Speakers' Biographies

Speakers' Biographies
Ernie Dingo - Master of Ceremonies

Ernie is one of Australia's most loved personalities and has had an extensive career in film and television. His laid back style and earthy honesty have made him welcome on our screens on such programs as The World Around Us, Crocodile Dundee II and his extremely popular hosting role on The Great Outdoors. 

The Aboriginal Australian actor’s television career is particularly significant for the way it broke new ground in the medium's presentation of cultural difference. Initially taking roles scripted specifically for an Aboriginal actor by white writers and directors, he has worked consistently to broaden expectations of what Aboriginality can include and to introduce and popularise an understanding of Aboriginal perspectives on Australian life. 

Ernie Dingo grew up around the small Western Australian town of Mullewa, where the local Aboriginal people still speak the traditional Wudjadi language.

       
Corina Martin - CEO Aboriginal Family Law Services
Corina is a Mulgyin Jaru/Kitja and Gooniyandi woman born and raised in Broome, Western Australia. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Marketing and the Media and Bachelor of Law. Corina was admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia as a barrister and solicitor in 2006. She was the Principal Legal Officer of the Aboriginal Family Legal Service before becoming the Chief Executive Officer.

       

Dr Hannah McGlade - Associate Professor

Hannah's career has focused on justice for Aboriginal people, race discrimination law and practice, Aboriginal women and children, family violence and sexual assault.  She has been a researcher, published writer and conference speaker and has held a range of professional positions that requiring her legal training and specific expertise in Aboriginal women and childrens' issues. Her Ph.D thesis received the Stanner Award for Excellence in Aboriginal research and was published by Aboriginal Studies Press in 2012: 'Our Greatest Challenge, Aboriginal Children and Human Rights' 

An experienced tribunal member, Dr. McGlade has been appointed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the State Administrative Tribunal and the Mental Health Tribunal. 

In 2016, she was appointed the Senior Indigenous Fellow at the Office of the High Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, and as Senior Indigenous Research Fellow at Curtin University.  In 2020, she was appointed to the  UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues as an expert member.

Megan Krakouer LLB - Project Director National Suicide Prevention and Trauma Recovery Project

Megan is the Project Director of the National Suicide Preventtion & Trauma Recovery Project.  Megan has a long history working alongside the most vulnerable. Megan also contributed to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, visiting 27 prisons.

Stephanie Monck - Principal Legal Officer, WLSWA
Stephanie commenced as the WLSWAs Principal Legal Officer in May 2021. She is a Kungarakan/Warramungu woman and a recognised Traditional Owner of the Finniss River and Little Wagait Land Trusts in the Northern Territory. She has many years practice and policy experiences, including in government and non-government agencies, tertiary institutions and across different areas of law.
Anna Farrant - Deputy Principal Legal Officer. WLSWA
Anna is the Deputy Principal Legal Officer at WLSWA. Before returning to her home state of WA in 2020, Anna spent 10 years living and practicing in Victoria, in regional and metro-based roles within Victoria Legal Aid, Women’s Legal Service Victoria and in private practice. Anna has extensive experience representing vulnerable women and children in family law, protection and care, youth and adult crime and restraining order matters.
Keiran Dent - General Manager (Alliance, EIFSS, FDV) Wungening Aboriginal Corporation  

Keiran is a Ngarinyin Aboriginal Man whose belonging is in the West Kimberley of WA. Keiran is Wungening Aboriginal Corporations General Manager for child protection and family support, FDV and Alliance programs. Within Keiran's portfolio are two key initiatives aimed at reducing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in Out of Home care: Wungening Moort, an ACCO led intensive in-home support service for Aboriginal families connected to the child protection system, and Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making.

Keiran has worked in the child protection field for 10 years and is focussed on developing ways of working that blend Aboriginal norms and values with Western Clinical practices.

Keiran is a passionate believer that Aboriginal participation in all aspects of decision making is a necessary enabler of healing, and that healing is necessary to strengthen our families, create safety for our children, and address the ongoing impacts of intergenerational trauma.

Michelle Sims -  Solicitor / Coordinator  – First Nations Services Legal Aid Western Australia
Michelle is a Yamatji Wadjarri Nyarlu (woman) who has been with Legal Aid WA for 5 years. She has practised in both Civil and Criminal Law and is now the Coordinator of First Nations Services where she is tasked with implementation of Legal Aid’s First Nations Strategic Plan. Michelle is passionate about equal access to justice for First Nations People. She has recently led the roll out of the First Nations Advice Bureau and First Nations Legal Health Check with the goal of providing trauma informed and holistic services more suitable to vulnerable clients. Michelle is also the chair of Legal Aid WA’s RAP committee, part of the Kwobidok Yok Working Group for the Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute and serves on the Board of Directors for Kinship Connections.
Faye Sellers
Faye has been with Legal Aid WA for 5 years having worked in the Midwest Gascoyne offices then moving to Perth LAWA a year ago. Prior to moving to LAWA Faye was working in private firms in Geraldton in a variety of legal fields. Working in the regions Faye has had significant experience with providing legal advice in remote and regional communities. Faye has also helped develop the Blurred Borders resource which focuses on communication with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people in complex areas of law such as protection and care and family violence.
Daniel Gibbard - Principal Legal Officer, AFLS

Dan graduated from Murdoch University with a Bachelor of Laws in 2012.  He was admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2013. From admission, Dan worked predominately in the area of Family Law, expanding his areas of practice to include FVRO’s, Criminal Injuries Compensation and Criminal Law both working in private practice and on instructions from Legal Aid and the Aboriginal Legal Service.

