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Indigenous conference Services Ms Fiona Murray.gif
Indigenous conference Services  Heidi SturkHeidi Sturk.gif


2018 Indigenous Chronic Diseases        Conference Guest Speakers

Aunty Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian

Director/Chaplain, Cultural Consultant, Theta Healing Practitioner

Indigenous Wellbeing Centre QLD


Aunty Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian holds a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Indigenous and Community Health as well as Certificates in Small Business Development and Minister of Religion. She is a member of State and Local Social Justice Committees related to her portfolios and serves as a Director of several not-for profit Aboriginal organisations. Aunty Cheri along with her husband, Uncle Ara developed and implemented the Transformational Management Model that frames all operations of IWC, a non-profit Aboriginal organization that provides centralised management and administration across 27 programs. In 2013, Aunty Cheri was awarded the International Professional of the Year for Spiritual and Social Services by the World Wide Who’s Who.  In 2016, IWC awarded her the Prestigious Ambassadorial Award for her Professional Leadership Integrity. In her spare time, Aunty Cheri studies ancient Greek and Hebrew languages to better understand sacred writings.  She says her greatest achievement has been to raise her two children to become social and cultural activists for Aboriginal aspirations, who are contributing members to society and the Aboriginal communities, in which they live.


Robert 'Bob' Davis

Chief Executive Officer

Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation NSW


Bob Davis is the Chief Executive Officer of Maari Ma Health, an Aboriginal community controlled regional health service dedicated to improving the health of Aboriginal communities in the Far West region of New South Wales, Australia and covers a vast area that is approximately one quarter of the whole of the state of New South Wales. The majority of the region is classified as remote or very remote. He has more than 30 years’ experience at Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director level in Aboriginal health in Government and non-Government organisations. He has been a Director on many local, state, national and international boards, and is currently a Director of the Western Health Alliance (trading  as Western NSW Primary Health Network), and LiveBetter Board of Directors, Co-Chair of the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation Aboriginal Chronic Care Network and is a member of the National Health Sector Evaluation Co-design  Group for the evaluation of the Australian Government’s investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP).

Ms Fiona Murray

Academic/Indigenous Researcher

University of New England

Fiona Murray is a Wiradjuri woman with ancestral ties to Brewarrina, Cowra and Dubbo in the west of New South Wales, and currently lives in the Upper Hunter town of Muswellbrook. Fiona is an academic, tutor and current PhD research student at University of New England, Armidale, NSW.  Fiona’s knowledge and experience of planning and delivery of Indigenous perspectives in curriculum content and implementing Indigenous pedagogies to assist her teaching is founded from work as an academic and Indigenous education designer. Fiona’s current studies focus on Indigenous mental health and well-being issues within the early years of education systems. Completion of a Process Psychology and Psychotherapy degree has deepened her passion for good mental health of our Aboriginal students, hence the continuing study of her PhD in mental health. Fiona is an Executive Aboriginal Community representative on MACH Energy’s Aboriginal Community Development Fund (ACDF).  The Fund seeks to support partnerships that target issues, needs and opportunities which are priorities for local Aboriginal communities in areas such as health; economic development; cultural and community development and education. Outside of education, Fiona enjoys spending time with her family and dog, Ngala, to experience all the beautiful Upper Hunter Valley has to offer in their food and wine.

Dr John van Bockxmeer

District Medical Officer

Country Heath Service WA

John van Bockxmeer is dedicated to reducing health inequality. John’s work positively impacts thousands of people each year. John is a remote Emergency Department doctor from Port Hedland leading significant change within his role in the public health system and through numerous innovative voluntary local, national and international initiatives representing excellence in the fields of medicine and community development. John is an Emergency Department doctor dedicated to improving the health of all Australians. For over ten years John has led numerous voluntary local, national and international initiatives representing excellence in the fields of medicine and community development. Through his charity Fair Game he helps mentor and foster positive change in remote Aboriginal communities through the donation of recycled sports equipment. The group has donated over 20,000 items and has more than 200 volunteers.

