National Governance Members

//National Governance Members
National Governance Members2018-12-18T02:34:33+00:00

Professor Jill Milroy

Professor Jill Milroy is Palyku from the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Jill is Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education at the University of Western Australia and is the Director of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health.

She has more than 30 years experience in Indigenous higher education developing programs and support services for Indigenous students as well as a range of Indigenous curriculum and research initiatives. Jill has served on a number of national policy advisory bodies and in 2011 was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her services to Indigenous education. Her key research interest is in Aboriginal knowledge, history, place and story systems.

Professor Tom Calma AO

Professor Tom Calma AO is an Aboriginal elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja tribal group whose traditional lands are south west of Darwin and on the Coburg Peninsula in the Northern Territory of Australia, respectively.

He has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, community, state, national and international level and worked in the public sector for over 40 years and is currently on a number of boards and committees focusing on rural and remote Australia, health, mental health, suicide prevention, education, justice reinvestment, research, reconciliation and economic development.

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Professor Pat Dudgeon

Professor Pat Dudgeon is from the Bardi people of the Kimberly area in Western Australia. She is a psychologist and Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society. Pat is a Professor and Poche Research Fellow at the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia in Perth, Western Australia.

Her area of research includes Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention. Amongst her many commitments, she is a former Commissioner of the Australian National Mental Health Commission (completed 5 year term July 2017), deputy chair of the Australian Indigenous Psychologist’s Association, chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leaders Mental Health, co-chair of the ministerial Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group and member of NHMRC Mental Health Research Advisory Committee.Read more

Richard Weston

Richard Weston is a descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait. He has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs for more than 20 years, 14 of these in Indigenous controlled health services in Far West New South Wales and Queensland.

As CEO of the Healing Foundation since September 2010 Richard has overseen the strategic development of the organisation, which has supported more than 135 culturally strong, community led Indigenous healing projects around Australia.

During his 13 years at Maari Ma Health in Far West NSW including nine years as CEO (2000-2009), Richard led the delivery of high quality health care and improved health outcomes for adults and children alike in a remote region known for the poor health status of its population. During this time Maari Ma won five NSW health awards and a national health award.Read more

Glenn Pearson

Glenn Pearson is Head of Aboriginal Research at the Telethon Kids Institute in Western Australia joining the Institute in 2005.

As an accomplished educator, advocate and policy advisor, his state-wide directive is to ensure the Institute’s work reflects the needs of Aboriginal families, and is conducted in accordance with ethical and cultural protocols and brings to this role 15 years of working in senior positions within the State and Australian Governments with experience in health, education and child protection.

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Professor Neil Drew

Professor Neil Drew is Director of the Australia Indigenous HealthInfoNet; an internet resource that informs practice and policy in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health by making research and other knowledge readily accessible. Neil has postgraduate qualifications in social psychology and over 30 years’ experience working with a diverse range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and groups.

He was psychologist for the Department of Family Services in Queensland working with young offenders and the victims of child sexual abuse. Prior to joining the HealthInfoNet Neil held positions at the University of Notre Dame Australia including Foundation Head of Behavioural Science, Dean of Arts and Sciences and Deputy Head of the University Broome Campus of Reconciliation.Read more

Professor Gary Robinson

Professor Gary Robinson leads the Indigenous Parenting and Family Research and the Suicide Prevention Research themes in the Centre for Child Development and Education.

He has led the evaluation of health, mental health and educational initiatives in the Northern territory, including the Tiwi Coordinated Care Trial (1997-2004) and the National Accelerated Literacy Program (2004-2009).

He has conducted long term ethnographic field research into Aboriginal adolescence, family relationships, parenting, suicide and self harm.Read more

Sally Bishhop

Sally Bishop is currently an Assistant Director with the Department of Health, working in the area of mental health. She has worked in the allied health area for over 20 years, previously in the regional and metropolitan rehabilitation services settings. Sally has also been a member of Rotary for a number of years, and has a strong interest in supporting the work undertaken in the community sector.

Sally joined Pegasus 12 months ago, as she was keen to support an organisation that provides such valuable services and programs to help individuals grow and reach their potential.

