Indigenous Advisory Council members


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Indigenous AffairsIndigenous Advisory Council
Monday, 25 July 2016
Publication author(s):
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Publication abstract:

Members of the Council are highly respected in their chosen fields and will ensure the Council is able to provide the Government with a range of expert advice to help deliver better outcomes for Indigenous people.

Professor Ngiare Brown, Founding Director of Ngaoara

Area of expertise: Health and Wellbeing

Professor Ngiare Brown is a Yuin nation woman from the South Coast of NSW. She is a senior Aboriginal medical practitioner with qualifications in medicine, public health and primary care, and has studied bioethics, medical law and human rights. She was the first identified Aboriginal medical graduate from NSW, and is one of the first Aboriginal doctors in Australia. Professor Brown is a founding member and was Foundation CEO of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association and is a Founding Director of NGAOARA, a not-for-profit focussed on Aboriginal child and adolescent wellbeing, including issues related to child safety, adolescent development, cultural education and building social capabilities and individual resilience and agency.

Ms Susan Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation (WA)

Area of expertise: Employment

Ms Susan Murphy is the CEO of Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation, the largest community development provider for remote Aboriginal communities in the West Kimberley. Ms Murphy has previously held positions in a number of government organisations and has extensive experience working within Aboriginal health, child care and justice.

Cr Roy Ah-See, Chairperson of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSW), IAC Co-Chair

Area of Expertise: Economic Development, Land and Sea

Cr Roy Ah-See is a Wiradjuri man born and bred on Nanima Reserve near Wellington. He is a member of the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council and is Chairperson of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council. 

Cr Ah-See has also held other roles at the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, NSW Aboriginal Housing Office and various government departments working in policy.

Mr Djambawa Marawili AM, traditional owner from Baniyala (NT)

Area of expertise: Culture, Community safety

Mr Marawili is Djirrikay or senior ceremonial leader for the Blue Mud Bay region of North East Arnhem Land and coordinated the sea rights claim in 2002 which eventuated in the High Court’s determination in the 2008 Blue Mud Bay Case. He is the leader of the Yolngu Madarppa clan and the Baniyala/ Yilpara homeland. Mr Marawili is Chairman of the Association of Northern Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists. Mr Marawili is a senior artist, painter and sculptor and received an Order of Australia (AM) in 2010 for services to arts administration.

Cr Ted Fraser Nai, Representative of the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (QLD)

Area of expertise: Torres Strait Islands

Location: Torres Strait Islands

Cr Ted Fraser Nai is an elected representative to the Torres Strait Island Regional Council and is committed to ‘engaging with community on the key roles and responsibilities of local government and the challenges we face … There are opportunities for us to take up.’

Cr. Nai is currently serving as a Board Member of the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service, and has worked in retail, tiling and as a Healthy Lifestyle Officer.

His biggest goal for the region is to ‘change negative paradigms into positive, healthy ones - that will be the catalyst for real change.’ Cr Nai hopes to improve the understanding of the challenges and opportunities that are presenting itself to the Torres Strait Islands region. ‘Effective communication underpins all of this - it is important that everyone really understands the role and capacity of Council.’

His interests include spending time with family, studying, self-development, and politics. His hobbies include spear fishing, reading and sports. Cr. Nai draws strength from his love for people, his family, and being passionate, authentic, genuine, young, and willing to learn. He sees the importance of building stronger stakeholder relationships regionally through appreciation and understanding of each other’s roles.


Former members

Professor Chris Sarra

Professor Chris SarraProfessor Sarra became the first Aboriginal principal at Cherbourg State School in 1998, holds a Diploma of Teaching, a Bachelor of Education, a Master of Education, an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the Australia New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), and a PhD in Psychology at Murdoch University. Professor Sarra is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and an Honorary Fellow of the School of Ethical Leadership at the Melbourne Business School. In 2006, he established the Indigenous Education Leadership Institute, the forerunner to the Stronger Smarter Institute. In 2016, Professor Sarra was awarded NAIDOC Person of the Year, and has previously been a finalist for Australian of the Year in 2004 and 2010.

