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First Nations board member for Mission Australia

[by Aimee Meredith]


Image: supplied

For the first time in the charity’s more than 160-year history, Mission Australia now has First Nations representation on its Board with the appointment of Balanggarra woman, Elle Davidson (pictured). In another first for the organisation, its Board now has majority female representation with the appointments of Joanna White and Jacqueline Kelly. The charity’s Board now comprises five women and three men.

Mission Australia’s new Chair, Ian Hammond brings deep experience in strategy execution, corporate governance and financial sustainability. He has been a Director of Mission Australia since February 2016 and is on the Board of several private and not-for-profit organisations.


Mr Hammond said: “I am humbled to accept the role of Chair of Mission Australia’s Board. I have immense respect for Sharon and Mission Australia’s staff, and I’m consistently impressed by what they achieve providing support for thousands of people each year.


“I’m passionate about addressing homelessness in Australia, the systemic disadvantages of First Nations Peoples and ensuring Mission Australia’s Founding Purpose remains key to delivering on our strategy.”


Mr Hammond welcomed the three new Directors, saying: “I’m thrilled to welcome Elle Davidson as our first ever First Nations Board Director. She brings immense wisdom and a strong strategic focus on reconciliation. Reconciliation is vital to who we are as an organisation and we have long worked with First Nations Peoples as colleagues, partners in our communities, and clients who make up around 20 per cent of the people we serve.”

New Director, Elle Davidson, is a proud Balanggarra woman from the East Kimberley and member of Mission Australia’s Service Impact Committee, Director of Zion Engagement and Planning and Aboriginal Planning Lecturer with University of Sydney. She has worked in community engagement and the planning industry for more than a decade.


Ms Davidson said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring a First Nations voice to the Board of Mission Australia and allow my lived experiences to inform conversation and strategy. Since joining Mission Australia in 2019, I have found that the organisation aligns with my values and is dedicated to ensuring that First Nations people can thrive.”


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