The Traditional Owners of this land are those who identify as
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Sovereignty was never ceded.

ANTAR pays respect to Elders past, present, and emerging through our dedicated advocacy for First Nations Peoples’ justice and rights.

ANTAR acknowledges the responsibility of committing to a truth-telling process that promotes an honest and respectful path forward for future generations to build upon.

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Our People

ANTAR is a non-government, not-for-profit, community-based organisation driven by a voluntary Board of Directors and a small, dedicated team of professional staff. We come together from Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous families and communities.

Dr Peter Lewis President

Peter has worked in First Nations affairs as a researcher and advocate for over 25 years. He is currently President of ANTAR

Peter has worked in First Nations affairs as a researcher and advocate for over 25 years. He is currently President of ANTAR and has worked for Koorreen Enterprises, SNAICC, Oxfam, VACCA and the Uniting Church in the areas of Research, Training and Advocacy. Peter was a founding member of ANTaR Victoria and ANTAR National.

Peter was a former member of the Family Matters, Close the Gap and Change the Record, Redfern Statement Alliance Campaigns, the National Sorry Day Committee, the Victorian Stolen Generations Working Group and the Board of Reconciliation Australia.

His work at VACCA led to the development of VACCA’s Research and Policy unit which produced major research reports such as DHHS’ Aboriginal Cultural Competence Framework, and VACCA’s “This is Forever Business”: Maintaining and Restoring Cultural Safety in Aboriginal Victoria report with Professor Richard Frankland. He is the author of Acting in Solidarity?: The churches’ journey with the Indigenous Peoples of Australia.

In 2011, Peter was a Research Consultant for the Northern Territory Inquiry into Child Protection on secondment from VACCA.

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Jaki Adams Secretary

Jaki was born and raised in Garramilla (Darwin) on Larrakia Country is currently ANTAR’s Secretary and also Director Social Justice and Regional Engagement at Fred Hollows Foundation.

Jaki was born and raised in Garramilla (Darwin) on Larrakia Country, and is of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, with ancestral links to the Yadhaigana and Wuthathi Peoples of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, traditional family ties with the Gurindji Peoples of Central Western Northern Territory and extended family relationships with the people of the Torres Straits and Warlpiri Yuendumu NT).

Jaki’s professional journey includes Hospitality; Secondary Teaching; and, over 18 years in the Australian Government spanning a variety of portfolios, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Health and Aged Care programs, and some 8 years within the Australian Department of Defence. Jaki joined The Fred Hollows Foundation in April 2012 and has held key leadership roles,
including Country Manager of the Indigenous Australia Program (2012-2017) and Regional Programming Director roles (2017 – 2020) encompassing program implementation across Australia, Pacific (Trachoma and programming through FHFNZ), Timor Leste, Philippines, and Indonesia. In 2022 Jaki is leading the Social Justice and Regional Engagement Team within the Office of the CEO, with a focus on health equity, elevating the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and allyship.

Jaki is also a Board Director of Vision 2020 Australia, Thirrili Ltd and convenes the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) First Nations Special Interest Group and a member of the National Advisory Board for the Indigenous Eye Health Unit at the University of Melbourne.

Jaki has a personal and professional commitment to do whatever she can to improve the health and
wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Peoples are leading decision making, and also advocating for the right to good health for
those most marginalised across the Australia/Pacific/Oceania regions.

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Shae Lake Director

Shae identifies as a Quandamooka and Wakka Wakka woman with strong personal and professional interest and commitment in the support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. She is currently the Associate Director, First Peoples Directorate for Australian Catholic University (ACU).

Shae has a strong background in promoting change and measurable results in the development and execution of community programs and activities, providing creative and useful inputs to driving important changes in service of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples.

In 2006 she obtained a Bachelor of Business from Charles Darwin University and a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Leadership from Griffith University in 2008 and is currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact through Swinburne University.

She has spent nearly thirty years of her professional career focusing on increasing involvement of community through quality education and employment. Shae was also a former board member of Murri Watch, an organisation that provides a range of services such as; diversion from custody, cell visitor program community patrol and supported accommodation.

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Jill Webb Council Chair

With a long history of working to support ANTAR at both the National and State level, Jill has been on the Board of ANTAR National for 8 years and chair of ANTAR ‘s Campaigns and Advocacy Council for the past two years

Jill is a lawyer and has worked in Native Title for over 10 years. Currently, Jill is Manager of Nation Building at the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations.

With a background in social work and management, Jill was previously Senior Manager of Child and Family Programs at the Brotherhood of St Laurence. She has a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from La Trobe University and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Australian National University. She also holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. Jill has been involved with ANTaR Victoria for more than 15 years and was chairperson from 2006-2010.

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Des Rogers Director

Des Rogers a Southern Arrernte Aboriginal man of the Pertame Clan from Alice Springs in Central Australia has been a Director with ANTAR for 3 years.

