Aboriginal Advisory Committee

As Philanthropy Australia National Moderator for Indigenous Issues, Woor-Dungin plays an important role in supporting successful linkages between philanthropy and Aboriginal communities throughout Australia. Every two to three months, Woor-Dungin submits to Philanthropy Australia material on current issues and events relevant to Aboriginal communities on the recommendation of an Aboriginal Advisory Committee made up of individuals from our Aboriginal partner organisations, our Committee of Management and our membership. We would like to thank the following members of the Aboriginal Advisory Committee for providing their time and advice towards this valuable task.


    Peter Aldenhoven

    My name is Peter Aldenhoven. I am a descendant of the peoples of Quandamooka – more particularly, the Nughi clan from Moorgumpin (Moreton Island, Queensland).

    I am currently the President of Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association, a gathering place on the Mornington Peninsula, an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Melbourne.

    The Gathering Place is a place of healing and hope for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples down this way.

    Besides this voluntary role, I am an Indigenous educator, and teach and support students and other teachers across three campuses of a local private school, Woodleigh. In this capacity, I also run exchange programs to four remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory on an annual basis, and a community reconciliation group.

        Rochelle Armstrong

        Rochelle Armstrong is a Gamilaraay woman whose mother hails from the Lighting Ridge area. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne in 2013 followed by a Master of Information Studies from Charles Sturt University in 2015.

        While studying for her bachelor’s degree, Rochelle worked at the National Museum in Canberra as part of the Indigenous Cadetship Program. While working on her master’s, she worked as IT Manager at Woor-Dungin. She has also worked with the Weenthunga Health Network in casual data roles and in the Weenthunga Girls Resilience Program. She provided tutoring, IT services and event planning and execution for the Program. Her first post-master’s position is working as a Readings Online Project Assistant.

        While at Woor-Dungin, Rochelle served on a variety of administrative committees and was particularly involved in Woor-Dungin’s role as Philanthropy Australia National Moderator for Indigenous Issues. She was a founding member of and continues to serve on the Moderator Role’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee.

        While IT and management are primary interests, Rochelle also highlights reading, writing, cooking, Greek mythology and politics as major hobbies.

            Vicki Clark

            Vicki is a descendant of the Mutthi Mutthi tribe of southwest NSW; her home country is centred on the Mungo National Park area. She is the proud mother of Tamara.

            Vicki is the former coordinator of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria, where she provided 25 years of committed service. Vicki’s contribution to the Australian Catholic Church, Catholic education and Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities has been profound over this time.

            Vicki has taken a leading role in the national Reconciliation process. She is a former co-chair of Reconciliation Victoria and is currently on the council. She volunteers her time as a Founding Trustee of Opening the Doors Foundation, which supports and encourages the participation of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Catholic education. She also volunteers as a director of Yingadi Aboriginal Corporation, an Indigenous corporation dedicated to nurturing Indigenous spirituality and preservation of culture.

            Vicki was Founding Secretary and a past chairperson of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council. She has given her time and expertise to a number of other organisations and boards as well, including the Australian Catholic University; the Mary MacKillop Foundation; Caritas Australia; the Sisters of St Joseph; and Edmund Rice Education Australia.

            Vicki’s awards include:

            Pope Francis Apostolic Blessing for 25 years’ service with Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria (2015)

            Inducted as Life Member, Catholic Social Services Victoria (2015)

            The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence (2014)

            Certificate of Recognition for her contribution to the Closing the Gap Campaign (2009)

            Darebin City Citizen of the Year (2005)

            Inducted on to the inaugural Victorian Honour Roll of Women (2001)

            City of Darebin Reconciliation through Education (1999)

            World Conference on Religion and Peace Philia Award (1998)

            Herald Sun Great Victorian Women (1993)


            Photograph by Fiona Basile

                Doseena Fergie

                I am an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman of Wuthathi, Mabuiag Island and Ambonese descent. I am a founding member of Woor-Dungin and will continue to be a member because I believe that support should be given to the Aboriginal communities in Victoria through philanthropic partnerships in order to grow and provide for our people those resources necessary to enhance life.

                In terms of governance experience, I am a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, although not a current member. Currently I hold the position of President of the Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association, located in outer-eastern Melbourne. This centre will provide cultural, educational, health-promotion and social activities for the community within a Reconciliation framework.

                I am a nurse/midwife/maternal and child health nurse by profession, having gained experience in management and clinical services across the ages. I coordinated the Aboriginal Health Team in the Outer Eastern Metro Region for 11 years and built up the Aboriginal workforce team. I am now a staff member at the Australian Catholic University in Fitzroy where I lecture in Aboriginal health. I have successfully completed my PhD on Aboriginal Women’s Business. My new role will be in the area of research and teaching. More recently I was humbled to be inducted into the prestigious 2016 Victorian Women’s Roll of Honour.

