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CIT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee

The CIT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee plays an important role in the governance of CIT and in the business planning for the delivery and support of Indigenous education at CIT.

Made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders in the ACT community, the committee provides advice and guidance on training needs from industry and the community for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It also provides recommendations on how CIT Yurauna Centre and CIT can better respond to these needs.

Mr Benny Hodges

Benny is a Torres Strait Islander who has held senior middle management positions in the Australian government and worked for Indigenous bodies including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body in the ACT and Indigenous Community Volunteers WA.

He now provides training and facilitation services in the areas of cultural awareness, leadership, governance, and domestic and family violence through his business, Benny Hodges Consultancy.

He is the dance coordinator of the Zenadh Kes Mari ACT Torres Strait Islander Dance committee and panel member for the ACT Galambany Circle Sentencing Court. Benny has been a member of the CIT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory committee for over five years.

Aunty Agnes Shea OAM

Aunty Agnes Shea is a Senior Elder of the Ngunnawal people, born at Hollywood Mission Yass, on the traditional lands of her Ngunnawal ancestors. She is a strong voice for Aboriginal people and her community, including as a founding member of the United Ngunnawal Elders Council.

As a senior Ngunnawal Elder in her 80's she is very active in the community life. She encourages Aboriginal people across a range of issues and concerns including employment, justice and health. She works closely with CIT and CIT Yurauna Centre on Indigenous education, supporting literacy and numeracy, mental health, human rights, and a range of accredited training.

She has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal and ACT Chief Minister's Senior Citizen of the Year for her advocacy and bringing about positive change in the community and delivers traditional Welcomes to Country across the ACT for the benefit of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Aunty Agnes is well-known by people from all walks of life - politicians of all parties, embassies, entertainers and the general public, she is respected and loved by all.

Mr Richard Jameson OAM

Richard is a Wuthathi man from the east coast of Cape York. He grew up on Thursday Island before moving to Darwin. He is educated through Monash and Melbourne Universities and gained a degree in social work and a master's degree in public policy.

He is an experienced filmmaker having written, produced and directed a number of short and documentary films. He continues working toward producing and directing feature films and documentaries. He completed an NITV commissioned documentary on Wiradjuri artist Duncan Smith.

He has also had a successful 16-year diplomatic career with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and served overseas for three years as the Australian Consul in the Philippines and other short term missions in PNG and the UK.

He currently works with the Australian Catholic University where he is the Indigenous Student Support Coordinator and lectures in the allied health (social work) and the education faculties.

Ms Roslyn Brown

Roslyn serves as a member of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body (ATSIEB), is the Chairperson of the United Ngunnawal Elders Council and co-chair of the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm.

Through her various roles she has advocated for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on issues such as housing, justice, caring, disability and health and successfully lobbied to establish holistic health care, training opportunities and support structures for Indigenous people in the ACT.

Roslyn has been a member of the CIT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory committee for eight years.

Ms Natalie Brown

Natalie grew up in Newcastle NSW, although her family originates from both Gamilaroi and Bundjalung countries.

Natalie was the first President of Sydney University Indigenous Students Association. She graduated in 1995 with studies in sociology and criminology. Her research work included studies on the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody for both the NSW and Australian Institutes of Criminology.

After several years working in rural areas teaching and advocating for improvements in education and employment for Aboriginal people, Natalie moved to the Canberra region in 2002 to work for the Australian Government in employment and education policy.

Her focus is now on her four children Kuzi, Nakira, Ruby and Bede Riley-Brown. She is a director of her own company, which includes Black Magic Coffee, employing and training many local community members. She is also currently enrolled in postgraduate studies in education.

Ms Joyce Graham

Joyce is currently Manager of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Service at the Canberra Hospital where she helps to provide cultural social and emotional wellbeing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and their families.

Previously, she has worked in the federal government with issues relating to her mob such as housing/homeless, education and students and social issues as well as managing community organisations.

Joyce has a long connection with CIT Yurauna Centre, as her brother and son have studied there and she herself now undertakes studies in cultural arts.

She believes CIT Yurauna Centre is a very valuable community drop in for present and past students as well as community members and is proud to be connected to it and to CIT as a member of the CIT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.

Ms Kerry O'Callaghan

Kerry is currently Aboriginal Education Officer for the Catholic Education Office Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, providing leadership and services to enhance the learning outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and Indigenous families in school communities.

She does this by providing strategic advice on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education policy, funding arrangements and monitoring projects within archdiocesan schools. Prior to this, Kerry worked as a classroom teacher in a number of schools in Canberra.

She has been a member of the CIT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory committee for four years.

Mr Brian Wilson

Brian an Aboriginal man, born and raised in Tamworth, NSW and yes, he does like country music. He identifies as Kamilaroi and through his mother, has links to the Wiradjuri and Nyampa nations.

Brian is the eldest of six children. When he was 12-years-old, he was able to attend school in Sydney, staying at Kirinari Aboriginal Hostel, Sylvania. This gave him the opportunity to receive a good education and relieved the stress of six children living in one room. Brian recognises the importance education has in life.

Brian has 20 years of experience working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. He has been a board member of the Aboriginal Children's Advancement Society, is a member of Mara Mara Association and served as its treasurer for a term, and worked at the Walhallow Aboriginal Reserve at Caroona.

Brian has worked in areas that provide training to Aboriginal community housing providers and managed the area that developed training programs for Aboriginal case workers.