Program

 

Monday 6 December
2.00pm – 5.00pm Pre-conference workshops
Tuesday 7 December
9.00am – 10.30am Opening Plenary
10.30am – 11.00am Break
11.00am – 12.30pm Concurrent sessions
12.30pm – 1.30pm Break & Meditation Session
1.30pm – 3.00pm Concurrent Sessions
3.00pm – 3.30pm Break
3.30pm – 5.00pm Concurrent Sessions
Wednesday 8 December
9.00am – 10.30am Plenary Session
10.30am – 11.00am Break
11.00am – 12.30pm Concurrent sessions
12.30pm – 1.30pm Break & Meditation Session
1.30pm – 3.00pm Concurrent Sessions
3.00pm – 3.30pm Break
3.30pm – 5.00pm Concurrent Sessions
Thursday 9 December
9.00am – 10.30am Plenary Session
10.30am – 11.00am Break & Meditation Session
11.00am – 12.30pm Concurrent sessions
12.30pm – 1.00pm Break
1.00pm – 1.45pm Family Matters Report Launch
3.00pm – 3.30pm Break
2.00pm – 3.30pm Closing Plenary

* Please note this program is subject to change.

 

Speakers

Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett Hon DLitt SW AO

Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett Hon DLitt SW AO

Chairperson, SNAICC - National Voice for our Children

 

Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett OA is a Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung woman who has been the CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency since 1999. She is currently Chairperson of SNAICC and active in over 30 advisory groups concerning the Aboriginal community, including the Aboriginal Treaty Working Group; Aboriginal Family Violence Steering Committee; Victorian Children’s Council; Aboriginal Justice Forum; and the Aboriginal Community Elders Service, to name just a few. Muriel was heavily involved in the Northern Territory Child Protection Inquiry from 2009-11.

Muriel’s contributions have been recognised in a number of awards including a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2004 Australia Day Honours for her services to the community. In 2011, Muriel was inducted into the 2011 Victorian Honour Roll of Women and was a finalist for a Human Rights Medal with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

In 2017, Muriel was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in Social Work by the University of Sydney in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Aboriginal child and family welfare.

Professor Larissa Behrendt AO

Professor Larissa Behrendt AO

Associate Dean and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology, Sydney

 

Larissa is a Eualayai/Gamillaroi woman and the Associate Dean and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology, Sydney. Larissa won the 2002 David Uniapon Award and a 2005 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for her novel Home. Her second novel, Legacy, won a Victorian Premiers Literary Award. Her non-fiction works include Finding Eliza: Power and Colonial Storytelling, Indigenous Australia for Dummies and Indigenous Australia for Kids. Larissa is an award-winning filmmaker, winning the 2018 Australian Directors Guild Award for best Direction of a Documentary Film for After the Apology, and the 2020 AACTA for Best Direction in Factual Television for her documentary, Maralinga Tjarutja. Larissa was awarded the 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year award and 2011 NSW Australian of the Year and was awarded an Order of Australia for her work in Indigenous education, the law and arts. She is the host of Speaking Out on ABC Radio. 

Arapera Card

Arapera Card

Pouhere Kaupapa Māori, Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ)

 

Arapera Card is of Māori descent, (indigenous of Aotearoa, New Zealand).  Arapera is the Senior Advisor Māori at Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ).  Her role requires her to provide students, teachers and families with an authentic bicultural experience by embedding cultural practices and te reo Māori (Māori language) into all programmes delivered by ECNZ. Language, culture and identity are key aspects of cultural wellbeing and from a Māori perspective Arapera believes that culture and language shape one’s identity and personality. Arapera has been a lecturer, cultural advisor, curriculum advisor and subject group leader at Te Rito Maioha and is passionate about ensuring all children’s, students and teachers stories are heard.

Ursula Carolyn

Ursula Carolyn

Branch Manager, Families and Safety, National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA)

 

Ursula has worked in the Commonwealth Indigenous Affairs portfolio since 2007, in Canberra, Darwin, Adelaide, the APY Lands and remote communities in the Northern Territory. Ursula has led policy, program and corporate teams delivering place-based and healing-informed programs in community. Ursula has experience across family safety, early childhood, culture, youth and remote housing. Most recently Ursula, along with the Early Childhood Policy team, has been working in partnership with SNAICC to develop the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Strategy.

Joanne Della Bona

Joanne Della Bona

CEO, Coolabaroo (WA)

 

Joanne Della Bona is a Noongar woman from Whadjuk and Balardong country in Western Australia. Joanne has more than 30 years’ experience in the community services sector, in education, housing, child protection the reunification of children, childcare, job skills, and employment.

