Conference MC

Professor Gregory Phillips
Professor Gregory Phillips

Chief Executive Officer of ABSTARR Consulting

Gregory Phillips is from the Waanyi and Jaru Aboriginal Australian peoples and comes from Cloncurry and Mount Isa.

He is a medical anthropologist, has a PhD in psychology (‘Dancing With Power: Aboriginal Health, Cultural Safety and Medical Education’), a research master’s degree in medical science (‘Addictions and Healing in Aboriginal Country’; published as a book in 2003), and a bachelor degree in arts (Aboriginal Studies and Government majors).

Gregory has twenty years work experience in healing, alcohol and other drugs, youth empowerment, medical education and health workforce. He developed an accredited Indigenous health curriculum for all medical schools in Australia and New Zealand, founded the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Network, and co-wrote a national Indigenous health workforce strategy. He established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation Ltd in the wake of the federal apology to Indigenous Australians has advised federal ministers on Indigenous health inequality and was honoured in 2011 with an ADC Australian Leadership Forum Award.

Gregory is currently Chief Executive Officer of ABSTARR Consulting, and an Associate Professor and Research Fellow at The Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

Keynote Speakers

Donna Ah Chee
Donna Ah Chee

CEO of Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress)

Donna Ah Chee is the CEO of Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress), an Aboriginal community-controlled primary health care service employing over 400 staff to deliver integrated services in Alice Springs and six nearby remote communities.

She is a Bundgalung woman from the far north coast of New South Wales who has lived in Alice Springs for over 30 years, Donna is married to a local Yankunytjatjara/Arrernte man and together they have three children.

Donna is a director on the board of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the NT (AMSANT) and is Chair of the NT Aboriginal Benefit Account Advisory Committee (ABAAC) until 30 June 2019. She sits on the board of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) where she previously served as CEO, and is a board member of the NT Primary Health Network (NTPHN).

Donna is an expert member of the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Implementation Plan Advisory Group (IPAG), member Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Forum (NTAHF), Chair NT Children and Families Tripartite Forum and she represents Congress on the Alice Springs Peoples’ Alcohol Action Coalition (PAAC).

Kerry Arabena
Kerry Arabena

Managing Director Karabena Consulting

Professor Kerry Arabena is Managing Director of several 100% owned and operated Indigenous Businesses including Karabena Consulting, First 1000 Days Australia and Weyarn Pty Ltd – a social and emotional wellbeing social enterprise company. A descendant of the Meriam people from the Torres Strait, Kerry’s work has brought her to the forefront of Indigenous affairs in Australia. A former social worker with a Doctorate in Environmental Science, Kerry has held senior positions including Chair of Indigenous Health at the University of Melbourne, Executive Director of First 1000 Days Australia, CEO of the Lowitja Institute, and Director of Indigenous Health Research at Monash University.With an extensive background in public health, administration, community development and research, Kerry has led a wide range of organisations and committees including the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council and the National Congress of Australia’s First People. Currently a Director of Kinaway Chamber of Commerce and President of EcoHealth International, Kerry holds an honorary professorial position with the University of Melbourne and has a number of entrepreneurial programs in development.

Chelsea Bond
Chelsea Bond

Senior Research Fellow, The University of Queensland

Associate Professor Chelsea Bond is an Aboriginal (Munanjahli) and South Sea Islander woman and a Senior Research Fellow within the School of Social Science at The University of Queensland. Dr Bond has worked as an Aboriginal Health Worker and researcher in communities across south-east Queensland for the past 20 years and has a strong interest in interpreting and privileging Indigenous experiences of the health system including critically examining the role of Aboriginal health workers, the narratives of Indigeneity produced within public health, and advocating for strength based community development approaches to Indigenous health promotion practice. Her current research supported by the Australian Research Council seeks to examine how race and racism operate within the health system in producing the persisting health disparities experienced by Indigenous peoples.

Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council
Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council

Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council is led by women’s law, authority and culture to deliver health, social and cultural services for all Anangu. NPY Women’s Council nurtures strong Anangu voices and solutions for the region to provide better outcomes for future generations. We are advocates, capacity builders and service providers. The way we work is innovative and unique, and places our people and culture are at the heart of what we do. NPYWC is governed and directed by Aboriginal women across 26 desert communities in the cross-border regions of Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

The NPYWC Ngangkari Program supports a dynamic group of ngangkari (traditional healers) who are also highly respected artists, teachers, community leaders and health workers. As well as applying their traditional skills as healers in their communities, they provide advice to Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and services outside their communities, using their extensive knowledge of culture and family. The Ngangkari program has received national and international
acclaim including the Sigmund Freud Award of the World Council of Psychotherapy Congress in 2011, and the RANZCP 2009 Mark Sheldon Prize. The program has produced a book – ‘Traditional Healers of Central Australia: Ngangkari’, winner of a Deadly Award in 2013 for best published  book.

