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Our Founding Elders

Vale Uncle Lester Bostock

Founding Elder

Biography

Uncle Lester Bostock OAM was the Founding Elder and long-time Board member of both FPDN and the Aboriginal Disability Network NSW. Uncle Lester passed away in November 2017. We pay our respects to him as our Founding Elder and acknowledge his tireless work over decades to progress the rights and opportunities of Aboriginal people.

Uncle Lester was a proud Bundjalung man with disability who was at the forefront of promoting and protecting the human rights of Aboriginal people with disability in Australia over several decades.
Lester publicly introduced the concept of “double disadvantage” and how it relates to Aboriginal people with disability in 1991 when he gave the Meares Oration entitled Access and equity for people with a double disadvantage.
Uncle Lester is widely recognised as one of the pioneers of Aboriginal media in Australia.

Uncle Lester received numerous awards for community service over the years including a Centenary Medal, the NSW Law and Justice Foundation Award for Aboriginal Justice and in 2010 Uncle Lester was the NAIDOC Elder of the year.

Read Uncle Lester’s Eulogy.

Read the tribute.

Vale Aunty Gayle (Leila) Rankine

Founding Elder

Biography

Aunty Leila Gayle Rankine was Chairperson since the formal constitution of the First Peoples Disability Network in 2014. Her advocacy for people with disability goes back to the very beginning of our social movement. She was also widely known and respected as a leading voice for all Australians with disability.
Gayle was a Ngarrindjeri woman born in Raukkan (Point McLeay Mission) on Lake Alexandrina in South Australia.
Gayle represented Australia and FPDN at the United Nations in Geneva and New York.
Gayle was recognised for her extensive knowledge of the needs of people with disability across urban, rural and remote communities. She had a lived experience as a person with physical disability and as a carer of relatives with physical and neurological disability, including autism.

Read Aunty Gayle’s Eulogy

Read the tribute.

Our Board

Kay Sadler

Board Member

Biography

Kay Sadler is a Worimi woman of the Biripi nation born on the Pacific Highway, ten kilometres south of Taree.

Kay is a delegate to the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and a member of the Biripi Land Council. She holds a Diploma of Business (Governance) from Tranby Aboriginal College.

Maureen Logan

Board Member

michael speaking at international day of disability

Michael Evans

Board Member

Sereako Treloggan

Sereako Treloggen

Board Member

Rhys Nagas portrait by B Mason

Rhys Nagas

Board Member

Community Advocates

Uncle Brian Tennyson photo

Uncle Brian Tennyson

ELDA Council Chair

Aunty Louisa Uta

ELDA Council Vice Chair

Jane Rosengrave

Community Advocate

Our Staff

National Team

CEO Damian Griffis

Damian Griffis

CEO

Lisa Hindman

Lisa Hindman

Strategic Business Manager

Communications Team

Luke Briscoe

National Communications Manager

Policy Team

Training and Engagement Team

Bernard Namok Jnr

National Training and Engagement Officer

Jordan Wishart

National Training and Engagement Officer

National Advocacy Staff Profiles

NDAP TEAM

Jade Millerick

Disability Advocate

 

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Work History / Specialist Background: 

Over the past 15 years, I have worked across the Community Services Space with direct experience with the NDIS, Disability Inclusion and Allied Health. I’m all about exploring individual advocacy pathways to ensure mobs are well-equipped, supported and self-determined to walk forward beyond FPDN.

Why do you love what you do at FPDN? 

I love the experience and brains trust we deliver as a team collectively. To do our best and be our best we need to trust in each other to facilitate best results for mob, as a team we have a solid foundation of support which is very important when providing Advocacy. I love the people and participants I get to work with at FPDN.

Melissa Arch

Indigenous Advocate, Victoria

Melissa has spent 10 years across the disability space, within the residential and day programs.

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Work History / Specialist Background: 

Melissa has spent 10 years across the disability space, within the residential and day programs.  Melissa has also led Mental Health/AOD with Indigenous patients and their families, at University Hospital, Geelong. AOD/Mental Health case management within the Geelong (Wathaurong) and Ballarat (BADAC) co-ops AOD/Family Reunification Clinician, with parents, in the Child Protection system with Odyssey House Victoria

Why do you love what you do at FPDN?