Joanne started her career as a primary school teacher, and has a Bachelor of Arts (Education). In 1994 Joanne was awarded the Western Australian of the Year Award, in the Youth category. She has held Board positions for Noongar Radio, (now) Aboriginal Family Law Services, and the Noongar Child Protection Council (NCPC), and is a Delegate on the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC). Joanne was the Acting CEO for Beananging Kwuurt Institute.

Joanne is currently serving as the CEO of Coolabaroo, which is inclusive of Coolabaroo Neighbourhood Centre, Colabaroo Housing Service, and Coolabaroo Community Service.

Dr Paul Gray

Dr Paul Gray

Associate Professor, Jumbanna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney

 

Paul is a proud Wiradjuri man from New South Wales with immense experience in the child and family sector, upholding the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

Paul has a Doctorate in Experimental Psychology at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, as an inaugural Charlie Perkins Scholar, and has worked in various positions with the New South Wales Department of Communities and Justice [formerly Department of Family and Community Services (FACS)], prior to becoming the Executive Leader of Strategy, Policy and Evidence at AbSec – NSW Child, Family and Community Peak Aboriginal Corporation, the state’s Aboriginal peak body in child protection.

For the past year Paul has held the role of Associate Professor for the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), where he works in close partnership with Aboriginal communities and organisations to develop and undertake research, policy development, and advocacy in the child protection sector.

Liz Hefren-Webb

Liz Hefren-Webb

Deputy Secretary of the Families and Communities Stream

 

Liz Hefren-Webb is the Deputy Secretary of the Families and Communities Stream in the Department of Social Services (DSS) and oversees policy and programs that support vulnerable communities, families and children and promote family safety.

She also has responsibility for the National Redress Scheme which was established in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, as well as problem gambling policy, financial wellbeing policy and programs and cashless welfare policy.

The Community Grants Hub, which delivers community-based grants funding on behalf of Australian Government client departments and agencies, is also in Liz’s remit.

Liz joined DSS in July 2018.  Prior to this, she was a First Assistant Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, in the Indigenous Affairs Division, responsible for education, community safety, health and wellbeing programs and policy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

She has also held senior executive positions in the former Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.  She started her career as a graduate in the former Department of Social Security in 1996.

Liz has an Arts degree with Honours in Government from the University of Sydney.

Natalie Lewis

Natalie Lewis

Commissioner, Queensland Child and Family Commission

 

Natalie Lewis was appointed Commissioner for the Queensland Family and Child Commission in May 2020. Ms Lewis, a Gamilaraay woman, brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge from her distinguished over 20-year career in youth justice, child and family services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. Ms Lewis works with a strong and renewed focus on the systemic and structural issues disproportionately affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Previously, Ms Lewis held the role of Chief Executive Officer with QATSICPP Limited. As Commissioner, Ms Lewis drives change to better the safety, wellbeing and interests of children and young people, including those in the child protection system.

Catherine Liddle

Catherine Liddle

Chief Executive Officer, SNAICC – National Voice for our Children

 

An Arrernte/Luritja woman from Central Australia, Catherine has a strong background in senior management positions with First Nations organisations. Catherine has also held senior roles within the Northern Territory Education Department, the ABC, and NITV/SBS.

A journalist by trade, Catherine’s motivation has always been to drive change that leads to positive outcomes and options for First Nations people. Over the past 10 years she has led multidisciplinary teams, overseen workplace transformations, and advocated for policy reform.

Andrea Mason OAM

Andrea Mason OAM

Commissioner, Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

 

Ms Mason is a visionary leader with many accolades to her name including 2016 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year, 2017 Northern Territory Australian of the Year and in the same year, Alice Springs Centralian Citizen of the Year. A Ngaanyatjarra and Karonie Australian woman from Western Australia, Ms Mason has built a reputation and career grounded in deep respect for the voice and collective determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. During her renowned career, Ms Mason has worked in Indigenous Affairs in both the public and community sector, working in a variety of roles from executive through to support. Her biggest career highlight so far has been working with the women of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) region in central Australia, as CEO of NPY Women’s Council. As a Commissioner, Ms Mason will listen deeply to people with disability and their families as they share their stories concerning violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, including members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Garth Morgan

Garth Morgan

CEO, Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP)

 

Garth has dedicated his professional career to improving health and community services from the government and not-for-profit sector.  He has significant experience on Boards and Committees including as Chair of the Queensland Government’s Just Futures Taskforce and membership on the Queensland Compact Governance Committee and the Advisory Board for the establishment of the Queensland Mental Health Commission. In addition to this, Garth has served as non-Executive Director of Community Sector Boards in the Health, Housing, Media and Recruitment sectors. Garth is passionate about supporting organisations to improve their strategy implementation, strategic and operational governance, and manage change.

