Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New appointments to the Indigenous Land Corporation Board

The Australian Government has announced the appointment of new members to the Board of the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) including a new Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.

Dr Dawn Casey has been appointed as the ILC Chairperson and Mr Ian Trust, a director of the ILC since 2005, has been appointed Deputy Chairperson.

Dr Casey brings a wealth of experience to her new position with the ILC Board. Her career encompasses senior academic, managerial, cultural and government positions and she was instrumental in the establishment of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.

As current Chairperson of Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), her appointment will strengthen collaboration between the two organisations and their common goal to pursue sustainable businesses and economic development. This is further supported by Ian Trust who is Deputy Chairperson of both the IBA and now the ILC.

The combined expertise of new directors Graham Atkinson, Olga Havnen and Neil Westbury give the ILC Board an exceptional depth of experience.

The alignment of the leadership of the IBA and ILC will help ensure these two key government organisations have a shared vision and commitment to supporting Indigenous economic development and financial independence.

The Government looks forward to working with the new board to improve the economic future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Government has thanked outgoing Chairperson Shirley McPherson for her commitment to the ILC over the past ten years since her appointment in August 2001. She has worked tirelessly to deliver significant outcomes for Indigenous Australians focusing on economic development, education and capacity building.

Ms McPherson guided the ILC through a period of major reform and showed great leadership in establishing the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. The centre supports high achievement in sport, culture, learning and innovation and will continue to inspire and help change the lives of young Indigenous Australians for generations to come. It is a fitting testament to Ms McPherson and her work.

The Government has also thanked outgoing directors Kevin Driscoll CBE OBE, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley and Max Gorringe. Each has achieved outstanding success in their professional fields and their contribution to the ILC has been invaluable. Mr Driscoll is one of the ILC’s longest serving directors and his work as Chair of the ILC’s Business Enterprise Committee is greatly appreciated.

Previous ILC Board New ILC Board

Ms Shirley McPherson* (Chairperson) Dr Dawn Casey** PSM FAHA (Chairperson)
Mr Sam Jeffries (Deputy Chairperson) Mr Ian Trust (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr David Baffsky AO Mr Sam Jeffries
Mr Kevin Driscoll* CBE, OBE Mr David Baffsky AO
Mr Max Gorringe* Mr Graham Atkinson**
Mr Ian Trust Mr Neil Westbury**
Ms Evonne Goolagong-Cawley* MBE AO Ms Olga Havnen**

* Outgoing ** New appointments

Dr Dawn Casey PSM FAHA

Dr Dawn Casey (Public Service Medal and Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities) was appointed Director of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum) in March 2008. She was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Western Australian Museum from 2005-2007 and Director of the National Museum of Australia from 1999 to 2003. Prior to this she led the authority responsible for the construction and development of the museum, which was conceived as a Centenary of Federation project.

Dr Casey has worked in a number of key Federal Government roles, including a period in the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Her career includes the establishment of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and initiation of the joint Commonwealth/State response to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. As Assistant Director General, AusAID, Dawn’s responsibilities included Multilateral Development Banks, the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and other international programs.

She is currently an Adjunct Professor to the University of Queensland and Griffith University and serves on a number of boards and committees. She was appointed Chair of Indigenous Business Australia in June 2009.

Graham Atkinson

Mr Graham Atkinson is a Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta man. He holds a Masters of Business Administration, is chair of Native Title Services Victoria, chair of the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Corporation and co-chair of the Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group. A Director of the consultancy firm, Atkinson Kerr and Associates, he has long experience in senior management roles and in Indigenous affairs with over 24 years experience in business administration. He specialises in organisational development, governance and strategic management strategies.

Olga Havnen

Ms Olga Havnen is the former head of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy at the Australian Red Cross. She has held a range of senior public and non-government sector roles in her long career in Indigenous Affairs including Deputy Director of the Northern Land Council, Principal Policy Adviser with the Office of Indigenous Policy in the Northern Territory Department of the Chief Minister and Manager of Indigenous and International Programs at Fred Hollows Foundation. Ms Havnen has held a position on the Australian Council of Social Services Board of Directors and represented the Australian Government at various international forums. She grew up in Tennant Creek and is the daughter of Aboriginal educator, Peg Havnen.

Neil Westbury

Mr Neil Westbury has nearly 40 years experience working with governments, Indigenous Australians and the private sector across remote and regional areas of Australia, as well as at the State and National levels. He is Chairperson of the Machado Joseph Disease Foundation and is the Co-Director of Westbury, Smith and Associates which provides specialist consultancy services in Indigenous Affairs.

Mr Westbury’s previous appointments include Assistant Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Department advising on native title issues; Secretary to the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation; Visiting Fellow in Public Policy at the Australian National University; General Manager of Reconciliation Australia and Executive Director, Office of Indigenous Policy, Northern Territory Department of Chief Minister.