Please note that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons.


As a national organisation, we acknowledge the traditional owners of the land across Australia and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. Our office is located on the lands of the Wurundjeri peoples. The conference will be held on the lands of the Larrakia Nation.








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The Lowitja Institute Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health CRC is an activity of the Australian Government CRC Programme.


Associate Professor Chelsea Bond

Dr Chelsea Bond is a Munanjahli and South Sea Islander Australian and a Senior Research Fellow within the School of Social Sciences at The University of Qld. Dr Bond has worked as an Aboriginal Health Worker and researcher in communities across south-east Queensland for over 20 years with her work focused on interpreting and privileging Indigenous experiences of the health system including critically examining the role of Aboriginal health workers, the narratives of Indigeneity produced within public health, and advocating for strength based community development approaches to Indigenous health promotion practice. She is a current recipient of an ARC Early Career Research Fellowship which seeks to advance our understandings of how race operates within contemporary public health practice.

Dr Bond is a board member of Inala Wangarra (an Indigenous community development association within her own community), and one half of the Wild Black Women on Brisbane’s 98.9FM and NITV’s The Point.

Mr David Collard (Wardong)

David Collard is a Nyoongar man from the south-west of Western Australia and comes from the Ballardong Country east of Perth in the dry Wheatbelt land along the Avon River. He has ancestors from both Ballardong and Wadjuk. David presently works as an Aboriginal Consultant after working across several government agencies at both State and Federal levels for over 30 years.

In 2017 he was engaged by SWALSC to assist the National Marine Parks to facilitate a Nyoongar Marine workshop with Nyoongar Elders to contribute Nyoongar cultural values to the new management plans of the National Marine Parks for the South West region.

David presented at the Australian Marine Science Association (AMSA) conference in 2018 and is assisting at this year's AMSA Conference.

He has joined the South-West Marine Park Advisory Committee and is also nominated to the Forest Stewardship Council’s Permanent Indigenous People’s Council (PIPC) for the Oceania region.

As part of the Nyoongar Nation, David maintains participation in the Natural Resource Management industry and is developing new ways of working across all streams for the Nyoongar community.

MS Jody Currie

Queensland-born, Jody is a Mununjahli Yugambeh woman with traditional ties to the country between the Logan and Tweed Rivers. In 2015, Jody was appointed as our CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Brisbane, one of the largest Aboriginal community health and human services organisations in Queensland. Jody’s vision is for ATSICHS to be world leaders in Indigenous health and social support services being provided in an urban setting.

Previous to her position as CEO, Jody was a member of the ATSICHS board over a six year period, two of these as Chair. She is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and currently serves as a Director on various Non-Government and Government Boards.

Jody has a lengthy history in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, housing, early childhood education and human service delivery and is a strong advocate for improving the service accessibility to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She has experience and focus on health, children youth and vulnerable families and has held a variety of roles in both the community and government sectors. Before joining ATSICHS, Jody held senior positions at the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Human Services Coalition and her most recent position before joining ATSICHS was the Director of Human Services at the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH).


June Oscar AO is a proud Bunuba woman from the remote town of Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia’s Kimberly region. She is a strong advocate for Indigenous Australian languages, social justice, women’s issues, and has worked tirelessly to reduce Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

June has held a raft of influential positions including Deputy Director of the Kimberley Land Council, chair of the Kimberley Language Resource Centre and the Kimberley Interpreting Service and Chief Investigator with WA’s Lililwan Project addressing FASD .

She was appointed to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (1990) and was a winner of the 100 Women of Influence 2013 in the Social Enterprise and Not For Profit category. In 2015 June received the Menzies School of Health Research Medallion for her work with FASD.

June has a Bachelor's Degree in Business from the University of Notre Dame, Broome, Western Australia, and is currently writing her PhD. June is a co-founder of the Yiramalay Wesley Studio School and is a Community member of the Fitzroy Valley Futures Governing Committee.

In February 2017, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Edith Cowan University.

June began her five-year term as Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner on 3 April 2017.

Dr kerry arabena

A descendant of the Meriam people from the Torres Strait, Kerry’s work has brought her to the forefront of Indigenous affairs in Australia. A former social worker with a Doctorate in Environmental Science, Kerry has held senior positions including Chair of Indigenous Health at the University of Melbourne, Executive Director of First 1000 Days Australia, CEO of the Lowitja Institute, and Director of Indigenous Health Research at Monash University. With an extensive background in public health, administration, community development and research, Kerry has led a wide range of organisations and committees including the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council and the National Congress of Australia’s First People. Currently a Director of Kinaway Chamber of Commerce and President of EcoHealth International, Kerry holds an honorary professorial position with the University of Melbourne and has a number of entrepreneurial programs in development.

Dr. Kū Kahakalau

Dr. Kū Kahakalau is a native Hawaiian educator, researcher, cultural practitioner, grassroots activist, song writer, and expert in Hawaiian language, history and culture.  A resident of Hawaiʻi Island, Dr. Kahakalau is the first person in the world to earn a Ph.D. in Indigenous Education. Dr. Kahakalauʻs research has resulted in an Indigenous research methodology called Māʻawe Pono, as well as a highly successful Pedagogy of Aloha (love/compassion), which promotes the revitalization of Hawaiian language and culture, hands-on learning in the environment, community sustainability, food sovereignty and Hawaiian self-determination in education and beyond. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Kahakalau has founded and administered multiple, innovative Hawaiian-focused programs, including a series of Hawaiian summer immersion programs, a Hawaiian Academy, Hawaiʻiʻs first culturally-driven PK-12 charter school, an Indigenous teacher licensing program, as well as a successful social enterprise.  Her latest efforts center around developing EA Ecoversity, a Hawaiian-focused post-secondary program that transitions Hawaiian youth to culturally-grounded, happy, successful, thriving adults and responsible global citizens, able to walk comfortably in multiple worlds.  EA, which stands for Education with Aloha, also means sovereignty in Hawaiian, since EA Ecoversity is envisioned to become the first component of an independent Hawaiian system of education.

Ngangkari – Traditional Healers

For thousands of years the ngangkari have nurtured the physical, emotional, and social well-being of their people. These traditional healers are esteemed for their unique ability to protect and heal both individuals and communities from harm.

Additionally, the ngangkari provide advice to Indigenous and non-Indigenous people outside their communities, using their extensive knowledge of culture and family.

Our program employs male and female ngangkari to work in communities in the region, as well as hospitals, nursing homes, gaols, hostels, and health services in regional centres.