Aboriginal Advisory Council of Western Australia

The Council provides advice on matters relating to the interests and wellbeing of people of Aboriginal descent.
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Logo of the Aboriginal Advisory Council WA

About the Council

The Aboriginal Advisory Council (generally known as the Aboriginal Advisory Council of Western Australia or AACWA) is established under Section 18 (1) of the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority Act 1972 to advise the WA Government.

It provides a unique opportunity to build genuine, respectful and reciprocal relationships between Aboriginal people and the WA Government to achieve better life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, women and children.

In July 2017, the secretariat responsibility was transferred to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet under machinery of government changes.

The AACWA meets up to six times per year to provide advice on a range of policy matters.

On 22 October 2019, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs announced appointments to the refreshed Aboriginal Advisory Council. Read more in the Appointments to the refreshed Aboriginal Advisory Council announced Media Statement.

On 4 July 2022, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs announced the appointments of three new members to the Aboriginal Advisory Council: New members appointed to the Aboriginal Advisory Council.

For further information, contact the secretariat on the email opposite, or by phone.

Aboriginal Advisory Council WA - Meetings and Communiques  

Aboriginal Advisory Council WA - Terms of Reference and Charter 

Aboriginal Advisory Council WA - Resources

Current membership

Information about Council members.

Gail Beck OAM, Co-Chair

Photograph of Gail Beck - Aboriginal Advisory Council WA

Ms Beck has generations of continued maternal connection to the Bibbulmun nations of the south-west of Australia. 

Ms Beck has a solid awareness of the stolen generations challenges due to her grandmothers being removed, and an awareness of the importance of connected families, including the wellness of the family unit and community. A nurse by trade who then branched out into community development field with and for her people.

Ms Beck is the Executive Manager – Cultural Integration, RUAH Community Services and proudly serves on City of Cockburn’s Aboriginal Reference Group and Djidji-djidi Aboriginal Women’s Corporation.

Ms Beck attained a BA in Community Management and Adult Education whilst raising her family. Gail is also a passionate volunteer activist opposing the destruction of family connections to each other and country, as well as promoting whole of family health and wellness. Ms Beck has extensive knowledge of native title having worked in the area for South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council for over 11 years.

Ms Beck was an ATSIC regional Councillor (Perth Metro Bibra Ward) and a member of the National Section 13 Women’s Committee. She co-developed NAIDOC Perth, where she volunteered for seven years.

2012 – OAM: For service to the Indigenous community of Perth through roles in the areas of health, social welfare and native title.

Marty Sibosado, Co-Chair

Photograph of Martin Sibosado -  Aboriginal Advisory Council WA member

Mr Sibosado is a Bardi Jawi Traditional Owner and PBC member, whose family are Goolargoon Bardi, originating from Djarindjin Lombadina on the Dampier Peninsular, where they still live.

Mr Sibosado has a 20-year involvement in the Kimberly Aboriginal Regional Authority concept, through the KLC, and the many phases of the Kimberley Aboriginal regional authority modelling in that time with the latest model being the Kimberley Futures Empowered Communities. He has extensive knowledge of Native Title and has been a company manager and board member of Nirrumbuk Aboriginal Corporation in Broome for 20 years. Serving as their business development manager, he is tasked with establishing Aboriginal business opportunities and developing young Indigenous business people.

Daniel Brown

photograph of Daniel Brown - Aboriginal Advisory Council WA member

Mr Brown is a Njamal man from the south-east of Port Hedland, and has lived for the past 20 years in Ngarluma Country, in the Karratha district of the West Pilbara. Culture, respect and connection to country are the fundamental essence of his values.

Mr Brown has a strong commitment to Aboriginal affairs in matters surrounding social and economic reforms; locally, regionally and at the state level. He has held numerous positions with government agencies, including Housing, Community Development, Justice, Aboriginal Affairs, ATSIC and DEETYA, as well as with various non-government organisations, including Port Hedland Regional Aboriginal Corporation, Pilbara Meta Maya, Mawarnkarra Health Service and YMAC.

