Meet our Team

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Donna Murray Chief Executive Officer

I am a proud Wiradjuri woman of the Marrmabidya/Kalari rivers (on my Grandfather’s side) and Wonnarua of the Gringai Clan (Grandmother’s side) of the Hunter Valley region in NSW. I hold an Adjunct Associate Professor (Industry) role at the University of Technology, Sydney and have formal qualifications in Community Development, Management, and Indigenous Governance. I am a 2021 Impact 25 Award-winner with Pro Bono Australia and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD). I am the Chair of the National Health Leadership Forum, Board Chair of Thirrili Ltd and Board Director of Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia.

I am a committed Indigenous Community Development Practitioner, working to support and assert the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, empower cultural governance and leadership and embed nation-building principles to honour our ancestors gone before us.

I strongly support and am engaged in the revitalisation and preservation of Wiradjuri language, culture and heritage through my role on the Wiradjuri Language Trust and enjoy working with communities and Elders in redesigning a future of our own design honouring Wiradjuri ways.

I also love spending time with my beautiful children, grandchildren and extended family. My passion is my mob, in particular my little grandchildren and children. I love a cuppa with a yarn and have a hidden talent for getting the best out of people.

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Alisi Rabune HR and Executive Officer

Bula (Hello) – I’m Alisi. My Role within the IAHA Family primarily lies in executive/administration support as the Executive Officer to CEO.

I am from the island of Savusavu, Fiji and currently working and living on Ngunnawal country. I love poetry and dancing. Apart from that, I do enjoy a good BBQ, music and catching sunsets. I believe that nothing is ever impossible to attain or achieve if you put your heart into it and believe in yourself.

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Kylie Stothers Director of Workforce Development

As a proud descent of the Jawoyn people, Country is a part of my identity. It is my connection to culture, family, ceremony, language and my ancestors. Country is not just a place or a single entity; it is everything that we are – physically, culturally, spiritually, and emotionally. I am so blessed that I get to live and work on Country, on the lands of the Jawoyn, Wardamanand Dagoman peoples. 

Through my role at IAHA, I am thankful to the people who have shared their stories, cultural knowledge, experiences, and deep connection to their Country. I love learning more about the world’s oldest living continuous culture, our First Peoples of Australia and our history as a people, and that story is truly a gift to us all. We should put aside some time to reflect, connect, or reconnect with our Country and celebrate our strengths.

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Paul Gibson Director of Policy and Research

Hello, my name is Paul. I am a non-Indigenous man born on Gumbaynggirr country and I’ve spent most of my life living, working, and studying on the traditional lands of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples. I consider myself lucky to work for IAHA and to participate in two-way learning, to learn from from the oldest continuing cultures in the world as I try to contribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination through my work and role with IAHA. Outside of work I enjoy music, sport, cooking, fishing, and camping, and connecting with friends and family.

Amanda Johnstone Events Manager
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Monefa Rusanov Corporate Governance Officer

Hi there, I was fortunate enough to be born in Australia to Russian parents that had the opportunity to migrate in the ’60s. I grew up a bit of a tom-boy, being the only girl in the family, and I love everything about the outdoors, all critters, flora and fauna, most sports, though mostly as a spectator now! I am devoted to my family and faith, which keep me grounded.

Although this part of my background is still much of who I am today, and my folk’s story is long, my heritage has also helped me appreciate and respect this country’s history, beginnings, people, and culture. Even though my cultural background is of different origins, I share in and respect the same heartfelt, inherent importance of family, culture and connection, and maintaining that bond, no matter where we are! I am so fortunate to experience another family and other cultures daily with my IAHA family and am humbled to be part of this organisation. I have been here from IAHA’s small beginnings in 2010 and have been so privileged to be part of this journey and experience how much IAHA has grown and achieved. I thank all the beautiful and amazing people that I learn from every day, and I look forward to continuing my learning journey with you all and hope that I can help in some way to continue making a difference for our First Nation’s people.

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Cleveland McGhie Business Relationships Director

My people, my people, I am a descendent of Wiradjuri bloodlines from Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo NSW. I was born and raised on Dhawaral Country (Illawarra, NSW). I am a creation of my ancestors who walked and talked before me; I carry their strength and commitment. I believe and embody ‘The Power Within is Infinite’. I aspire to empower others to see the greatest inside themselves, enact their potential to achieve a future of success, and change the narrative for their family and their community.

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Nawsheen Hyland Senior Communications Manager

Assalamu alaikum! Aamar naam Nawsheen. Apnader shathe porichito hoye khub khushi holam – Hello! My name is Nawsheen. I’m so happy to meet you all.

