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Say it Loud, Say it Clear...We Were Always Here!!

Date: 23, 24, 25 August, 2017


6 Lyell Court, Mount Samson, (near Samford Valley)

Queensland, Australia,  

This conference will create a culturally safe space for discourse on First Nations Australians Ways of Knowing and Ways of Doing. It will include dialogue pertaining to the implementation of Traditional Knowledge through Research, Education, Culture and Traditional Practices. It will also explore the multifaceted social, emotional, spiritual, environmental and political issues impacting on the lives of First Nations Australians in today's evolving society.

This conference endeavours to bring the voices of some of Australia’s most recognized Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Elders, Leaders, Scholars and Educators to the forefront. It aims to enrich the professional development and practice of practitioners from multidisciplinary backgrounds. It will answer the many questions and assist mainstream practitioners in gaining a better understanding and clearer insight into working with First Nations Australians. Our core objective and vision is to bring the voices of our Elders to the forefront, and to provide a platform for our Elders to share their wisdom and their knowledge in a culturally safe space. We extend a warm welcome to people from all walks of life from the grassroots community and to practitioners from both government and non-government sectors. 

It also aims to bring together the lived experiences of health workers, social workers, community workers & practitioners from multidisciplinary backgrounds to come together in a spirit of unity, harmony and peace to share their knowledge in an environment where their voices are respected.

As First Nations Peoples, our stories and our histories were transmitted through oral traditional and through our artwork, music, song, dance, lore, law and customary practices. These stories were not written down but was passed from generation to generation and has withstood the test of time and survived. We would like to pay homage and respect to all those who are sharing their stories here at this conference and your contribution is greatly appreciated, thank you.



The World First Nations Traditional Knowledge Conference is centred on these key themes as outlined;

1. Wellness in Body, Mind, Heart, Soul and Spirit

2. Wellbeing of our Environment and Mother Earth

3. Wholeness of our place, space in society and as we walk our Journey of life

4. Healing & Hope for our Family, Community, Country and World

This conference themes includes discourse around the current trends in Health, Healing, Wellness, and Community Sustainability, Cultural Survival and the Environment in today's society and its impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. 

Discussions will include some of the health issues, solutions & practical strategies for the betterment of our community. The presenters are health practitioners, social workers, Elders, community members and community workers involved in current government programs, community initiatives and strategies to assist in Closing the Gap, they have a wealth of knowledge and track record in this field.



8:00 – 8:35 Registration / Tea & Coffee

8:35 – 8:50 Welcome to Country: Aunty Edna Van Hemmen

8:50 – 8:55 Housekeeping & Introduction: MC – Dr Noritta Morseu-Diop

9:00 – 9:40 Mr Grant Sarra

9:45 – 10:25 Mr Leroy Loggins

10:30 – 11:00 MORNING TEA

11:05 – 11:45 Mercy Baird

11:40 – 12:20 Danny Morseu

12:30 – 1:30 LUNCH

1:35 – 2:15 Danny Guthala Doyle

2:10 – 2:50 Stephen Corporal

2:50 – 3:30 Debra Bennet

3:30 – 3:50 AFTERNOON TEA

4:00 – 5:30 CD and Book Launch – Glenn Skuthorpe & Dr Noritta Morseu-Diop

6:30 – 7:30 Dinner

7:15 – onwards: An Evening with Glenn Skuthorpe by the Campfire


8:50 - 8:55 Housekeeping and Introduction - MC Danny Morseu

9:00 – 9:40 Mrs Noeleen Lopes

9:45 – 10:25 Aunty Jenny Thompson

10:30 – 11:00 MORNING TEA

11:05 – 11:45 Getano Bann

11:40 – 12:20 Aunty Alex Gater

12:30 – 1:30 LUNCH

1:35 – 2:15 Aunty Rose Elu

2:10 – 2:50 Nana Kiri Dewes

2:50 – 3:30 Aunty Flo Watson

3:30 – 3:50 AFTERNOON TEA

4:00 – 4:40 Dr Noritta Morseu-Diop


Elders Day

8:50 – 9:00 Housekeeping & Introduction: MCs – Danny Morseu and Leroy Loggins

9:00 – 10:30 Plenary Session Elders Panel:

Aunty Christine Barney, Aunty Rayleen Burns, Aunty Kathy Brown, Aunty Valda Coolwell, Aunty Glenice Croft, Aunty Dawn Daylight, Aunty Rose Elu, Aunty Alex Gater, Uncle Jeff Gater, Kim Koroheke, Aunty Jean Hans, Aunty Elaine Peckham, Aunty Jean Phillips, Uncle Thomas Sebasio, Aunty Merle, Aunty Lynn Shipway, Aunty Jenny Thompson, Aunty Edna Van Hemmen, Aunty Flo Watson, Grandmother Wendy Williamson.

