Our Team | Our People at Forward Ability Support

Our team

David Clarke

Chief Executive Officer, MBA, FAICD

I joined the organisation we now know as Forward because I admired what we do and because I could see the enormous potential. When I first started working at ParaQuad, we were in a position of change. We were growing rapidly, and in many ways, we had “outgrown our shoes”. We were aware that the brand of ParaQuad NSW was becoming a limiting factor in us being able to expand to being Australia-wide. Additionally, we knew that we wanted our identity to reflect our optimism and energy for the future. Working at Forward Ability Support has allowed me to steer these developments and set the course for a broader and brighter tomorrow.

I am looking forward to supporting and fostering the same development and growth at Forward as I have championed in other organisations I have led. I want us to expand our support services for people with spinal cord injuries living in the community. Our best way to do this is to ensure our services are operationally and financially strong while underpinning our entire operation through our efficient and competitively strong social enterprise of BrightSky. I am looking forward to establishing the brand of Forward Ability Support as a recognised leader speaking and acting on behalf of those living with SCI in the community, ensuring we have a future that spans a further 60 years.

Anuja Sawant

Clinical Operations Manager, Board Certified Occupational Therapist (USA)

My name is Anuja Sawant. As the Clinical Operations Manager at Forward,  my role is focused on establishing efficient systems to strengthen service delivery and improve outcomes for our clients.

With a Business background in Public Relations I believe that positive interactions and ongoing communications should be at the core of any organisation’s service delivery. I believe in our shared organisational vision of supporting staff and clients with navigating the NDIS journey. 

I am passionate about integrating NDIA policy into service operations and leading clinical teams through the NDIS while maintaining client relationships and service experience has been a significant accomplishment. In my current role I look forward to leading and supporting clinical teams to provide high quality, client focused and outcome driven services. 

Sarah Bowe

Director Home and Living Support, BA Psych

My name is Sarah Bowe and I am the Director of Home and Living Supports at Forward. I joined the organisation in April 2020 after working across a broad range of community, social and health organisations. In addition to my operational experience and Psychology qualifications, I bring my passion for social justice, equity and creating opportunities for people, together with my drive to contribute to my community. 

I love working at Forward because of the passionate history of grassroots advocacy that has led to meaningful improvements in support and services for people living with a spinal cord injury.

It is an organisation that prides itself on working with individuals to live their best life and supporting them where they are at in their journey to move forward. 

The team at Forward has a care factor that drives them and the passion of the team is evident every day. My role covers the support that we provide people living in the community, those that need specialised accommodation as well as those with higher care needs. Every day my team works hard to make a difference in the lives of those we support and they know that every day matters. Joining Forward and my role as a Director has been a highlight of my career to date and I look forward to many more years working with this great team. 

Rashmi Dixit-Sharma


My name is Rashmi Dixit Sharma. My role at Forward is the Head of People and Culture. I completed my honours in psychology, a diploma in computer programming, trained as a special educator and went on to do my post graduate qualification in Human Resources. I commenced with Forward in January 2019. 

I joined Forward because I have grown up seeing the impact of serious injury on a person’s life and on their family and loved ones. I am passionate about an equitable world where people with disabilities have equal opportunities and the ability to live an ordinary life with dignity and support. 

Forward is committed to ensuring the best life for their clients, employees and community. As someone who is responsible for people and culture, I see this first hand. Everyday, I am in awe of the work that we do, and our focus on doing what’s right, what’s good. I love working with the amazing people at forward who bring their expertise and understanding to everyday matters and make sure that we move forward every day. 

I am excited to witness Forward becoming an Employer of Choice.

Nicholas Edwards

Chief Clinical & Quality Advisor

My name is Nicholas Edwards, and I am the Chief Clinical & Quality Advisor. Having over 30 years of healthcare, quality, and executive leadership experience, I joined Forward as I recognised and respected Forward’s longstanding commitment to supporting the SCI and wider community. Over the last 60 years, Forward has developed a network of supports and services which has paved the way for it being recognised as a leader in providing clinical expertise and care in the area of SCI.

I am proud to be part of Forward and appreciate the importance of my role in ensuring that Forward and its staff strive to provide safe, competent and expert care and services to everyone that we support. My position is dual faceted; in that I oversee both the clinical and quality roles of the Forward Ability Support care staff, and the social enterprise elements of BrightSky Australia with its delivery of consumable products throughout Australia. I am excited to be working with the Forward team as we embark on extending Forwards services and expertise to the greater SCI community and beyond. 

Melissa Decker

Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary, Chartered Accountant CAANZ, B.Com Accounting

My name is Melissa Decker. I joined Forward as the Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary in 2021. When I am not at work, I love catching up with family and friends, traveling, playing sports and waterskiing.

My experience as a Chartered Accountant for 28+ years has provided me with valuable skills and expertise in the areas of professional and commercial accounting. As a member of Executive Leadership Teams, I have been able to assist with the development and implementation of organisational strategic plans, policies and procedures and information systems to support decision making.

My role as Company Secretary has elements of compliance and performance. This includes ensuring the expectations of the Board are met and ensuring we comply with our Governance Framework and statutory reporting obligations.

I joined Forward because I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of others. This includes my team, my colleagues, and the wider community. I believe that wherever you are in life there are always opportunities for achievement, and I am a strong believer that by working together we can achieve more.

I enjoy working at Forward because I get to work with a great team who share a common vision and values. My experience and involvement with Forward have provided me with a better understanding of SCI and an appreciation of the needs of our SCI community. I am looking forward to partnering with Forward to ensure we can continue to make a difference in as many lives as possible.

Adrian Smith

Operations Director, Brightsky Australia

I am Adrian Smith and I joined BrightSky Australia in October 2022 as Operations Director. I have over 25 years of experience working within an FMCG environment, in all facets of business including manufacturing, customer support, warehousing, logistics, marketing and end-to-end supply chain. I have also gained experience working in the disability sector in supported employment, training and accommodation when the NDIS was being rolled out to the sector.

I joined Forward and BrightSky because I am passionate about our clients and customers, and have seen first-hand how they rely on our social enterprise, BrightSky, to support their day-to-day needs. I enjoy working at BrightSky, supporting our team to make a positive impact, and driving the business in the direction that best suits our customers.

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