Meet Cara’s Chief Executive and Executive Team

Cara’s Executive team are focused on Cara’s strategic objectives and transformation, to provide the very best service of to our most important stakeholders – children and adults with disability.

Liz Cohen

Chief Executive

Cara is an organisation that is committed, as I am, to empower people with disabilities to live a rich and independent life. I feel very privileged to lead the team at Cara, the work we are doing in the disability sector is some of the most rewarding work in the world.”

Transformation is key to Liz Cohen’s leadership of Cara. Liz has led Cara since 2015, in its journey from the disability service provider’s traditional block-funded, “not for profit” to an innovative, values-driven “profit for purpose” organisation. Liz has recommitted Cara to high-quality support services so customers can lead fulfilling, everyday lives with choice and control over their goals, big and small.

Liz has developed Cara’s new vision, brand, business model and the promise which Cara’s staff work by every day – we find possible. Under Liz’s leadership, Cara has welcomed record numbers of staff to the organisation, employing more than 1100 people, grown revenue to turn over more than $90 million annually, and expanded into new regional areas of South Australia to support more children and adults with disability.

With more than 30 years’ experience in the disability, education and health sectors, Liz has a keen interest in the way technology can support increased independence for people with disability. Liz is the 2020 SA Telstra Businesswoman of the Year “For Purpose and Social Enterprise”, Chair of the Health, Disability, Aged Care and Community Services Industry Skills Council and member of the SA Skills Commission. She sits on the Board of Ability First Australia and the Human Services Skills Organisation and is a member of the SA State Committee of National Disability Services.

Liz is pictured with Cara customer Jen, who lives with support from Cara in Supported Independent Living.

Todd is looking at Anton and smiling, and Anton is laughing. Anton uses a wheelchair.

Todd Williams

Executive Manager – Quality & Safeguarding

“I’m passionate about creating new and better ways of supporting people with disability, seeing our customers thriving, trying new things and developing in ways they never thought possible.” 

Todd has an extensive background in delivering human services, having worked in government and not-for-profit agencies in Australia and the United Kingdom. As an Occupational Therapist, Todd has worked in a range of areas including acute public health, community aged care, rural and remote therapy services and specialist home modification. He specialises in business systems analysis and tailoring services and programs to suit customer needs.

Todd also has a long-term passion for improving the options for Specialist Disability Accommodation, and has a thorough understanding of the connection between disability supports and disability housing. Todd has an undergraduate Bachelor Degree in Occupational Therapy, and is working towards completing his Masters in Business Administration.

Todd is pictured with Anton, who lives with support from Cara in Supported Independent Living.

Kerry Presser

Executive Manager – Operations

 “I love the difference that our committed staff make to our customers’ wellbeing, independence and enjoyment of life. Every step forward is incredibly important, no matter how small that step is.”

Kerry has held executive positions in education and disability sectors across South Australia and Victoria.

Kerry has led the transition of Cara’s services to the National Disability Insurance Scheme and in doing so, has ensured that Cara’s purpose remains central – keeping customers safe and empowering them for greater independence. Kerry’s leadership has been integral to implementation of significant change and building capacity within her portfolio. Under her leadership, Cara’s services have strengthened customer service, the protection of customers’ rights, person-centred approaches, service quality and management.

Kerry is pictured with Kirstie, who lives with support from Cara in Supported Independent Living.

Marcus Gehrig

Executive Manager – Customer Experience, Marketing & Communications

“At Cara, our customers are at the heart of everything we do. Our number one priority is ensuring our customers are given the best experience possible and I’m thrilled to lead Cara in that endeavour. Our rapid growth as an organisation is a true testament to our programs and supports.”

Marcus is passionate about the experience of Cara’s people, from the newest customer to the most experienced Support Worker.

Marcus has an extensive background in marketing and customer experience across a number of high-profile disability organisations and media companies. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Australia, he is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and he has undertaken a range of contemporary studies in business management and planning.

His focus is on ensuring Cara has the right staff available at the right time to work alongside our customers and that customers and their families have an exceptional experience throughout every step of their journey.

Marcus is pictured with Karyn, who lives with support from Cara in Supported Independent Living.

Lorraine Johnston

Executive Manager – Employee Experience & Workforce Development

“Cara’s reputation as an employer and provider of choice puts us in good stead to continue growing our workforce and customer base. It’s a privilege to play a role in shaping our staff cohort by employing skilled, passionate and professional staff to work alongside people with disabilities.”

Lorraine’s passion for people has seen her forge a fruitful career in human resources, with her senior leadership experience spanning across a range of fields. Her professional history includes executive roles in the commercial, health, community and regulatory sectors.

Lorraine earned a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Management from the University of South Australia and has undertaken a range of supplementary studies in business and assessment. As a leader in workforce development, Lorraine’s focus is on creating and sustaining a high-performing workforce, that delivers quality services and support to Cara’s customers.

Lorraine is pictured with Libby, who lives with support from Cara in Supported Independent Living.

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