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Meet your Leaders

Christopher J O’Brien, National and New South Wales & ACT Leader

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Christopher is a Yorta Yorta "freshwater" Aboriginal man from Country Cummeroogunja (aka Cummeragunja) located across the Murray River of southern New South Wales and northern Victoria inland. His 'totem' is the 'Long-necked Turtle' of the Murray River. Christopher is a direct descendant of William Cooper – "Father NAIDOC" who is his GGGt Ngapa-Grandfather who established the 'Aboriginal Advancement League (1957)' which is one of the oldest and long-standing Aboriginal rights organisation in Australia – still operating today!

Christopher is a father of five (one daughter and four sons) and a Ngapa-Grandfather to his "precious little gem" his Ngapa-Gatjina-Granddaughter, Amariya!    

Christopher has worked and been affiliated in the not-for-profit, government and health sectors stretching over 30-strong years. He is a registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner, senior cultural educator, Board member to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice National Board, and Justice of the Peace – NSW. Christopher resides on numerous forums from local through international continually working to advocate for the betterment and 'quality of life' of his people and for a healthier Australia – following in his Ngapa's footsteps!  

Christopher lives in D'harawal Country-Illawarra (24-years) which he calls his "newfound Country – home away from home" and has worked in a number of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organisations where he has established professional and personal relationships and partnerships in the local Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. Recently he has been working in the GP education and training space (8-years) and holds the position as Senior Cultural Educator for Lower Eastern NSW to the Joint Colleges Training Services (JCTS) NSW/ACT team.

Christopher has operated in governance and senior management in the Aboriginal community-controlled health service (ACCHS) sector and GP education and training spanning over 20-years combined!

Christopher has a strong passion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander holistic health, policy and advocacy and a particular interest in primary, acute, intensive, tertiary and chronic care management. He has been a part of the QAAMS family for 18-strong years and works diligently with the QAAMS management and group teams as the QAAMS National Leader and Leader for NSW & ACT.' 

Jade Kelly, Deputy National and Victoria & Tasmania Leader

Jade Kelly

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 on background cropped as circleAnn-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

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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

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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 Edwards on background FINAL cropped as circleHelen 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

Zemarie BondMy 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 (Queensland).

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.