Justin Files

Manager, Community Services and Programs

Acting Chief Executive Officer

Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation NSW


Justin Files is a Barkindji man from the Darling River and is number 16 of 125 descendants of his Barkindji Matriarch Grandmother.  He is an accomplished healthcare manager motivated by challenge with over 17 years’ experience in Aboriginal health in Government and non-Government organisations in the Far West of NSW. Specialising in the management of innovative complex community based Aboriginal health models that are flexible, sustainable whole of community approaches to care. Justin graduated at Charles Sturt University (Bachelor of Health Science, Mental Health) Wagga Wagga Campus; and BCA National Training Group (Advanced Diploma in Business Administration). He has worked as Chief Investigator of Community Safety Research Project (Resilience study in partnership with UNSW); Team Leader Primary Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Services; Manager, Primary Care Specialist Services (Allied Health); Manager, Primary Health Care Service (Broken Hill Aboriginal Medical Service) and currently as Manager, Community Services and Programs and Acting Chief Executive Officer Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation.

Heidi Sturk

Deputy Director

e-Mental Health in Practice QUT QLD

Heidi Sturk is the Deputy Director of eMHPrac (e-Mental Health in Practice) at QUT. Heidi delivers national training and support on digital mental health resources to allied health practitioners and service providers working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Heidi has a Masters of Organisational Psychology and has over 20 years experience working in the mental health area.  Her areas of interest include how to integrate appropriate digital technologies into health care, rural and remote health care practice, and wellbeing of health practitioners.



Dr. Joseph Stone

Clinical Psychologist USA/NZ

Indigenous Development Specialist


Dr. Joseph B. Stone, Ph.D, CADC Level III, ICADC is a Amskapi Pikuni (Blackfeet Indian) tribal member raised on a Northern Montana USA cattle ranch by his grandparents.  He is affiliated as a participant in the Last Star Thunder Medicine Pipe, the Beaver Lodge, and the OKANN (Sundance). Dr. Stone is a Senior Lecturer at the Griffith University School of Human Services and Social Work, Adjunct Professor at University of Washington. He retired from the U.S. Indian Health Service as Chief of Department: Gallup Indian Medical Center Behavioural Health Service following eighteen years working for US Tribes and the US Public Health Services. Currently, Dr. Stone works in Hastings, New Zealand as a clinical psychologist. His roles include specialist addictions and rehabilitation work in the community and Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison, family therapy and assessment and treatment of children.

Wayne Mulvany

General Manager

Indigenous Wellbeing Centre QLD

Wayne Mulvany has extensive experience in the health and community services sector including a background in police and law. He worked across a range of services with experience in health related industry in areas of planning, consulting, development, management, implementation of large projects and services. His success is exemplified by the exponential design and development of IWC where he works as the General Manager. IWC is a non-profit Aboriginal organization that provides centralised management and administration across 26 programs. Wayne’s qualifications include A/Dip Financial Management, A/Dip Management (HR), Certificate IV Governance, Dip. Business Governance.



Lisa McGrady

Indigenous Health Practitioner

IWC Ltd Bundaberg QLD


Lisa Grady is an Indigenous Health Practitioner with IWC Ltd, working in both operational and supervisory roles within the IWC Medical Centre. Lisa joined the Indigenous Wellbeing Centre in 2008 and has extensive experience in chronic disease management and support. 

Dr Amith Shetty

Staff Specialist Emergency Dept.

Westmead Hospital Medical Director

WSLH Clinical Senior lecturer

Westmead Clinical School NSW


Dr. Amith Shetty is an Emergency physician with keen interest in ED management, overcrowding and research initiatives. Having started work as a registrar at Westmead ED in 2003, Dr Shetty have just finished his training and taken up a full time staff specialist position at Westmead Hospital. Dr Amith Shetty is also a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Emergency Medicine, Westmead Clinical School and Co-Director of Emergency Medical Research Unit, Honorary Research Fellow, NHMRC CRE in Critical Infection. Dr Shetty is currently working with ehealth NSW on clinico-technical projects addressing challenges of systems interoperability and patient risk monitoring.  His research interests include Models of care, Health Services Research, Emergency department research and patient care outcomes and Sepsis.


Dr. Amber Logan

Clinical Psychologist NZ

Indigenous Development Specialist

Dr. Amber Logan is a Māori of Kahungunu descent, a mother of five children and a graduate of the University of Auckland School of Medicine and has practised as a health psychologist in primary and secondary care, specialising in the prevention and management of chronic disease. Amber has lectured and presented in this field in North America, including the University of Washington and Harvard University, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. She is currently completing a doctorate in public health with the University of Otago School of Medicine, and is heading the working group for the development of the International Association of Indigenous Health Psychology.