Dan joined the Aboriginal Family Legal Service as the Principal Legal Officer for Port Hedland, Broome and Kununurra in August 2021. Since that time Dan has been based between the AFLS Corporate Office in Perth and various regional offices as relieving solicitor and co-ordinating various projects including the West Kimberley Wills project, which was run in conjunction with Law Access and various Pro Bono practitioners in November 2021 in the communities of Djardijin and Beagle Bay as well as being part of the planned expansion of Services into the Metro Area as a part of the recent Southern Aboriginal Corporation funding submission.

Jonathon Reid - Solicitor, Family Law unit ALS
Jonathon is a Budimaia Yamatji with Italian heritage. He began working as an Aboriginal Court Officer at ALSWA Inc. in 1999 before commencing his Law degree at the University of Western Australia in 2002 and returning to the ALSWA Inc. in 2006. He was admitted to practise in 2009 and has since worked in the Family Law Unit. He practise’s Law predominantly in the Child Welfare jurisdiction of the Children’s Court and Family Court ‘Child Related Proceedings.’ In this role he represent parents and grandparents from indigenous communities all over Western Australia.

 
Eric Hayward - Solicitor

Eric’s grandfather Eric Samuel Hayward played for South Fremantle Football Club in the 1930’s, with his two brothers Bill and Maley. They were the first Aboriginal league representatives in the WAFL. His grandmother Lily Underwood was born in Manjimup and worked as a servant and breaking in horses around Busselton.Eric’s connections to Noongar country are with the Esperance Wudjari and the South West Wardandi.

He graduated from the University of Western Australia in 1990, with a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. In 1992, completed his Articles of Clerkship and was the first South West Aboriginal Solicitor admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Following his admission, he worked as a Criminal Solicitor in Mt Isa and spoke at the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous People, in Geneva, Switzerland. In the 1990’s Eric worked for the WA Health Department, Aboriginal Affairs Department and as a Case Manager, for the National Native Title Tribunal.

He comes from a family of teachers going back to the 1960’s and 1970’s. So, in 2002 he made a career change to become a 

teacher, by completing a Graduate Diploma of Education, from Edith Cowan University. For over 16 years he taught in Primary Schools in Esperance, South Hedland, Fitzroy Crossing, Kalbarri, Bunbury, Collie and Brunswick Junction.

In 2019, Eric relocated to Alice Springs to work as a Community Legal Educator, for the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency.

After three years he returned to Perth and started work as a Solicitor for Legal Aid. Eric states he is grateful for the opportunity to return to his first profession and help disadvantaged clients.  He is looking forward to making a difference for his clients and community, by advocating for social justice.

Ann Hawke - CEO, Kinship Connections

Founder of Kinship Connections in 2012, Ann is a descendant of the Yawuru people from Broome on her grandfather’s side (Hawke family) and Gooniyandi people from the East Kimberly on her grandmother’s side (Cox family). Ann is the third generation in her family to have been affected by government removal policies. Immediately before starting Kinship Connections, Ann worked in the Department for Child Protection for six years as a Senior Field Officer within Fostering Services. She worked first as a trainer on best practice fostering but soon moved into recruitment and assessment of potential foster parents. Ann’s knowledge and expertise continue to be sought by the Department of Child Protection and other agencies on a regular basis. She sat on the Foster Carer’s Centralised Panel for eight years and is a key resource on Aboriginal and fostering issues across the Non-Government sector in WA. Her detailed knowledge of kinship relationships across the Aboriginal community is frequently called on and she takes a growing number of after-hours calls on this issue. Anns is a strong advocate for Aboriginal children in care and currently sits on the Foster Care Association WA’s board. Ann currently sits on a number of RAP planning Committees (The Reconciliation Action Plan) within the Non-government sector.

Ann has been an active foster carer for the past 35 years and has fostered in excess of 100 children over this time. Ann is now currently caring for her five grandsons full time through the Department. Ann is a strong advocate for parents and families who are involved with the Department of Child Protection.

Megan Richards - Program Manager, Kinship Connections
Megan was born the second of three children and raised in the North West, amongst the red dirt and spinifex, with the endless beaches and Ningaloo reef as her playground. Megan has always loved children and after an early career working in childcare, she decided to travel around Australia, which is where she found her second home in the rainforest of Kuranda, North Queensland. Megan’s beautiful daughter was born in Kuranda and during her time living with the Tjapukai people, in the small community of Mona Mona, Megan learnt and witnessed first-hand, the struggle of Aboriginal people in Australia. Motivated to do more by her experience living in North Queensland, Megan enrolled in a Social Work Degree on her return to WA. In social work, Megan found a career that allowed her to combine her love of children with her passion for reconciliation and social justice. Megan’s subsequent journey as a social worker has provided her with the opportunity to work with children, young people and adults, both non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal. Each and every one of these experiences has been an honour and a privilege and has inspired and motivated Megan to do more. Megan believes, if we are able to harness the collective energy of the thousands of people seeking to make a difference in our community, we can be more powerful than we know – we can achieve more good than we ever thought possible. Megan believes we are moving in this direction and continues to look forward to the day we arrive.