Mr Warren Mundine AO

Mr Warren Mundine

Mr Mundine is a highly respected and influential businessman, political strategist and Indigenous advocate for empowering Indigenous Australia to build a sustained Indigenous economy. His life and career have been shaped by a personal commitment to community, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, and he has more than 26 years’ experience working in the public, private and community sectors.

Mr Mundine is the Managing Director of NyunggaBlack and is currently Chair of the South Australian Government’s Strategic Advisory Panel Reducing Reoffending: 10 % by 2020. Mr Mundine was the CEO and Executive Chairman of GenerationOne and prior to this he was the CEO of NTSCorp Ltd for nine years. Other previous roles include National President of the Australian Labor Party, National Convenor of the ALP National Indigenous Labor Network and as Chair of the ALP (NSW) Indigenous People & Reconciliation Policy Committee. He has Honorary Life Membership of the NSW Local Government Aboriginal Network and has been awarded the Centenary Medal for services to the community and local government and the Bennelong Medal for Leadership in Indigenous Affairs. In June 2016, Mr Mundine was named an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia as part of the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours. He is a Doctor of the University (honoris causa) from the Southern Cross University for services to the community, business and local government.

Mr Daniel Tucker

Mr Daniel TuckerMr Tucker is an Indigenous man from Kalgoorlie, and the founder  and Managing Director of Carey Mining, the largest 100 per cent Indigenous, privately-owned and managed contracting company in Australia.

He believes very strongly in ethics in his business, and in mentoring as a way of training his management team and members of the Aboriginal community. Carey Mining creates meaningful long-term employment and training opportunities for a significant number of Indigenous people.

Mr Tucker has partnered with WA universities to offer scholarships for Indigenous students studying a Business course through his Wongatha Education Trust, which he established in 2007. The Wongatha Education Trust also supports children of primary school age attend school.

Mr Tucker is the founding member of Caring Communities Incorporated, a not for profit organisation, that runs programs in the wider community including the indigenous community. Parents in Partnership is one such program supported by Caring Communities Incorporated. Parents in Partnership is a pilot program to help provide support to parents in the northern suburbs of Perth and surrounding areas. Parents will be linked to a Parent Mentor who will provide weekly contact to ‘check in’ on the parent and offer informal support. Parents will also be invited to come to free workshops to meet other parents and learn about how to respond to their children’s needs and behaviours.

In 2003, he was the recipient of the Outstanding Manager award, which was presented by the Hon. Kevin Andrews MP in Canberra at the Corporate Leaders for Indigenous Employment Awards. This award was an initiative of the Commonwealth Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, in partnership with a number of Australia’s leading businesses, to improve the employment prospects of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people.

Mr Richard (Richie) Ah Mat

Mr Richard Ah MatMr Ah Mat is an Indigenous man born on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. His parents are descendants from the East and West coasts of Cape York.

Mr Ah Mat’s mother is a Wuthathi woman whose traditional lands cover the ‘white sand’ area around Shelburne Bay on Eastern Cape York while his father was a Yupungathi man whose traditional country can be found on the Western side of Cape York between Weipa and Mapoon.

He worked for Comalco for 27 years and was the first Aboriginal man to hold the position of President of a CFMEU Lodge. In this position he led the strike against Comalco in the mid 1990’s opposing reduced entitlements and employee individual contracts. During this time he suffered a near fatal accident which resulted in the loss of his left leg in 1996. It was during this time that he became heavily involved in the fight for native title rights in Cape York.

Mr Ah Mat has held senior positions with the Cape York Land Council since 1997 and is currently serving a 4 year term as Chairperson.

He sits on the boards of a number of organisations that are fighting for economic development and land and sea rights for Indigenous people, including the Cape York Group (overseeing education, policy, economic development and welfare reform), Cape York Corporation and Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation.

Ms Leah Armstrong

Ms Leah ArmstrongMs Armstrong is a Torres Strait Islander woman, born in Mackay Queensland, who was recently appointed Board Chair of Supply Nation and Board Chair of Aboriginal Housing NSW.  Leah was the CEO for Reconciliation Australia from 2010-2014.

She helped establish Yarnteen Ltd - a successful Indigenous enterprise operating several commercial ventures including bulk warehousing, car wash, building company and a property portfolio. As Executive Director for 18 years, she has led Yarnteen’s success and ensured it was an effective organisation with good governance, strategic direction and financial accountability.

