Christopher J O’Brien, National and New South Wales / ACT Leader
Christopher is a Yorta Yorta Aboriginal man from ‘Country’ Cummeroogunja (aka Cummeragunja) located across the Murray River of New South Wales and Victoria – a ‘freshwater’ man.
Christopher has obtained a Certificate III: Aboriginal Health Worker, Aged and Disability Care and Community Services, Certificate IV: Frontline Management, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice and Training and Assessment, and is a registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner and Justice of the Peace for NSW.
Christopher has resided within the Illawarra region for 17 years where he has worked in a number of key Aboriginal organisations and established affiliations with many Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal stakeholders. He recently commenced a new role working in GP Synergy’s Aboriginal Cultural Education Unit as the Cultural Educator for Lower Eastern NSW and ACT. Previously Christopher was employed with the Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service for 11 years where he was an Aboriginal Health Practitioner before moving to the role of Health Services Team Manager for 8 years.
Christopher has a strong passion for Aboriginal health, especially in the areas of chronic disease management – diabetes, asthma and cancer; early childhood – immunisations and wellbeing developmental assessments; and Mental and Sexual Health.
Jade Kelly, Deputy National and Victoria/Tasmania Leader
Jade is a Muthi Muthi lady from Balranald NSW. She is a Credentialled Diabetes Educator providing services at Mildura Aboriginal Health Service. Currently Jade also does some private clinic work as well as some work for Diabetes Victoria.
Jade has worked in Aboriginal Medical services across Victoria and NSW since 2007, providing diabetes outreach services at Dareton, Balranald, Swan Hill, Robinvale and Mildura.
Jade has completed a Bachelor of Nursing and a Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education. Her passions are Diabetes Care and Care Coordination.
Ann-Marie Mitchell, Queensland Leader
Ann-Marie was born and raised in Cunnamulla South West QLD and is a descendent of Kooma Tribe, totem Snake. She has been a Teacher Aide, Shop Assistant, Youth Worker and domestic worker at Cunnamulla Hospital. Ann-Marie first started her AHW certificate when she was living in Ipswich in 1999 and completed the Primary Health Care Certificate in 2003. She is now working towards completing her Practitioner qualification.
Currently Ann-Marie works as a AHW worker in the field of Sexual Health, School Education Programs such as Oral Health, Hygiene and Hearing Health Programs and she also does blood collection (pathology). Ann-Marie also travels providing Outreach Services to other communities within Paroo Bullo Shire Council. She has worked at Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health (CACH) since August 2002.
Elizabeth Dhurrkay, Northern Territory Leader
Elizabeth is from Galiwinku Island, North East Arnhem Land. Her tribe is Wangurri and she speaks Yolngu Matha. Elizabeth has been an Aboriginal Health Worker/Practitioner for 18 years.
From 1998 to 2004 Elizabeth worked as an Aboriginal Health Worker at Galiwinku, Elcho Island. In 2004 and 2005 she worked for the Menzies School of Health Research on the ABCD (Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease) Study. Since 2006 she has worked at Galawinku Elcho Island as an Aboriginal Health Practitioner where she is the team leader for Emergency. Elizabeth also has qualifications in advanced life support and maternity emergency care.
Elizabeth has studied at the Batchelor Institute in the NT. She has completed a Certificate III and IV in Primary Healthcare and a Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Healthcare. In 2015 she completed a Diploma of Management.
Priscilla Elmendorp, South Australia Leader
Priscilla is from Adelaide in SA. She has worked in nursing and health care at Southern Cross Care and the Lyell McEwin Hospital in Adelaide’s North.
Priscilla has completed her Diploma of Enrolled Nursing and currently works in the Chronic Conditions Management Team within Nunkuwarrin Yunti where she has been working for the past 18 months.
Outside of work, Priscilla is busy keeping up with her family of 5 boys and can regularly be found attending sporting games on weekends. To relax, Priscilla loves to read, enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and camping on Narrunga land.
Helen Edwards, Western Australia Leader
Helen is originally from Geraldton in WA. She has worked at Wirraka Maya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation in an Aboriginal Health Worker/Practitioner role for ten years. Prior to this she was employed at Wirraka Maya as a medical receptionist.
In 2007 Helen completed her Certificate III in Primary Health as an Aboriginal Health Worker and in 2009 her Certificate IV. She has been an Aboriginal Health Practitioner since 2013 and in 2015 completed an Aboriginal Health Worker Immunisation course.
Before her employment at Wirraka Maya Helen worked as a secretary, teachers aid and in cleaning. Helen loves her current job, helping her people and educating them about their health.
Zemarie Bond, Torres Strait Islands Leader
My name is Zemarie Bond. I live in a small remote community called New Mapoon which is one of five communities under the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council, located at the very tip of Cape York (Queesnland).
I am currently employed as an Aboriginal Health Practitioner with the Northern Peninsula Area Family and Community Services (NPAFCS) which services the five communities. I am based at Injinoo Primary Health Care.
My long term goal is to study to become a midwife and then undertake further study to qualify as a registered nurse. My aim is to give back to my community by providing support to improve health and empower cultural awareness. Through engagement and learning from the community, my biggest goal is to see a long term improvement in the health and education services across the whole of Cape York.