I live in an old country town on the outskirts of regional NSW, near the nation’s capital — on Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country. To me, it’s serenity – she gets me. But before I called Australia home, my heart belonged to another, Bangladesh. I took my first breath across the sea, about ten thousand kilometres away and over three decades ago in a concrete jungle. This tiny fertile country in southern Asia is surrounded by the largest river deltas and cradled by magnificent mangroves, which I was utterly oblivious to until I was about six when my dad took me to visit his hometown, Podamdi. I hold my most profound connection with my culture in that village. I always recall the same memory… I am running past the courtyard of our family home, where the pigeons are starting to coo, and my dadu (nan) is making pitha (winter sweets) with some help on an open fire. I make my way through the sugarcane fields, a forest full of mango and jackfruit trees scattered with patches of palm and bamboo. Suddenly I stop; I find myself in a clearing with a cluster of little clay and straw huts, where all the local farmers live in harmony.

Connection is very important to me. I look forward to building a genuine connection with the lands, seas and skies that surround me as well as the ones of my ancestors — if you listen close enough, you’ll hear them calling. Connecting with our culture can seem daunting, overwhelming, and at times a little backwards, but it’s the only way to find your sense of belonging and safeguard it for future generations. So, understand the negative aspects and how they came to be, and move forward with the positives.

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Cailah Welch Event Officer

My name is Cailah Welch, my role within our IAHA family is Events Support Officer, and I started at IAHA back in 2017. I was born and raised in Canberra but lived in England for a year, so my husband could play rugby league. In my spare time, I love to cook, play sports, see friends, travel and spend time with family.

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Rachel Doolan Senior Policy Officer

Hi, I’m Rachel. I am a Wiradjuri woman living, working and raising my children on Yuggera and Turrbal Country in Meanjin (Brisbane). I moved to Meanjin for University, having completed a Bachelor of Health Science. I have always been passionate about Indigenous health, which has led me to work at IAHA. I work in the Policy and Research team as a Senior Policy Officer, my role allows me to be involved in a variety of different things, including researching and analysing policies. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my children, swimming at the beach or cooking.

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Melinda Ingram Senior Policy Officer

I’m Melinda, and I work in the Policy and Research team at IAHA.

I am a saltwater descendent on my mother’s side from the Yuin/Wandandian area of NSW. And on my father’s side, I am a descendant of the Wiradjuri people from Condobolin, central-west NSW. I was born and raised in Canberra on the lands of the Ngunnawal/Ngambri people.

I am a mum of a 3-year-old daughter (and an 8-year-old fur-baby). I love my sport; I play netball and touch football and love watching the rugby league throughout winter. Go Raiders! I have a degree in Community Development and I try to live and work by principles of social justice, human (and animal) rights, and sustainability.

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Sadhana Seriamlu Senior Policy Officer

Yuma/Hello! I’m Sadhana and I’ve just joined the IAHA family as a Senior Policy Officer.

Before I called Ngunnawal Country (Canberra) home in 2019, I lived in Malaysia and my journey to Australia began as a student. Transitioning to Canberra as an adult from the tropics was certainly a shift that took some getting used to, but I’ll be honest – it’s the best decision I’ve made. There’s something special about this wee Territory that I fall in love with every day. If I were to share the top two from the never-ending list, it’d be – the bush and the people – which undoubtedly make this a beautiful ‘meeting place’ (‘Canberra’ in Ngunnawal language).

I love to paint (my latest infatuation is miniature painting) and would like to eventually explore cinematic/prosthetic makeup. Recently, I joined a multisport league with Urban Rec in Canberra, which I’m very excited about! Other than that, I enjoy cooking and spending quality time with my not-so-little 9-year-old niece and my very-little niece, that surprised us with her arrival on Christmas day last year (2021).

I look forward to learning and working with you!

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Judy Bell Membership Officer and Cultural Education Coordinator

I am from the Bogan River People from Bulgandramine Mission, Peak Hill, NSW – Wiradjuri Nation. My home of Peak Hill is my Country; it defines me and my identity, as it is central to my being, culture, family, connection, and stories. I was born and raised on Country and am so fortunate to be from such a culturally strong family and community. I am a mother with two sons and twin daughters, and a grandmother to a beautiful little boy and another grandson on the way!

I love being home to connect with family and Country, to fish for yellowbelly, to eat goanna and yabbies and to just be, whether that’s in the moment, or it could be just being home.