John Paterson
John Paterson

Executive Officer, AMSANT

John Paterson — born and bred Territorian, John’s family is affiliated with the Ngalakan tribe, located in the Roper River region.  John was appointed as the EO of AMSANT in June 2006 and immediately outlined his priorities for the organisation in the coming years.

“John’s goal is to strengthen and enhance our community controlled health services in the NT so we can improve both the quality and duration of life for Aboriginal people,” John says. “I’m particularly keen to help improve the mental health of the people in our region, with a holistic approach to primary health care.

“He hopes to build on the AMSANT’s strong history of advocacy and to continue lobbying the territory and federal governments to acknowledge the on-going success of the Aboriginal community controlled health sector.

John’s professional appointments:

CEO, Wurli Wurlinjang Health Service
ATSIC State Manager, Victoria
ATSIC State Manager, South Australia
ATSIC Regional Manager, Broome
ATSIC Regional Manager, Murchison/Gascoyne
Senior Advisor, NT Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
(Acting) Director of NAALAS (North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service)
ATSIC Commissioner, NT (North Zone)
Council Liaison Officer, Northern Land Council

John has represented ATSIC at the United Nations Working Group of Indigenous Populations in Geneva, and at Indigenous economic conferences in Canada.

In 1992 he graduated from Edith Cowan University with a Bachelor of Social Science (Human Services) and has completed leadership courses with the Australian Rural Leadership Program.

John’s interests

John played 213 games of AFL for the Darwin Football Club (the mighty ‘Buffaloes’) and captained their NTFL Premiership team in 1980. He was twice selected for the NT News “Team of the Year” and is a Life Member of the NTFL and the Darwin Football Club.  He is currently President of the club.

Nowadays, John prefers to spend time with his wife and family, including six children and nine grand-children, or to do some gardening, gentle walking or playing golf.

John also enjoys discussing Aboriginal affairs with his friends and contacts, and spends time encouraging young people to excel in their studies and their work. He believes the mentoring and coaching of young people is central to the development of Aboriginal people and their communities.

Clinton Shultz
Clinton Shultz

Assistant Professor with Bond University Medical School, Director of Marumali Consultations and Owner of Sobah Beverages

Clinton Schultz is a Gamilaraay man and registered psychologist with a keen interest in holistic wellness, particularly the wellness of workers in health and community services. Clinton is in the process of submitting his PhD titled: Winanga-li-gu (Higher order listening), Guwaa-li-gu (higher order speaking), Maruma-li-gu (higher order healing) Factors of holistic wellbeing for members of the Aboriginal health and community workforce.  He is an Assistant Professor with Bond University Medical School, Director of Marumali Consultations and Owner of Sobah beverages.


Paul Worley
Paul Worley

National Rural Health Commissioner

Professor Worley has had a distinguished career in rural health, both as a practitioner and an academic. He studied medicine at the University of Adelaide, graduating in 1984 and has worked as a Rural Generalist in rural South Australia; first at Lameroo, and then in Clare, Barmera and currently at Yankalilla. He lives in South Australia with his wife, and has seven children (including three children inlaw) and six grandchildren.

Professor Worley has long been a leading figure internationally in the rural health and medical education sectors, has held senior positions in the Rural Doctors Association of South Australia and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, was instrumental in establishing rural Divisions of General Practice across South Australia, has served as a Board Director for the Adelaide PHN and for AGPT Regional Training Organisations in the Northern Territory and South Australia, is Editor in Chief of the international journal, Rural and Remote Health, and is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

As National Rural Health Commissioner, Professor Worley is passionate about quality, equity and fairness for all, especially the underserved. Australia’s rural and remote communities and the  health professionals who serve them, deserve an evidence-based, sustainable, cost-effective and well supported rural health system, designed by rural clinicians, grown in rural regions, and serving all who live across our vast land. We must have the right health professionals delivering the
right care, in the right place at the right time.