Karen Milward is the Chairperson and joined the Board as one of the founders of MMIGP in 2007. Karen is a Yorta Yorta woman who was born and raisedin Melbourne. Karen is a strong advocate for developing culturally- appropriate solutions to the issues confronting Aboriginal people, which empower individuals and communities so that they can confidently and effectively move forward.
Karen is the current Chairperson of Community First Development and Kinaway Chamber of Commerce Victoria Ltd as well as a Board Director for Yarra Valley Water. Karen has extensive experience in governance, management and leadership as she has served on many formal government committees and working groups, including the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Development Board, the Premier’s Aboriginal Advisory Council and Indigenous Leadership Network Victoria.
Karen owns and operates Karen Milward Consultancy Services (since 2005) and has extensive consulting experience and networks across Australia. She has worked on a range of projects and initiatives with government, corporate and private sectors – especially those targeting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Karen has been involved in Aboriginal affairs all her life – sharing her expertise and experience through senior policy and program management positions held in various organisations, not withholding government. Karen has been consulting in Aboriginal affairs for more than 25 years. She has worked in various areas of Aboriginal Affairs, specialising in community development through education, employment and economic development. Karen is involved in addressing issues concerning Aboriginal communities as well as promoting Aboriginal cultural heritage and competence.
Karen has worked with 35 Aboriginal communities and their organisations in Victoria and more than 100 Aboriginal communities and their organisations nationally across all issues relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Uncle David Farrall is the Deputy Chair, joining the board as one of the founders of MMIGP in 2007. Uncle David is a proud Arrernte man who has lived on Wurundjeri land all his life (Melbourne’s Eastern Metropolitan Region). Uncle David calls this place home but his culture and stories come from Mparntwe, now known as the Alice Springs area.
He is a retired career firefighter and is now enjoying using his time to live and engage with the local community. Uncle David is an Elder under the Elders and Respected Persons program in three Koori Court jurisdictions (Children’s, Magistrates and County courts).
He has held leadership roles in the EMR since the mid-90s, and is currently on several committees and boards of management for local community organisations where he is pleased to be a strong advocate for community needs and aspirations. He said being part of the MMIGP community has rewarded him with cultural and social connections to the EMR Aboriginal community, which has become his extended family.
Aunty Janet grew up in Portland, Gunditjmara country. She has family connections to Nunga Country at Old Yalata through her mother. Her Father’s connection is Dja Dja Wurrung Country.
She is a lecturer in Aboriginal Art and Culture at the Faculty of Education at ACU and a High Degree Research Scholar at Australian National University researching human relationships to Country.
Aunty Janet has worked in training (Cultural Awareness and Certification), working in the Community Sector across Australia. She joined the Jim Baa Yer (Centre for Indigenous Education) at the Australian Catholic University in 2012. Restructures in 2014 to form ‘First Peoples and Equity Pathways Directorate”, whose role is to engage Aboriginal students, families, and school staff, to promote access to Higher Education in the state.
Aunty Janet presented her research based on human relationship with land and waters and briefly analysed the colonial impact on the colony of Port Phillip Bay (now Melbourne). During her presentation, Aunty Janet emphasised how we can learn from our ancient Aboriginal ways of life, which are highly philosophical and religious and are based on a relationship to land and all that is on the land. Aunty Janet strongly feels that people need to become more sensitive and humbler in the way they relate to the land and all the natural resources.
Michael Browne is a proud Barkandji/Wamba Wamba man who grew up in Jerilderie, a small country town in NSW, and moved to the eastern suburbs of Melbourne in 2008. Michael joined the MMIGP Board in June 2019 with a background in Engineering, planning and project management. Michael previously worked at Sydney Water and is now working at Yarra Valley Water and has been for over 12 years. Michael would love to see First Nations people have a greater involvement in the management of the land and waterways. He joined the MMIGP Board because it gives him the opportunity to support the staff in developing programs for community members and also to learn from our Elders who sit on the Board of MMIGP.
The MMIGP Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Trevor Pearce as our new CEO. Trevor was one of the founding members of MMIGP and our first employee back in 2005. Trevor along with his wife Violet Harrison were instrumental in gathering community in the Eastern Metro area around informal meetings and BBQs in Whitehorse.
Trevor Pearce is a Kamilaroi, Wiradjari, Wailwan man from western NSW, born and raised in Sydney. He has strong family ties to both New South Wales and Victoria and has been working for his community for over 40 years at local, State and National levels. Trevor was a member of numerous Ministerial Advisory Councils in Qld, VIC, NSW, and the Commonwealth Government including the Council of Australian Government and the National Coalition of Peaks on Closing the Gap.
