Reconciliation SA Inc.
Board Director Candidate Information
Below you will find the information provided by candidates in support of their nomination. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by family name.
As required by our constitution, elections are held via an online voting platform. Voting closes on 22 November 2021.
Please follow voting instructions as provided in your email. If you have any queries please contact Public Officer, Shona Reid on 0418 535 108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
First Nation Board Member Nominations
One First Nation nomination was received.
This position is scheduled to be elected unopposed and will be confirmed at the AGM on 24th November 2021.
Non-First Nation Board Member Nominations
As a media and public relations professional on the ‘wise’ side of 50, I am a skilled communicator and advocate, and a friendly, helpful human. I grew up in Port Vincent on Narungga country, and my 30-year career includes stints at the Herald Sun in Melbourne, The Times in London and the South Australian Tourism Commission. For the past 14 years I’ve used my column in Adelaide’s Sunday Mail to deepen understanding and empathy on issues such as asylum seekers, climate change and reconciliation.
I am an experienced board member and in 2016 undertook the one-day Governance for Directors course with the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Current voluntary roles include ambassador for the Hutt St Centre and SA regional selection committee member of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Former board roles include three years with the Adelaide Riverbank Authority and six years with the Catherine House Trust.
I am a can-do person who gets things done. In 2016 I was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to gauge the significance of Adelaide’s historic Vickers Vimy aircraft and retrace the route of the 1919 Air Race from England to Australia. My goals were to engender pride in this significant achievement and to build a business case for supporting the largely forgotten plane. Following my fellowship, I worked with others to secure $6m in state, federal and Adelaide Airport funding to relocate the plane into the new terminal. I also wrote a novel, co-produced a TV documentary (generating significant industry and philanthropic backing to fund the project) and worked with the History Trust of SA to design a year-long calendar of events and create a comprehensive website on the flight.
In early 2021 I volunteered as the spokesperson and media advisor for Voluntary Assisted Dying South Australia, utilising my communication expertise to lobby politicians and generate state-wide media coverage ahead of debate on proposed legislation to allow terminally ill South Australians to die with dignity. Parliament was tackling the controversial and highly emotive issue after 16 failed attempts in 25 years, and I’m proud of the part I played in ensuring the debate was constructive, dignified and evidence-based. Widespread coverage ensured MPs received thousands of heart-felt messages from their constituents in support of the Bill. Ultimately, the legislation received overwhelming support in both houses of parliament. I remain volunteer spokesperson for VADSA.
I am currently studying a PhD at the University of South Australia, exploring the life of Kate Cocks who in 1915 became the first policewoman in the British Empire employed on the same rank and salary as men. Since beginning my PhD I have learned that the Kate Cocks Memorial Babies’ Home, which Cocks founded subsequent to her career in the police force, engaged in adoption practices which took Indigenous and non-Indigenous children against the wishes of their mothers. As one important part of my research, I now aim to use my PhD to educate and encourage reflection and reconciliation on this tragic aspect of Australia’s recent past.
- Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors: FAICD
- Honorary Fellow, Engineers Australia FAICD and 2015 National President and Chair of the Board
Current and previous board experience:
- Board Member and Chair: Scope Global Pty Ltd (ended 2017, after 8 years on the board)
- Board Member, Chair and 2015 National President: Engineers Australia (2011-2015)
- Former Deputy Chair of the National Board of the Centre for Engineering Leadership and Management, Engineers Australia
- Board Member and Deputy Chair: SA Environment Protection Authority (1998-2003)
- Councillor: SA Chamber of Mines and Energy (2014-2015)
- Member of the South Australian Resources and Energy Strategic Infrastructure Council (2014-2016)
- Member, South Australian Mining and Energy Ministerial Advisory Council (2016-2019)
- Chair, South Australian Governor’s Aboriginal Employment Infrastructure Cluster (2015 to 2019) and current Chair of the Professional and Technical Services Cluster.
David’s expertise is the development and leadership of boards, professional teams and organisations. He is a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion, and was a founding member of the SA Equal Opportunity Commissioner’s Chiefs for Gender Equity.
David currently holds the position of National Director, Sustainability for WSP Australia, in a part-time (50%) capacity. He was the 2015 National President of Engineers Australia, the professional body for over 100,000 engineers in Australia, and chair of the Engineers Australia board of directors. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of Engineers Australia in 2020.
During his time with Engineers Australia David has championed Aboriginal engagement, recognition and participation in the engineering profession. He developed Engineers Australia’s first Indigenous Engineering Strategy for the board.