In 2009, The Australian Financial Review Boss Magazine recognised Ms Armstrong as a "True Leader" and in 2012 she was recognised in the inaugural 2012 Australian Financial Review/Westpac 100 Influential Women Awards.

She also holds several Board positions including Career Trackers, a Fellow of the University of Sydney Senate, Chair of The Smith Family Indigenous Advisory Group and is a member of the Prime Ministers Indigenous Advisory Council. She held previous positions with Reconciliation Australia, Indigenous Business Australia and the Indigenous Business Policy Advisory Group.

Ms Josephine Cashman

Ms Josephine CashmanJosephine Cashman is a Worimi entrepeneur from New South Wales. She is a lawyer, business woman and social entrepreneur with more than 17 years of experience working to create rapid business, social and economic growth for Indigenous communities around Australia.

In 2013, Josephine was appointed by the Prime Minister to the Indigenous Advisory Council and serves as Chair of its Safe Communities Committee. She also sits on the Board of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. As a lawyer with a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, and a Bachelor of Laws and Communications (Journalism) from UTS, Josephine worked for more than nine years in the Australian courts, and has worked in consultancy and voluntary roles for a variety of private, public and non-profit sector organisations.

As founder of Riverview Global Partners, Josephine identifies and nurtures key relationships that attract and drive economic opportunities into Indigenous communities as a means of creating a better Australia for all. Josephine is a lateral thinker. She is an innovator who focusses her expertise in business, negotiation and engagement on real outcomes that meet the diverse practical needs of Indigenous communities. She is passionate about encouraging the Indigenous youth of Australia to become future leaders.

Mr Bruce Martin

Mr Bruce MartinMr Martin is a Wik man from Aurukun in Western Cape York Peninsula. Thoroughly bicultural and bilingual, he has brought his experience and education in the wider society to bear in his efforts to maximise the economic opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities of Far North Queensland.

His broad experience has been gained from working on projects relating to the Wild Rivers legislation, as well as providing youth and family support around substance misuse and men’s health for the Wuchopperen Aboriginal Medical Service in Cairns, and as a youth worker and support officer for young Indigenous people in the care of the Department.

Mr Martin has been instrumental in the establishment of Aak Puul Ngantam (Our Ancestral Country) – APN Cape York – a community-owned organisation which has as a primary focus the development of productive livelihoods on traditional Wik country. Now one of the largest employers of local Aboriginal people in Cape York, APN has developed a unique combination of deep connection to its community together with partnerships with business, the philanthropic sector, and government agencies in implementing a broad range of innovative strategies aimed at social transformation, economic engagement and community development in Aurukun. Mr Martin manages a small consultancy business, Regional Development Corporation, which provides professional services focusing on stakeholder engagement, project management, and business development throughout Northern Australia. Regional Development Corporation’s vision is to work with local communities in regional areas to build greater economic independence, and ultimately, more sustainable and resilient communities. More recently, Mr Martin became Managing Director of NQ Civil Engineering Contracting Pty Ltd. Mr Martin is also a Director of the Indigenous Land Council Board and the Deputy Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Committee for the Department of the Environment.

More recently, he manages a small consultancy business, Regional Development Corporation, which provides professional services focusing on Stakeholder engagement, Project Management, and Business Development throughout Northern Australia. Regional Development Corporations vision is to work with local communities in regional areas to build greater economic independence, and ultimately, more sustainable and resilient communities.

Mr David Peever

Mr David PeeverMr Peever is the current Chair of Cricket Australia.

Mr Peever retired from his position as Managing Director of Rio Tinto Australia in 2014. After joining the Rio Tinto Group in 1987, Mr Peever has worked in an extensive range of senior management and leadership roles.

Mr Peever is a non-executive Director of the Australian Foundation Investment Company and the Melbourne Business School; a member of Chief of Defence's Gender Equality Advisory Board, and a non-executive Director of the Stars Foundation which delivers programmes aiming to advance the education of young indigenous women.

