MC & Keynotes
Founding Director and Chief Executive
Adele Cox is a Bunuba and Gija woman from the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Adele works as an advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in a range of areas, specifically mental health and suicide prevention. She was previously engaged as a National Senior Consultant on the National Empowerment Project and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project and is also involved on state and national suicide prevention projects across Australia.
Beginning her career working as a broadcaster/journalist covering Indigenous-specific content as well as mainstream media, Adele has spent the majority of her working life devoted to advocating for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. Adele has been involved in organising and contributing to large scale community festivals and events, such as National NAIDOC celebrations and the Stompem Ground Festivals and has also spent time working at Telethon Kids Institute as a Senior Research Officer on a range of projects, including leading the communications and dissemination of the WA Aboriginal Child Health Survey.
Later, Adele went on to provide input for large research projects focussed on Aboriginal health and suicide prevention, which also led to her involvement as an Academic at the University of Western Australia. Through her work on various committees and councils, Adele has been able to influence the way that programs and policies are developed and implemented to ensure that they reflect the current needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Adele is a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Leaders Group.
Adele is currently the Project Director of the National Indigenous Critical Response Service and inaugural Founding Director and Chief Executive of Thirrili Ltd.
First Peoples Disability Network
Damian Griffis is a Worimi man and a leading advocate for the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability.
Damian has been a central figure in the establishment of both the Aboriginal Disability Network NSW and First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN). Damian represents FPDN at regional, national and international forums.
In 2014, he won the Tony Fitzgerald (Community Individual) Memorial Award at the Australian Human Rights Awards.
Joseph Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula, PhD
Professor and Chair of Native Hawaiian Health
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Dr. Keawe Kaholokula is a Professor and Chair of Native Hawaiian Health in the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
His research involves developing community-based and culturally relevant health promotion programs to address diabetes and cardiovascular disease inequities in Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders using community-based participatory research approaches. His research also examines how biological, psychosocial, and sociocultural factors interplay to affect their risk for and management of chronic diseases. He serves on several community boards of organizations with a mission to improve Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander health and is co-Chair for the Native Hawaiian Health Task Force.
He is also a member of Hale Mua o Kūali‘i, a Hawaiian cultural group dedicated to the revitalization of traditional values and practices.
June Oscar AO
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner
June Oscar AO is a proud Bunuba woman from the remote town of Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia’s Kimberly region. She is a strong advocate for Indigenous Australian languages, social justice, women’s issues, and has worked tirelessly to reduce Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
June has held a raft of influential positions including Deputy Director of the Kimberley Land Council, chair of the Kimberley Language Resource Centre and the Kimberley Interpreting Service and Chief Investigator with WA’s Lililwan Project addressing FASD .
She was appointed to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (1990) and was a winner of the 100 Women of Influence 2013 in the Social Enterprise and Not For Profit category. In 2015 June received the Menzies School of Health Research Medallion for her work with FASD.
June has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the University of Notre Dame, Broome, Western Australia, and is currently writing her Phd. June is a co-founder of the Yiramalay Wesley Studio School and is a Community member of the Fitzroy Valley Futures Governing Committee.
In February 2017, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Edith Cowen University.
June began her five-year term as Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner on April 3, 2017.
Chief Executive Officer of ABSTARR Consulting
Gregory Phillips is from the Waanyi and Jaru Aboriginal Australian peoples, and comes from Cloncurry and Mount Isa.
He is a medical anthropologist, has a PhD in psychology (‘Dancing With Power: Aboriginal Health, Cultural Safety and Medical Education’), a research master’s degree in medical science (‘Addictions and Healing in Aboriginal Country’; published as a book in 2003), and a bachelor degree in arts (Aboriginal Studies and Government majors).
Gregory has twenty years work experience in healing, alcohol and other drugs, youth empowerment, medical education and health workforce. He developed an accredited Indigenous health curriculum for all medical schools in Australia and New Zealand, founded the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Network, and co-wrote a national Indigenous health workforce strategy. He established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation Ltd in the wake of the federal apology to Indigenous Australians, has advised federal ministers on Indigenous health inequality, and was honoured in 2011 with an ADC Australian Leadership Forum Award.
Gregory is currently Chief Executive Officer of ABSTARR Consulting, and an Associate Professor and Research Fellow at The Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.
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