In his 25 years with WSP David’s leadership in South Australia has led to the South Australian business twice being awarded the company’s Global Project of the Year Award.
Aboriginal Engagement, Recognition and Participation
- Inaugural chair of the Governor’s Aboriginal Employment Infrastructure Cluster, and current chair of the Professional and Technical Services Cluster
- Member of the Aboriginal Advisory Council for WSP Australia since 2014
- Member of the Engineers Australia RAP Advisory Committee
- Member of the Engineers Australia National College of Leadership and Management’s Indigenous Engineering Action Group
- Chair of Engineers Australia’s Indigenous Engineering Committee in South Australia
- Co-chair of the first indigenous engineering session at the World Engineers Convention in Melbourne in 2019
Contribution to the Board of Reconciliation South Australia
David is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Director’s Course, and a Fellow of AICD. He has considerable strengths in leadership, strategy and culture. He has comprehensive knowledge of board responsibilities and accountabilities.
David is a team player who believes deeply in the view that the collective skills knowledge and experience of board members should be harnessed to deliver the best decisions on behalf of the organisation that the board has governance responsibility for.
Niina marni, ngai nari Erin Gear (hello, my name is Erin Gear - Kaurna), and I would love to be considered for a Board position at Reconciliation South Australia. I have been a passionate ally to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities for several years. As a result I have been able to establish and maintain strong personal and professional relationships within the community, and the wider South Australian professional employment and education sector, that would bring great value to the Board of Reconciliation South Australia. Through my work at CareerTrackers I am able to advocate for, and support Indigenous high school and university students in industry and education settings, which has been the most rewarding and important work in my career.
The purpose of my role at CareerTrackers is to support more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through to university graduation, and provide opportunities for them as graduates to access leadership and employment opportunities with impact. I have a really great working relationship with a number of our Alumni, such as Kyran Dixon who is currently the Reconciliation and Cultural Heritage Manager of Renewal SA, who have used their journey with CareerTrackers to propel their careers and give back to their community.
The vast majority of our employment partners have Reconciliation Action Plans, and I see this as key to driving sustainable change for better outcomes and inclusion opportunities for Indigenous Australians. My experience with stakeholder management and relationship building at CareerTrackers has involved a lot of strategic thinking and negotiation skills, which would transfer well to a Board position. I am proud of my ability to have productive conversations to communicate that CareerTrackers, and reconciliation more generally, requires meaningful long term commitment to achieve sustainable generational change for Indigenous communities. I am confident that I have been able to influence decision making processes that will benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in my work, but more than anything I am grateful for what I learn everyday from the community I work in and that I get to elevate their voices and drive social change through the CareerTrackers network.
I have experience consulting and collaborating with organisations on their RAPs and other initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, which I think would make me a valuable Board member. For example, as an Alumni of St Peter’s Collegiate Girls’ School I have provided feedback on the school’s RAP, and I have worked in close collaboration with several programs within the Department for Education, such as The Workabout Centre and YASTSA Congress where I have been able to facilitate connections with our High School Program and Alumni network. I have also demonstrated a capacity for strong strategic planning in my role as Region Lead of SA. In order to support the community and achieve better outcomes for our students, and ensure the longevity of the program, I have needed to identify gaps in opportunities and develop new relationships that align with the CareerTrackers vision.
Relationship building, network collaboration and knowledge sharing underpin the work I’m involved in throughout the community and in industry to work towards a common vision, and I am certain of my ability to bring value to the Board of Reconciliation South Australia.
I am a forensic psychologist by training, and have worked hard throughout my career for equity and social justice outcomes. I have worked across a range of public service settings, both in a service delivery and policy-setting capability; including correctional services, health, housing, youth justice, concessions, disability, and the early intervention child protection system. I have gained broad executive experience across of a range of service systems, including the $200m per annum concessions payment systems for South Australia, where I lead a reform in customer application processing time down from 3 months to less than five days. I have developed and implemented state strategies, requiring significant and authentic co-design approaches, such as the first ever Youth Justice State Plan.
In my career across the human services sector, I have seen examples of the best and worst efforts towards reconciliation in South Australia. Although it's been almost 25 years since the Bringing Them Home report was tabled in Parliament, significant racism and traumatisation still occurs at all levels of decision-making. Fundamentally, shifts are required to amplify culture as a strength, and to centre voice, truth-telling and self-determination in service and policy design. I ask myself every day in my role, what is my personal responsibility, and what difference am I making, to truly listen to the experience and authority of First Nations people and do whatever I can (or know when to butt out!) to build together better outcomes for communities.