10:30 – 11:00 MORNING TEA

11:05 – 12:30 Elders Presentations: Aunty Valda Coolwell, Aunty Elaine Peckham,

Aunty Christine Barney, Aunty Lynn Shipway.

12:30 – 1:30 LUNCH

1:35 – 4:00 Elders Discussions and Dialogue with young people


MCs – Getano Bann and Danny Morseu

Entertainment: Doing it our Way

Open Mic / Invitation for delegates to share their talent

Conference be continued

*** Please note that there are some people who are speaking at the conference but they do not have a bio, we apologise for the inconvenience, thank you.


Cost: $450... (Full Price)

Early Bird: $350... ( Early Bird Registration and payment must be received by 31st May, 2017)

(Dinner & Entertainment complimentary for Conference delegates paying for 3 days conference only)

Conference Dinner & Entertainment: $80 per person

(Please note: This price is only for those wishing to attend the dinner and entertainment only)


Who should attend:

Scholars, Educators, Researchers, Elders, Community Members, Counsellors, Social Scientists, Cross-Cultural Educators, Social Workers, Community Development Workers, Human Service Workers, Health Workers, Traditional Healers, Holistic Practitioners and Natural Therapists

Registration will be accepted and confirmed upon Payment via Bank Transfer to: 

Commonwealth Bank of Australia


BSB: 064-138

ACCOUNT NO: 1063 2400


Please click on the 'Buy Now' button below for Conference Registration & Payment

Please click here for 2 DAYS attendance Registration Payment

Please click here for 1 DAY attendance Registration Payment

For those attending the Conference Dinner ONLY ~ Please click here

For the Traditional Knowledge Conference Registration Form & Tax Invoice, please send your 

details via email to:



Proudly presenting Musician, Storyteller, Songwriter; Goodooga born, Nhunggabarra, Kooma, Muruwari Musician, Songwriter, Storyteller - Glenn Skuthorpe

Glenn Skuthorpe's song "No more Whispering is depicted in this documentary

A Huge Shout out to Madonna Thomson and Jagera Daran for their kind and generous donation to send 15 First Nations Elders to the World First Nations Traditional Knowledge Conference...This conference is solely run by First Nations Peoples for First Nations Peoples and our Friends and Associates. It is through the kindness of organisations such as Jagera Daran, that we are able to bring grassroots people especially our Elders to a gathering such as this.

THANK YOU SO MUCH JAGERA DARAN, your donation and ongoing support is gratefully and respectfully appreciated. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

P.S. We will be taking down names of 15 Elders who would like to attend, please send an email to ****Please understand that this offer will close after we have the names of 15 Elders...


Malu Mai Wellness Consultancy Proudly presents our Special Guest Presenter & Elders Panel Member, Aunty Glenice Croft;

Biography: Aunty Glenice (Barney) Croft, traditional Woppaburra name is Warinkil which means Crow Woman. She a Woppaburra and Community Elder. Her grandfather was a Dharanbul/Woppaburra man from the Keppel Islands. He was one of the last of her ancestors removed from his country in the early 1900’s. Firstly to cattle yards at Woodford, then Fraser Island and Cherbourg where he met and married her grandmother Bessie Blair and then settle in Urangan, Hervey Bay. There, they had two children, one of them was Aunty Glenice’s mother who met and married her father and she is one of twelve children. They never lost connection to their traditional land on Keppel Island. Woppaburra people now have a 99 year lease on five pieces of land on Great Keppel Island (Woppa) – granted in 2007.

