Who Is Reconciliation SA?

Who Is Reconciliation SA?

PATRONS

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

Dr Lowitja O'Donoghue AC CBE DSG

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. When she was just two years old, she and two of her sisters were taken away from their mother by missionaries on behalf of South Australia’s Aboriginal Protection Board. Renamed ‘Lois’ by the missionaries, she and her sisters grew up at Colebrook Children’s Home and did not see their mother again for more than thirty years. They weren’t allowed to speak their own language or to ask questions about their origins or even about their parents.

Hon Chris Sumner AM

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. He was Leader of the Opposition in Legislative Council from 1979 to 1982, and then was reappointed as Attorney-General.

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

Dr Lowitja O'Donoghue AC CBE DSG

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. When she was just two years old, she and two of her sisters were taken away from their mother by missionaries on behalf of South Australia’s Aboriginal Protection Board. Renamed ‘Lois’ by the missionaries, she and her sisters grew up at Colebrook Children’s Home and did not see their mother again for more than thirty years. They weren’t allowed to speak their own language or to ask questions about their origins or even about their parents.

Hon Chris Sumner AM

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. He was Leader of the Opposition in Legislative Council from 1979 to 1982, and then was reappointed as Attorney-General.

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 Peisley 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.

Dr Lynn Arnold AO FAICD

Lynn was Chief Executive Officerof 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.’ Anglicare SA has over 1500 staff and 1000 volunteers with an annual budget of approximately $100 million and works in the areas of aged care, families, vulnerable people and communities, housing and economic participation.

Lewis 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, and Chair of the University of Adelaide Business School Advisory Board.

Brian Butler OAM

BIOGRAPHY COMING SOON.

Bill Denny AM

Bill Denny AM is a Ministerial Adviser to the Hon Michael Atkinson MP and was recently appointed acting Director, Veterans’ Affairs for South Australia.

He is Chair of the ANZAC Day Committee, the ANZAC Day Commemoration Council and the ANZAC Eve Youth Vigil Committee. He is also Co-Chair of the Vietnam War Memorial Committee, and a committee member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Committee. Bill was a member of the Australian Army for 21 years and served in the United Kingdom, Germany and Papua New Guinea. He also saw active service in South Vietnam

Bill 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 our Aboriginal brothers and sisters enjoy precisely the same opportunities and their non-Aboriginal counterparts.

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.

Professor Peter Buckskin PSM, FACE

Co-Chair

Professor Peter Buckskin is a Narungga man from the Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. In December 2019 Professor Buckskin retired from the position as Dean: Aboriginal Engagement and Strategic Projects at the University of South Australia. He has continued his association with the University as an Adjunct Professor to the Education Futures Portfolio. As an educator and professional bureaucrat for nearly 40 years, Professor Buckskin’s passion has been the pursuit of educational excellence for Aboriginal peoples.

Helen Connolly

Co-Chair

Helen Connolly took up an appointment as South Australia’s first Commissioner for Children and Young People in April 2017. Helen has 30 years of experience as a leader in human services. Prior to her appointment as Commissioner for Children and Young People she was Executive Director of the Australian Red Cross in South Australia and Chair of the South Australian Council of Social Services Incorporated (SACOSS). 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.

Odette Pearson

Odette Pearson is a Torres Strait Islander and Eastern Kuku Yalanji woman from North Queensland and has lived on Kaurna land for 12 years. Her work in Aboriginal health research with communities in South Australia and is nationally focused on equitable outcomes that allow First Nations people to experience their highest attainable health and wellbeing.

Rachael Siddall

Rachael has over 20 years of experience working in partnership with Aboriginal communities and people across Australia, to enable successful reconciliation outcomes. Rachael is an advocate for bringing cultural understanding and action to the organisations in which she works and has a deep professional and personal commitment to social justice, equity and respect for all.

Brad Chilcott

Brad is the Executive Director of White Ribbon Australia. In 2011, Brad founded the “Welcoming Australia” movement and is now the Chair of the Welcoming Australia Advisory Panel and a Board director. Brad founded and convened the Family and Domestic Violence Advocacy Network in South Australia and sits on the Advisory Board Food for Education (Kenya) and was named in South Australia’s 100 Most Influential People in 2018.

He has also worked as the Interim CEO of Australians for Mental Health and as advisor to Tim Costello and the Campaign for Australian Aid, leading the “Elite Influencers” strategy. Brad was the founder and Lead Pastor of a progressive and inclusive Christian community in Adelaide called Activate Church and was on the national steering committee of Christians for Marriage Equality.