I have lived in Ngambri Country in Canberra for over 20 years, and something I live by and instil in my kids as it was instilled in me from my grandfather, is “never forget where you come from and always go back to where you came from”. This makes going home with my children and grandchildren to our Country even more significant. Look after the land, and the land will look after you.

Through my role within IAHA as the Membership Officer and Cultural Education Coordinator I have met so many beautiful people. I love meeting new people, making cultural connections, and sharing yarns and experiences, and I really enjoy learning more about our people and sharing cultural knowledge. Listening and seeing the great and awesome things that have been done within their communities, both in a personal and professional space and the impacts that are being made on our people. It’s truly amazing!

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Samantha Rattos Senior Project Officer

As an Audiologist with over ten years of experience, I have spent most of my career working clinically in ear health across the many facets of audiology. I have a strong passion for Aboriginal ear health and the associated social determinants affecting hearing outcomes, particularly in children. I also have a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science (Hearing and Speech) and a Master’s degree in International Public Health. I value health and education, which has led me to join the IAHA family.

The centrality of my life though, is my family and, in particular, my five-year-old daughter.

Like most parents, my weekends are filled with my daughter’s social and sporting events, however, our favourite pastime is playing with our dog Bingo and swimming at the beach.

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Jesse Aldridge Engagement Officer

Walawaani, you fullas. My name is Jesse, and I’m a Wandiwondian warrior from the South Coast of New South Wales, Yuin Country. The Yuin nation traditionally consists of 13 clan groups. Their borders run from the southern region of Sydney, down to the South of what we now know as the New South Wales and Victorian border, and extends inland along with the Great Dividing Range, leaving a little narrow strip of paradise. I spent my entire childhood in the Nowra-Bomaderry area, which is an important meeting place for many of the Yuin People, and the Shoalhaven area is where I feel my connection to Country at its strongest.

I am currently living on Bidjigal Country in the South-Eastern suburbs of Sydney, and I have recently joined the IAHA family as the Engagement Officer. My role is to be the liaison between our organisation and our member base, so if you ever need to have a yarn, ask questions, or have a vent; I’m your man.

I am passionate about Indigenous health and education, and I chose to go into allied health because I want to help contribute to the amazing work our Old People have done to fight the injustices, inequities, and intergenerational trauma that has been forced on our mob. I’m a proud Aboriginal man, I’m honoured to be a part of the oldest living culture on the planet, and I am excited to be working for IAHA.

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Ian Martin Admin Support Officer

Connection to Country defines who I am, where I come from, my people and my family. As a proud Kunja/Budjiti man from Bourke, in far western NSW, I carry a sense of belonging, shared history, shared struggles and shared triumphs. I feel we should celebrate our language, heritage, resilience and showcase our culture.

Something fun about me: When we have a meal, sometimes I get asked, what did you think of that. I respond by saying, It’s ok, but I wouldn’t kill for it.

Something I live by is being kind and doing things to help others, where and when I can.

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Annmarie McLeod NTWD Strategic Projects Officer

I was born and raised in Darwin, Northern Territory, and live on Larrakia Country.

I am proud of my ancestry, that being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander from my mother’s side, descendent of Jawoyn (NT) and Wagedagam (Mabuiag Island, Torres Strait) and my father’s side, a descendant of Clan MacLeod of Dunvegan, on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.

I feel fortunate to be working with the IAHA team and supported in a new role of Strategic Projects Manager.

It has been such a fantastic opportunity and I am enjoying all that IAHA life brings from the deadly staff, IAHA programs, and especially, a highlight, in seeing these young IAHA Academy students graduating in 2021 was truly heart-warming and a significate event that I was privileged to attend.

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Joanne Sariago Group Training Manager

I was born and raised on a farm in Central NSW, and after a 4-year stint in Canberra undertaking a hairdressing apprenticeship, I moved to Darwin, Northern Territory with my now-husband. As a mother of two children, I love spending time with my family.

I have a strong background in Apprenticeships and Traineeships, Career development, Case management and Youthwork.

I started working at IAHA in 2020 in Darwin as the Support Officer supporting the IAHA National Academy (NT) and am now the Group Training Manager working at establishing and overseeing the Group Training Organisation in ACT, NSW & NT.

I still work closely with the IAHA National Academies around the country and enjoy working with youth in empowering and developing their skills. I am proud to support young people on their career journeys.

I love spending time with my family, watching my children play sports, and playing netball in my spare time.

