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Our People

Reconciliation SA is made up of a small team and is supported by a board of skills-based directors.


Chief Executive Officer



Jason has an extensive history working in the South Australian government, focusing on engaging and collaborating with First Nations people utilising his networks and relationships to champion a safe and inclusive South Australia free from prejudice, discrimination, and racism.

Jason has a background in the disciplines of engagement, facilitation, change management as well as mediation. His skill set also includes policy advocation on Reconciliation and supporting First Nations through Economic participation.

Jason is looking forward to driving positive change through education, information, conversations and advocacy, and is excited to contribute to this important work into the future.


“I am honoured to be appointed as Chief Executive for Reconciliation SA and continue to build the organisations outstanding efforts towards Reconciliation. I am looking forward to working with an amazing team of passionate and deeply committed staff and board to deliver to the highest standards."

The Team

Jessi Tilbrook

Events & Sponsorship Manager

Shaun Childs


Natalie Gentle

Education Consultant

Riley Hubbard


Travis Akbar

Content Producer

L-R: Riley Hubbard, Natalie Gentle, Jessi Tilbrook, Jason Downs, Shaun Childs, Travis Akbar

Board of Directors

The Reconciliation SA Board is comprised of up to nine members, six are elected and three are skills-based appointments and are appointed by the Board membership. The Board is co-chaired by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person and a non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person. Each Elected Board members service a term of three years with Skills Appointed Board members service a term of one year.

Jeremy Johncock


Jeremy  is a proud Wirangu and Mirning man from the Far West Coast of South Australia and has lived on Kaurna Country for the past 22 years. He is currently the Adelaide Football Clubs Aboriginal Program Manager, and he considers himself very fortunate to combine his passions for sport and his community.



Helen Connolly


Helen is a long-time advocate for building respectful partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities, and organizations, and has established networks and relationships through her position as Co-Chair of Reconciliation SA.


Rick Caruso

Rick Caruso is a first-generation descendant of the Stolen Generations and son of Dr Jenni Caruso who has instilled a proud sense of Aboriginal identity in our family despite the disconnect to extended family caused by her removal. Rick is tertiary educated gaining a BA in Psychology at the University of Adelaide as well as possessing trade qualifications.


Lainie Anderson

Lainie Anderson has been a columnist for Adelaide’s Sunday Mail since 2007, with her 30-year journalism and public relations career also including stints at Melbourne’s Herald Sun, London’s The Times and the South Australian Tourism Commission. Lainie is an ambassador with the Hutt Street Centre and former member of the Catherine House Trust.   

Nicole Clinch

Nicole Clinch is a Badimia / Yamatji woman who was born and raised on Kaurna land. She has 12 years’ experience in Aboriginal Health in both Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and State Government sectors. Nicole also has a Certificate IV in Indigenous Research Capacity Building, an Associate Degree in Indigenous Community Health.


Duncan Lagford

Duncan Langford is a Kamilaroi man of the plains NSW and also has family connections within SA. Duncan lives and works on Kaurna land and shows leadership in the delivery of major projects in Government and Non-Government areas including social and mental health, child protection and Indigenous health.

Sophie Chellow 

Sophie holds a double degree in Psychology and Criminology and brings a wealth and depth of experience working in the disability and employment sector, within the State Government in Culture and Capability and Organisational development and now working for the Commonwealth Government in Culture and Inclusion. Sophie has strong networks in South Australia and is passionate about supporting First Nations.

Jane Crosby

Jane Crosby comes with a wealth of experience in strategy and governance. Jane was also Project Manager for Tarnathi Art Fair from 2017 – 2021, in which time attendances and sales increased substantially. Through this role, Jane also developed relationships with First Nations Elders, Traditional Owners and artists. She also developed the Art Gallery of SA’s inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan.



Reconciliation SA is honoured to have the support of three truly great South Australians as our patrons.

Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue, AC CBE DSG

Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue, AC CBE DSG, was born in 1932 at Indulkana, in the remote north-west corner of South Australia, to a Pitjantjatjara mother and an Irish father. Renamed ‘Lois’ by the missionaries, They weren’t allowed to speak their own language or to ask questions about their origins or even about their parents.

Chris Sumner

Chris Sumner is a former South Australian politician and Deputy President of the National Native Title Tribunal. He started his career as a barrister and solicitor in private practice, being admitted to the bar of the South Australian Supreme Court in 1967. He was elected to the South Australian Legislative Council in 1975, and in 1979 was appointed Attorney-General and Minister of Prices and Consumer Affairs.


Professor Peter Buckskin PSM FACE

Professor Peter Buckskin PSM FACE is a Narungga man from the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. He has worked as a schoolteacher, a Ministerial Adviser, Superintendent of Schools and as a senior executive at both State and Federal levels. 



Reconciliation SA believes that courageous leadership across all sectors of the community is key to the success of the reconciliation agenda. Our ambassadors challenge the status quo and are recognised for their leadership in reconciliation in our community.

Shirley Peasley AM

Shirley Peisley AM has been active in campaigning for Aboriginal welfare and cultural and legal rights since the 1960s, and is highly regarded for her drive, determination and selflessness. She is well known for her activism in the lead up to the 1967 Referendum, and still campaigns for Constitutional recognition to this day.



Bill Denny AM

Bill Denny AM has a strong sense of social justice and a passion for Aboriginal equality. This prompted him to undertake a Law degree as a mature age student and he graduated with Honours in 2007. Bill fervently believes that as a nation we cannot hold our heads high on the world stage until all First Nations people enjoy equal oppurtunities.

Lew Owens

Lew is currently a non-Executive Director on the Boards of SA Water Corporation, Country Arts SA, Regional Arts Australia and Petratherm Ltd. He is also a member of the Resources and Energy Sector Infrastructure Council, member of the City of Marion Audit Committee, Chair of the Energy and Water Sector Aboriginal Employment Cluster. 

Dr Lynn Arnold AO FAICD 

Lynn was Chief Executive Officer of Anglicare SA from 2008 to mid-2012. In this role, Lynn was responsible for overseeing South Australia’s largest non-government agency promoting ‘justice, respect and fullness of life for all.

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