In my current role as Executive Director (Strategic Policy and Reform), in the Department of Human Services, I am responsible for enterprise-level strategic and policy setting, to ensure our efforts are clearly linked to our vision and mission. I am also responsible for overseeing the broad reform agendas which are occurring in all areas of the Department, and ensuring that reform is in alignment with our values, is conducted in genuine partnership, and is designed to be measurable and effective. As with my previous executive positions, I am responsible for budget and financial performance, risk management, establishing and monitoring effective governance arrangements, and providing high-level and timely advice to my Chief Executive and Minister on portfolio responsibilities.
The Aboriginal Practice and Partnership Directorate sits in my Division. We are committed to driving a step-change for outcomes in recruitment, retention and career advancement for Aboriginal employees, as well as a strong plan for driving Closing the Gap targets. As the Executive sponsor for the Reconciliation Committee, I have greatly valued from the partnership with Reconciliation SA in drafting our new Innovate RAP. This has involved me providing frank advice to my Department about he additional investment required for us to have an authentic and effective RAP program of effort, which was successful in receiving additional resource investment. I am also the Department's Chairperson of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which is an additional broad-ranging agenda aimed at tangible improvements to create a workplace that not only values, but champions diverse perspective and seeks out and tackles inequity.
Why Reconciliation SA because I am passionate about reconciliation, and I am committed to playing my part as a non-indigenous Australian. In my role at TRILITY, I am the communications lead in our Reconciliation journey. As a result, I better appreciate why we need to continue with the uncomfortable conversations to try and change the opinion that many Australians still have about the challenges facing our First Nations People.
Having grown up in a small country town in the South East of South Australia during the late 60's early 70's as an adopted daughter of migrant parents. I grew up never really feeling like I fit in and somewhat of an outsider, which led me to have a strong viewpoint on social justice and cultural diversity. Coupled with my professional experience, I feel, places me in a favourable position to contribute in a small way to promoting reconciliation and a better society for all South Australians. And in part why I am submitting my nomination for one of the two Board positions at Reconciliation SA.
I am an experienced Non-Executive Director and Senior Executive with an extensive background in global companies and public and private sectors. Commercial and implementation experience; I bring a high level, substantiated recommendations at all levels of management, including Board level; I have well-developed leadership skills.
In addition, I take initiatives to improve processes, adept in budgeting, uphold compliance practices, foster a teamwork culture, and inspire individuals and teams to deliver stellar results; and bring a practical, no-nonsense approach to business and risk management. My multidisciplinary skills and experience in several areas demonstrate my ability to contribute to the success of the Reconciliation SA Board and the organisation.
Strategic skills; My fellow board members and TRILITY executive tell me that the thing I do best is to make a complex idea clear and achievable. Consequently, I would be well placed to help navigate the decisions and communications involved in changing attitudes and driving actions to enrich the relationships between our First Nations People and non-indigenous Australians.
Brand, marketing, and public relations; I have over ten years of experience as a communication, media, and engagement specialist, plus eight years of Board experience working on various boards and fundraising committees.
As Head of Communications at TRILITY, I play an integral role in the senior management team. I regularly consult with Governments (federal, state, and local), industry, and stakeholders concerning all business areas. I also play a significant role in building external relationships across related sectors. In addition, I work with TRILITY's shareholders, management, and stakeholders to develop strategies that best frame the organisation's overall mission.
Similarly, I bring these same skills across to the boards where I have held a position. If successful as a board member of the Reconciliation SA, I bring my expertise, passion, and enthusiasm. As a tenacious truth-seeker, I will use my skills to find unique solutions to complex problems, particularly communications and stakeholder engagement.
My belief is that all Australians owe a great debt to our First Nations peoples and their communities.
Since settlement, Australia’s governors and government have treated Aboriginal societies with ignorance and neglected to recognise their laws, culture and rights as a collective of sovereign nations inhabiting the Australian continent. From frontier violence during colonisation, to destruction of water resources and acquisition of land, forced removal to reservations, to unpaid labour, to the stolen generations, to the white Australia policy, to nuclear testing and finally the referendum. The list of damaging events and policies of colonisation and the Australian government is long, and the Native Title Act does not undo the damage that was caused to Aboriginal nations through colonisation.
I have had the benefit of education and employment throughout my life. I am a privileged white Australian male. I have observed Indigenous Australians advocating for recognition, respect and resources for their communities and families time and time again with humility and grace. These are Australian families that have a history and culture connected with the Australian landscape longer than any other race on the planet. These are Indigenous Australian families that can point to the landscape where their families lived, whilst the world ‘civilised and industrialised’ other continents and cultures around the world. These are Australian families that deserve to be celebrated and respected and given the chance to heal and tell their stories to a wider audience.
