Our Board of Management

//Our Board of Management
Our Board of Management 2018-10-22T11:13:50+00:00

Leah Bonson

Office Position Held

Chair

Term of Appointment

3 year term (15 Nov 2017 – Current)

Country and connections

Leah was born and grew up in Darwin and is from a family of 12 children. Leah’s grandmother is from the Jawoyn people of the Katherine River area in the Northern Territory and her mother is of Torres Strait Islander descent from Thursday Island and Badu. Leah is a mother to four children and moved to Perth approximately 29 years ago.

Professional experience and qualifications

Leah has extensive experience in service delivery and design, policy and planning and strategic leadership in Aboriginal health, employment and training. She has a Bachelor of Social Work (UWA) and a MBA in Public Administration (Curtin university). Leah has held a variety of diverse roles within the WA Public Sector over the last 29 years, including Aboriginal Advisor to the WA Commissioner for Children and Young People; Associate Director Regional Services, Aboriginal Workforce Development, Department of Training and Workforce Development; Director, Department for Child Protection; and is currently Director Aboriginal Health for Child and Adolescent Health Services, WA Health.

Board experience and community links

Leah has maintained contact with the Aboriginal community through her previous role with NAIDOC Perth and the City of Cockburn Aboriginal Reference Group. Over the years she has developed strong networks in the Noongar community of Perth both professionally and personally.

Objectives and goals

Leah is passionate about human rights, social justice and in all her work roles has continuously strived to improve, policies, programs and services for better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, in particular children and youth. Leah has worked in roles where she has seen the effects that alcohol and drugs have on our families and believes that Wungening Aboriginal Corporation is in a good position to make changes both within the community and in influencing government services. She is also keen to see Wungening become a centre of research excellence and to contribute to the strategic direction of the organisation as the service moves forward.


Danny Ford

Office Position Held

Vice Chair

Term of Appointment

3 year term (15 Nov 2017- Current)

Country and connections

Danny is a Noongar man with connections to Wudjak, Ballardong, Wilman and Yuat clans.

Professional experience and qualifications

Danny has tertiary qualifications in teaching and social work, and has worked in the public sector for 29 years in child protection, family support, housing and training. During the last few years, Danny has developed a consultancy business, Kambarang Services, and also works part time with BGC.

Board experience and community links

Danny’s work has always focused on addressing disadvantage for Aboriginal people and the provision of appropriate services. Danny is also keen on exploring and understanding how dispossession and colonisation continues to have a a lingering impact on Aboriginal peoples. To this end Danny advocates that with support Aboriginal peoples need to look at developing the solutions to address the issues facing them.

Objectives and goals

As a Board Member of the Wungening Aboriginal Corporation, Danny looks forward to working with the Aboriginal board and staff to further develop the ability and capacity for Aboriginal people and the community to respond to alcohol and drug issues in an effective and meaningful manner.


Michael Hayden

Office Position Held

Treasurer

Term of Appointment

3 year term (15 Nov 2017 – Current)

Country and connections

Michael is a Njaki Njaki Noongar man from the Eastern Wheatbelt with traditional connections to the Ballardong, Wudjak and Yuat clans.

Professional experience and qualifications

Michael is Managing Director and owner of Maarli Services Pty Ltd and Director of Njaki Njaki Aboriginal Cultural Tours (his dad’s business). Michael previously worked in the resource sector as the Aboriginal Affairs Manager with engineering firm Calibre Global responsible for contracting, procurement, cultural awareness, employment & training and heritage management. Michael has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from Curtin University, is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has managed contracts for the Commonwealth Government for over a decade in the areas of native title and the cultural and social service sectors.

Board experience and community links

As a Noongar Traditional Owner, Michael has been actively engaged in native title for 15 years involved in sensitive and complex discussions, mediations and negotiations focused on policy, strategy, operations and governance frameworks in the South West of Western Australia. He is the current Deputy Chairman of South West Aboriginal Land & Sea Council (SWALSC) and was a member of the South West Settlement Negotiation team. He is the former Chairman of the Western Australian Aboriginal Advisory Council
(Minister’s Advisor), a former member of the Western Australian Youth Justice Board, Native Title Trust Advisor for Australian Executor Trustees, Director of Njaki Njaki Aboriginal Cultural Tours and Director of the Noongar Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Objectives and goals

Michael acknowledges the work of Wungening Aboriginal Corporation’s Directors and Management and their innovative approach in reforming key areas inclusive of governance, compliance, management, systems and structures that have strategically positioned the organisation to increase operational effectiveness. Michael would like to see Wungening’s asset base grow to position the organisation with a strong capital base to increase Wungening’s capacity in moving forward. He wants to grow the research arm through strategic partnerships and set the foundation for creating a Noongar owned and operated Rehabilitation Facility that will also strengthen Wungening. Michael looks forward to continuing the growth of Wungening’s capabilities and capacity that builds on our reputation to deliver quality services to create and effect change to strengthen Aboriginal families.


Dr Christine Clinch

Office Position Held

Secretary

Term of Appointment

3 year term (15 Nov – Current)

Country and connections

Christine is from the Badamia people of the Yamatji Nation. She was born and raised in Perth and has been a part of the Noongar community most of her life. She has had the great privilege of working alongside many strong Aboriginal men and women both here in Perth and throughout the state and country.

Professional experience and qualifications

Christine graduated from Medicine in 2008 at the University of Western Australia with a MBBS. She has worked as a doctor at various tertiary hospitals in Perth including Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Osborne Park Hospital, Swan Districts, Hollywood Private Hospital and rural at Port Hedland Regional Hospital. Her passion for Aboriginal health began at an early age when she became an Aboriginal Health Worker. This experience set her on the path of understanding about health and health matters from a grass roots level. This taught her about the need for community controlled, primary health care approaches and that health and health care is more than just about the individual, it has to be inclusive of our families and our communities.