Mr Brown also formerly chaired the Aboriginal Justice Program for the West Pilbara and represented the Pilbara on the State Aboriginal Justice Committee, and was actively involved in the Pilbara Regional Aboriginal Education Advisory Council. He is a Co-Chair of the Pilbara Aboriginal Voice (Kakurrka Muri) leadership group, which was endorsed by the Pilbara Aboriginal Community at the Yule River Bush Meeting in 2017.

Merle Carter

Photograph of Marle Carter Aboriginal Advisory Council WA member

Ms Carter is a Senior Cultural Woman of the Miriuwong Gajerrong tribe and a Senior Woman of the Bunuba tribe.

Ms Carter moved to Bohemia Downs Station and assisted Traditional Owners to set up their community Kupartiya, before moving to Fitzroy Crossing to work as an Aboriginal liaison officer. Ms Carter lived in Kununurra and worked with the Kununurra Mental Health Service and as a drug and alcohol counsellor with the Warringarri Aboriginal Organisation. She also lived in Warmun and Derby before returning to Kununurra in 2005.

Ms Carter is Women's Deputy Chair of the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre (KALACC). She serves on the WA Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee and is a board member of MG Corporation and Aarnja Ltd. She served as Deputy Chair of the Kimberley Land Council and sat on the Kimberley Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Trial Working Group.

Rowena Leslie

Ms Leslie lives in Kalgoorlie and attained Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Western Australia. 

Since graduating Ms Leslie embarked on a career that has led her to become experienced in working with law firms in the energy and resources sector, a career which culminated with her becoming the company owner and Chief Executive Officer of Kai Rho Contracting in December 2013. 

Ms Leslie is active within the Kurrawang Community in the Goldfields-Esperance region where she serves as the Vice Chair of the Kurrawang Aboriginal Christian Community and as a Board Member of Christian Aboriginal Parent-Directed Schools Inc. Ms Leslie became the inaugural chair of the Goldfields Aboriginal Business Chamber, an organisation dedicated to improving the visibility of Aboriginal businesses in the Goldfields region.

Corina Martin OAM

Ms Martin is a Mulgyin Jaru/Kitja and Gooniyandi woman, born and raised in Broome WA, who grew up with her mum and grandparents as role models. Ms Martin’s grandparents were part of the stolen generation and lived in Beagle Bay, where her mum was born before moving to Broome.

Ms Martin has a Diploma in Management and Leadership, a Bachelor of Marketing and the Media as well as a Bachelor of Law. She gained her admittance to the Supreme Court of WA as a barrister and solicitor in 2006.

2023 – OAM: For service to the legal sector.

Vicki O’Donnell OAM

Photograph of Vicky O'Donnell Aboriginal Advisory Council WA member

Ms O’Donnell is a Nyikina Mangala Aboriginal woman from Derby, where she grew up. She has significant experience as a strategic leader in the Aboriginal community controlled health sector, focusing on the delivery and ongoing support of Aboriginal programs at a regional, state and national level.

Ms O’Donnell brings extensive expertise and understanding of Aboriginal health, and multiple perspectives on Indigenous issues. She is currently chief executive officer for the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services in Broome, and was chief executive officer of the Derby Aboriginal Health Service for 12 years.

2022 – OAM: For service to the Indigenous community of Western Australia.

Preston Thomas

Mr Preston Thomas, known to some as Mr T. is the Chair of Kanpa Community, which is relatively close to Warburton and his home for over 30 years. Before coming to the Ngaanyatjarra Lands, Mr Thomas spent 10 years with the WA Police Force as an Aboriginal Police Liaison Officer.

He is the Deputy Chair of the Ngaanyatjarra Council Aboriginal Corporation, Ngaanyatjarra Health and Ngaanyatjarra Services as well as the Deputy Chair of the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku.

Through a long association with the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA on the Executive Committee, Mr Thomas is the Chair of the Aboriginal Legal Service (WA and deeply committed to influencing the issues facing Aboriginal people. Mr Thomas is proud of the vital work done by ALSWA within WA’s justice system.

Mr Thomas additionally holds Director positions in the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (ACHWA), National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Aboriginal Strategic Advisory Group, Department of Communities.

Working with many organisations representing Aboriginal people is how Mr Thomas seeks to help with the issues that affect many Aboriginal people. He is committed to increasing the development of Aboriginal Western Australians.