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BIO'S

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Mr Isaiah Dawe

CEO / Founder

Is a proud Butchulla and Gawara Salt Water man. His skin name is Yakamarri and his personal totems are the swamp wallaby, grey shark and his community totem is a dolphin. He grew up within the foster care system from when he was 2 months old until he was 18 years old, suffering all sorts of disadvantages and abuse. These struggles are what prompted Isaiah to create the ID Know Yourself company and incorporate his experiences to form the core in enabling the success for those young people currently going through the system. Isaiah has studied IPROWD, as course enabling Aboriginal people enter the NSW Police Force and studied workforce essentials at Charles Sturt University and he also completed his High School Certificate.

To list just a handful of Isaiah's accolades achieved, he was the 2017 winner of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the year award TAFE NSW, and the first Indigenous person to win TAFE NSW Graduate of the year, 2017 National Indigenous Youth Parliamentarian - future leaders (winner of the major award - positive influencer), the 2018 First Indigenous person to become the chair of the NSW Youth Advisory Committee, a part of the first Indigenous team to sail in the Sydney to Hobart and Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race and he is well known as a young leader within the Redfern community.

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Ms Eunice Grimes

Program Director

Eunice is a proud Punthamurra and Murrawarri Aborginal woman. She will be focusing on the young women who will come into our program, Eunice grew up with an out of home care background and she has been independently fostering 3 Aboriginal children which she has received the 2017 NSW KARI carers award, for creating significant improvement in their lives. Eunice has become a well-respected woman and become an Aunty to many people of the Redfern community, she is very passionate about the future generation, making sure her own people believe in themselves and are proud of their culture and identity as an Aboriginal person.

Eunice previously worked as the head mentor and manager through a youth engagement boxing program called Tribal Warrior in Redfern. Eunice also has a background in teaching, as she has completed a bachelor of primary teaching at the University of New South Wales being the first person from her community in Enngonia to ever receive a degree.

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Aunty Glendra

Elder in Residence/Prevention Mentor

Aunty Glendra Stubbs is an Aboriginal woman of the Wiradjuri people with a long experience in many of the issues in out of home care. Aunty will be bringing cultural awareness and support to the foster care families, which will also be important for prevention of removal, Aunty will be a culturally appropriate supporter for the young people for a yarn in healing and empowerment. She is a former CEO of Link-Up (NSW) Aboriginal Corporation, and is currently an Aboriginal Engagement Advisor with Knowmore, the non government legal organisation which supports people giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. She is concurrently Aunty in Residence for the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. Aunty Glendra also has very long experience as a foster carer of Aboriginal children.

In her personal and professional capacities, she has learned a great deal about the issues on which the Inquiry is focussing, which in turn led to her membership of a range of NGO Boards, as well as Departmental and Ministerial Committees. Aunty Glendra is extremely passionate around out of home care issues, in particular the younger Aboriginal generation in the system. Aunty has been an advocate for over 30 years and is a trained counsellor.

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Jodie Valeri

Prevention Mentor

Jodie has worked as an early childhood educator for over 30years, with the combined experience of raising a family of 8. This giving Jodie the opportunity, passion and skills to use in her current consulting business, 'Back to basics' - advice for families and raising children.

Jodie believes it takes a community to raise a child and that we all need to support the next generation as best we can. Her philosophy is that all children need a strong sense of belonging, opportunities to build resilience, positive role models and develop a wide range of skills as they develop into adulthood.
This can be the difference from merely surviving or thriving.

"I have seen first hand (when two amazing teenagers joined my family) the hardships of being in the foster care system and not being given the opportunities to identify with your Aboriginal culture and form a strong sense of belonging".

Jodie understands that learning about Indigenous cultures and valuing the importance of passing on this information to enrich lives is so important and that a child's character can be strengthened by knowing, learning and living with appreciation of ones culture.

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Mr Cameron Dennis

Mentor

Is a proud Gamilaraay Aboriginal man from Walgett. He will be focussing on the young men that come into the program. He completed his High School Certificate at St. Joseph's College in Hunters Hill in 2010.Cameron is currently studying a Bachelor of Primary Education (Indigenous), studying a Certificate IV in Fitness, working with ‘Blackfit Fitness’ and he coaches the the Redfern All Blacks under 6,s team. His passion is connecting with culture, working with children, youth and fitness and health. And in some way contributing to closing the gap between Indigenous and non - Indigenous Australians.

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Dr Kimberley O’Brien

Psychologist

Kimberley O'Brien is one of Australia’s most trusted and renowned Child Psychologists. With 22 years experience working around Australia and internationally, Kimberley is the Principal Psychologist at Quirky Kid, providing consultancy to parents, schools and agencies to ensure young people reach their full potential in all aspects of their development.

Kimberley has a special interest in empowering indigenous youth having seen their overrepresentation and vulnerability in her first role within the NSW Juvenile Justice system. This lead Kimberley to explore drawing techniques designed to help young people to express themselves in the face of anxiety and uncertainty. Kimberley also developed recommendations for the Children’s Magistrate to support the transition of many indigenous adolescents (aged 10-14 years) back into their communities.

In 2007, Kimberley accepted a Senior Psychologist position based in Darwin to work with indigenous children (aged 3-10 years) flown in from remote communities, such as Groote Eylandt for the purpose of Developmental Assessments. Kimberley uses art and play techniques to engage young children and has travelled solo across Africa to deepen her appreciate of cultural diversity. She also completed a PhD on Belonging, Loneliness, Self Esteem and Friendship Quality Among Early Adolescents in Transition from Primary to Secondary School with Professor Helen Watt (Monash).

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Mr Josh Togo

Nutrition & Fitness Coach

Is a proud Bundjalung Aboriginal man from Redfern. Josh has overcome adversity by his personal experience growing up within a broken family filled with domestic violence, drug abuse which Josh ended up being in Out of Home Care as a young boy. Josh is passionate about developing young people to be able to grow into a better person internally and externally, to be able to give young people the opportunities he never had growing up. Josh will be teaching mixed atrial arts and boxing, highlighting the importance of discipline and routine throughout the workouts.

Josh has been in the health industry for over 12 years and has a certificate 3 in mentoring, a Certificate 3 and Certificate 4 in fitness and he also completed his High School Certificate.