2020 IAHA Online Conference Speakers

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.

In February 2017, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Edith Cowan University. June was also named the NAIDOC Person of the Year at the 2018 National NAIDOC Awards.

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



Associate Professor Raymond Lovett is a Ngiyampaa/Wongaibon epidemiologist with experience in cohort studies, health services research, public health policy and evaluation. The emphasis of his research is on the links between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and improved wellbeing outcomes and health services. Ray is the study director of Mayi Kuwayi, the National Study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing.



Janine Mohamed is a proud Narrunga Kaurna woman from South Australia. Over the past 20 years, Janine has worked in nursing, management, project management, and workforce and health policy in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector. Many of these years have been spent in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector at state, national and international levels, and most recently as the previous CEO at the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM). Janine is now based in Melbourne as the CEO of the Lowitja Institute. She was awarded an Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity Fellowship in 2019, and, in January 2020, was awarded a Doctorate of Nursing honoris causa by Edtih Cowan University.



Scott is a Mithaka man from far western Queensland. Along with 5 other Mithaka people, Scott led the Mithaka Native Title process for 12 years to a successful Consent Determination decision in October 2015. He believes the challenge is to reconnect with self, others, and the environment. Scott has a master’s degree from the University of Queensland, studied at The University of British Columbia in Canada. He is Director of Murrimatters Consulting, Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, and Chief Investigator on Australian Research Council grant (ANU). He is passionate about bringing people together around approaches to complex challenges. The National and International experiences broadened Scott’s knowledge and understanding of other Indigenous societies which places him at the forefront of articulating Aboriginal futures.

Scott’s significant accomplishments in leadership training are based upon provision of tools to promote awareness and address complex societal challenges affecting Individuals and organisations. His company, Murrimatters Pty Ltd, has delivered successful national and local programs to a range of Government and non-Government organisations across Australia and overseas for more than ten years. Scott co-developed the Engoori® process with David Spillman in 2007 to change the way in which school communities perceive, talk, and think about teaching and learning in the context of Indigenous Education. Engoori® has since been developed further into a deep underlying philosophy and set of practices that inform organisational culture and strategic planning across all sectors.

Scott and the Murrimatters Consulting team have extensive knowledge and understanding of engagement across the various cultural groups within Australia. Our passion and philosophy lie in bringing forth people’s strengths to assist them to create and lead the change they want in their lives.



As a leading specialist in the field of training and facilitation, John Briggs has an exceptional talent for bringing each participant, organisation and audience along on a journey of discovery. John is passionate about what he does and his ability to take a balanced approach in delivering niche workshop and facilitation services, which are genuine, engaging and professional, is a real point of difference. John’s collaborative style and high level of expertise has led many major corporate, government and non-government sector organisations to engage John Briggs and continue to promote him as a consultant of choice right across Australia.

John Briggs is highly skilled and knowledgeable in the area of Indigenous inclusion, with more than 25 years experience. This combined with his personable style of facilitation, which is respectful and non-confrontational, has earnt him a reputation as a leader in Indigenous consultation and advice. John’s aptitude and flair for creating culturally safe environments allows each client to unearth and challenge unconscious bias around the engagement and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This approach has empowered many organisations from all sectors to develop and implement successful Reconciliation Action Plans, set Indigenous targets and go on to achieve these well into the future.



Jacqueline has a long history in working in Indigenous Affairs, including ATSIC as well as holding a variety of Senior Executive roles in the Commonwealth, WA and Victorian Governments – including in Child Protection, Human Services, Health, Education and the NDIA. She has also worked in the not-for-profit and private sector. Jac joined Thirrili as the Chief Executive Officer in June 2020.

An Aboriginal woman with family connections in the NT and Victoria, she is committed to improving lives of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders and this, combined with her personal experience of family suicide, brought her to Thirrili.



Ashley is a proud Waywurru woman and the Weenthunga VAHENonline lead. Ashley is passionate about ensuring the safety of First Nations students within University systems and ensuring health curricula is free of racist and inaccurate content around First Nations peoples. Ashley is also a registered psychologist with the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service.



Danielle is a proud Filipino Australian, and the collaborator for VAHENonline. She studied a Bachelor of Psychology (with Honours) before working as an Assistant Lecturer in Psychology at Monash University. In 2019, Danielle then took on an additional role working in youth mental health at headspace, before coming on board at the Weenthunga Health Network to work with VAHENonline in 2020. 



Dr Anne Poelina, Managing Director of Madjulla Inc., Chair of the Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council is a Nyikina Warrwa Traditional Custodian. She is an active Indigenous community leader, respected human and earth rights advocate, filmmaker. Current work explores the entrepreneurial ‘New Economy’ opportunities for Indigenous people of the Martuwarra, Fitzroy River.  Doctor of Philosophy & Doctor of Philosophy (Health Science) Scholar, submitting second doctoral thesis title; “First Law and Justice: Land, Living Waters and Indigenous Peoples Wellbeing”. Peter Cullen Fellow (2011), Laureate Women’s World Summit Foundation (Geneva, 2017). Adjunct Senior Research Fellow the University of Notre Dame (Nulungu Institute of Research) and Visiting Research Fellow, Australian National University.