Aunty Glenice’s house was a drop-in centre for people travelling through the area, relatives from Cherbourg, Yarrabah, Brisbane, from anywhere. Everyone always knew they could throw a swag down on their large verandah. Aunty Glenice’s childhood memories, growing up in Hervey Bay was both good and bad. Her good memories are of great fresh seafood, vegetable gardens, their own chickens and a pet goat, meat was a luxury. Her family life is something she is still dealing with today, but as a child one finds happiness in small things. Her bad memories are of blatant racial prejudice displayed as an acceptable option was unquestionable. You didn’t rock the boat, our feelings didn’t count. School days were a mixture of loving learning and being bullied in the playground.

Her cultural knowledge came from listening to the old people talking in language, when we were not supposed to be listening. They still had the fear and mistrust of the white man, because of all the atrocities that they saw happen to their people before they were taken away from their country. Her curiosity and interest in her culture has been a living experience. She was given Knowledge from the Wise Ones and has passed this Knowledge on to her children. This knowledge and her life’s journey comes from all the people who walked with her and whose footsteps she followed and walked beside, this has been an ambition of hers to document and to put this Knowledge into a book, the process has begun.

Aunty Glenice successfully completed the Associate Diploma in Social Sciences (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Welfare) and completed one year Associate Diploma in Administration (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Business) at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the Kangaroo Point College of TAFE.

The successful completion of her course was due to her determination, commitment and appreciation of the chance to be involved in this new initiative to educate and re-educate Indigenous people in the environment they are comfortable in. Since the successful completion of her course at Kangaroo Point TAFE College, Aunty Glenice participated in further areas of education and professional development and has membership and involvement in numerous community organisations.

She has been involved in a wide range of community work, and has received Distinguished Services Award for her services to the community. Aunty Glenice has been instrumental in the establishment of core organisations in Brisbane. Although Aunty Glenice retired at 70 years old in 2013, she is still actively involved in Community initiatives.

Malu Mai Consultancy Proudly Presents our Special Guest Speaker / Elders Panel: Aunty Flo Watson OAM| Order of Australia Medal for Services to the Indigenous Community of Queensland | Community Elder

Biography: Aunty Flo Watson is a Traditional Owner and Elder for the Ghunghangi People of Yarrabah, North Queenslnd. She also affiliates with the Kuku-yelangi People of Laura/Maytown, Palmer River area and the Wulguru Kaba People of Magnetic Island and Townsville. Her Traditional Name is Jinnadirran. Aunty Flo has had a very long and varied career working across numerous public and private sectors, from government and non-government organisations, universities, TAFE Colleges, grassroots community organisations in various roles. Some of these roles are Cultural Consultant, Mentor, Public Servant, Community Development Worker, Trainer and Cross Cultural Educator just to name a few.

Her vast work experience has provided her with substantial skills, expertise and knowledge in working effectively with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and organisations. As an Indigenous person herself, Aunty Flo has successfully worked with clients and projects over the years within numerous Indigenous communities across Queensland. Aunty Flo was the Principal Director of Jinnadirran Training and Consultancy Services Pty. Ltd., a Queensland Registered Company established in 1996.

Its purpose was to establish a business which specialises in developing and delivering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cross Cultural Awareness training and culturally appropriate skills training courses for all interested participants and organisations and also providing a cultural approach to consulting services working with Indigenous People. Jinnadirran worked in partnership with other Indigenous and non-Indigenous facilitators and consultants to promote self-determination for Indigenous Australians and to progress the process of reconciliation.

In January 2015, Aunty Flo was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her tireless work and services to the Indigenous Community of Queensland. This highly prestigious Medal clearly exemplifies her ongoing work and her dedication and commitment to her Community. Aunty Flo is currently engaged in consultancy work for Aus Aid, Australian Indigenous South Sea Islander Association, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Queensland Education, Save the Children Foundation, Indigenous Disability Network, the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts and the Queensland State Library.

Malu Mai Wellness Consultancy is proud to present our Special Guest Speaker for the World First Nations Traditional Knowledge Conference, Basketball Legend, Leroy Loggins Foundation...

Biography: Leroy Loggins, The Legend was born on the 20th December 1957 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, and grew up in the toughest of neighbourhoods in Baltimore, Maryland, where drugs and murder were everyday things.

A 195 cm guard/ forward Loggins is a retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball League from 1981 until 2001.