Samantha Yates

Born in Albury NSW, Sam grew up in both regional Victoria and the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Sam has been living in South Australia since 1999 and is currently the First Nations Arts and Culture Manager at Country Arts SA and works within the First Nations Programs team to support South Australian First Nations communities in their arts and cultural aspirations. She has also lead Country Arts SA Reconciliation Action Plan journey since 2013 from an INNOVATE to a STRETCH and is in the process of large-scale state-wide community consultation regarding the organisations second STRETCH RAP for 2021 – 2023.
Photo By: Chris Herzfeld

Duncan Langford

Duncan Langford is a Kamilaroi man of the plains NSW and also has family connections within SA. Duncan lives and works on Kaurna land.
Duncan has shown leadership in the delivery of major projects in Government and Non-Government areas including social and mental health, child protection and Indigenous health. Duncan is a member of ACWA and mentorship to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous s students within the Community work streams. Duncan believes in building strong community engagement systems, collaborative relationships and capacity building for the community.

Stephanie Miller

Ms Miller is an experienced not for profit leader and Board Director and brings 30 years of experience leading consumer-focussed housing, health, mental health and disability organisations in Australia and the UK. She has substantial corporate governance, strategic planning, business development, financial and operational management experience.
Prior to that, she was CEO at the Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service (STTARS), an organisation that assists people from a refugee and migrant background and, for nearly six years, Executive Director at the Health Consumers Alliance of SA, the peak body for health consumers.

Anthony Rologas

Born and raised in Anēwan country (Armidale NSW), Anthony has lived and worked in Adelaide since 2005, working in a number of different roles in the international and Australian community development sectors. His current role is Chief Operating Officer with Ninti One Limited, a not-for-profit Aboriginal company whose purpose is to build opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through research, innovation and community engagement.

Board Member Profiles

Ms Reid is a proud Eastern Aranda Woman, with family connections that extend into the Hart Ranges in the Northern Territory. With the separation of her family from their country many years ago, Shona has lived and worked across South Australia for most of her life and regards South Australia as home. Shona is married to Lyndon Reid, a Wangkangurru man has four children and is blessed to share in the life of Lyndon’s three other children.

With a Bachelor of Behavioural Science Degree from Flinders University, Shona has devoted her knowledge, experience, professional and personal life to the advancement and rights of Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities for over two decades.

For 15 years, Shona worked across the child protection, young offending and the out-of-home care sector in predominately regional and remote areas, including the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. Shona also focused her expertise on governance and accountability across the APY and Far West Coast regions of South Australia, including working as the Executive Officer for the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee. In this capacity, worked closely with Parliamentary Members from many different political parties and persuasions in assisting with their connection to and understanding of matters of interest for Aboriginal South Australians.

Shona holds positions on the SA Youth Centre Review Board, the South Australian Housing Trust Board of Management and is the Co-Chair of the Justice Reinvestment of South Australia Board.

In recognition of her work across different sectors, Shona received a 2020 Flinders University Distinguished Alumni Award for services to Aboriginal children, young people and families.

“I believe this is an exciting time to be involved in the reconciliation movement, both on the local and national stage. There is a genuine desire and eagerness for tangible progress in the area of reconciliation and I look forward to honouring the legacy that Reconciliation SA has laid before me, building on this and inspiring others to join with me on this journey together.”

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Ms Reid is a proud Eastern Aranda Woman, with family connections that extend into the Hart Ranges in the Northern Territory. With the separation of her family from their country many years ago, Shona has lived and worked across South Australia for most of her life and regards South Australia as home. Shona is married to Lyndon Reid, a Wangkangurru man has four children and is blessed to share in the life of Lyndon’s three other children.

With a Bachelor of Behavioural Science Degree from Flinders University, Shona has devoted her knowledge, experience, professional and personal life to the advancement and rights of Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities for over two decades.

For 15 years, Shona worked across the child protection, young offending and the out-of-home care sector in predominately regional and remote areas, including the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. Shona also focused her expertise on governance and accountability across the APY and Far West Coast regions of South Australia, including working as the Executive Officer for the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee. In this capacity, worked closely with Parliamentary Members from many different political parties and persuasions in assisting with their connection to and understanding of matters of interest for Aboriginal South Australians.

Shona holds positions on the SA Youth Centre Review Board, the South Australian Housing Trust Board of Management and is the Co-Chair of the Justice Reinvestment of South Australia Board.

