Chief Executive Officer
I am a proud Wiradjuri and Wonnarua woman of the Marrmabidya/Kalari rivers (Paternal Grandfather kinship) and Gringai Clan of the Hunter Valley region (PaternalGrandmother’s kinship) in NSW. I hold an Adjunct Associate Professor (Industry) 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 current Board Chair of Thirrili Ltd and Board Director of Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia.
I am a committed Indigenous community development and Indigenous nation-building practitioner, working to support and assert the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, empowering cultural governance and leadership and embedding Indigenous nation-building principles to support decision-making and strengths-based approaches.
I strongly support and engage in the revitalisation and preservation of Wiradyuri language, culture and heritage through my role on the Budyaan Wiradyuri Language Trust and enjoy working with nation builders and Elders in redesigning a future of our own design honouring Wiradyuri ways.
I also love spending time with my beautiful children, grandchildren and extended family. I love a cuppa with a good yarn and laugh and have a hidden talent for getting the best out of people.
Executive Director, Strategy and Partnerships
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, participate in two-way learning, and learn 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 work, I enjoy music, sport, cooking, fishing, camping, and connecting with friends and family.
Executive Director, 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.
As a proud mother, I feel blessed to be able to play a role in shaping, supporting and seeing my children grow and watching them create their future aspirations. They inspire me every day. I also love being an “Auntie”, and my cultural responsibility to continue to give back to the next generation (and future generations) is what drives the work that I do at IAHA. I am in the position that I am because of those that walked before me, that created the space for me to find my career passion, and those that mentored me and in order to honour their legacy, I need to continue that journey and create spaces for this generation and future generations. The work that we do at IAHA is a reflection of that.
Senior Program Officer
I am a proud Bidjara and Mandandanji man with family and cultural connections to South West Queensland. My culture, my connection to Country, my family and my ancestors make up who I am. My journey into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health was through IAHA as a Member, and now I’m working here as a Senior Program Officer.
As a member, IAHA offered me opportunities that have shaped me professionally, personally and culturally. I have worked in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Sector in research and held an academic position within the University sector.
My interests include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth health, health assessments, strategic policy and the social and cultural determinants of health.
My qualifications include a Master of Public Health (Health Promotion), a Bachelor of Exercise Movement Science, a Diploma of Sport Development and Certificate IV in Fitness.
I always think of the people that have come before me, particularly in the health sector and the responsibility that I must uphold to continue their fight for equity.
Cultural Training 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 two beautiful little boys!
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 Cultural Training 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!
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.
Policy and Governance
Director, Policy and Research
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 the Director of Policy and Research. 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.
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 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.
Administration and Business Support
HR and Executive Officer
Bula (Hello) – I’m Alisi. My Role within the IAHA Family primarily lies within the Office of CEO as I am the HR and Executive Officer to our 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.
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.
Education and Training Officer
I am a Kamilaroi and Wiradjuri man living on Ngunnawal/ Ngambri land. My father was removed from his mother as a baby, and we are currently on a journey to reconnect to his country.
I have a Diploma of Government and Cert IV Indigenous leadership. I like Sport, Art Music and Gardening.
Communications and Events
Bio Coming soon.
My name is Cailah Welch, my role within our IAHA family is Events Officer, and I started at IAHA in 2017. I was born and raised in Canberra but lived in England for a year, so my husband could play rugby league. I love to cook, play sports, see friends, travel, and spend time with family in my spare time.
Senior Communications Officer
Assalamu alaikum! Aamar naam Nawsheen. Hello! My name is Nawsheen.
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.
Academy and Group Training
Director, Group Training
I was born and raised on a farm in Central NSW. 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). I am now the Director of Group Training, 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.
NTWD Strategic Project 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 on 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. Seeing these young IAHA Academy students graduating in 2021 was truly heart-warming and a significate event that I was privileged to attend.
NT Senior Project Officer
I am the NT Senior Program 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 I will continue to learn about 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; both were hard-working people and other Torres Strait Islander families that migrated to Queensland in the late 60s early 70s. 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!’
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 sports 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 the ACT 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.
Senior Policy Officer
I’m Melinda, 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 4-year-old daughter (and an 9-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.
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.
NT Cultural Support Officer
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.
NT Project Support Officer
I am a proud descendent of the Kiga People of the East Kimberley, Yawuru People of the West Kimberley (Broome) and the Muran clan of the Iwaidja Nation of West Arnhem land, Northern Territory.
Good health and wellbeing were imbedded in me from an early age, a healthy and active lifestyle is something I have lived by and continue to live by. It is because of this, that makes me so passionate to help improve the health and wellbeing of my people.
It’s so important to have good role models and leaders in the community to engage and empower our young people. I’m very excited to be working as a Project Support Officer in the NT academy, so that I can share my lived experiences to help mentor and grow our next generation of academy community leaders.
I’m a proud mum to my 13-year-old son, Isaac. We usually spend our weekends on the sporting fields or camping and fishing with family.