Advocacy has become my passion, since working in the AOD/family reunification space. I am allowed to have a voice and be respected for it at FPDN. Empowering people to make their own choices and feel supported is something that I have learned, makes all the difference.

NSW ADVOCACY TEAM

Isobel Coe

NSW Educational Advocate

I am a proud Wiradjuri woman from Condobolin NSW.

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Work History / Specialist Background: 

I worked in the education system for 15 years. I have also worked in the areas of homelessness, domestic violence and family preservation. The experience I have gained across the space has provided me with incredible insight and resilience to fight for mob facing disability.

Why do you love what you do at FPDN?

I have advocated for my children who have disabilities. Working as an advocate for our mob is an amazing opportunity for myself. I have learnt so much already from the fierce team at FPDN.

Chris Fallon

NSW Indigenous Advocate

Chris is a descendant of the Barkindji people of the Wilcannia region, currently based on Wiradjuri Country (Dubbo) and working throughout the entire state of NSW.

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Work History / Specialist Background: 

Chrishas over 45 years of experience working within the Disability Advocacy sector. Chris lives with disability and has represented the region on several Boards and Committees, both State and National. He was an Local Area Coordinator for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) responsible for initial contact in many of Western NSW more remote communities. He has a wide range of experiences working with people with disability and being part of their journey.

Why do you love what you do at FPDN? 

The FPDN gives me structure to work with people who require a level of advocacy and support, and to empower them to live their life to their full potential.

Human Rights Training artwork

Darren Forbes 

NT Indigenous Advocate

Darren is a proud Biripi man, born and raised on Awabakal land, NSW. Darren has a deep sense of cultural connection to the Aboriginal communities he works across in the NT. 

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Work History / Specialist Background: 

Darren has a wealth of knowledge – over 25 years of professional experience in the ACCO space, Child Protection, Early Intervention, NDIS and Aboriginal Family Trauma and Recovery Practice.

Why do you love what you do at FPDN? 

I absolutely love and value my role at FPDN. Living and working back in NT has solidified how deeply connected I am to the people and the landscape of the Country I’m working on. As a white skin black fella, the people here have accepted me and welcomed me into their community which is true is a blessing in this space. Coming back to NT, I can already see we have a lot of work to do to address the poverty, homelessness and crime which are the gaps in a system that continues to fail our mob. I’m fortunate to be back here and I truly hope I can make a difference.

Justice Project - Talk Up

Melanie Marne

Project Officer

Paterson St Hub, Tennant Creek NT

Brian Tennyson

Paterson Street Hub Mentor

Alba Brockie

Paterson Street Hub Coordinator

Professor in Residence

Dr Scott Avery Portrait

Dr Scott Avery

(deaf | Worimi) Professor of Indigenous Disability, Health and Wellbeing - School of Public Health University of Technology Sydney

Community Volunteers

Ray Peckham

Volunteer

Friends of FPDN

Join the First Peoples Disability Movement. Add your voice and sign up as friend of FPDN. Friends will receive updates about our work and have opportunities to get involved and speak up.

First Peoples Disability Network Australia is a national organisation of and for Australia’s First Peoples with disability, their families and communities. Our founders are the leaders of the Aboriginal disability movement and in order to continue their legacy we want to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to connect and communicate with us, and each other.

FPDN’s purpose is to promote respect for human rights, secure social justice, and empower First Peoples with disability to participate in Australian society on an equal basis with others.

Become a Friend of FPDN:

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and stay informed!


    ELDA – Elders Living with Disability Australia

    FPDN is an organisation of and for First People with disability. We take pride in our culture, our communities and our history. Our Elders with lived experience of disability are the holders of knowledge and wisdom. We are proud to work with a number of Elders and our organisation benefits from their guidance and advice.

    As part of our Strategic Directions, FPDN is working to build its Elders Council, known as ELDA. ELDA ( Elders living with disability Australia) is a national advisory group of Elders with a lived experience in disability, who conduct disability business. ELDA currently has representatives from NSW, NT, QLD, TI and SA.