appointed to the Prime Ministers Knowledge Nation 100 in 2015. He received the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science and Innovation in 2016.
He was named the 2017 NSW Scientist of the Year. He was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia and Wollongong’s Australia Day Ambassador in 2017.

Rodney Clark

Rodney Clark, Executive Manager Life Choices and Support of The Flagstaff Group has a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit and disability sector in areas of management, coaching disability support programs, event and project management. Rod currently manages the Life Choices Division at Flagstaff and is responsible for providing support and NDIS programs to over 250 people with disabilities through 11 capacity building programs. Rod has completed a Cert IV in Mental Health, Cert IV Training & Assessment, Cert IV in Disability Studies, Cert 3 in Frontline Management whilst he was in the Department of Defence and is the current scholarship winner of the Leadership Illawarra Program 2018-2020 Alumni.

Naomi Gates

Naomi Gates is the Director of Kiama Preschool. As a Preschool teacher, she has been teaching for 26 years. She graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Education in early childhood. Her passion for teaching thrives when working in early childhood education. To her, there is great joy in nurturing the growth and development of young children by both embracing and encouraging a child’s innate sense of wonder, enthusiasm and creativity. Naomi is very connected to the earth and shares her love of nature and connecting the outside world to visual arts with the children at preschool. She recognises that children learn and develop best when they are empowered as active agents in their own learning. Community is very important to Naomi and she recognises the strengths that others can bring to the young children, she is passionate about bringing recognition and respect of aboriginal culture into the lives of very young Australians. Naomi is surrounded by a loving family, with three children pursuing their own passions, she takes pride in being from a family who find joy in the work they do within their community.

Michael Foye

Michael has been involved in numerous community initiatives to assist various organisations including the Roo Theatre, CWA Kiama, Rotary Club Kiama and the Lions Club Kiama. Michael has also assisted in the production of events with diverse communities including youth in the Illawarra for the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women. Michael is an ICT specialist. With his wife Julie, he runs an ICT company and My Earth Internet, providing Internet and Phone to the masses. Michael’s talents in production come from a love of all things live: Theatre, Music and anything done really well.