Erich Barkmeyer

Project Officer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Team

Diabetes Queensland


Erich Barkmeyer is a Project Officer in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Team at Diabetes Queensland. He has been with Diabetes Queensland for the past 4 years and one of the projects he manages is the Facebook Peer Support Group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders living with type 2 diabetes.

Kirsty Hart

Coordinator, Indigenous Health Intitiative

IWC Medical Centre QLD

Kirsty Hart is the Coordinator of Indigenous Health Initiatives within the IWC Medical Centre, which requires both operational and supervisory roles. Kirsty joined the Indigenous Wellbeing Centre in 2011 and has extensive experience in chronic disease management and support.

Dr Timothy White

Psychologist & Warrior Program Director

Tjintipit Psychological Services QLD


Dr. Timothy White is a registered psychologist. He grew up in Mt Isa in Kalkadoon country and was immersed in the strong Indigenous traditions and practices as a young man. Tim brought together his cultural and psychological knowledge to specialize in working with indigenous communities and healing Indigenous men. At age 17 he joined the Australian Army and served in Somalia, a role that has shaped his strong community justice principles. He has strong connections with the Yarrabah Kunganji community, and has been privileged to advocate and stand up for Indigenous rites and the improvement of standards of living. Dr. Tim felt privileged to have been welcomed in so many Far Northern Indigenous communities, particularly during times of high community distress, in particular during the Palm Island Riot, The Lockhart River Air Disaster and most recently during the Kowanyama funeral tragedy. He is currently investing his energy in delivering the warrior program, aimed at improving the future of Indigenous men in remote communities and actively contributing to closing the gap.


Cynthia George

IWC North Burnett Assistant Manager

Indigenous Wellbeing Centre QLD

Cynthia George is the IWC North Burnett Assistant Manager and an Indigenous Health Practitioner with substantial experience in maternal care. Cynthia’s role includes both supervisory and operational responsibilities across regional, rural and remote areas of the North Burnett.

Lisa Tarca

Registered Nurse and Diabetes Educator

Diabetes Queensland QLD

Lisa Tarca is a Registered Nurse and Diabetes Educator with Diabetes Queensland working in the Indigenous Health Team. Lisa has been with Qld Health and Healthy Living NT as a Diabetes Educator previously, and has only recently had the great opportunity to join the team at DQ. Lisa has taken on the project of delivering the Feltman to regional and remote communities, as well as training health professionals in Feltman/mum - designed to give health professionals the skills and knowledge to plan and present interactive and fun ways to learn about diabetes.




Jenni Toogood

North Burnett & Clinical Governance Manager

 Indigenous Wellbeing Centre QLD


Jenni Toogood is the Indigenous Wellbeing Centre’s (IWC) North Burnett Manager and Clinical Governance Manager. For decades, she has worked across regional, rural and remote areas of Australia from Townsville to the Kimberley, and her achievements in community, intensive and acute care are substantial. She holds a Bachelor of Science and Post-Graduate Diploma of Health Administration. Her role within IWC includes strategic, supervisory and operational responsibilities across regional, rural and remote areas of Bundaberg and the Wide Bay Burnett. 






Harry Callaghan

Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer

South Western Sydney Local Health District 


Harry Callaghan (Baggs) is a Dunghutti artist, born in Kempsey New South Wales with connections to Biripi, Worimi and Gumbaynggirr Nations. Currently, Harry works as the Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer at South Western Sydney Local Health District. Prior to this, he worked as Cultural Support Planner for Life Without Barriers and as Aboriginal Team Advisor- Intensive Supervision Program of the Department of Juvenile Justice (NSW), Executive Officer, Program Manager at Ghinni Ghinni Youth and Culture Aboriginal Corporation, Community Programs Coordinator at KARI Aboriginal Resources - Liverpool, Aboriginal Community Development Officer- Leichhardt Municipal Council and Health Education Officer of Youthblock Youth Health Service in Camperdown. Harry states that the mainstream justice system could not break his internal fortitude and belief in his culture, family and Aboriginality. Harry lives in Sydney with his family and paints in his spare time.

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