In 1981 Leroy Loggins joined the Brisbane Bullets for his first NBL season helping the team to their second straight NBL Semi-final. He signed to play for the West Adelaide Bearcats in the 1982. Following the 1983 season, Leroy returned to the Brisbane Bullets where he would play for the remainder of his career.

1990 would see Leroy named as captain of the Bullets. He would continue to captain the Bullets until his retirement following the 2000–01 NBL season. Leroy represented the Australian team in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona

Leroy eventually retired after 21 seasons in the NBL despite still being an integral part of the Bullets line-up at 43 years of age. The number 30 jersey worn by Loggins throughout his career was retired by the Bullets in his honour. Leroy Loggins was inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 and has been immortalised with a statue located at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

After retirement, Leroy established the Leroy Loggins Foundation in 2002 to provide opportunities for sporting development and social interaction for youth at risk.

The main objective of the Leroy Loggins Foundation & now the Community Organisation is to develop a solution at a local level to issues identified through consultation with key community groups, schools and support organisations that impact on children throughout Brisbane and the surrounding areas.

The key driver to the Organisation’s development is the personal desire of Leroy Loggins. Growing up, Leroy experienced first-hand many of the social issues affecting disadvantaged groups and the lack of opportunities for support to develop sporting and social skills and school based competencies. Using sport as a means to complete education and also as a basis for employment opportunities, Leroy is able to be a practical role model for local children as he can relate to them based on his own experiences.

Special Guest Speaker: Grant Sarra, Cultural Educator, Indigenous Executive, Change Agent, Trainer, Workshop Facilitator, Project Manager and Report Writer 

Biography: Grant Sarra has a thirty-seven year background and experience working in areas that deal exclusively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community aspirations, problems and issues relevant to public and private sector organisations and projects throughout Australia. Grant is from the Bunda (Broom[e]) family clan - Gooreng Gooreng people and country.

Grant is an experienced (but not expert) Indigenous Executive, Change Agent, Trainer, Workshop Facilitator, Project Manager and Report Writer. He was nominated for the National Human Rights Medal in November 2000 in recognition for the development and delivery of Strategic Indigenous Awareness Program – To understand the present, we must understand the past, and for his service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Grant is prolific writer and speaker on Indigenous issues with an excellent track record of producing tangible results, driving large scale cultural change and building organisational effectiveness, efficiency and capacity to deliver culturally appropriate, community sensitive and business-minded outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, and public and private sector organisations across Australia.

Grant is passionate about change, dignity and integrity - changing the way we think, feel and behave toward each other to become good human beings but having the dignity and the integrity to know what it means to become a good human being. In his consultancy work he embraces four basic, but very important principles, which guide the way he thinks, feels and behaves – Cultural Honour and Integrity in the way he engages and does business and Cultural Dignity and Humility in the way he behaves in the presence of others while on their country.

Special Guest Speaker, Guthala Doyle, Dreamtime Healer, Actor, Traditional Craftsman/Artisan, Cultural Educator and Activist.

Biography: Guthala Doyle’s Country and People extends from the Yagerabul language groups and there are many of them found south of the Caboolture river to north of the Logan river the head of the snake sits at the mouth of the Brisbane river with its fork tongue reaching to the two Islands Straddie and Moreton the shared boundaries go back to the Toowoomba Range, then Yarrawa language groups are between Toowoomba and flows out to past Dalby towards Chinchilla and north to and including some parts of the Bunya Mountains towards Kingaroy, Mothers side Wakka Wakka continues towards Theadore but before you get there it turns into Wolli Wolli and stops at Theadore, Back to Fathers side Iman starts at Theadore and goes out to Canarvan Gorge then Tails off to the Yumba at Mitchell, Goongarrie country.

Guthala was recognised as the first Aboriginal person to successfully sue the Queensland police department in the 80s. He attended the Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre in Glebe, Sydney NSW, it became NAISDA before he left and Bangarra was being birthed around the time that he left. Guthala married a beautiful intelligent woman of the Wik peoples of western Cape York and they share 3 beautiful intelligent girls, now women. 

He was chosen to represent Australia and protest against the French nuclear testing in the south pacific with the Bodyshop when it was still owned by an amazing woman and alongside representatives of First Nations peoples of the South Pacific. He travelled to Canada for the First Nations Round Table Festival in Vancouver.