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Ashley Hope O Connor Group Training Officer

My name is Ashley, and I work in IAHA Group Training as the Group Training Administration Officer. I was born in a little mining town out in Western Australia but was raised on the Sunshine Coast in Pomona, a little country town. I moved to Sydney after high school and moved to Lismore in late 2019 with my then one-year-old daughter Celeste – she’s three now! She’ll be a big sister in early 2022, and we’re both very excited about it. In my spare time at home, I enjoy gardening, video games and lots of movies/TV shows. I love going to theme parks with anyone I can rope in to join me! My mob are Larrakia Nation up in the NT, but I was raised on Gubbi Gubbi land. I have learnt a lot about my culture and made deeper connections since relocating to the Bundjalung nation in the Northern Rivers region. I am excited to be able to share this culture with my friends and family.

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Gabe Oth NT Program Support Officer

I am the Project Support Officer in the Darwin IAHA team supporting the IAHA National Academy. Born and raised on Wulgurukaba Country however, my ancestral connection is throughout the Eastern and Western Island groups of Zenadth Kes. My way of expressing my Torres Strait Islander heritage is through Torres Strait Islander Dancing and singing. These cultural practices have been a part of my life since I was a toddler and will continue to learn my heritage and grow into a leader for my family and community.

Something unique about me is that I love quoting movies, and I am a kid brain at times and forget I am closer to 30!

Something I live by is that I don’t take anything for granted; I always reflect on how far I’ve come as well as my family members. Our Aka and Athe raised us, and both were hard-working people and other Torres Strait Islander families that migrated to Queensland in the late 60’s early 70’s. I will never forget the history of the older people and the hardship they went through to survive white civilisation. It gives me goosebumps to this day. However, our people will always be here and continue to strive and fight to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders a voice hence my favourite saying, ‘Masters of Survival!’

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Lynette Fejo NT Student Support

I am a proud Larrakia woman supporting and walking beside the students in the IAHA National Academy (NT). I believe it is important as elders that we play a role in passing cultural knowledge to our next generation of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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Joshua Morris NT Student Support

Kimak ngi’yenguh! – Hello, how are you?

My name is Joshua Morris; I am a proud Koongurrukun and Iwaidja/Morrung man living on Larrakia land in the Northern Territory. I am a Learning and Wellbeing Officer with the IAHA National Academy. I enjoy skating and love spending as much time as I can out on Country, fishing, and learning new things about the land and its indigenous species. Working with our First Nations youth, developing their skillset and knowledge without sacrificing cultural understanding and protocols is absolutely imperative to Closing the Gap and strengthening our communities. I hope one day to see an entire generation of culturally and linguistically strong First Nations mob with an in-depth understanding of how to navigate and improve the system in which we live for all people.

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Byron Brunhuber ACT Program Support Officer

I’m a proud Yuin man born and raised in Moruya on the south coast of New South Wales.

Something I live by is ‘today is the first day for the rest of my life’. Adopting this mindset teaches me to live in the present moment and treat every day as a new opportunity to grow.

My background is in sport and exercise science, and

I am very passionate about promoting the benefits of physical activity within my family, friends and community to try to help others be better versions of themselves. I love to keep active through things like going to the gym, practising yoga, shooting hoops, and hiking.

As Program Support Officer, my role is to support the IAHA National Health Academy and Group Training Organisation across the ACT and NSW regions.

I am very excited to be a part of the IAHA family. I look forward to continuing my work with the community to support and create opportunities for our next generation of youth and contribute to building the future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce in Allied Health.

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Kasandra Dargan NSW Program Support Officer

My name is Kasandra; I am the Northern New South Wales Project Support Officer for the IAHA academy. My connections are to the Bulgandramine people of the Wiradjuri Nation. I grew up in Peak Hill and became a Mum at the age of 20. Wanting to make a difference and positively impact those close to me, I decided to move to Casino and have since been living on the Bundjalung Nation for the past 20 years.

I have recently become a Nan for the first time to Remi, and I’m looking forward to those Nan duties.

I’m a proud, dedicated footy mum who spends her weekends getting up early and travelling to games, and in my spare time, I enjoy cooking and chilling with my family and my dogs Oates and Jerry. Sitting around a campfire with my family, yarning or listening to music, is where my heart feels its fullest.

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Saira Rind NSW Program Support Officer

My name is Saira and I work at IAHA as the Project Support Officer in Sydney. I am Yamatji-Badimaya from Mt Magnet in Western Australia. I was born in Perth and grew up there. I moved to Sydney in 2021 to continue studying and I am expected to graduate with a Bachelor of Health Promotion in 2023.

I love knowledge and my community. I want to take back everything I have learned back to my community. I really love to travel and learn about other cultures as well. The best advice I have received and live by is to always push yourself. We all have untouched potential that we don’t even know is there until we try something new.