Professor Tom Calma AO

Professor Calma is an Aboriginal Elder from the Kungarakan (Koong ara kun) tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja (Ee wad ja) tribal group whose traditional lands are south west of Darwin and on the Cobourg 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 45 years and is currently on a number of boards and committees focussing on rural and remote Australia, health, mental health and suicide prevention, education, justice reinvestment, research, leadership, reconciliation and economic development. Prof Calma was the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human [...]

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, member 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 [...]

Tom Brideson

Over the past 25 years Tom has been active in mental health and health policy, social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB), clinical mental health care, suicide prevention, education and mental health leadership. Tom is a Kamilaroi/Gomeroi man born in Gunnedah, NSW. He is a member of the Red Chief Local Aboriginal Land Council, the National Congress of Australia’s First People, Indigenous Allied Health Australia and Chairs the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Mental Health Ltd. Since 2007, Tom has been the State-wide Coordinator for the NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program. He has many published articles regarding this workforce and advocates for the broad emerging professional workforces across all health and human services. While many gains [...]

Adele Cox

Adele Cox: Chief Executive and Project Director NICRS Adele Cox is a Bunuba and Gija woman from the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Adele works as an advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in a range of areas, specifically mental health and suicide prevention. She was previously engaged as a National Senior Consultant on the National Empowerment Project and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project and is also involved on state and national Indigenous suicide prevention projects across Australia. Beginning her career working as a broadcaster/journalist covering Indigenous-specific content as well as mainstream media, Adele has spent the majority of her working life devoted to advocating for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander [...]

Dr Mark Wenitong

Mark is from the Kabi Kabi tribal group of South Queensland. Mark brings extensive expertise and experience to the Council. Involved in both clinical and policy work throughout his career, he is currently the Aboriginal Public Health Medical Officer at Apunipima Cape York Health Council, where he is working on health reform across the Cape York Aboriginal communities. Mark has also previously been a Senior Medical Officer at Wuchopperen Health Services in Cairns, a Medical Advisor for the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH) in Canberra, the acting CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), and has worked in community development with World Vision in Papunya, Northern Territory. Mark is a past president [...]

Jacob Corpus

Jacob was raised in the small town of Broome and is a proud descendant of the Yawuru and Nyul-Nyul tribes of the Kimberley region. Jacob is the Male Youth Representative for the West Kimberley and has been a strong youth Advocate since being elected by his peers to voice the 2017 Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Forum report and recommendations. Since then he has been trained to deliver a range of programs surrounding health and wellbeing to local service providers and community members through his position at the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service in the Social and Emotional Wellbeing unit. His proudest achievement so far is taking the opportunity to coordinate two Empowerment and Leadership forums in the West [...]

Tiarnee Schafer

Tiarnee Schafer is a proud Kalkadoon woman from Mt Isa and is currently living in Sydney working as a Human Resources graduate. She graduated with a double degree in Psychological Science and Business in 2017, majoring in Human Resources. After finishing high school, Tiarnee started to notice the alarmingly high rates of suicide in Mt Isa and saw the effects it had on her community. She wanted to help her mob and thought the best way to do that would be to study psychology, which saw her move to Brisbane and attend Griffith University. After completing her Bachelor’s degree, Tiarnee is now studying for a Masters of Suicidology. Tiarnee is a Culture is Life Culture Squad Youth Ambassador [...]

Rob McPhee

Rob is the deputy chief executive officer of the Kimberly Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS) based in Broome WA.  His people hail from Derby in the West Kimberley and the Pilbara region of WA. He has held a number of roles including a lecturer at Curtin and the University of Western Australia and has worked as a senior adviser in community relations and Indigenous affairs 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 Trial Working Group.

A/Professor Michael Wright

Michael Wright is a Yuat Nyoongar man from the Moora and New Norcia area of Western Australia, north of Perth. He has worked as a hospital-based social worker and as a mental health service manager and completed a Masters of Applied Epidemiology from the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University in 2004. In 2010, Michael completed his PhD (Curtin University) which explored Aboriginal families’ access to mental health services and, in the same year, secured a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) post-doctoral fellowship to conduct applied research investigating the barriers Aboriginal families faced in accessing those services. Through several large research projects—focused on changing service delivery and their responsiveness—he has [...]

Judith Lovegrove

Judith Lovegrove is a Ngarrindjeri woman from South Australia and resides in Adelaide. She is currently the Metropolitan Senior Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) Worker for SA Government’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, and provides cultural and supervisory support to Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal clinicians within the service. Having qualifications in leadership, management, counselling and psychology, her vocational experience includes being a therapist, family practitioner, vocational trainer, and managing a Registered Training Organisation – she has devoted her life to educating and inspiring the SEWB workforce. Judith continues her work to improving mental health literacy and responding appropriately to mental health problems and suicidal risk. Judith identifies as being intrinsically motivated in her work – doing [...]

Tanja Hirvonen

Tanja is an Aboriginal Australian woman through her Mother who was born in Alice Springs. Her Grandmother is from the Barkly Tablelands region and Tanja's Great Grandparents are from WA, Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek. Tanja's father is from Finland. Tanja grew up in Mt Isa with family. Tanja has also lived in Normanton and on cattle properties within the Gulf of Carpentaria and Darwin and surrounding areas. Tanja is a registered Clinical Psychologist in Darwin, Northern Territory and holds positions at the Centre for Remote Health (Charles Darwin and Flinders Universities) and the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory based in Darwin and also works privately as a registered psychologist. Tanja serves on the Australian Indigenous Psychology [...]

Leilani Darwin

Leilani is a Quandamooka woman, ancestral home is Stradbroke Island. Through her own lived experience and work within the sector, Leilani is a powerful advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led, culturally informed practices within mainstream services. She is a lived experience contributor, consumer advocate and has a wealth of experience in suicide prevention and mental health. Leilani is now the Founder and Managing Director of Dulili Voices, a consultancy that focuses on incorporating the lived experience of community members into service deliver and outcomes. This includes extensive experience in effective engagement, evaluation and development of frameworks and guides for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Leilani enjoys contributing on several Advisory Groups, working committees [...]