The Steering Committee
The steering committee oversees and supports the work of the independent team at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University, as it continues the conversations with Aboriginal communities and all those involved. The steering committee provides specialist advice on plans and reports and helps to solve issues as they arise so that the best possible approach is taken.
If you are an Aboriginal community member and you have a concern about the way the conversations about OCHRE are being handled, try to resolve the matter first by talking to members of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research team or to Aboriginal Affairs staff listed here. If none of those options works, you can ask the Chair of the steering committee, Dr Wendy Jarvie, for a chance to address the committee. Contact her by email email@example.com or by calling
02 6268 8966.
The steering committee meets up to four times a year.
After each meeting the main outcomes are made public – including a specific reference to any issue an Aboriginal community member has raised
directly with the committee.
The steering committee members are:
Dr Wendy Jarvie - Chair
Wendy is the chair of the steering committee. She has had a diverse career as a public servant, researcher, evaluator and teacher. It has included 22 years in the Australian public service (seven years 2001–08 as Deputy Secretary of education departments), three years (1998–2001) as an evaluation and operational policy manager in the World Bank, and most recently in independent research and international consulting.
She has had long engagement with Aboriginal communities, policy and programs, including seven years’ oversight of Australian Government Aboriginal education programs, and five years (2003–07) as a co-chair of the steering committee for the COAG trial in Murdi Paaki, Far West NSW.
Since 2010 she has been undertaking research and giving seminars on Indigenous policy and programs. She is currently a visiting professor at the School of Business at the University of NSW, Canberra, where she is undertaking research in early childhood education and Indigenous policies and programs, and the role of evidence, innovation and learning in public policy. She is also providing executive education courses for the Australian National University on using evidence in policy making, and works in early childhood education for the World Bank in the Pacific.
Ben Barnes began in consultancy, and moved to the public sector in 2012. Ben was the Principal Research Scientist at the NSW Centre for Road Safety. He is now Director of Evaluation at the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation in the NSW Department of Education. He leads a team of over 25 internal evaluators and data analysts. Ben is on the NSW Australian Evaluation Society (AES) Committee and was co-convenor for the 2019 AES conference in Sydney.
Professor Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews
Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews identifies as Bidigal of the D'harawal nation, and is a researcher and lecturer who centres and promotes Aboriginal Australian standpoints and perspectives across a diversity of disciplines (most notably education and psychology). He has managed and led numerous research grants and community projects investigating a diversity of topics including mental health, mentoring, identity, Aboriginal Knowledges, education, University Indigenous Graduate Attributes, martial arts, racism, and bullying. His projects have led to the development of a strong foundation in robust and diverse research designs, with an increasing dedication to Indigenous Research Methodologies. From this, he is continually developing his experience in applying quantitative and qualitative methods within his scholarly work, and is a strong advocate for Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Indigenous (D’harawal) Storywork frameworks. His research has also attracted a number of national and international awards (e.g., AARE Betty-Watts Indigenous Researcher Award), and he has produced the Healing the Wounds of the Heart documentary focusing on developing resiliency against racism for Aboriginal youth. Gawaian is a member of the Maiam nayri Wingara Indigenous Data Sovereignty Collective, National Indigenous Researchers and Knowledge Holders Network, D’harawal Traditional Descendants’ and Knowledge Holders’ Circle, and Banyadjaninga South-Western Area Aboriginal Group.
Samantha is the first Torres Strait Islander to graduate with a BA in Modern Asian Studies from Griffith University. She is very proud to have published her grandfather’s life story, Life B'long Ali Drummond: A Life in the Torres Strait. Samantha is also the author of Pamle: Torres Strait Islanders in Canberra and published numerous articles.
In 2020 Samantha became the Director Ethics and Research Leadership, AIATSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies). From 2018 Samantha has also been Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR), Australian National University. Samantha was also Visiting Research Fellow, Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) in 2009-2010 and Academic Coordinator, Jabal Centre, Australian National University in 2008.
Samantha has worked in several Australian Public Service agencies for over 20 years, and in non-government organisations. Samantha has represented women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander interests on local, state and national boards and is the Treasurer, First Nations Australia Writers Network; Chairperson, ACT Torres Strait Islanders Corporation; and Treasurer, Us Mob Writing Group.
Dr Lynette Riley
Lynette Riley a Wiradjuri & Gamilaroi woman from Dubbo and Moree; she is a Senior Lecturer, in the Sydney School of Education & Social Work, The University of Sydney. Lynette has completed her PhD thesis on “Conditions of Academic Success for Aboriginal Students”.
Lynette trained initially as an infants/primary teacher through Armidale College of Advanced Education 1975-1977. Lynette has almost 40 years’ educational experience, working specifically to improve Aboriginal education and administration within: primary schools; high schools; Vocational Education and Training; NSW Department of Education, state office and Universities. Lynette has been a classroom teacher in primary and high schools; an Aboriginal Education consultant for schools across NSW; an Aboriginal Development Manager for VET across central and western NSW; Manager of the Dubbo TAFE Campus; State Manager for NSW DET, Aboriginal Education; and a senior lecturer at UNE and Sydney University. In these positions Lynette has run many projects and sat on numerous committees. Lynette is currently on the National Aboriginal Week Committee and is a Board member of ‘Youth Off The Street’.
Lynette has been required to not only theorise about education to and for Aboriginal children, and their communities; and interwoven interactions with non-Aboriginal people; but to actively find solutions creating sustainable change for Aboriginal programs, entwining understandings and knowledge of cultural education and competence for all people.
Lynette is also an artist having presented her Kangaroo Skin Cloaks – a traditional Aboriginal art form - at several exhibitions since 2012; and one of her greatest accomplishments is raising 7 children and having at present, 10 grand-children.
Alison Weaver is Director of Strategic Policy Reform across the Premier’s, Education and Customer Service Clusters at NSW Treasury, where she has worked for 15 years. A key element of this role is oversight of policy and reform issues from the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio. Alison has extensive experience in policy development, economic appraisal and program review, having worked across economic, budget strategy and financial management roles. This includes two years as Director of Review, leading in depth evaluations considering the efficiency, effectiveness and appropriateness of programs and policies across the NSW public sector, and eight years as Manager of Energy Policy, leading strategic advice and economic appraisal of energy and climate change programs and policies. Alison’s background is in human and economic geography, and before joining Treasury she worked with the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change and the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Heritage.
The steering committee ex-officio members are:
Ms Lou-Anne Lind
Lou-Anne is the Director, Strategy and Coordination at Aboriginal Affairs. Lou-Anne has been involved in OCHRE since the taskforce days. She brings together all the OCHRE initiatives, and is a member of the steering committee because of this responsibility.
Ms Trish Malins
Trish is the Manager, Research and Evaluation at Aboriginal Affairs. Trish is responsible for making sure that the conversations achieve what they set out to do.
Ms Frances Carlile
Frances is a Senior Project Officer in Strategy and Coordination at Aboriginal Affairs. Frances has secretariat responsibility for the Steering Committee.
Ms Shar Goodwin
Shar is a Senior Project Officer for the Greater Northern Region at Aboriginal Affairs.
Seth is a Project Officer for the Officer Illawarra South East Region at Aboriginal Affairs.
Jodie is a Project Officer for the Sydney Newcastle Region at Aboriginal Affairs.