Mr Peever was also Chairman of the Minister of Defence's First Principles Review of the Defence Department and is now Chairman of the Oversight Board which provides guidance on the implementation of the reforms.

Mr Andrew Penfold AM

Mr Andrew PenfoldAndrew is the Executive Director of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF), a Member of the Order of Australia, a member of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council and a member of the Advisory Council at the Centre for Social Impact, University of New South Wales.

Andrew was appointed as the inaugural NSW Human Rights Ambassador in 2013 and in recent years received the UTS Chancellor’s Award for Excellence (2013), the NSW Human Rights Award (2013), an Order of Merit from the Australian Institute of Company Directors (2013), the UTS Community Alumni Award (2013) and was a finalist for Australian of the Year (2010).

He is a former finance lawyer and investment banker with 20 years’ experience working in leading international firms in Sydney, London and Hong Kong.  In 2004, Andrew left the business world and spent five years working on a full time, voluntary basis as Founder and Chairman of the St Joseph’s College Indigenous Fund and at a range of other non-profit and charitable organisations before establishing AIEF in 2007.

Andrew is also a former director of the ANZ Stadium Club at Homebush, a former director of the South-West Inner Sydney Housing Cooperative in Redfern, a former Secretary and Trustee of the Hong Kong Rugby Bali Fund and he has held various other governance roles over the past 10 years.

Ms Gail Kelly 

Ms Gail KellyMs Gail Kelly has spent the last twelve years as CEO of two Australian banks, St. George Bank from 2002-2007 and Westpac from 2008 to date.

Ms Kelly has presided over a period of enormous change and challenge for the Westpac Group.  In 2008, Ms Kelly led Westpac through its merger with St.George, the largest merger in Australian financial services history.

Ms Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and Higher Diploma of Education from Cape Town University, an MBA with Distinction from the University of Witwatersrand, and an Honorary Doctorate of Business from Charles Sturt University.  She is a non-executive director of the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Bankers’ Association and the Financial Markets Foundation for Children. 

Ms Kelly also sits on the Global Board of Advisers at the US Council on Foreign Relations, and is a member of the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust.  Gail is also CARE Australia’s Ambassador for Women’s Empowerment.

Ms Kelly stepped down from the Council in January 2015.

Professor Peter Shergold AC, AO

Professor Peter Shergold

Professor Peter Shergold AC has had a distinguished academic and public service career that spans over four decades.

As the Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2003-2008, he was the nation’s most senior public servant. In two decades as a senior public servant he served four Prime Ministers and eight Ministers in both Labor and Coalition governments.

During this time, Peter established the Office of Multicultural Affairs, headed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), was the Chief Executive Officer of Comcare and Public Service Commissioner. He then became Secretary of the Department of Employment, Workforce Relations and Small Business and Secretary of the Department of Education, Science and Training.

Professor Shergold is now the Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney. Until he became an Australian public servant in 1987 he was Head of the Department of Economic History at the University of New South Wales. In 2005 he was elected a Fellow of The Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He is also a Fellow of Australia and New Zealand School of Government and of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

Professor Shergold now sits on a wide range of private, public and community sector boards. He serves on the Boards of AMP, Veda Group and Corrs Chambers Westgarth. In the not-for-profit arena he sits on the Board of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

In the government arena Peter chairs the Board of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. At the Commonwealth level he chairs the Aged Care Reform Implementation Council and headed the Ministerial Expert Group on Gambling. In NSW Peter chairs the Public Service Commission Advisory Board and the Social Investment Expert Advisory Group; in Queensland he serves on the Public Sector Renewal Board and in Victoria was the independent project leader for a review of service sector reform.

Peter received Australia’s highest award, the Companion in the Order of Australia (AC) for service to the community.  The honour acknowledged Peter as a significant leader of change and innovation in the public sector.

Professor Shergold stepped down from Council in September 2015.

Ms Andrea Mason OAM, Chief Executive Officer, NPY's Council (NT), IAC Co-Chair

Ms Andrea Mason

Ms Andrea Mason is the current Northern Territory Australian of the Year and was awarded the Australian Businesswomen of the Year in 2016. Ms Mason is CEO of the NPY Women’s Council – an organisation committed to delivering youth and wellbeing programmes and addressing domestic and family violence.

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