Grace is a Project Officer in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement team with Diabetes Australia.   She is an Aboriginal woman of Kamilaroi/Yuwaalaraay descent from South West Queensland. Grace has a Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education and Management and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

She has extensive experience delivering training to Community members and staff in urban, regional and remote areas of Queensland and the Torres Strait.   Grace facilitated the B.Strong training for the Menzies School of Health Research. Grace believes that culturally appropriate education, programs and resources play an important role in improving health outcomes for First Nations people.   



Chris ‘Bandirra’ Lee is the Manager, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement with Diabetes Australia. Chris is a Traditional Custodian from the Gulumerridjin (Larrakia) people of Darwin with connections to the Karrajarri peoples from south-east of Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Chris has spent more than thirty years working in community-focused roles across Australia. After training at the Australia Film, Radio and Television School in Sydney, Chris pursued a twenty-year broadcasting career in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media and communications.

Highlights included completing a traineeship at the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) in Alice Springs, living in very remote communities on the APY Lands in North west SA and serving as the founding Chief Executive Officer of the National Indigenous Media Association of Australia, the peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media and communications Chris was also the inaugural lecturer in broadcasting and communications at the Batchelor Institute for Indigenous Education in the NT.

More recently Chris has worked as an Indigenous Advisor to the Queensland Government and in senior engagement roles with several organisations including the University of Southern Queensland, the QLD Crime and Corruption Commission and the QLD Criminal Justice System where he provided culturally safe and trauma informed assistance to First Nation offenders and survivors of institutional childhood sexual abuse.

He has deep connections to remote, regional and metro First Nation’s communities across Australia and an intimate understanding of cultural protocols, communications and engagement practises.

When Chris was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2014 he embarked on a journey of learning and understanding around the condition which he brings to his role with Diabetes Australia and the National Diabetes Services Scheme.  Chris works closely with State and Territory diabetes organisations, national bodies including the Australian Diabetes Society and Australian Diabetes Educators Association and  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak health bodies and community organisations to reduce the impact of diabetes in First Nations people. Chris brings enormous enthusiasm and community understanding to his role.




Kimberley Hunter is a Nyikina woman from the West Kimberley region of Western Australia. Kimberley has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational therapy) and a Graduate Certificate in Public Health. Kimberley works as a Policy and Research Advisor at the Australian Human Rights Commission within The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Unit. Kimberley has been an active member of IAHA since 2013 and is a current member of the IAHA Board of Directors



Arkeria Armstrong: a proud Gamilaraay woman living on Dja Dja Wurrung Country. Arkeria is our Program Leader for our Nyarrn-gakgo mangkie program in Bendigo.  Arkeria has extensive experience working with and developing programs for Aboriginal young women. Arkeria is a renowned and highly respected artist, qualified teacher and a mum of one.



Stephanie is a Gamilaraay woman from a large extended family from northern NSW. Her husband, two grown daughters and her family members and friends have been supportive of Stephanie’s need to make a difference in Aboriginal Education and health. Steph has worked for over 35 years in rural, remote and urban contexts working in various roles. This has provided her with the skills and experiences she required in working with Weenthunga as a consultant and recently in a shared leadership position as an aunt. 

Her achievements in the last few years has been the Rowan Nicks Russell Drysdale Fellows 2013,  “Emerging Indigenous  leader “ award (2013-2014) http://indigenousfellowship.net.au/emerging-leaders/stephanie-armstrong/  Bendigo NAIDOC  recognition award 2017, and 2018 was awarded  the “Commitment to Indigenous Health” at the Indigenous Allied Health forum in Sydney.

Stephanie sees that the dramatic change we need in the ways we work in First Australians Education and Health areas lies with working with Aboriginal people and understanding the cultural interface we work within. In her previous positions Steph’s role in the community grew as she demonstrated leadership and a search for cultural humility and allies willing to listen.




Miv has a certificate III in Aged Care & Disability, and by this time next year hopes to have a Diploma in both Nursing and Childhood Education. Miv is a mother to two lovely kids and has lots of experience working with High School students in her previous role as a full-time tutor, Miv currently lives on Dja Dja Wurrung land.



Dr Keane Wheeler is a proud Ngarabal man and Accredited Exercise Scientist. Dr Wheeler’s previous work focuses on early intervention, ensuring a trauma informed approach towards childhood development such as through the use of Traditional song and dance to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. Dr Wheeler has led teams working on early education and care programs that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families through a strength-based and holistic framework. Dr Wheeler has co-designed and provided Indigenous leadership to a range of projects that have catered for the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and through this experience has partnered to deliver diverse governance solutions and educational engagement frameworks.



Fiona Petersen is a Wuthathi (Shelburne Bay) descendant with family roots in the Torres Straits. She has an extensive background working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. Fiona is a Masters Graduate of ANU’s College of Business and Economics, and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy of the UK. Holding past senior roles in community and government organisations, she utilised her global experience in education, leadership and business development to raise awareness around the impacts of intergenerational trauma.