Chris Clark – Chair
Chris is passionate about supporting and challenging organisations, leaders and people to be the very best that they can be and her areas of expertise include consultative strategic planning, leadership development, group facilitation, team development and organisational reviews. Chris has a background in the not-for-profit, government, service and manufacturing industries that extends over 30 years. She is a strategic thinker, is insightful, process oriented, and brings a high level of openness, integrity and respect into her role as a consultant, executive coach and facilitator.
Over the past 20 years Chris has facilitated strategic plans, workshops and projects for Indigenous organisations and communities, and more recently has been supporting Woor-Dungin on a pro bono basis in strategy development and completion of Woor-Dungin’s code of conduct.
Katie Fraser is a lawyer who has worked in community legal centres for almost a decade and is currently Acting Executive Officer of the Federation of Community Legal Centres.
Katie started her legal career as an associate to Justice Peter Hely in the Federal Court, before moving to Chicago for five years, where she worked as an editor of legal information for the public.
On her return to Australia, Katie started working as a community-development lawyer at Footscray Community Legal Centre, during which time she started a legal outreach service to provide legal help to newly arrived refugees in Melbourne’s west.
Katie then moved to Canberra and worked for Legal Aid, and for a community legal centre that provides legal help to homeless people. Now back in Melbourne, Katie has worked at the Federation of Community Legal Centres for two years.
Katie is passionate about social justice. She works in the community legal sector because she hates seeing people treated unfairly. She is honoured to be invited to work with Woor-Dungin.
Lorraine Langley – Vice Chair
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. She joined Woor-Dungin’s Committee of Management in November 2016.
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).
Christa is the Executive Officer of Woor-Dungin. She was formerly the EO of the Reichstein Foundation and prior to this, EO of Statewide Women’s Community Housing Service. Christa has had more than 30 years of experience in community-sector management, together with policy and program development, advocacy, mediation, community development, teaching and mentoring experience.
She has qualifications in Community Development, Mediation, Adult Education and Workplace Training.
In 2009 Christa was inducted into the Association of Neighbourhood Houses and Learning Centres Honour Roll. The roll was initiated to recognise people who have made a significant contribution to the Neighbourhood House sector, through work that has:
- statewide implications;
- been undertaken at a state, regional, network or individual Centre level; and which
- reflects community-development philosophy, principles and practice.
Christa has had extensive experience of working with Aboriginal organisations, both in a paid role and unpaid as an Indigenous community volunteer.
Christa is a founding member of Woor-Dungin and was the Co-Chair from 2006 to 2012.
Simone Spencer grew up in Dareton, NSW, 15 km north of Mildura. After completing school she went to Charles Sturt University, embarking on a Bachelor of Social Science in Justice Studies. Increasingly her focus shifted to youth work, and while at university she volunteered at the local youth centre.
After leaving university Simone started work at the Mildura Aboriginal Corporation (now called Mallee District Aboriginal Services, or MDAS) as a family-support worker. She is currently a senior caseworker with the Prevention and Early Intervention Team.
Simone has continued to volunteer at the youth sporting groups and holiday programs. She is involved with Mildura United Soccer Club, and with the Coomealla basketball and netball teams, in various playing, mentoring and coaching roles.
Simone is passionate about leadership programs for young Aboriginal women. She believes our next generation of young Indigenous people have the capacity to stand up and be heard on what is needed for our culture and our families, to strive for a better and healthier future.
She is a founding member of Woor-Dungin and a former vice chair, a journey that she acknowledges has been a great experience, and one which has changed her vision and direction in life.
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 coordinating 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 sits on Woor-Dungin’s 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.
Click here to read a fabulous story recently posted on abc.net.au about the role jiu-jitsu played in helping Shantelle to overcome post-natal depression.
Trudy Wyse – Secretary
Trudy Wyse is a social-policy analyst and consultant, with expertise in program design, implementation and review. She has a background in economics, community development and capacity building, local government, philanthropy and management. She has worked across all three levels of government, and held the position of community services manager for Brunswick City Council.
Trudy has worked in the philanthropic sector for over 15 years, initially for the Stegley Foundation, where she worked with the trustees to develop a dynamic model of responsive and strategic philanthropy.
Since 2002 Trudy has worked with the Australian Communities Foundation. She was the manager of Community and Donor Services for ten years, and is currently a director of the Foundation’s Philanthropy Consulting Service. She is also a trustee of the Mullum Trust.