I have a passion for sharing my skills to assist Aboriginal corporations, organisations, families and individuals define their objectives, work toward them and ultimately succeed. I would very much appreciate being able to share my skills with Reconciliation SA to contribute its mission and purpose.
For over 38 years I have been involved in Senior Management and Marketing roles throughout Australia and USA including CEO of an International Health Company.
I have extensive experience within the media and PR and am a Publisher of a Women’s magazine. As an Author, I have also been involved in extensive media commentary roles over the years and am also an international public speaker.
SheroesUnlimited is a global community for women over 50 both online and offline and I am the Founder and CEO of this expanding organisation.
Currently, I am also serving in the NotForProfit space with Motor Neurone Disease SA with the responsibilities of Media, Marketing, PR & Fundraising.
I am passionate and keen to explore the Board role with Reconciliation SA Inc as I grew up with my amazing cousin who was a Stolen Generation girl.
We were the same age, and I was her ‘safe space’ as she endured hardship, bullying and challenges at her Private School and friendship circles. We spent every possible moment together and she was my best friend, and I was her constant defender. The challenge of her life living in this way took its toll and in later years this beautiful woman succumbed to a life of pain, health challenges and finally lost her. I have been passionate with changing this for future generations. I am passionate about finding a way how I can contribute to not just reconciliation however total integration, inclusion and community bond Australia wide. It would be my honour to serve and be considered.
I am very committed to playing an active part in the reconciliation journey in SA. I want to walk beside other Directors and with Reconciliation SA as the organisation that is leading work between and among all South Australians built on respectful relationships, closing the gap and justice for First Nations people. I want to address the ongoing impact of historic and continuing injustice, to be part of unlearning and relearning our heritage and to contribute to a fair and respectful future including and especially for First Nations people. RSA’s values of courage, acceptance, truth, recognition, rights and healing resonate with my own. While I am not an expert on reconciliation, I am an active learner, advocate and supporter in my personal and professional life.
I believe I can offer RSA very relevant experience and skills as a Board member. I have a Masters degree in social work and social policy from the University of Michigan, I am an experienced executive and I have almost a decade of for-purpose board experience on a voluntary basis. I am currently part of three small for-purpose organisations, each of which has high ambitions and imperatives, limited resources and hardworking and strategic Boards. It is an environment I thrive in.
I have been a Board Member of the Maggie Beer Foundation since 2015. My contribution is focused on leveraging my networks, creating value through partnership and strategic positioning and focusing on being nimble and connected to community. I pride myself on strategic governance, on decision-making that maximises impact and manages risk, making the most of available resources. I am a team player and I work cooperatively with fellow Directors and with staff. I lead the Board Advocacy Committee for the MBF and am currently one of the Directors undertaking a national search (with the generous help of Hender Consulting) for a new Chairperson.
I have been part of the Board at SACC since 2012 and have chaired the Board for the past 2 years. As both a Director and as the chair, I have been part of a growing and deepening collaboration with First Nations artists, directors, performers and producers. As chair I have especially sponsored the activation of a Youth Governance Strategy and the commencement of a review of our governance and structure.
My role as Chief Executive at COTA SA includes independent, no holds barred advocacy while engaging deeply and actively across the diversity of older SA, building influence and creating a sustainable base for the organisation.
I would love to play my part in the next period of the governance and strategy of RSA and I submit this nomination for the consideration of members
By way of a brief introduction, I am a 51-year-old South Australian woman, married with three children and three grandchildren. My family, career, and the community I live and work in is very important to me so much so that I continually strive to make a positive difference in these areas of my life.
As the Marketing and Communications Manager at Sarah Constructions, my personal reconciliation journey started back in 2018 when Sarah made a business decision to commit to reconciliation by establishing their own Reconciliation Action Plan.
I took on the lead role of managing the establishment of our Reflect commitments and continue to lead the workgroup committee through Innovate. In my 3 years of managing our RAP I have learnt a great deal about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures, Businesses and have made some strong connections.
Through this time, I have developed a thirst for cultural knowledge and equality, which in turn drives me to learn and work towards closing the gap.
Being a part of RSA’s board would provide me with the opportunity to make a difference in an area I am passionate to support and help make positive change. I have looked over RSA requirements for a board member role. Of the 12 key responsibilities, I believe I can provide a valuable contribution and agree to all these items.
I have strong claims around items 11 & 12 where my skill set and industry network would provide a positive return. The skills I can offer the board but are not limited to are within Management, Planning and Business Development and Marketing.