Report of the 6th National Conference

Keynote Speakers

Page last updated: 07 July 2008

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Mr Cleveland Fagan,

CEO Apunipima Cape York Health Council

Cleveland is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Apunipima Cape York Health Council. He is a traditional owner from the Cairns and Cape region. His previous positions include the Manager of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Advisory Team,formerly the Clearing House for Indigenous Rural and Remote Programs, Northern Zone,Queensland Health; and as Chief Executive Officer of the North Queensland Land Council. He has worked extensively in the area of primary health care in Queensland. His interests include travelling, watching sports and relaxing with his family when he can.

Mr Walter Mackie,

TSRA Portfolio member for Environment & Health & Chairman of Iama (Yam)Island Community Council

Mr Mackie is the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) Member for Iama Island. Mr Mackie is also the Chairperson of Iama Island Council, a Member of the Island Coordinating Council and is the TSRA Portfolio Member for Environment and Health. Mr Mackie represents the TSRA on the Torres Strait Health Partnership and the District Health Council. In this role he is addressing the need to improve the quality of health service delivered in the region.

Mr Tom Calma,

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and A/Race Discrimination Commissioner, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

Mr Calma is an Aboriginal elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and the Iwaidja tribal group whose traditional lands are south west of Darwin and on the Coburg Peninsula in Northern Territory, respectively. He has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, community, state,national and international level and worked in the public sector for over 30 years.

Mr Calma has broad experience in public administration, particularly in Indigenous education programs and in developing employment and training programs for Indigenous people from both a national policy and program perspective.

He served three terms as a Director of Aboriginal Hostels Ltd and as a Company Director for a private tourism and hospitality venture in the Northern Territory.Until his appointment as Commissioner, on 12 July 2004 for five years, Mr Calma managed the Community Development and Education Branch at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services (ATSIS) where he worked with remote Indigenous communities to implement community-based and driven empowerment and participation programs.In 2003, he was Senior Adviser Indigenous Affairs to the Minister of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.
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From 1995-2002, he worked as a senior Australian diplomat in India and Vietnam representing Australia’s interests in education and training. During his time in India, he also oversaw the management of the Australian international education offices in Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. He moved to Canberra in 1992 and undertook various assignments, including Executive Director to the Secretary and Senior Executive of the Department of Employment,Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA).

In the early 1980s, Mr Calma and Indigenous colleagues established the Aboriginal Task Force (ATF) at the Darwin Community College (which later became the Darwin Institute of Technology ), which provided second chance education programs for Indigenous people. He became a senior lecturer and head of the ATF for six years. Mr Calma has also been appointed as acting Race Discrimination Commissioner for a one-year term. Commissioner Calma is a White Ribbon Day Ambassador for 2005 and 2006. White Ribbon Day is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Commissioner Calma is also a national patron of Wakakirri National Story Festival.

Mr Stephen Canendo,

Environmental Health Worker, Yarrabah Aboriginal Council

Stephen Canendo has been employed for over twenty-five years with newly-named Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council (YASC). For the first twenty years at YASC, he was one of their Hygiene Officers but in 1998 became the Council’s first Environmental Health Worker (EHW). This makes him the longest serving community-based EHW in Queensland.

Prior to commencing in that latter role, Stephen enrolled in the very first intake of students who studied for their Diploma of Health Science (Indigenous Primary Health Care – Environmental Health) at the Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE, Cairns. He graduated in 1997 and went on to gain his Advanced Diploma of Health Science. He has since studied as an external student of the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education near Darwin, working towards his environmental health degree.

During the last 8 years he has actively advocated for environmental health in his community and embraced a very holistic approach. There is no question that the general community awareness and standard of environmental health has significantly increased in Yarrabah during this time, and it has led to a commensurate reduction in disease. This simply would not have happened before the EHW program was introduced. It is a credit to the performance of Stephen Canendo in that time and his ability to achieve considerable gains across a diverse range of environmental health issues. He is well respected in the community for being - ‘true to his words’ and a ‘man of action’.

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