Pat Turner AM

Pat Turner AM , the daughter of an Arrente man and a Gurdanji woman, was born in 1952 and raised in Alice Springs. Her long association with Canberra began with a temporary position with the Public Service Board, leading to the Social Policy Branch of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA) in 1979.

Joining the Australian Public Service (APS) in Alice Springs as a switchboard operator in the Native Affairs Department , she moved to Canberra in 1978, joining the senior executive ranks of the public service in 1985, when she became Director of the DAA in Alice Springs, N.T. (1985-86).Read more

Rob McPhee

Rob McPhee is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Kimberly Aboriginal Medical Services based in Broome. He has cultural connections to Derby and the Pilbara. He has held a number of roles including teaching positions at Curtin University and the University of Western Australia. He has worked in the private industry as a senior adviser to the oil and gas industry. He is passionate about social justice for Indigenous people and currently co-chairs the Commonwealth funded Kimberley Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Trail Site Working Group.

Adj. Associate Professor Learne Durrington

Chief Executive Officer, WA Primary Health Alliance Limited.

Adj. Associate Professor Learne Durrington, has a long held professional and personal interest in, and commitment to improving, mental health and wellbeing in vulnerable communities. As the CEO of the WA Primary Health Alliance she influences the design and implementation of the range of suicide prevention activities undertaken by the PHNs in WA. Learne has held senior roles in mental health with responsibility for statewide public mental health services along with a range policy and funding roles. Learne is an Adjunct Associate Professor in health services, a social work and post graduate management qualifications.

Nieves Murray

​“Challenging stereotypes about vulnerable people drives me.”

Nieves Murray commenced as CEO of Suicide Prevention Australia in May 2018. Throughout her 30+ year career in the social sciences, Nieves has lived and breathed her passion for enabling vulnerable people to have more choice and control over how they live their lives.

Nieves spent over a decade at the helm of IRT Group, one of Australia’s largest community-owned seniors’ lifestyle and care providers, driving record growth, customer satisfaction and social impact. She has held non-Executive leadership roles in financial services, tertiary education, property development, retail, research, health, aged care and retirement living since 2001. Her contributions have been recognised at a regional, national and international level. In 2013 Nieves was named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review.Read more

Barb Ahmat

Barbara Ahmat is a Noongar woman descendant of the Wagyl Kaip people from the South West of Western Australia.

Barb has spent the majority of her working life devoted and advocating for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. Barb’s experience stems from administration, human resources, policy and research, project management, and leadership.

Barb started her career in child protection, and worked in other various government departments in Western Australia. Through her career she has been able to influence government programs and policies that were developed and implemented to reflect the current needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. This is when she realised her passion in Aboriginal mental health and suicide prevention.Read more

Steffanie Von Helle

In her role with the Black Dog Institute, Steffanie Von Helle supports the implementation of National Suicide Prevention Trials across the country. She comes to this role with lived experience of suicide and mental illness after a long career as a senior executive with the NSW Government.

Steffanie is particularly interested in the impact of public policy on different population groups. She has applied her strategic planning and communication skills to some of the most challenging and complex working environments. This includes anti-corruption, child protection, human rights and police reform with the United Nations in Bangladesh, and working on policy issues for women, refugees and asylum seekers, LGBTQI and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Steffanie has Bachelor qualifications in Law and Psychology and a Masters of Public Sector Leadership. She also has specialist qualifications in Implementation Science, Governance, Adult Education and Training and has studied at the NSW Police Academy to be a police officer.

Contact Us

School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia 

+61 8 6488 6926

Acknowledgement of Country:

We acknowledge and pay our respects to the traditional custodians of the land we live and work on, the Wadjuk people of the Noongar nation, and their Elders past, present and emerging. We also wish to acknowledge and respect the continuing culture, strength, and resilience of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities as well as our Indigenous members from other parts of the world.


“The terms ‘Aboriginal’, ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’ and ‘Indigenous’ are used interchangeably. It is acknowledged that there are many cultural differences between and within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the use of differing terms does not intend to disregard such differences.” © Copyright 2018