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2019 closing the gap conference guest SPEAKERS 

Aunty Jeanette Singleton is a Yirrganydji woman from Yorkeys Knob and a respected traditional elder of the Yirrganydji people. Aunty Jeanette has been extensively involved as a leader within the indigenous affairs of Far North Queensland and served as chair of the Irukandji Aboriginal Corporation, Yirrganydji Gurabana Aboriginal Corporation as well as Director of Cairns District Regional Housing.     

Jessie Victoria Bonson is an enthusiastic advocate of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prosperity. Her dedication illuminates from her Torres Strait Island, North Queensland Heritage and her ancestry ties through her great-great grandmother Dolly Bonson, a Jawoyn woman from Knotts Crossing Katherine in the Northern Territory who was also known as Bett-Bett, the servant girl featured in We of the Never-Never and the main character in The Little Black Princess books by Jeannie Gunn. Working in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics has provided her an avenue to represent her people and their ideals when it comes to corporate consultation, engagement and returning relevant information back to the wider community. As an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman she can relate personally to the Health issues the Australian Indigenous communities continue to face. Jessie emphasises and supports the process of producing practical publications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and not just about them. 

Wendy Watego is the national program director for STARS Institute. Wendy's Mother’s Mob are Goenpil, Nughie, Noonuccal people from Minjerribah.  Wendy began her professional life as a pre-school educator in Sarina, Northern Queensland.  As her career developed, she took up a variety of educational leadership positions throughout Queensland, the Northern Territory and Malaysia.  This included being the first Aboriginal person to chair the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Standing Committee of the Queensland Teachers Union. Wendy was the first Black woman to be acting principal of Bwgcolman Community School on Palm Island for six months.  After Wendy left the education system to establish a coaching practice specialising in healing from inter-generational loss, grief and trauma and transformational leadership.  She holds a number of qualifications which include Hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Reiki, Life Coaching and PSYCH-K. After a fortuitous meeting with Vicki Scott at an Indigenous Women’s Leadership Conference they realised their common vision of empowering individuals – especially Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders – and together in 2008 formed STARS. As national program director for STARS Institute, Wendy designs and delivers the STARS programs and they are mind blowing.  The programs are very dynamic, shifting your thinking and your life out of the box of limitations Wendy says that in this role:  “What makes my heart sing and my spirit dance is empowering people to complete their unfinished business and heal from the constraints of the past, to unlock their cultural codes from within their DNA, tap into the true leadership genius and achieve the kinds of results that make a real difference to their lives. 

Clinical Associate Professor Peter Shine is a Gomeroi man from north-western NSW. He has been involved in Aboriginal health and social emotional wellbeing for many years. He is currently the Director of Aboriginal Health Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD). He wrote the NSLHDAboriginal Health Services Plan 2013-2016. This is the very first Aboriginal Health Plan written for NSLHD. He is a member of the Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM) and a member of The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples.  Peter’s professional specialities are Aboriginal Health, Aboriginal Social Emotional Well Being, The Social Determinants of Aboriginal Health, The Social Determinants of Health and Health Promotion. He is married to Jo a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and lives in Western Sydney. They have three adult children and one grandchild.

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.

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 Behavioral 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.

Trevor Tim has the richness of both Cultures (Erub Island People on his Mother side & Kalkadoon People on his Father’s side).  Trevor has operated an Inspirational Speaking business for more than 10 years (Success with Attitude) which provides Team Building, Life Coaching & Motivational Speaking as well as MC services Australia wide.  Trevor has been involved in marketing work for more than 30 years.



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