Trevor and his family have been active members of the Mullum family and the Eastern Metro, raising his son and daughter for 20 years in the region. He is looking forward to reconnecting with family, old friends and establishing new connections with the community.
I joined MMIGP in 2020 in full-time capacity after working on their finance team for approximately a year. The community at MMIGP have been very warm and welcoming, and I am grateful for the opportunities and learnings I have been provided by everyone. I am learning more about the Victorian Aboriginal everyday and enjoy listening to the wisdom of the Elders, community and staff here at Mullum.
My parents are Vietnamese and migrated to Australia around 30 years ago. I was born in Australia and have lived here my whole life with strong roots to my Vietnamese culture through family. My connection and experience with culture has shown me the importance of culture and my goal is to facilitate a safe space for people to build their capacity and learn about their culture.
I enjoy learning about different cultures, travelling, camping and being outdoors in my spare time.
I look forward to a busy and eventful 2023 and I hope everyone is keeping well and safe.
Kerry is a proud Kamilaroi woman from New South Wales, although spent all her life living on Naarm/ Melbourne, Victoria.
Kerry’s vast experience and skills have come from 30years of dedication working closely with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Kerry has worked as a peer support mentor in the mental health field, working closely with Aboriginal people with mental health disorders. Kerry has started her bachelor’s in health science Mental Health, and will continue through the following years.
Kerry also worked as a Indigenous Employment consultant for many years with Job Active Government services, and private Aboriginal owned Employment Groups. Kerry has also worked in the Mental health CRT (Cognitive remediation Therapy) program.
Priority is to support life skills, career planning and supporting individuals to re-enter and remain in the workforce and life in general.
Kerry worked on several programs including:
Ø Personal Help and Mental Service (PHAMS) program
Ø Cognitive Remediation Therapy programs (CRT’s);
Ø Wise ways to Work delivering the Optimal Health Program.
Kerry is committed to working in partnership with individuals, communities; and Allies to design and develop new initiatives to assist and ensure a strong future, working towards eliminating challenges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face in their day to day lives.
Kerry has strong rapport building skills, using a holistic approach to the wellbeing and social challenges faced by people she works with. Kerry is passionate about identifying and implementing long term solutions above all, ensuring a positive result for Aboriginal clients.
My name is Dion Edwards, I am a proud Wemba Wemba/Yorta Yorta man. My mother’s family are from Moonaculla in Deniliquin and my fathers family are from Cummeragunja Mission; roughly about 28kms away from Echuca.
I started with MMIGP as the Men’s Worker trainee and am now the Men’s worker working closely with Chris Hume. Before joining the Mullum team I was working with Indigenous Employment Partners (IEP).
This role gives me a sense of pride knowing that I’m working towards helping our Elders and building the future generation of strong, proud Aboriginal people.
I believe my time at Mullum Mullum will be very rewarding with a positive experience and I look forward to where it takes me.
My name is Marc Williams. I am a proud Yorta Yorta and Gunai man born in Shepparton Victoria. My family come from Cummergunja (Mission) on the border of NSW and Victoria.
I have recently been appointed the position as the planned activities group/social support coordinator at MMIGP. I work closely with our Elders at MMIGP.
I have been apart of MMIGP for close to 15 years in various roles from Health Coordinator and Local Justice Worker to being on the Board of Directors.
I have always looked at MMIGP as one of the most important organisations for our people in the EMR. When my daughter was born in 2008, I was asked by an Elder to get involved with MMIGP as we were living in Burwood. I did not know of MMIGP at the time but since then I have never left this place. I live in Berwick (South/Eastern Suburb of Melbourne).
My background of employment over the last 25years ranges from Tourism/Health and Education and working in the Private Business Sector.
My vision for MMIGP is to build on the ability and capacity to address all the aspects of health and wellbeing for our people of our community. We need to be in a position of strength for significant change to improve outcomes across the whole organisation and community – we are getting there.
Finally, to note is that MMIGP community has rewarded my family with cultural and social connections to the EMR Aboriginal community, which has become an extended family.
Hello MMIGP Community!
