Our Team

Ann Hawke

Chief Executive Officer

 

Founder of Kinship Connections in 2012, Ann is a descendant of the Yawuru people from Broome on her grandfather’s side (Hawke family) and Gooniyandi people from the East Kimberly on her grandmother’s side (Cox family).

 

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Justine Bennell

Cultural Advisor

 

Justine is a Noongar Yamatji woman and through both her parents and is connected to many Noongar and Yamatji families in Western Australia.

 

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Dallas Nannup

Community Consultant

 

Dallas is a Noongar woman from the Gnaala Karla Booja regions of Pinjarra and Ravenswood. She grew up as a “State Ward” between the ages of two until she was twenty-one years of age.

 

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Marie Bennell

Community Consultant

 

Marie is a Noongar Yamatji woman through both her parents and is connected to many Noongar and Yamatji families in Western Australia. Marie is a proud mother and grandmother and has been a relative carer over the years.

 

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Ashleigh Jamieson

Anthropologist

 

A young Wadjela of South African heritage, Ashleigh grew up well-aware of racial segregation and where she was born within it. As with many of her peers, Ashleigh’s understanding of Aboriginal culture and the impact of the Stolen Generation(s) was scarce and came from second-hand sources such as teachers, friends, university papers and the media.

 

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The Board

In Memory Of Josey Hansen

Chairperson

 

Josey Hansen was a Noongar, wife, mother, grandmother and active member of her community. Josey was employed as an Aboriginal Consultant with Anglicare WA. In 2007 she was acknowledged at the National Anglicare Australia Awards and received the Service Excellence award for the cultural work. Josey is the founder of Blak Diamond Consulting.

 

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Mervyn Eades

Chair Person

 

Mervyn is a proud Nyoongar man. He is the CEO of the Ngalla Maya Aboriginal Corporation; the organisation he founded and developed to respond to the high rates of illiteracy, lack of educational qualifications and joblessness among former inmates. From the age of 13 to 31, Mervyn was in and out of juvenile detention and prison.

 

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Professor Mike Clare

Vice Chair

 

Mike Clare was appointed Lecturer in Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Sussex in 1974, becoming Head of School between 1980 and 1985. Mike moved to The University of Western Australia in 1987; he was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1993 and to Associate Professor in 2001.

 

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Ruth Rowan

Member

 

Ruth was born in Sydney and belongs to the Wiradjuri and Ngyampar people from the Snowy Mountains. Since infancy, she grew up away from her family. At the age of nine, Ruth was made a Ward of the State and she was put into foster care, where she remained until she was seventeen.

 

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Fay Alford

Member

 

With boundless love and vast reserves of energy, Fay Alford puts the welfare and wellbeing of children at the centre of all she does. Fay and her husband David have fostered close to 90 vulnerable children over the last three decades while raising their two biological daughters.

 

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Nikita Hawke

Member

 

Nikita is a Gooniyandi woman from the East Kimberley with family connections in Derby, Broome, Fitzroy Crossing and Beagle Bay. Nikita has worked with the Department of Justice for over 10 years with experience in Youth Justice, Adult Community Corrections and is currently the Manager of Aboriginal Advisory Services with Courts and Tribunal Services.

 

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Michelle Sims

Member

 

Michelle Sims is a Wadjarri Yamatji woman and mother of four. Michelle holds a double degree, being a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Criminology and Justice from Edith Cowan University. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Australian College of Law.

 

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Kumanjil Hill

Member

 

Tim is a proud Nyoongar man from “Wadandi Country”. Tim’s mother and his mothers siblings, grand-father (Tim Harris), great grand-father (Tim Harris) and GGGrandfather (Tim Harris) were all born in Margaret River.

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Family Carer Support

Megan Richards

Team Leader

 

Megan was born the second of three children and raised in the North West, amongst the red dirt and spinifex, with the endless beaches and Ningaloo reef as her playground. Megan has always loved children and after an early career working in childcare, she decided to travel around Australia, which is where she found her second home in the rainforest of Kuranda, North Queensland.

 

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Carwyn Taitumu

Family Carer Support

 

Born and raised in the Whanganui area in Aotearoa (New Zealand), from the Atihaunui-a-Paparangi tribe also known as the River people. Carwyn was fortunate to be raised by her grandmother and her peers. Her upbringing was rich in language and culture which gave her a strong sense of connection and understanding of who she is, where she comes from and where she belongs.

 

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Deb Casey

Family Carer Support

 

Deb has many years of experience working mainly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families across the top end of Australia and Victoria. Deb’s social work experience has included working for various NGO’s and Child Protection in the NT and QLD as a case manager and team leader.

 

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Maryanne Rinaldo

Family Carer Support

 

Maryanne moved from Canada to Western Australia in 2017 and began working in disability services and child care. Maryanne has worked and lived in rural areas such as Esperance and Kununurra. During this time, Maryanne gained experience working cross culturally with CaLD and Aboriginal families.

 

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Volunteers

Lee Peters

Volunteers

 

Lee spent more than three decades in the Department for Child Protection and Family Support as a Social Worker throughout metropolitan and country Western Australia. During the latter part of her career she was the District Director in Midland for five years and then the Wheatbelt for five years.

 

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Helen Flavell

Volunteer

 

Helen is a wadjela who has lived on Noongar Wadjuk country for most of her life and has a strong interest in social justice. Helen is very grateful for the life and advantages she has had as a consequence of living in this country. Helen works at Curtin University in the Faculty of Health Sciences and has the privilege of being involved in the common first-year unit Indigenous Cultures and Health.

 

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Kevin Ronald Ward

Volunteer

 

Kevin is a Noongar man born in Katanning to father Ronald Ward and mother Phyllis Ward (nee Farmer). Kevin lives in Perth and has worked with the Aboriginal community all his life.

 

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Glen Hawke

Volunteer

 

Glen was taken into care when he was 10 months old and has lived with his Aunty ever since. He was born with FASD (Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) and wasn’t expected to live long, but through the loving care of his family, not only did he survive, he flourished into the strong man that he is now.

 

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