Board experience and community links

Christine currently works as an academic at UWA and as the Director of Aboriginal Health at SJOGPPH in Midland. With both of these roles, Christine sees the need to be linked into the community, because ultimately it is the community that is the driving force for developing and establishing best practice models of care and service delivery using a Cultural Framework. She is linked in with the Aboriginal Advisory Committee in Midland and the local Advisory committee of Swan. Christine also sits on committees at theUWA, and is currently on the Aboriginal Advisory Committee at Curtin University. She is a staunch advocate for Aboriginal students to enter tertiary education and committed to helping support them to successfully complete their degrees in the health and health sciences arena.

Objectives and goals

Christine’s goal as a board member is to bring her professional and lived experiences to the table as she believes that many Aboriginal people have all felt the effects of substance overuse and the associated challenges it brings to families, friends and communities. She is committed to being a part of Wungening’s vision, strategic organisational planning and the development of culturally driven successful programs for the Aboriginal community.


Doreen Nelson

Office Position Held

Director

Term of Appointment

3 year term (13 February 2018 – Current) Life Member

Country and connections

Doreen is a Noongar Woman with family connections to the Yuat and Whadjak areas in Noongar Country, Western Australia. Doreen was born in Kellerberrin in Ballardong country and her family are the Jetta and the Yarran people. Doreen has travelled extensively throughout Australia, spending 10 years in Alice Springs and working in remote Aboriginal communities.

Professional experience and qualifications

Doreen holds a Bachelor of Teaching Adults; a Bachelor of Applied Science in Aboriginal Community Management & Development Practices; an Associate Diploma in Aboriginal Studies and certificates in Cultural Awareness Training, Mentoring, Counselling, Mental Health, and Family and Student Support Work.

Board experience and community links

Doreen is active on a number of committees including Moorditj Koort Aboriginal Organisation, Committee Member for NGALA Aboriginal Advisory Committee and South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) Whadjuk Working Party Member.

Objectives and goals

Doreen believes Wungening Aboriginal Corporation is one of the very important service providers for the community and that they provide support and culturally appropriate programs for Aboriginal people to heal and start making positive changes in their own and family’s lives. Doreen brings knowledge, skills and life experiences to the board along with respect for family and all others, honesty and commitment.


Violet Dawn Bacon

Office Position Held

Director

Term of Appointment

3 year term (13 February 2018 – Current) Life Member

Country and Connections

Violet is a Yamatji woman from the Geraldton/Murchison region. Violet has worked in Whadjuk /Noongar country for many years and is accepted by the Whadjuk/Noongar community. Violet’s family name is Ryan.

Professional Experience and qualifications

Violet graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work in 1988 from the Social Work Department at Curtin University, Perth. After graduation, Violet commenced her Social Work career in the field of Alcohol and Drugs at The Western Australian Alcohol and Drug Authority. The name was changed later to, The Drug and Alcohol Office. The Drug and Alcohol Office then merged with the Mental Health Field, which is now known as The Mental Health Commission.

Violet worked in a variety of positions within the drug and alcohol field for ten years, as a Social Worker in the Aboriginal and Counselling teams, and then as a Senior Aboriginal Education Officer. Later in her career, Violet, became the first Aboriginal (Yamajti) Social Work Lecturer to be employed in the Social Work and Social Policy Department at the University of Western Australia in 1997.

While still employed at the University of Western Australia, Violet commenced studying again, and Graduated with a Masters in Health Counselling from the School of Psychology at Curtin University. She also worked for the National Drug Research Institution, Curtin University, for six months on a secondment from the University of Western Australia.

Violet has had intensive experience in several types of counselling and has written various articles. One was entitled; What potential might Narrative Therapy have to assist Indigenous Australians reduce substance misuse, published in 2007; another article was from a research study, conducted with two other social workers entitled: What Do We Know? The Experiences of Social Workers Working Alongside Aboriginal People published in 2011. In 2012/2013 Violet completed a chapter called Yarning and Listening: yarning and learning through stories, for a Social Work book, titled: Our Voices, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Work. This was published in 2013.

Violet retired after teaching Social Work students at the University of Western Australia for approximately 16yrs. Violet still maintains her links and connections with Social Work, drug and alcohol issues and the Aboriginal community.

Board Experience and community links

Violet was one of the original Board Members of the Noongar alcohol and Substance Abuse Service (NASAS) now known as Wungening Aboriginal Corporation.

Violet is a current Board member of Wungening Aboriginal Corporation, and People who Care Organisation. She currently spends her time supporting ED Connect as a volunteer Mentor to two Aboriginal Students, and is a member of the Aboriginal Reference Group, which is connected to the South Perth Council. Violet is a past Board Member of the Australian Alcohol and Drug Council of Australia, the Drug and Alcohol Authority, Palmerston and the School of Social Work and Social Policy at UWA;

Objective and Goals

Violet’s goal is to work hard as a Board Member in whatever capacity she can to achieve the objectives and vision of the Wungening Aboriginal Corporation. To support the Director and the Staff of Wungening to achieve their objectives, purpose and vision, assisting in whatever way she can. To ensure our people can work towards the healing of families by improving their quality of life in all areas. This will complement the strong cultural spirit that abounds within our Aboriginal communities.

Another important goal of Violet’s is to strive for an Aboriginal Rehabilitation Facility to be established. This will not only enhance Wungening Aboriginal Corporation’s reputation as a Centre of Excellence in the drug and alcohol field but will also consolidate and strengthen Wungening’s ability to respond to the numerous drug issues experienced by our people.