Shane is born and bred from Shepparton; a strong Yorta Yorta, Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung man. He is a highly experienced and inspirational Aboriginal leader with a strong track record across a range of sectors including education and training, justice, and cultural heritage within both Aboriginal and mainstream organisations. Mr Charles said he was a passionate advocate for reconciliation who enjoys sharing cultural knowledge to make a difference.
Professor Andrew Gunstone is Executive Director Reconciliation Strategy and Leadership, Executive Director Moondani Toombadool Centre, and Professor Indigenous Studies at Swinburne University. Andrew has a whole-of-institution responsibility for reconciliation, the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), and Indigenous matters. Andrew led the development of Swinburne's 2017-19 RAP and 2020-23 RAP. Andrew’s research expertise is in the areas of reconciliation, stolen wages, reparative justice and Indigenous public policies. Andrew regularly provides advice to industry, community, academia and government on reconciliation matters. Andrew is also the Foundation Editor of the Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues. Based on his experiences and research, Andrew argues there are several key elements of reconciliation: Indigenous rights, including self-determination; Indigenous knowledges; cultural safety; combatting racism and whiteness; truth-telling; reparative justice; and relationships.
Keith has been a member of his local reconciliation group for 18 years, 17 of which he has been President. He was elected to the Reconciliation Victoria Council in 2006 and served as Co-Chair from 2008 until 2016. He sees that reconciliation has two major outcomes: one is to overcome the unacceptable disadvantage that Aboriginal people experience due to the arrival of Europeans to the land now called Australia. The second is for non-Aboriginal Australians to embrace, recognise and value Aboriginal culture, identity and history; to build it into a new Australian identity. This respect and recognition will strengthen Aboriginal people and communities.
Bob is a full time accountant and managing director with Yarn Strong Sista.
Maria Dimopoulos AM is recognised as an expert specialising in the intersections of diversity, gender equality and the law. Much of Maria’s work has been aimed at promoting and enhancing a gendered approach in the ongoing legal and political reform processes and in ensuring the meaningful inclusion of diverse women’s voices and perspectives in those reform processes. In 2008, she was appointed by the Federal government to the National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children. Maria was also a member of the Access and Equity Inquiry Panel. In 2009, Maria was appointed by the Australian Federal Government to the National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children and in 2012 she was appointed by the federal Minister for Multicultural Affairs to the Access and Equity Inquiry panel. Maria is currently the Chairperson of the Harmony Alliance. She also sits on the Coronial Council of Victoria. In 2017 Maria was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award by the Migration Council of Australia. In 2020 Maria was named Member of the Order of Australia for "significant service to women, to cultural diversity, and to the prevention of domestic violence”.
Tom is a proud Noongar man and school leader with the Victorian Department of Education. Originally from country Victoria, Tom gained undergraduate and post-graduate qualifications in Politics and Education at the University of Melbourne prior to embarking on a career in the education and political arenas. Tom has worked as a political advisor and campaign manager in both Federal and State Election contexts, as well as providing specialist advice on the growth and recruitment of members to a major political party. Outside of politics, Tom has worked in a number of schools as both a classroom teacher and school leader, including time spent in Western Australia and the United Kingdom. Tom is passionate about working alongside Koori students to achieve the highest standard of education possible and to provide a learning environment that allows each student the opportunity to work towards their individual goals. Tom is humbled to have been appointed to the board of Reconciliation Victoria and looks forward to making a contribution to the strategic direction of the organisation.
Alistair has 30 years experience in the management of communications, public relations, marketing and community engagement in the government and not-for-profit sectors. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Economics degree and a Graduate Diploma in Marketing. His roles have included Director, Strategic Communications and Marketing at the Department of State Development, Communications Manager roles at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and at the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and Manager of Corporate Communications at the Department of Justice. Alistair has a long-standing commitment to social justice and reconciliation issues. He has previously undertaken pro bono work for Reconciliation Victoria and mentored Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as part of the Dulin Project. He is currently a board director of Your Community Health, a provider of health services to diverse communities in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, of which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are a priority.
Dr Emily Poelina-Hunter, is a proud Nyikina woman, from Western Australia. Her community work on Birr Nganka Nyikina the first English-Nyikina dictionary (published in 2014) strengthened her connection to Country, and her language work continues to inform her teaching philosophy and community development perspectives. She has lived in Melbourne from the age of 28 (when she started her PhD in Archaeology at the University of Melbourne in 2010) to now. Emily is a Lecturer in the Aboriginal Studies discipline at La Trobe University, where she coordinate the following subjects: Politics of Indigenous Australia, Indigenous Community Development, and Decolonising Aboriginal Studies. Emily is very interested in policies and strategies that benefit Indigenous Australians and decolonising education institutions. Her previous job was in local government, with the City of Melbourne, where she held a short term role as the (Acting) Reconciliation Lead. Reconciliation Action Plans are of personal interest to her because she has used them as a student and an employee to assert her rights and make positive change in universities and local government roles she has held. Emily wants to contribute to the Aboriginal community in Melbourne and wider Victoria to pay her respects to their sovereignty and honour the Welcome to Country ceremonies she has had the joy of experiencing.
Dr Fiona Machin grew up in regional Victoria and currently lives and works in Bendigo. Her work for the past 8 years has focused on driving reconciliation within local government and the public sector and working in partnership with Traditional Owners and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across central and northern Victoria. She has been the reconciliation officer for both the City of Greater Bendigo and the City of Ballarat, and is currently working in reconciliation at the North Central Catchment Management Authority. Previous roles include working in cultural diversity with multicultural youth and CALD communities, and in international development both in Australia and Cambodia. Her qualifications include a PhD in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Melbourne. Fiona has a passion for driving reconciliation in local government and looks forward to better supporting local councils and communities, particularly within rural and regional Victoria, on their reconciliation journeys.
Reconciliation Victoria's work is guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices. The Cultural Council of First Peoples provides the Board and CEO with cultural knowledge, advice, and guidance to ensure that our work remains accountable to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Read more about the Council here.
We rely strongly on the support of our amazing volunteers who assist us in a range of roles across the organisation.
If you would like to speak to us about volunteering opportunities please email us, and include a bit about yourself, your areas of interest and skills/experience.
You can find us at:
Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country,
1 Tripovich Street,
Brunswick VIC 3056
© Reconciliation Victoria 2017
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