Meet our newest team member, Liza Maclean!

We are so excited to welcome Liza Maclean to our team as the new Head of Technology Implementation! 

This role will facilitate collaboration with Remarkable and various departments in CPA including client services, research and other key stakeholders to ensure that people with disability have access to new and innovative technologies.  

We’re thrilled to have Liza’s experience both as an Occupational Therapist and leader in the field of assistive technology as well as her long standing commitment in providing mentoring support to our startups to bring to this new role. 

Get to know more about the amazing person Liza is in our Q&A below!

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BACKGROUND EXPERIENCE.

I am an Occupational therapist with over 25 years of experience working in the health, disability and injury management sectors. I have a background in assistive technology and am passionate about the power of technology to positively impact life for people with disabilities.
I’m also on the board of the Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association, the national peak body representing rehabilitation and assistive technology stakeholders and users in Australia.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO WORK WITH REMARKABLE?

I’ve been connected with Remarkable for several years now, through my previous role as investment manager for the icare/Remarkable partnership, and as a mentor through several programs. I’ve always been impressed with the passion and experience of the Remarkable team, the extensive network of mentors, coaches, investors and startups they have built, and their vision to improve the lives of people with disabilities all over the world.

I’m what they call a Cerebral Palsy Alliance ‘boomerang’ – I’m a returning staff member after a 10 year hiatus in government. My aim in coming back to CPA was to work for a purpose driven organisation whose vision and values aligned with mine. Following 12 months of getting to understand the business again in an acting role as Clinical Governance Manager, I was very excited to take up this opportunity to focus my knowledge, skills and passion in the emerging technology space which is a key priority for the new CPA strategic plan.

WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT STEPPING INTO THE NEW ROLE?

So many things! I’m excited about how we can better support our startups to engage with our clients, families, clinicians and other staff to help test and develop their products and services. I’m excited about helping to facilitate the connections between research, startups and the business to support the evaluation, acceleration and implementation of technology. Most of all I am excited about ensuring that our clients get access to emerging technologies that can enable their participation and potential.

HEADING INTO 2023 COULD YOU SHARE SOME OF THE GOALS THAT YOU’D LIKE TO ACHIEVE IN YOUR NEW ROLE NEXT YEAR?

I’m currently doing a lot of consultation with the business to understand the key needs and priorities for our clients and staff, opportunities for technology solutions to address these, as well as barriers and enablers to technology implementation.

I’m also keen to connect more with our startups to better understand what support they need from the business to be successful at different stages of development.

My goal for next year is to have a clear process for how we engage with startups, evaluate solutions, and how we successfully and sustainably implement them to get the best outcomes for our clients.

WE’D LOVE TO GET TO KNOW YOU A BIT MORE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME? IT MIGHT BE THAT YOU’VE GOT A SPECIAL SKILL OR INTEREST TO SHARE?

In my free time I love being active and to be outdoors in nature – walking by the beach or in the bush, ocean swimming, or practicing yoga most days.

My special skill/interest is that I am a yoga teacher – you can find me once a week watching the sunrise with my regular crew of yogis at the Manly Life Saving Club. Longer term I’d love to combine my disability and yoga experience and complete my yoga therapy training, get a therapy dog and spend my semi-retirement years supporting people with disabilities to get the benefits from an adapted yoga practice and playing with my dog all day!

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN IN YOUR WORK LIFE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO PASS ON TO OUR COMMUNITY?

I always love to quote my good friend and former CPA colleague Neil when feeling a bit overwhelmed with ideas and opportunities and where to start – “How do you eat an elephant?” and the answer is “one bite at a time”. In the startup space, I think that it is vital that businesses are listening to their customers and asking them what they want and need, and co-designing with them so they are focussing on the right bite of the elephant to start!

DO YOU HAVE AN INSPIRING BOOK / PODCAST / QUOTES YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH THE STARTUPS AND OUR COMMUNITY?

I’m a bit of a Brene Brown fangirl. I have read several of her books and also love her podcasts, Dare to Lead and Unlocking Us. These quotes resonate and align with the CPA values of courage and curiosity:

  • “Courage is contagious. A critical mass of brave leaders is the foundation of an intentionally courageous culture. Every time we are brave with our lives, we make the people around us a little braver and our organizations bolder and stronger.”
  • “It wasn’t always a choice; we were born curious. But over time, we learn that curiosity, like vulnerability, can lead to hurt. As a result, we turn to self-protecting—choosing certainty over curiosity, armor over vulnerability, and knowing over learning”

I love that CPA and Remarkable are supporting courage and curiosity by investing in emerging technology and creating an innovative culture not just at CPA, but globally through the +N network. Together we can create a world that is accessible, inclusive and equitable for everyone.