Introducing Greening Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee

Noongar teams from five different locations come together to share knowledge about caring
for country and build partnerships, on Noongar country in Western Australia. Photo credit JC FilmBox.

Our work is fundamentally driven by close relationships with community at all levels. These relationships are our strongest asset, directly connecting us to the aspirations of local, regional and national communities.

Importantly, our history of community connection is rich with strong and respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

We recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples came before us and that their 65,000-year-old voices speak of invaluable knowledge and innovation. We believe that bringing together the combined strength of this sacred traditional knowledge and western science is essential to our core business of healing our country.

Greening Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan is our commitment to continue developing strong, mutually respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, to expand our two-way knowledge exchange and to develop real employment and enterprise opportunities for these communities within the growing restoration economy.

Jacob Cassady, Traditional Owner and Director at Mungalla Aboriginal Business Corporation, and Greening Australia CEO Brendan Foran at Mungalla Station on Nywaigi country, where we are collaborating to restore wetlands. Photo credit Annette Ruzicka.

To ensure our work is guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and perspectives, we are proud to introduce our recently appointed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee members.

  • Dave Mangenner Gough is a Trawlwoolway man who is dedicated to the preservation of Aboriginal culture and history and worked in partnership with Greening Australia in delivering Tasmanian Aboriginal Immersion Days.
  • Denis Rose is a Gunditjmara man who was deeply involved in heading up the campaign and development of a World Heritage nomination for the Budj Bim lava flow. We are proud to have worked with Budj Bim rangers in restoring country through the Australian Government’s 20 Million Trees program.
  • Elizabeth McEntyre is a Worimi and Wonnarua woman and an accredited mental health social worker and researcher focused on the lived realities of Australian Indigenous women with mental and cognitive disability in criminal justice systems.
  • Karen Jacobs is a Wadjuk Noongar woman with a passion for supporting Aboriginal enterprise development. Karen has led an extensive career in Aboriginal cultural heritage, environmental management, cultural tourism, and education.
  • Kevin Kropinyeri is a Ngarrindjeri man who has emerged as a leader among his peers through the Working on Country program which employs Aboriginal people around the country involved in conservation and land management.
  • Kieren Gibbs is a Kooma and Githabul man currently employed by South West Indigenous Network, working with communities targeting ongoing social issues, using sport as the vehicle to engage groups and individuals.
  • Scott Anderson is a Birriah and Nywaigi Traditional Owner, based in Townsville, North Queensland. Scott is a management and community engagement specialist.
  • Suzanne Thompson has custodial connection to country of the Kunngeri and Iningai peoples. Suzanne is the managing director of Yumbangku Aboriginal Cultural Heritage & Tourism Development Aboriginal Corporation.

The committee members bring a wealth of combined experiences to ensure we have a collaborative and inclusive Reconciliation Action Plan – one that embeds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and knowledge throughout our national strategies to support our contribution to a reconciled Australia for all Australians.

Members of the Gunaikurnai community celebrating culture with Greening Australia’s Martin Potts and other local residents on Gunaikurnai country in Victoria’s Gippsland region.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live and work, and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We honour the deep continuing connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples share with Country.