In leading his team at QATSICPP, Garth has contributed to the formation of ground-breaking work including leading the co-design and development of the Our Way Strategy and continually contributing to legislative reforms that embeds the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to self-determination. Garth also leads the evaluation of the Youth Justice Family Led Decision Making trial, the establishment of QATSICPP’s own Centre for Excellence and the advocacy and development of 33 Family Wellbeing service catchment profiles.

Garth provides high-level evidence-informed policy analysis and strategic advice on issues and opportunities that positively impact on the rights and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

June Oscar AO

June Oscar AO

Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner

 

June Oscar AO is a proud Bunuba woman from the remote town of Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. She is a strong advocate for Indigenous Australian languages, social justice, women’s issues, and has worked tirelessly to reduce Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). June has held a raft of influential positions including Deputy Director of the Kimberley Land Council, chair of the Kimberley Language Resource Centre and the Kimberley Interpreting Service and Chief Investigator with WA’s Lililwan Project addressing FASD.

She was appointed to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (1990) and was a winner of the 100 Women of Influence 2013 in the Social Enterprise and Not For Profit category. In 2015 June received the Menzies School of Health Research Medallion for her work with FASD.

June has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the University of Notre Dame, Broome, Western Australia, and is currently writing her PhD. June is a co-founder of the Yiramalay Wesley Studio School and is a Community member of the Fitzroy Valley Futures Governing Committee.

June began her five-year term as Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner on 3 April 2017.

Patricia Turner AM

Patricia Turner AM

CEO, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

 

The daughter of an Arrernte man and a Gurdanji woman, Pat was raised in Alice Springs.  As CEO of NACCHO, she is at the forefront of community efforts to Close the Gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  Pat has over 40 years’ experience in senior leadership positions in government, business and academia including being the only Aboriginal person, only woman and longest serving CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Commission (ATSIC).  Amongst her many appointments, she also spent 18 months as Monash Chair of Australian Studies, Georgetown University, Washington DC, and was inaugural CEO of NITV.  Pat is the Coalition of Peaks Convenor and Co-Chair of the Joint Council on Closing the Gap. Pat holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Canberra where she was awarded the University prize for Development Studies.

Pre-Conference Workshops

Workshop A

Early Years Workshop: Te tuakiri o te tangata – Beyond the skin of man

Date: Monday 6 December
Time: 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Venue: Gold Coast Convention Centre
Cost: Early bird $125
Standard $145

Presented by Arapera Card

An early childhood expert, Arapera Card is of Māori descent, (indigenous of Aotearoa, New Zealand).
Arapera is the Senior Advisor Māori at Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ).

Māori traditions and practices have been handed down for many generations and this means they are both lived and learned in our modern day. In this workshop we will explore the holistic wellbeing of our Indigenous Māori children, families and communities and take a wider Indigenous view to identify similarities in values and beliefs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. From a Māori perspective, balancing the physical needs of all children such as providing good exercise regimes, healthy eating, fun and laughter are great incentives to gaining physical fitness and wellness.

However, how will we maintain the spiritual needs and wellbeing of our children to provide a healthy holistic balance? How often do we consider what needs to happen in order to take care of what is beyond the physical appearance – beyond the skin of man?


Workshop B

Workforce supports to prevent burnout – Self-care

Date: Monday 6 December
Time: 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Venue: Gold Coast Convention Centre
Cost: Early bird $125
Standard $145

Presented by Tanja Hirvonen

Tanja is a proud Aboriginal Australian woman through her mother who was born in Alice Springs, Northern Territory and identifies as Jaru and Bunuba. Her grandmother is from the Barkly Tablelands region and Tanja’s grandfather is from East Kimberley, Western Australia. Tanja’s father is from Finland. Tanja grew up in Mount Isa and has most recently lived and worked throughout the Northern Territory for the past seven years and then living in Queensland for the past year.

A registered Clinical Psychologist with a double degree majoring in psychology and human research management and also holds a postgraduate degree, Masters in Clinical Psychology. Tanja has worked in academic, clinical, and executive roles as a clinical psychologist and is currently working as the Wellbeing Director with The Healing Foundation, she is also on the board of the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association. Tanja is passionate about working in evidence based and culturally safe ways to make a difference to the health and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce are highly regarded, essential and are in high demand.  We are not only managing higher social and emotional wellbeing demands within our day-to-day work, but also managing our wellbeing for ourselves, and supporting our families wellbeing.  With these increases we may be more vulnerable to stress and burnout.  It is important to be aware of the signs and how we can look after ourselves in the work that we do.

This pre-conference workshop will help you learn about how to keep well and strong.  You will also gain awareness of self-care, social and emotional wellbeing, chronic stress and how to mitigate the impacts of stress. The focus will be on:

  • What is self-care?
  • Social and emotional wellbeing and what that means for us as employees and employers.
  • Stress, trauma and its individual and collective impacts,
  • Strategies for maintaining good social and emotional wellbeing.