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.
Secretary: 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.
Treasurer: Nancy An
Nancy is a qualified Chartered Accountant and experienced Senior Financial and Project Management practitioner. She is currently the lead for all strategic financial work for the Policy & Evidence directorate and the Strong Family, Strong Communities (SFSC) program at the Aboriginal Housing Office. Her recent work includes supporting the Business case proposal to Treasury which secured $67.2 million dollars over four years to continue the SFSC program.
Prior to joining the government, she held positions in top tier professional services firms including Big 4 consultancy firm KPMG. Nancy is a passionate supporter of improving outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities and NSW governments continued commitment to Closing the Gap.
Indigenous Member: 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.
Steven Collins (Pitta Pitta): Indigenous Member
Steven is a Pitta Pitta man, whose traditional lands span a region in Far Western Central Queensland, and is a descendant of the Stolen Generations, with an extensive career in stakeholder engagement, project management, strategic planning, governance and First Nations issues. Steven grew up in a single parent environment, with his mother suffering severe mental health issues and his sister living with a disability, which has motivated him in pursuit of better outcomes for the socially disadvantaged.
Steven is currently serving as the first Aboriginal Liaison Officer for the Parliament of NSW. His role is pivotal in breaking down barriers that have traditionally been in place for Aboriginal people seeking to understand, access and engage with the Parliament of NSW.
Steven’s key strength is stakeholder management, where he has a track record in facilitating complex discussions to achieve positive outcomes for all parties involved. He has been Advisor to several State Government Ministers and has worked closely with senior government officers, other Ministers and Members of Parliament in pursuit of social policy reform across Aboriginal affairs, disability services, domestic and family violence, and youth.
Carly Bush: Non-Indigenous Member
Carly is an experienced senior leader in the financial services and corporate philanthropic sector, with a Masters in Business Administration and Graduate Certificate in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship. Carly leads the strategic direction and operational management of a foundation that works with charitable organisations across regional NSW to support the most marginalised and underrepresented communities.
With a passion for supporting human rights, Carly has worked in communities in Kenya to help women learn skills and build confidence to create their own income to support their families, creating a lasting impact for their futures. Carly now utilises the invaluable lessons learnt in Africa to support corporate organisations to value inclusion and diversity, and build respectful cultures.
Dr Catherine Keenan AM: Non-Indigenous Member
Dr Catherine Keenan AM is co-founder and executive director of Story Factory. Prior to this, Catherine worked for 12 years as an arts writer and literary editor at The Sydney Morning Herald, and has freelanced for publications including The Griffith Review, The Times Literary Supplement, and Good Weekend. She has always been passionate about writing, and holds a doctorate in English Literature from Oxford University. For her work with Story Factory, she was named the 2016 Australian of the Year Local Hero.
Dr Amy Maguire : Non-Indigenous Member
Dr Amy Maguire is an Associate Professor in human rights and international law at the School of Law and Justice, University of Newcastle, where she also serves as Deputy Head of School (Research Training). She is a Director of the Centre for Law and Social Justice, which was established in 2022 to operate as a hub for social justice and law reform. Amy’s research spans several topics in her fields of expertise, including state accountability to human rights obligations, self-determination, refugee and Indigenous rights, and the death penalty. She also translates research for policy and public audiences, as a member of the Human Rights Advisory Panel to the Queensland Parliament, through submissions to public inquiries and as an author for The Conversation.
Amy has been a long term advocate for reconciliation and justice for First Nations peoples. She established the Indigenous Early Entry scheme at the Newcastle School of Law and Justice and has worked for over a decade to support the access and progress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in higher education, and to promote curricular justice in law programs.
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 Manager: 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.
Project Support Officer: Freda McGrady (Gomeroi)
Freda is a Gomeroi woman, currently studying a Bachelor of Arts in Global Indigenous Studies, minoring in Sociology and Anthropology. Freda is excited to work with Reconciliation NSW on projects that will improve outcomes in NSW for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
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 is eager to use her communications skills to amplify First Nations voices, educate non-Indigenous Australia and unsettle the dominant Australian narrative through truth telling.
Office Manager: Martina Dittmer-Flachskampf
Martina joins the NSW team after having years of administrative and project-management experience overseas, as she has German roots. She brings to the role organisational abilities and overview to keep things on track.
Martina is passionate about bringing people together for a unified goal, and hopes to grow and learn in this position from First Nations voices as well as from her teammates.