Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group

ANTaR has a close and unique working relationship with, and receives strong support from, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and prominent individuals.

Listed below are members of ANTaR's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group, who are an important sources of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advice and direction for ANTaR's national activities.

Professor Patrick Dodson

Patrick is a member of the Yawuru peoples of the Southern Kimberly region of Western Australia. He is currently Founding Chair of The Lingiari Foundation.

He was the Founding Chair of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, a former Commissioner into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and former Catholic Priest. He is one of Australia's most respected Aboriginal leaders.

Professor Mick Dodson

Mick is a member of the Yawuru peoples of the Southern Kimberly region of Western Australia. He is currently Director of the Australian National University National Centre for Indigenous Studies. Mick was a former HREOC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and Director of the Northern Land Council, amongst many other significant positions within the national Indigenous community.

Dr Bill Jonas

Dr Bill Jonas is a Worimi man from the Karuah River area of New South Wales. He was Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) from 1999 to 2004. Previous to this, Dr Jonas was Director of the National Museum of Australia, and from 1991 until 1996, he was Principal of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra. Bill has also held numerous other academic and government positions, and has received many awards, including the Order of Australia (AM) in 1993.

Aden Ridgeway

Aden Ridgeway was born in Macksville in northern NSW and is from the Gumbayngirr people of that area. He was a Democrat Senator for NSW and the only Aboriginal member of Federal Parliament. Aden has served as Chairman of the Board of Bangarra Dance Company and a board member of the Tikkun Australia Foundation, the Lumbu Indigenous Community Foundation and a trustee of the Charlie Perkins Children's Trust. Aden served on the Sydney ATSIC Regional Council for its first two terms and was Executive Director of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council for five years until 1990. He was also a member of the National Indigenous Working Group (NIWG) and the Council for Aboriginal reconciliation.

Linda Burney, MHR

The Honourable Linda Jean Burney MP is an Australian politician. She is a Member of the New South Wales (NSW) Parliament representing the Electorate of Canterbury in Sydney and she was the Minister for the State Plan and Minister for Community Services prior to the election held on 26 March 2011.  Now in opposition, Linda is Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and Shadow Minister for Planning, Infrastructure and Heritage; Sport and Recreation; the Hunter; and Central Coast.

Professor Larissa Behrendt

Larissa is Professor of Indigenous Research and Director of Research of the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is the Chair of the Bangarra Dance Theatre and a Director of NSW Galleries and Museums.  Larissa is the author of several books on Indigenous issues and two novels. Her most recent book is Indigenous Australia for Dummies.
 

David Ross

David is currently the Director of the Central Land Council, based in Alice Springs. David has a long history of service to the Aboriginal people of Central Australia and to the Central Land Council (CLC). Born and raised in Alice Springs, he commenced work at the CLC in 1979 and appointed Director in 1989. David was also previously an ATSIC Commissioner and Director of the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC).

Peter Yu

Peter is a Yawuru man from Broome, Western Australia who for the past 30 years has worked at a state, national and international level on behalf of Indigenous communities. Peter was the Executive Director of the Kimberley Land Council for ten years and member of the National Indigenous Working Group (NIWG) that negotiated with the Keating Government an agreement in relation to native title.

Olga Havnen

Olga is of Western Arrernte descent and grew up in Tennant Creek in central Australia. Olga is the NT Coordinator-General of Remote Service Delivery. Olga's previous positions have included Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs Coordinator for the Australian Red Cross, Senior Policy Officer of the NT Government's Indigenous Policy Unit, Indigenous Programs Director with the Fred Hollows Foundation, and Executive Officer with the National Indigenous Working Group (NIWG). She has also worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Central Land Council. She is a Board Member of the Diplomacy Training Program (UNSW).

Lester-Irabinna Rigney

Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney is Dean of Indigenous Education at The University of Adelaide. He is a Professor of Education and is an influential Indigenous educationalist in Australia today. In 2011 he won the National Aboriginal scholar of the Year NAIDOC. In the same year he was appointed by the Australian Government Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, The Hon Peter Garrett to the First Peoples Education Advisory Group that advises on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood and school education. In 2011 he was appointed by the same Minister Australian Ambassador for Aboriginal Education. In 2009 he received an honorary United Nations award from the Australian Chapter for his work on Indigenous Education. His 2006 co-edited book titled Sharing Spaces: Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Responses to Story, Country and Rights, is an Australian text on Indigenous and non-Indigenous race relations and how this converges in the vulnerable, vital and contested space called ‘education’.