My name is Elisha. I am so excited to be working in the role of the Healing Support Worker within the Ochre Program, Family Violence and prevention team. I grew up on noongar country in Western Australia and although I do not personally identify as Indigenous, I do strongly identify as belonging to an Aboriginal family, being the proud mother of two Yamatji/Noongar children. I am passionate about working with community and being able to walk alongside individuals during their healing journeys. I enjoy creating and providing a safe space for people to make positive changes individually and collectively for the community, that will ultimately benefit our future generations. I am currently enrolled in Bachelor of Psychological Science and Counselling at university. In the past, I have worked with remote Indigenous community in the Kimberly in a therapeutic space, supporting families in recovery from trauma, domestic and family violence, mental health and drug and alcohol challenges. This is a space that is close to my heart, as I am very proud of my own personal healing journey. I believe when we can shift our perception of our trauma and challenges of being something that isolates us from one another to a place of acceptance and connection we can start to stand in our own personal truth and growth with a sense of oneness.
Hi I’m James and I am a proud Aboriginal man from Milikapiti, Tiwi Islands. I have been a part of Mullum Mullum since the beginning and I am an active and long term community member and volunteer. I recently joined the MMIGP team in February as the Community Driver & Foodbank Assistant to help our community access our Mullum Pantry and to support community participation in Mullum programs.
Mullum is like family to me and always has been. I have seen my own children grow up here and I enjoy learning new things and learn more about my culture. It is very rewarding and enjoyable for me to watch my children learn more about their culture.
Hello, I am Sue Macfarlane, and I am so delighted and honoured to be joining Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place in the capacity of Access and Support Worker. Its my first week and already everyone is extremely welcoming and supportive.
In my role I will be providing support, advocacy and a variety of services and referrals to our Indigenous community in the EMR. I hope to build on the HACCPYP and CHSP programs here at MMIGP to benefit Aboriginal people living in our 7 LGA’s and increase the capacity and breadth of the programs. I envisage engaging with many of the amazing programs and team members here at MMIGP so that we continue our great work together to delivery our common goals. One major focus will be promoting our services and programs to the EMR community. Ensuring our Indigenous community are informed of services available to them, to ensure everyone is aware of their rights and entitlements and can make informed choices in their services. I plan to build strong effective and positive relationships with our Indigenous Community, Services Providers and all other stakeholders.
I have lived in Melbourne majority of my life but spent a fantastic 5 years living and working in remote aboriginal communities of the Northern Territory mainly Gapuwiyak and the amazing town of Alice Springs and nearby communities like Yuendumu. The roles in the Northern Territory consisted of Care Coordination, NDIS Support Coordinator and Team Leader of CHSP and HCP programs. My most recent role was with Uniting Vic Tas working as a Case Manager in the HACC PYP Linkages program.
On a personal note, I live in Berwick, enjoy precious family time, social events with friends and relaxing at home. I facilitate a social group for women over 45 who want to increase their social connects and have fun!!
I have a gorgeous cocker spaniel who is my best friend. I love doing crosswords, knitting, sudoku and practicing mindfulness and attempting yoga. The latter has its challenges!! My greatest joy is the arrival of my first grandson in 2022.
I eagerly look forward to all this new role with MMIGP brings.
Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Ash, and it is a pleasure to be joining the MMIPG team as a youth worker. I am a proud Wiradjuri / Wotjobaluk man, as well as being of Chinese descent. I was born and raised on Wurundjeri Country. I love learning about other people’s culture.
I have been working with youth for around 6 years. I have worked as a youth worker in organisations such as, Aboriginal Wellness Foundation, Boroondara City Council and Girraway Ganyi Consultancy.
Through working with Girraway Ganyi Consultancy, I have won youth awards such as the Frankston Mornington Peninsula 2021 NAIDOC Youth of the Year and the Eastern Melbourne Metropolitan Region NAIDOC Youth Educational and Employment Achievement Award.
My goal is to help empower our young mob and create a culturally space safe for them to connect to culture and community.
Hi, My name is Tiara Willis, I am a proud Wonnarua women from the Hunter Valley in NSW. I am excited to start working for Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place as a youth worker as I have a passion for working with, and hopefully inspiring the next generation of Aboriginal leaders.
I grew up on Wiradjari land in Albury- Wodonga and only very new to living in Naarm due to moving here to study a Bachelor of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Swinburne.
After graduating high school, I moved to Wollongong NSW for 1 year and was working with the Indigenous centre at the University of Wollongong as an ambassador which led to me working with and mentoring Indigenous high school students. The work I did with the Indigenous students helped me discover my passion for working with youth and MMIGP sounds like the perfect opportunity to continue this passion and dream to inspire young mob.