Board of Directors Biographies
Debbie Millard (Treasurer)
I’m a numbers lady: my day job is a Chief Financial Officer. But I’m also a bit of an artist. As a child I was good at art, but also fortunate enough to be academic as well. I was persuaded to pursue my academic strengths, and my art was pushed aside for about 20 years. A few years ago, I picked up my pastels again, and my subject of choice is Indigenous portraits. I love the expression and the feeling in the eyes. I would love to personalise my connection to my artwork through my involvement with an organisation that is going to benefit Aboriginal artists.
Debbie is a Chartered Accountant and currently the CFO and Company Secretary of JWH Group Pty Ltd. She is experienced in all aspects of strategic financial management of large private business.
Born in London, Debbie completed her university education in 1987 at Oxford University with an Honours degree in Pure and Applied Biology. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1997; a Fellow of Leadership WA (2009); a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (2010), and participant in the AICD Director Pipeline Project (2012).
Her other not-for-profit Board and Committee involvement is as Board Member Leadership WA, and member of Finance Risk and Audit Committee, and Board Member Mundaring Arts Centre, Chairing the Finance Committee. Previously, YMCA Perth Board member and Chair of the Finance and Risk Committee.
Debbie is a hobby visual artist; she was awarded the Darlington Arts Festival Committee’s Choice Award in both 2009 and 2010 and has sold her artwork locally through the Darlington Arts Festival Exhibition and Gallery.
When we started our art centre, Mungart Boodja, in 2004 we wondered what had happened to the artworks from the Carrolup child artists – they had been missing for 50 years! When they were later found in New York and brought back to us through an international repatriation project without any red tape, we just couldn’t believe it. This is the power of relationship building and being passionate in the arts, and it is something I want to hand on to young
Ezzard Flowers, together with Athol Farmer and John Stanton of the University of Western Australia, was instrumental in the return of Noongar Carrollup artworks from the USA, and the Carrolup Artists Exhibition as part of the 2006 Perth International Arts Festival.
He has worked extensively in education and social work, as a participant in Indigenous Healing Arts Projects, and as Aboriginal Liaison Officer (MST Program) with the South Metropolitan Area Health Service, WA Department of Health and at the National Resource Management in Kojonup.
In 2007 Ezzard received a Western Australian Multicultural Community Service award for preserving the cultural heritage of local Noongars. Ezzard is a representative on the committee of Southern Edge Arts, who received a generous Lotterywest grant in 2008 for a performing arts project aimed at promoting and
preserving Noongar cultural heritage in the Great Southern region.
My artwork is from my heart and the stories that must be told, that’s the way it should be. I try to inspire young people to do art to help them understand and to heal themselves. I want to give them knowledge to understand and respect their land and their culture.
Loreen Samson’s language group is Ngarluma and she was born in Roebourne where she still lives today. Loreen is a respected artist who is passionate about connecting with and teaching the younger generations in her community.
In her art Loreen paints about social justice, about mining and what is happening around her that hurts her. She paints the colours of the land, the trains that go by night and day, the thoughts she has of her heritage, and the stories of her ancestors.
Loreen is a multiple Cossack Art Award (Best Pilbara Indigenous Artist) winner and her paintings are held in the Australian National Museum, Canberra and Berndt Museum, UWA collections.
My favourite saying is by Gandhi: “BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD” …speaks for itself…
Veronica ‘Roni’ Jones is a proud Noongar mother of two children who has lived in Geraldton for over 20 years. She started her professional career at 16 working alongside Geraldton’s most vulnerable families as a receptionist at Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service. She left GRAMS six years later to have her first child and then went on to complete her Bachelor of Social Science (Indigenous Services) in 2003.
For the next 14 years Roni worked in various federal agencies working with community organisations and families. During this time Roni developed a strong desire to build up the strengths of communities, especially those of the women,
children and young leaders. She is a firm believer that to assist with this people must take a holistic approach, but that connection to culture, through visual arts, is one of the more important aspects and this is why she enjoys the prospect of being an AACHWA Board member as well as the manager of an Aboriginal art centre – Yamaji Art.
When I was young I was interested in music and language but I ended up studying law. I moved to Port Hedland and started working in Native Title. This was when I became exposed to Aboriginal art. The visual representation of the relationship to land and culture made sense to me. As a lawyer, it made me think about how we take instructions from Aboriginal people and have to
translate it into a language that a judge can understand. Art is a powerful tool for communicating Aboriginal culture to non-Aboriginal people.
Christina Araujo has a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Arts (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies) from Murdoch University. As a lawyer, Christina specialises in Native Title Land Access, Aboriginal Heritage, Corporate Governance – PBCs, Indigenous Organisations, Community Consultation,
Environmental Approvals, Implementation – Benefits, Management Structures and Project Management.
Christina’s broad professional legal career has seen her work extensively with Indigenous communities in Pilbara, Murchison-Gascoyne, Central and Western Desert regions. She is knowledgeable and experienced in working with legislation relevant to Indigenous organisations, such as CATSI Act, Native
Title Act, PBC Regulations, including working with and establishing
Trusts and Trustee Companies.
Christina has worked with Yamatji Marlpa Land and Sea Council; Department of Environment and Conservation; as in-house Counsel at Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC; Central Desert Native Title Services; and currently works as a consultant.
Bio coming soon.