Aunty Joan Tranter
Our patron, Aunty Joan Tranter, has been involved with NSW Reconciliation Council for many years and actively promotes reconciliation within the wider community.
Aunty Joan is an Elder and previous Co-Chair of the NSW Reconciliation Council. She is the current Chair of the Aboriginal Advisory Group to Canterbury Municipal Council, where she advises and contributes to programs and issues relating to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander issues within the council municipality. Aunty Joan is also the Inaugural Elder in Residence at the University of Technology, Sydney. She has received UTS’ Human Rights Reconciliation Awards, the Citizen of the Year 2011 Award from Canterbury Municipal Council, and a UTS Distinguished Service Award. You can read about Aunt Joan’s life, work, and values in her own words here.
Indigenous Co-Chair: Joshua Gilbert (Worimi)
Joshua is a Worimi man, whose work seeks to connect traditional Aboriginal knowledge and history to current contexts, translating past wisdoms and learning to the opportunities of the future. His work brings together the old and the new, weaving them together to develop new insights and findings.
Joshua’s focus is on narrating Indigenous identity through Western agriculture, explaining the pertinent role that Indigenous men and women had in the farming sector across Australia. He pursues this transformation work through modernity, using truth telling and new concepts to acknowledgement of the past.
Josh works at UTS’ Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Research, is studying at Charles Sturt University and is on the boards for Indigenous Business Australia, KU Children’s Services and the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office.
Non-Indigenous Co-Chair: Annie Tennant
Originally trained as an architect and with a Masters of Urban Design from the University of California, Berkeley, Annie’s primary expertise lies in the spaces between and affected by buildings in the areas of urban design, public space design, sustainability and public art. Annie has developed and nurtured relationships and projects that celebrate Country. As such, she works with development teams, designers, architects, engineers, sustainability consultants and building owners to make their developments, both buildings and public spaces, more engaging, responsive, respectful and appropriate to our culture and our climate.
Annie is currently the Director of Design and Place for Placemaking NSW at the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment.
Treasurer: Deborah Soler
Deborah is an experienced leader with over 20 years experience developing and strengthening financial and corporate management practices in corporate and not for profit. Environments with strength in operational and people management. Her objective on the Management Committee is to make a valuable contribution within a dynamic and socially responsible organisation.
Secretary: Joshua Staines (Wiradjuri)
Joshua is a Senior Policy Officer in Local Government and a Director at Black Duck Foods. Josh is a proud Wiradjuri father living on Darkinjung country on the central coast. Josh has spent the best part of a decade working in local government developing policy and implementing strategic projects. Prior to joining local government, he worked in the Lifestyles Innovation Team at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence and in the Cultural Unit at KARI (OOHC). Josh invests significant time mentoring Aboriginal young people as well as: facilitating opportunities for on country experiences, supporting elders in land management and bush regeneration projects. Josh is a strong advocate for shared decision making, co-design and Aboriginal Economic Development.
Indigenous Member: Kayla White (Biripi/Worimi)
Wiyabu, Guudji Yiigu /Hi, Hello Welcome
Barraba yitirr Kayla White / My name is
Nagatha Butjung Galbaan Birrbay Barray / I am a proud Aboriginal woman from Biripi Country
Nagatha ngarrayn murrung barraygu / I pay respect to the land
Wanyimbu wanyimbu ganyila / Always was
Wanyimbu wanyimbu ganyiy / Always will be
Gathay nyiirun ginyanng / Let us go happy together
As a proud Aboriginal woman and teacher, Kayla strives to deliver innovative strategies to drive educational outcomes for all students. She has spent 31 years embracing her culture and 14 years delivering support and advice to schools, educational service teams and Aboriginal peoples and communities in the implementation of strategies specifically relating to Aboriginal education and engagement. She has worked closely with local community, local, regional and state Aboriginal Education Consultative Groups Inc. (AECGs), schools and educational teams to achieve the objectives of Commonwealth and NSW policies to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal students and families. Using her knowledge of the Birrbay Barray (Birpai-Biripi Country), Dunghutti and Worimi communities, gained by her family’s link to those countries, she uses her leadership qualities to deliver key services that support staff of Indigenous children and young people to obtain improved educational outcomes.
Indigenous Member: Nattlie (Natt) Smith (Wiradjuri)
Nattlie (Natt) Smith is a proud Wiradjuri woman from Condobolin/Orange NSW and the Director for Aboriginal Outcomes for the NSW Department of Customer Service. She has over 20 years of experience in both government and non-government policy and operational roles across many human service areas.
Natt is committed to making a positive difference through culturally responsive policy development, service design, program implementation, evaluation and analysis. Natt also advocates for the importance of Aboriginal people having a voice in culturally responsive service design, program implementation and the evaluation process and has overseen a number of place-based Aboriginal-led co-design projects.