                I have a passion for social justice and advocacy and I am a visionary and strategic planner. I would like to encourage philanthropic organisations and government departments to learn more about the resilience of Aboriginal people and the positive things that are happening in the communities throughout Victoria. I believe that Woor-Dungin showcases a model that could be duplicated throughout Australia.

                As a member of the Committee of Management I will take up the position of Treasurer in the hope that I bring good leadership so as to build a team spirit in the organisation, as well as quality governance experience coupled with integrity and passion to support Aboriginal people and philanthropy.

                At Woor-Dungin’s 2016 AGM Doseena decided to step down from the Committee of Management but remains a member of the Aboriginal Advisory Committee.

                In November 2016 Doseena was awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship. Congratulations Doseena!

                    Robyne Latham

                    Robyne Latham is a Yamatji woman originally from Western Australia. An academic and fine artist, Robyne has lived and worked in Melbourne for some 30 years. She holds a Master of Fine Art from Monash University, a Diploma of Education from Edith Cowan University and a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) from Curtin University.

                    Robyne’s academic career has included co-ordination of the Associate Degree in Contemporary Aboriginal Art at Curtin University; Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Aboriginal Art at Deakin University; Sessional Lecturer in Health Sciences at La Trobe University; and a researcher at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University. Robyne is currently the Senior Indigenous Strategic Development Officer, The Bouverie Centre, La Trobe University. Robyne is also the Principal of Blak Light Cultural Safety Training consultancy.

                    Robyne’s work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Deakin University, La Trobe University, the Koorie Heritage Trust museum, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, John Curtin Gallery and the Berndt Museum at the University of Western Australia. Robyne’s works span the media of ceramics, sculpture, public-art installation, performance, painting and theatre-set design. Her artworks have won a number of awards, including Shepparton Art Museum’s Indigenous Ceramic Art Award (Victoria section; 2014), Dr Ross Ingram Memorial Prize (2012) and Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award (2013).

                    Robyne’s most recent works are the installation Empty Coolamons at Melbourne Museum’s Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre (2014–2015), and the performance work The Aborigine Is Present at the Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Centre, Federation Square, Melbourne (2015).

                    Robyne’s works can be viewed on her website at www.robynelatham.com.

                    Robyne is now also a member of Woor-Dungin’s Committee of Management. Welcome Robyne!

                        Shantelle Thompson

                        Shantelle Thompson is a Barkindji woman, mother of three, Victorian Regional Coordinator for the National Stolen Generations Alliance, freestyle wrestler on the Australian wrestling team, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete and world champion, Kiilalaana Program Co-ordinator, speaker and volunteer with Woor-Dungin.

                        Shantelle met Christa Momot in 2007 when working at Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS). Along with her friend and co-worker Simone Spencer, Shantelle was the first Aboriginal worker from MDAS to apply for philanthropic funding, and later became co-founder of the Young Indigenous Women’s leadership program Step Up.

                        Her vision is to empower women and girls, challenge stereotypes and become a leader within her community. Shantelle has set about co-ordinating  and developing women’s empowerment programs, and youth leadership/life-skills development programs, which has lead to the creation of Kiilalaana. Kiilalaana is a Barkindji word meaning growth. Using her life journey, her story of resilience, Shantelle works to lead by example. One of Shantelle’s personal philosophies is: “In order to inspire and empower others, you must first show them that it is possible”. Shantelle recognised a need to develop her credibility and capacity to run these programs, and has worked tirelessly with Woor-Dungin to build her advocacy and leadership skills. She is also now working to develop her skills in Indigenous Trauma Recovery, in public speaking and communications, and in other areas.

                        Some of Shantelle’s highest achievements are:

                        – Being a mother to three children (including twins)

                        – Overcoming post-natal depression after the birth of her twins

                        – Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary)/Bachelor of Arts

                        – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion

                        – Competing at the African/Oceania Olympic wrestling qualifiers in 2016

                        – Being named a member of the national Australian wrestling team

                        – Kiilalaana program founder and co-ordinator

                        – Woor-Dungin vice chair and volunteer

                        – Speaker in schools and community

                        She was involved in the development and implementation of the Maarni program, and is now on the Woor-Dungin Committee of Management.

                        In June 2016 Shantelle won her second jiu-jitsu world championship title at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship held in California, USA, and is now the Super Heavy Purple Belt World Champion.