In recognition of her work across different sectors, Shona received a 2020 Flinders University Distinguished Alumni Award for services to Aboriginal children, young people and families.

“I believe this is an exciting time to be involved in the reconciliation movement, both on the local and national stage. There is a genuine desire and eagerness for tangible progress in the area of reconciliation and I look forward to honouring the legacy that Reconciliation SA has laid before me, building on this and inspiring others to join with me on this journey together.”

Emilie Soda

Executive Assistant to the CEO and Volunteer Coordinator

Emilie started in September 2020 as Executive Assistant to Shona Reid and Volunteer Coordinator.

Prior to this, Emilie was with one of Rec SA’s partner organisations, the Don Dunstan Foundation (DDF). At the DDF Emilie coordinated social justice projects and events across mental health, homelessness and Aboriginal economic empowerment and reconciliation, including the organisation of the annual Lowitja O’Donoghue Oration.

Over the last five years Emilie’s experience has also included coordinating events and volunteers across not-for-profits. Emilie’s Volunteer Coordination work included organising large volunteer groups for National Bandanna Day for CanTeen (young people living with cancer) and leading the growth of the volunteer and intern program at the Don Dunstan Foundation.

Natalie Gentle

Education Project Officer

Natalie Gentle joined Reconciliation SA in February 2020 as an Education Project Officer. Natalie’s role includes with teachers and educators to embed reconciliation in education within classrooms and school communities.

The main area of focus for Natalie will be supporting educators in using the Narragunnawali tool, an online platform that makes the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan simple and guides you to follow processes and protocols that will ensure you are embedding reconciliation in a respectful and meaningful way.

Natalie’s experience includes a decade of work in community children centres, and most recently as a team leader in South Australia’s Inclusion Agency. Through that work Natalie spent a lot of time getting to know people working within the education sector and connected with many people on a personal level. Natalie is committed to reconciliation in education and sees educators as a crucial part of that process.

Shaun Childs

Anti Racism Project Officer

Shaun Childs joined Reconciliation SA in July 2021 and is a proud Kokatha and Wirangu man.

Shaun’s previous role was with the Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) as the Cultural Training Delivery Officer and his main priority was to coordinate and manage the departments Aboriginal Cultural four Step Footprint Program in which included providing Cultural Awareness training. Other duties included being a member of the Departments RAP committee, mentoring Aboriginal staff and advising departmental staff on Cultural safety concerns.

As Reconciliation SA’s Anti-Racism Project Officer and will coordinate and deliver Anti-Racism training. Some of the training programs include Award-Winning programs such as Generation of Change, Like me, Like you and Racism in the Workplace.

Shaun will also focus on defining strategies and tools that can be used to combat all dimensions of racism.

Rachel Hampton

Program Manager

Rachel is a proud Yankunytjatjara woman with her grandmothers’ family from Mimili and her grandfather’s family from Roper River. Racheal is mother to daughters Florence and Eleanor and loves spending family time with her partner Leanne.

Rachel started playing sport at playing hockey and basketball at age 5 in country Whyalla. After moving to Adelaide, Rachel pursued a hocky career and was successful in playing hockey for South Australia from SAPSASA through to senior National League level, winning two National Championships with the South Australia Suns in 1995 and 2011 and remains involved in hockey in a both a playing and coaching capacity.

Rachel also played cricket for South Australia in the inaugural National Indigenous Cricket Championships, the Imparja Cup in Alice Springs in 2018. That was the first time that South Australia fielded an Aboriginal women’s side.

Rachel’s worked for the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing (ORSR) for the past 26 years in different roles ranging from elite sport to participation, the Indigenous Sport Program, be active Playtime, coaching, officiating, volunteering to more recently, club development and coordinating the regional field officers across South Australia before coming across to Reconciliation SA in 2021.

Travis Akbar

Content Producer

Travis Akbar is from the Waljen group of the Wongutha people of the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia, however, he grew up on Wirangu country on the West Coast of South Australia.

Travis lived on Wongutha country in the mid-2000s, but returned to South Australia to study in Adelaide, at TafeSA. After receiving an Advanced Diploma in Marketing & Advertising, Travis began a career in supermarket management. In 2018, Travis began to review film and subsequently became a freelance writer, before joining Reconciliation SA in December of 2019.

Travis is also a screenwriter and is currently writing film and television for several Producers across Australia and the USA.

GOLD MEMBERS