Non-Indigenous Member: Rowena Falzon
Rowena is a legal advisor, business and risk partner and transformation specialist whose career has traversed a variety of industries both in Australia and abroad. She has held roles responsible for negotiating complex commercial transactions, managing cross functional teams, productivity improvement initiatives, driving strategic growth, compliance and risk management, commercial support, legal advice and leading transformation. Rowena believes in encouraging ubiquitous learning, collaboration, empowering individuals and teams, and the importance of valuing diversity in driving innovation.
She is currently Senior Corporate Counsel at Avenue (having previously worked at Telstra, IBM, Ashurst and Allen & Overy).
Non-Indigenous Member: Dan Creasey
Dan leads the Responsible Business practice at King & Wood Mallesons and is a member of the firm’s Executive Group. Dan has primary responsibility for Community Impact, which works in trusted partnerships with community-led organisations, emerging leaders and respected advocates to further strengthen communities through strategic legal, justice & advisory projects, holistic pathways programs and targeted grants. The practice is underpinned by substantial strategies, commitments & practices centring First Nations Peoples, community-control & Closing the Gap.
Dan also coordinates & contributes to the firm’s thinking & response across climate change & sustainability, responsible procurement, risk and diversity & inclusion, as part of KWM’s strategic & joined-up approach to responsible business practices.
Dan also co-leads the firm’s global pro bono & community practice, Global Community Impact. Dan is a leading pro bono & responsible business lawyer, a director of various public companies and has global, regional & local experience. He has developed considerable expertise, and has built a substantial practice, in working with & alongside a broad range of for-purpose organisations & legal centres, especially First Nations community-controlled organisations. Dan has highly developed skills in law & legal practice, strategic planning & execution, organisational development, communications & engagement, social mobility, theories of change & impact evaluation, delivered across multiple countries and continents.
Chief Executive Officer: Tristan Tipps-Webster
Tristan is a strong advocate for Indigenous rights, with a professional background in stakeholder engagement, process improvement, membership management and fundraising. Tristan’s career spans professional and managerial roles across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in the USA and Australia, most focused on Indigenous advancement. Tristan has worked across a range of national and international roles to improve outcomes for Native Americans, Canadian First Nations, and First Australians. Tristan brings a passion for delivering high quality results through innovative thinking and effective cross-sector collaboration.
Project Officer (education focus): Danielle Sampedro
Danielle is a highly experienced educator with over 15 years of experience in primary school education. She has fulfilled various roles including classroom teacher, peer coach, teacher mentor, Assistant Principal and Instructional Leader.Danielle has taught in Australia and the UK spending most of her career working on Dharug land in Western Sydney schools. She is passionate about reconciliation in education and improving educational outcomes for First Nations students.
Project Officer: Madeline Gerber
Madeline comes to the team after having completed her Arts degree majoring in Social Justice and Politics and International Relations. Volunteering for Reconciliation NSW since March 2021, she brings to the role an understanding and suitability to the organisation and its ethics.
Madeline is fiercely passionate about First Nations justice, and is constantly challenging herself and the people around her in becoming a better ally. She aims to continuously reflect on systems of racism and colonialism in Australia and their ongoing effects on First Nations peoples. She hopes to grow and be guided in this position by First Nations voices to support self-determination.
Finance Officer: Nikki Fasolo
Nikki has had 25 years of administrative and financial management experience including as a director of operations, based overseas for a group of successful global startups.
On her return to Australia she chose to focus her attention on small ethical businesses and her family. Nikki enjoys being able to offer her skills and expertise to support and develop these organisations, to help them grow.
Social Media Manager: Kathleen Taylor (Yuin)
Kathleen Taylor is a proud Yuin woman with ancestral connections to the Nelligan area on the Far South Coast of New South Wales. She is currently studying at the University of Wollongong, completing a double degree of Bachelor of Arts – majoring in Indigenous Studies and a minor in Sociology + Bachelor of Communications and Media, majoring in Marketing.
She is enthusiastic about truth-telling, particularly within educational spaces and decolonising systems built to oppress First Nations peoples. Within her role as Social Media Manager, she hopes to encourage people to engage with reconciliation events around NSW and amplify the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples whilst prompting important discussions about truth-telling.
Project Support Officer: Freda McGrady (Gomeroi)
Personal bio coming soon
Project Support Officer : Sharni Watson
Sharni has been a part of the Reconciliation NSW team as a volunteer since October 2021. She is currently studying at Macquarie University, completing a combined Bachelor of Media and Communications – majoring in journalism + Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Indigenous studies.
Sharni is passionate about First Nations social justice and has dedicated her studies and volunteer roles to understanding the ongoing systems of colonial oppression that shape Australian society. She hopes to use her communications skills to amplify First Nations voices, educate non-Indigenous Australia and unsettle the dominant Australian narrative through truth telling.