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 Mark Gilbert (Worimi)
Joshua is a Worimi man, whose family ancestors are recorded as having the first recorded birth in a cave in the Gloucester mountains. His connection to the Worimi nation stems through both his parents, tracing back to the Bugg family.
Josh’s 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.
He is an agricultural researcher, working predominantly in the Aboriginal cultural and environmental spheres. He has worked with numerous of not for profits, businesses and government to develop change and bring people on a journey of change.
Josh pursues transformation through modern truth telling, bringing new concepts to the forefront through acknowledgement of the past.
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 Excellence and Place, Places NSW, 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 strong advocate for shared decision making, co-design and Aboriginal Economic Development. Josh is a proud Wiradjuri father living on Wangal country in Sydney’s Inner West. Joshua has spent the last 5 years working in local government developing policy, projects, and programs. Prior to joining local government, he was the Youth Programs Coordinator in the Lifestyles Innovation Team at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence and a Cultural Liaison Officer in the Cultural Unit at KARI (OOHC). Joshua invests significant time and resources into mentoring young Indigenous men including but not limited to: volunteering in Juvenile Justice Centres, facilitating the opportunities for on country experiences with elders and supporting elders in land management and bush regeneration efforts.
Indigenous Member: Alison Whittaker (Gomeroi)
Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi poet and legal researcher from the floodplains of Gunnedah in NSW. Between 2017-2018, she was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard Law School, where she was named the Dean’s Scholar in Race, Gender and Criminal Law. Her second book, BLAKWORK, was released with Magabala Books in September 2018. Prior to this, Alison worked at UTS:CAIK, UTS:Law, the Gendered Violence Research Network, and received a black&write! fellowship from the State Library of Queensland.
Indigenous Member: Nattlie (Natt) Smith (Wiradjuri)
Natt is a proud Wiradjuri woman from Condobolin/Orange NSW. Natt is also the Director for Policy and Evidence for the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office. She has over 20 years of experience in both government and non-government policy and operational roles across many human service areas including Aboriginal health, disability, aged care, carers, child protection, out of home care, employment, housing, commissioning and Aboriginal-led co-design projects.
Natt is committed to making a positive difference through culturally appropriate policy development, service design and program implementation and the importance of Aboriginal people having a voice in how we do this.
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 is Head of Pro Bono & Community Impact and Lead Pro Bono Counsel at King & Wood Mallesons leading a team of pro bono & social impact experts via KWM Community Impact (pro bono, social mobility, skilled volunteering, philanthropy, First Nations empowerment & engagement, and reconciliation). Dan also contributes to KWM’s thinking and response in other areas including the UN SDGs and climate justice. He is admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia. Dan is a pro bono & social impact lawyer, a director on various company boards, is a small business owner and has global, regional and local experience.
Dan is firmly committed to the ongoing journey of reconciliation in this country. He is passionate about promoting, protecting and enforcing the rights of all First Nations people, organisations and their communities.
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 Manager : Thea Butler
Thea is a highly experienced and capable communications specialist and producer, with expertise in events, website development, conceptual and creative envisioning, research and strategic planning, business development and relationship management.
As a freelancer, Thea has worked for clients including Geeza, Saatchi & Saatchi, Australia Council for the Arts, and Ripe. As a project manager for the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) Thea developed and implemented a high-profile national program of digital awareness raising, brand building and industry networking projects.
Community Engagement Officer: Chantal Bates (Barkandji, Malyangapa, Wadigali, Wanyiwalku, Wongkumara and Maori)
Chantal is a Barkandji, Malyangapa, Wadigali, Wanyiwalku and Wongkumara woman. Her Moiety is the eagle and her Dreaming is the dingo, which descends from her grandfather Jim Bates, a Wongkumara elder (dec’d), who birthed the famous catchcry: ‘Always was Always will be Aboriginal Land.’
Chantal has a strong background in administration and recruitment and is also a graduate of Worawa Aboriginal College and NAISDA Dance College. Throughout her career she has engaged and worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Australia wide and has previously lived on Willyama (Broken Hill), Tandanya (Adelaide SA), Wurundjeri (Healesville VIC), Gadigal (Redfern), Wangal (Inner west) and (Dubbo) Wiradjuri country.
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.