Western Australian Aboriginal Advisory Council

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

Cultural warning:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

 

About the Council

The Aboriginal Advisory Council (generally known as the Western Australian Aboriginal Advisory Council or WAAAC) 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 WAAAC 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 Media Statement.

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

WAAAC Meetings

Current membership

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Information about Council members.

Vicki O’Donnell, Co-Chair

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 Service in Broome, and was chief executive officer of the Derby Aboriginal Health Service for 12 years.

Jonathon Ford, Co-Chair

Mr Ford is a Noongar man, and has been CEO of Moorditj Koort Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre since 2012. Mr Ford was previously programs manager of Aboriginal Health with the Rockingham Kwinana Division of General Practice, and held senior positions with the South Metropolitan Public Health Unit and Department of Housing.

He has experience in justice, housing, natural resource management, education, employment and Aboriginal economic development. Mr Ford is a member of the Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Service Board and Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Young Leaders Council.

Gail Beck

Ms Beck is a proud descendant of Sarah Bunderan Ryder, her 2000 generational maternal connection to the Bibbulmun nations of south-west Australia.

Ms Beck is the regional development manager for the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, and proudly serves as a volunteer on the board of the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation, Nyoongar Wellbeing & Sports, Fiona Stanley Hospital Consumer Advice Council, and the City of Cockburn Aboriginal Reference Group.

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.

Daniel Brown

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

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

Linda Dridi

Ms Dridi is a Nyamal woman with family links to the Martu (Western Desert) and Yaburrah/Mardudthunera Coastal Group. She is passionate about empowering Aboriginal people and has a strong commitment to support and advocate for others.

Having worked in both government and non-government organisations, Ms Dridi has a diverse professional background, including work with the Postmaster General’s Office, WA Museum, Australian Medical Association, WA Justice Department, and the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority, where she helped to establish the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Aboriginal Visitor Scheme. Ms Dridi has been employed as a community development/liaison officer at Nyamal People’s Trust in Port Hedland since 2016. Here, Ms Dridi provides support to Nyamal people by being engaged in both corporate and community decision-making, and helping to ensure members can access services related to health, education, aged-care, youth and women's issues. Key to this role, Ms Dridi must communicate effectively and be culturally aware of how to best advocate on behalf of Nyamal people.

Ms Dridi is also a Co-Chair of the Pilbara Aboriginal Voice (Kakurrka Muri), which was endorsed by the Pilbara Aboriginal Community at the Yule River Bush Meeting in 2017.

Gordon Gray

Mr Gray has worked with the Ngaanganawili Community in Wiluna as Coordinator of the Community.

Mr Gray was a Regional Manager for the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Commission for the Kalgoorlie, Esperance and Leonora region and separately, the Ngaanyatjarra Lands, including the Tjuntjuntjarra Community in the Great Victoria Desert to the Martu Country in the Western Desert of the Pilbara until 2004.

Mr Gray retired from the public service in 2006 and undertook community service work in environmental health through Bundiyarra Aboriginal Corporation until retirement in 2012. Mr Gray is Chairperson of the Midwest Aboriginal Organisation Alliance and Deputy Chair of the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service.

Corina Martin

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.

Gail Reynolds-Adamson

Ms Reynolds-Adamson is an Esperance Nyungar and Mirrning woman who is the current Chairperson of the Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (ETNTAC), Chairperson of the Goldfields Esperance Development Commission and has been appointed to the South-West Marine Park Advisory Committee.

Ms Reynolds-Adamson owns and operates Kaata Tidje, which provides a corporate strategic approach to the management of Indigenous issues through a Cultural Competency Framework, and provides cultural competency training to clients across Australia. Ms Reynolds-Adamson is a previous Board member of Indigenous Business Australia, and was the first Aboriginal woman appointed to the role of Newmont Australia’s National Indigenous Relations Manager.

Peter Riley

Mr Riley is a Wiradjuri and Weilwan man from western New South Wales. Mr Riley grew up in Dubbo and moved to Sydney in 1980 to start a career in business. He has worked in the corporate and government arenas, specialising in technology implementation, consulting, business strategy and change management.

In 2014, Mr Riley moved to Alice Springs to be part of Empowered Communities (EC). Mr Riley is the Executive Manager of the NPY EC Secretariat working with Aboriginal organisations from across the NPY region, including NPY Women’s Council and Ngaanyatjarra Council, on the design and implementation of the Aboriginal designed and led EC initiatives.

Marty Sibosado

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.

Peter Yu

Mr Yu is a Yawuru man from Broome in the Kimberley region, with more than 35 years’ experience in Indigenous development and advocacy locally and internationally. He was a key negotiator on behalf of the Yawuru Native Title Holders with the WA State Government over the 2010 Yawuru Native Title Agreement.

Mr Yu is the chief executive officer of the Yawuru Corporate Group and a former executive director of the Kimberley Land Council, with a national leadership role negotiating the Federal Government’s response to the 1992 Mabo High Court judgement on Native Title. Mr Yu is the Chair for the Indigenous Reference Group (IRG) to the Northern Ministerial Forum and the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA). He is Deputy Chair of the AFL Aboriginal Advisory Committee and Broome Futures Alliance Ltd, a council member of the Governing Board of the Australian National University, and committee member for WA Aboriginal Water and Environment Advisory Group.

Contact

Telephone:
61 8 6552 5543
Page reviewed 27 November 2019