congress-national-board-members(Top Row: L-R) Les Malezer (Co-Chair), Kirstie Parker (Co-Chair), Rod Little, Venessa Curnow. (Bottom Row: L-R) Daphne Yarram, Gerry Moore, Amala Groom, Mark McMillan.

The second Congress elected board took office on 19 August 2013.

Click here to download Congress fact sheet.

Kirstie Parker, Co-Chair Kirstie Parker is a Yuwallarai Aboriginal woman from northwest NSW, and Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. She has more than 25 years experience in mainstream and Indigenous print and radio journalism, communications, and management of Indigenous organisations. From 2006 until her election to Congress, Kirstie was Editor (and sometime Managing Editor) of the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander newspaper, the Koori Mail. She is also currently a director of Reconciliation Australia, a board member of the Australian Indigenous Communications Association (AICA), and a member of the Deadly Awards Executive Academy.

Les Malezer, Co-Chair Les Malezer is from the Butchulla/Gubbi Gubbi peoples in southeast Queensland and Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. He has decades of extensive experience in campaigning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights and has represented community interests at local, state, national and international levels. In 2008 he won the Australian Human Rights Award, and his contribution to coordinating Indigenous Peoples’ advocacy for the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the UN General Assembly is well known and respected.

Venessa Curnow Venessa Curnow is an Ait Koedal and Sumu woman, tracing her ancestry from Saibai Island in the Torres Strait and Keith in South Australia. She has over 19 years extensive work experience, including 9 years of strategic industry development at the national level and 7 years’ experience in Queensland state-wide development. She started as a practitioner, going on to management, training, mentoring, consultancy, research, lobbying, governance and development. She has been involved mostly in health and aged care industry holding various positions as a registered nurse, clinical nurse and consultant in urban, rural and remote areas. She is member of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dementia Advisory Group (NATSIDAG) and Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency.

Rod Little Rod Little is from the Amangu and Wajuk peoples of Geraldton and Perth areas of WA but is a long time resident of Canberra. Currently a Director of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Rod has a long employment history in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs holding senior leadership positions across several social policy areas in the Australian Public Service for 15 years. He recently worked for Principals Australia Inc, on its Dare to Lead project which works to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student education outcomes through leadership.He is currently Chairperson of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body, Vice President of the ACT Council of Social Services and a board member of the Winnunga Aboriginal Medical Services. He is also a member of the ACT Local Hospital Network and the ACT Circle Sentencing panel.

Mark McMillan Mark McMillan is a Wiradjuri man from Trangie, NSW and a Director of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. He joined the faculty of Melbourne Law School as a Senior Lecturer in 2011 – being the first Indigenous Australian appointed to the faculty. His research interests are in the area of human rights and in particular, the expression, and fulfilment of those rights for Indigenous Australians. He teaches in the areas of Public Law and International Human Rights Law for Indigenous Peoples. He is currently working on ARC grants and projects relating to Indigenous nation building; Reconciliation; and Structural Justice. Mark is a board member of the Trangie Local Aboriginal Land Council; Annecto; and is a member and Node Leader of the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network.

Gerry Moore Gerry Moore is from the Yuin nation from the South Coast of NSW and a Director of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. For thirty years Gerry has worked in areas that have serviced the needs of our peoples most recently as CEO of the NSW/ACT Aboriginal Legal Service and as Managing Director of Habitat Personnel, an organisation promoting Aboriginal employment in the wider community. He is a former National ATSIC Commissioner and Regional Councillor and has chaired many organisations including the Nowra Local Aboriginal Land Council and the South Coast Aboriginal Medical Service.

Amala Groom Amala Groom is a proud Wiradjuri woman who works across a broad range of areas to effect social change for the advancement of Aboriginal Peoples. Since 2009, Amala has been engaging at the international level and has actively participated in eight United Nations forums. As a multi-disciplinary artist, she was the recent winner of the 2014 HPD Creative Award winner, Rio Tinto Alcan Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards, Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum, QLD. She is currently completing a Bachelors of Fine Arts/Law at UNSW Art & Design where she is also Student Council President.

Daphne Yarram Daphne Yarram is a proud Noongar woman, born at Gnowangerup in South-West WA. Now living in Sale in Victoria, she has been involved in Aboriginal Affairs in Victoria since she was sixteen years of age. She is passionate about raising the profile of rural communities and has worked hard to ensure that Aboriginal individuals, families and communities are supported and encouraged to develop local solutions to respond to issues that impact on their daily lives. Some of the organisations she has worked with include: the Victorian Indigenous Leadership Network, Sale Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation, Gippsland Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee, Premiers Aboriginal Advisory Council, and the Indigenous Family Violence Partnership Forum. She continues to promote and support the establishment of Aboriginal owned and run businesses for self-sufficiency, autonomy and strong economic bases.