Des Rogers is a highly skilled and experienced national executive leader in the not-for-profit and public sectors. He provides strategic direction, operations and facility management, community engagement, financial management and has a proven track record in driving organisational performance improvement and reform in line with corporate governance and Governmental requirements.

A respected Southern Arrernte Aboriginal man of the Pertame Clan from Alice Springs in Central Australia, his sophisticated understanding of First Nations culture, emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills allow me to deliver high level corporate advice and recommendations to senior stakeholders on issues impacting cultural change, organisational transformation, policy development and program delivery.

Des has provided cultural support for Aboriginal offenders in correctional facilities and ongoing cultural capability training across sectors and organisations for foster lasting understanding and change.

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Angus Frith Vice President
Darren Dick Treasurer
Jo Kerr Director
Blake Cansdale National Director

Blake is a a proud Anaiwan man and the National Director of ANTAR. Dedicated to empowering First Nations Communities, Blake has a background in legal practice with experience in public policy, lecturing, Aboriginal affairs, business management, Aboriginal land planning and development, land acquisition and land management.

He holds a Master of Public Policy and Management from Monash University and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) / Bachelor Science (major psychology) from UNSW. Prior to joining the team at ANTAR, Blake held Senior Executive roles within the Aboriginal Community Controlled Sector, namely as Chief Operating Officer at Tranby National Indigenous Adult Education & Training, and most recently as Chief Operating Officer at Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council.

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Michael Andersen Development & Operations Manager

Michael Andersen has 23 years experience in fundraising, communications, marketing and senior management for a range of not for profits in Australia and the UK.

It’s been 10 years since Michael started with our affiliate in Victoria, in that time he’s become the resident expert in Sea of Hands installations and dedicated advocate for First Nations rights.

He brings a wide set of not-for-profit and technical experiences and problem solving skills helping ANTAR through into a new era where supporters do so much of their engagement with issues and charities online.

Michael lives and works in Narmm on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country. His office is with our partners at the National Native Title Council.

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Phaedra Engel-Harrison Communications & Fundraising Manager

Phaedra grew up on beautiful Dharawal Country and now lives and works on Cammeraygal and Gadigal Land as ANTAR’s Communications, Support and Fundraising Manager. She has over a decade of experience in the ‘for purpose’ sector, working for humanitarian causes in Australia and internationally.

She holds a BA (Media and Communications) and a Master of Human Rights from the University of Sydney. She is a dedicated campaigner for First Nations rights and justice and supports the Close the Gap and Raise the Age Campaigns through her role with ANTAR. Phaedra is passionate about politics and people-driven community movements for change that are powered by social media.

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Jessica Johnston Research & Policy Officer

Jess comes to ANTAR with a diverse range of professional and life experience. She holds a BA in Government and International Relations and Philosophy, and is a recent graduate of the University of Sydney’s Master of Peace and Conflict Studies program where she wrote her dissertation on the politics of refusal.

Jess has spent the last fifteen years on Treaty 7 territory in and around Moh’kins’tsis and the traditional territory of the Stoney Nakoda people, and now lives on Gadigal land where she is a mother, a feminist and an avid coffee drinker.

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Erin Franks Administration & Programs Officer

Erin is a proud Gadigal woman who works with the team at ANTAR National’s head office. She enjoys working closely with ANTAR’s dedicated volunteers in bringing the Sea of Hands to life!

Some fun facts about Erin:
1. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Animation and Game design.
2. She has a chunky bulldog, named Agnes, a gentle giant Neapolitan mastiff, named Flora, and an ancient Ragdoll, named Hope, waiting at home.
3. She loves a good Caramel latte!

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Wendy Rayner ANTAR Volunteer - 7 years

Wendy is the custodian of ANTAR’s iconic Sea of Hands collection and also helps keep the bookstore stocked with all the latest titles.

Sue Downes ANTAR Volunteer - 6 years

Sue’s interest is in improving First Nations peoples’ advocacy, health and housing to Close the bloody Gap! She is Treasurer of the Women’s Reconciliation Network, part-time book-keeper working in reconciliations, ex-midwife and Registered Nurse, mother of twins, and grandmother to young grandson.

Sheilagh Kelly ANTAR Volunteer - 5 years

Sheilagh is a retired academic from UTS who has loved researching issues pages for ANTAR’s website.

Cathy Noble ANTAR Volunteer - 4 years

Now retired, Cathy formerly worked for many years in the NSW public service (health/social welfare sectors), primarily in South Western Sydney.

John McNeil ANTAR Volunteer - 4 years

John returned to Sydney with his wife to be near his grandchildren after 40 years in the USA. He has engineering and accounting degrees from the University of Newcastle and lives with too many tools and bicycles in a little apartment. John is one eighth Samoan and eight eighths stirrer.

Kath Ponsonby ANTAR Volunteer - 6 months

Kath has recently completed a Bachelor of Anthropology at Western Sydney University and lives with two cavoodles, a cockatiel and a cockatoo.

Our Work
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Our Work Strategic Plan Read More
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