Our Leadership

Our Patron – Tom Calma

Our Patron – Tom Calma

Professor Calma is an Aboriginal elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja tribal group in the NT. Currently the National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking and Chancellor of the University of Canberra, Professor Calma previously served as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and the Race Discrimination Commissioner. Professor Calma has a special interest in Indigenous education, employment and training programs.

Professor Calma is a long-serving supporter of Indigenous Allied Health Australia and IAHA Lifetime Achievement Awardee. He has been a prominent advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, pioneering the Close the Gap campaign and more recently leading the national effort to tackle Indigenous smoking.

We are incredibly grateful for the support of Prof. Calma as IAHA Patron and look forward to continuing our work together.

Ms Nicole Turner
Chairperson

Nicole Turner is a proud Kamilaroi woman. She is one of very few qualified Aboriginal Community Nutritionists in Australia after completing her studies in the Bachelor of Applied Science (Community Nutrition). She is the current IAHA Chairperson and has been on the Board for six years showing leadership across the allied health and broader health sector.

Nicole has worked in the health sector for over 20 years and in Aboriginal health for over 15 years as an Aboriginal Health Worker and enrolled nurse before becoming a Nutritionist . Nicole is an Adjunct Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Canberra and has published several research papers in international journals.  Nicole holds a full-time position with the New South Wales (NSW) Rural Doctors Network as the Aboriginal Workforce Engagement Manager.

Ms Maddison Adams
Deputy Chairperson

Maddison Adams is a proud Wulli Wulli Woman from South East Queensland. Maddi grew up and now works on Turrbal and Jagera Country in Brisbane and has been an active, engaged IAHA member since 2014.

Maddi graduated with a Bachelor of Health Science (Podiatry) from Queensland University of Technology in 2015 and recently enrolled in a Graduate Diploma of Rural Generalist Practice at James Cook University. Maddi works as a podiatrist in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health services and delivers culturally responsive podiatry services, mentoring and supervision of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees and podiatry students.

Maddi currently provides services in South East QLD and travels to South West QLD to remote communities once a month. She says ‘Working as a clinician has enabled me to not only develop by clinical skills but also my critical thinking, communication, interpersonal and leadership skills’.

Mr Tirritpa Ritchie
Director

Tirritpa Ritchie is a Kaurna man from Adelaide, South Australia. Growing up he spent much of his time alternating between the Yorke Peninsula and the west coast of South Australia, both in Aboriginal missions.

Tirritpa’s family settled down in Adelaide so he and his siblings could have consistency and concentrate on their education. Tirritpa completed his Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) in 2013 and is the first Aboriginal person to graduate from the University of South Australia with this degree.

Click here to read more about Tirritpa’s Journey into Allied Health.

Ms Kimberley Hunter
Director

Kimberley is a Nyikina woman from the West Kimberley region of Western Australia. Kimberley was born and raised on Kaurna Yerta in Adelaide, South Australia and currently lives and works on Gadigal Country in Sydney, New South Wales.

Kimberley has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) and a Graduate Certificate in Public Health. Kimberley works at the Australian Human Rights Commission within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Unit as a Research and Policy Officer. Much of Kimberley’s work at the Commission has involved the coordination of the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project- the first national consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls in 32 years. The project involves engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls across the country, from major cities to remote communities, with the aim of elevating the voices of our women’s needs, challenges and aspirations for the future.

Kimberley has been an active member of IAHA since 2013, has participated in the Health Fusion Team Challenge as a student and was awarded the Future Leader in Indigenous Allied Health award in 2015. Kimberley is dedicated to the advancement of social justice and human rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Mr Anthony Paulson
Director

Anthony Paulson is a proud Aboriginal man and his people are Worimi and Mununjali people. His great grandfather was from Tanna Island, Vanuatu. Anthony is a saltwater man and lives on the Mid North Coast of NSW on Biripi land (Taree). Anthony joined the NSW Police in his early 20’s and served in regional and remote locations such as Broken Hill, Wilcannia and Darlington Point. This experience allowed him to experience the many disadvantages endured for communities living in remote and regional areas.  In 2010, Anthony chose a different career path entering the non-government, Aboriginal community controlled sector in a managerial capacity. In 2013, Anthony graduated from Charles Sturt University having completed his Bachelor Health Science (Mental Health) as part of the Djurrawang program.  He has completed other health and management related courses and is currently undergoing a Master Business Administration with the Australian Institute of Business.

Anthony has experience working in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) setting and extensive experience working with community in both corporate, government and non-government roles in rural and remote locations within NSW. Anthony thoroughly enjoys working with different stakeholders and learning from different communities and his Elders. In 2017, Anthony joined GP Synergy, the training organisation responsible for providing medical training to GP registrars as the Manager of the Aboriginal Cultural Education Unit.  He enjoys the diversity the role brings and this role has further confirmed the importance to continue to support and provide cultural safety education and training to practitioners in the many different disciplines to ensure the patients culture is factored into all decision making.

Ms Patricia Councillor
Director

Patricia is a strong Yamaji Nyarlu (Woman) originally from Meekatharra, WA.

Patricia has been working in mental health since 2009, and working as a mental health practitioner and counsellor since 2013. Patricia has been a carer for a family member with disability and mental health issues for many years.

Patricia is currently working in a Coordinator role for Workforce Development and Support for Social and Emotional Wellbeing and  Alcohol and other Drugs workforce in several organisations throughout Western Australia; majority are Aboriginal controlled organisations.

Patricia holds a bachelor degree in mental health and various certificates related to human and community services, and has worked in government, non-government and Aboriginal controlled organisations.

Ms Kirrilaa Johnstone
Director

Kirrilaa is a Ngiyampaa and Barkindji Woman from Far West NSW currently working at the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners (NAATSIHWP) as a Policy Officer. A graduate in Public Health, she is committed to promoting the need for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities to have autonomy over their health and wellbeing outcomes by supporting examples of self-determination in the health workforce. Particularly passionate about the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, Kirrilaa believes that addressing racism in all sectors is critical to ensuring happy and healthy lives for young mob around the country.

Kirrilaa began her journey with IAHA in 2013 and has been actively engaged ever since. She has participated in the Health Fusion as both a student and a mentor, chaired the student representative committee, assisted with a number of different local IAHA stalls and participated in the High School to Health Careers program. In 2020, Kirrilaa was awarded IAHA’s Indigenous Allied Health Inspiration award for her commitment to encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to enter into careers in health.

Dr Elizabeth McEntyre
Director

Dr Elizabeth McEntyre is a Worimi and Wonnarua woman through bloodlines and her Country spans Port Stephens, the Great Myall Lakes, the Barrington Tops, and the Hunter Valley in NSW.

Elizabeth is a Doctor of Social Work (and Criminology), an accredited Mental Health Social Worker, the Aboriginal Official Visitor of prisons state-wide with the NSW Inspector of Custodial Services, and a member of the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal conducting civil and forensic hearings.

Elizabeth has an extensive background of experience through her roles in both Government and the Aboriginal Community-led sectors providing a broad range of programs and services with Aboriginal peoples and communities including primary health, social and emotional wellbeing, criminal justice, disability, research, small business and strengthening Aboriginal families.

Elizabeth is a research consultant and advises several professional associations, service providers, Universities and consultative groups including the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), Greening Australia, Griffith University, University of Sydney, and the University of NSW. With the latter, she is proudly associated with the Yuwaya Ngarra-li partnership between the University of NSW and Walgett Dharriwaa Elders Group to develop and implement innovative community-led solutions to address a range of complex challenges faced by the Walgett Community in remote NSW.