Guthala has worked at a grassroots level in the Aboriginal Communities of Napranum and Aurukun communities both before and when the CDEP work for the dole program came in. He has worked in many roles from Homeland Movement to Community Place Officer. He also worked for mining companies from regeneration to loading ships and was present during John Howards 10 point plan to the signing of the Wik agreement. He also took a group of dancers to the Laura Dance and Cultural Festival mostly elders in the true sense of the word and they got first prize that year. He also took the Aurukun community to a footy festival that they also got first prize.

Guthala worked as a Youth Officer and then Community Partnerships Officer for Education Queensland delivering Yarning Circles/Cultural Framework created by Debra Bennett. He was also involved in training facilitators in the Yarning Circle and in delivering the Hidden History as part of the embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into the curriculum process.

Guthala is an Actor and has acted in a few movies. A couple of these movies are ‘Dead Creek’ by Benjamin Southwell and Eagle Hawk by Bryan Nason.

He lives a semi traditional life and has had a no fixed address for many years even when being enslaved in the systems of government and industry. He has had no fixed address and worked for education environment centres conducted weaving, didgeridoo, bushtukka and medicine walks and talks on country.

Guthala currently delivers authentic Cultural Education Circles, first under the Nature Yarn elements circles and now Spirit Circles Ancient Wisdom. His work encompasses cultural processes, practices and spirituality teaching and or guiding many to live beyond shamanism, religion, archetypes, star signs, gods and goddesses and much more to be there authentic selves.

In Guthala’s words, “some say I teach them to be aboriginal and I teach all people of all Nations". "I'm also a very proud Dreamtime Healer" using HK or Holographic Kinetics for the Non-Indigenous people created by Steve Richards.

Special Guest Speaker / Elders Panel Member Reverend Alexandra Gater (Aunty Alex), Brisbane Elder | Founder Aboriginal Walkabout Ministry

Biography: Aunty Alex is a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, she is a Wangan Jagalingou woman from the Alpha Clermont Area in Central Queensland and the Koa Clan from Winton from her Mother and her Mother’s father’s country is Kukkaimiji from Edward River, North Queensland. Aunty Alex’s grandfather on her father’s side was from Ireland and Scotland. She was born in Brisbane and raised in Cherbourg. Aunty Alex has 9 Children, 33 Grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren and two on the way. 

In 2005 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her tireless work in human rights advocacy for her people in the prison system and in the grassroots Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. She is one of six women from Australia nominated from 1,000 women worldwide nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Aunty Alex was also nominated for the Australian of the Year Award in 2005 and received the South East Queensland NAIDOC Distinguished Services Award also in 2005. In 1997, Aunty Alex was ordained as a Deacon, and then she was ordained as a Priest in 2003 and became the first Aboriginal Woman in Queensland to be ordained as a Priest in the Anglican Church. Aunty Alex received distinguished Community Awards for her tireless grassroots work in the community, one of these awards came from the Department of Corrective Services.

She currently works on a local, National and International level as an advocate for social justice and human rights. For 23 years Aunty Alex has been working as a Chaplain in the Prisons around Brisbane, offering spiritual and cultural support to men and women in custody. Aunty Alex has supported many women, whose lives have been changed for the better. Many of these women suffer great disadvantage with problems such as domestic violence, poverty, desertion, and single parenting. She has also supported those mothers who have had their children removed from them by the Department of Child Safety. Her work with women spearheaded the establishment of her organisation called ‘Aboriginal Women for Change’, empowering women to take up the challenge, to take ownership of their lives, show leadership in gaining recognition, respect and equality for all women.

Special Guest Speaker: Mrs Noeleen Lopes | CEO Gallang Place, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders Counselling Services, Brisbane

Biography: Noeleen is a Ghungalu woman, born and raised in Brisbane. She graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree in 1991 and is a registered Accredited Mental Health Social Worker. Noeleen is a Core Founder and current Chief Executive Officer of Gallang Place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation established in 1994. As CEO of Gallang Place, Noeleen has been instrumental in spearheading workable and achievable strategies to ‘Closing the Gap’ around the many symptoms of unresolved intergenerational grief and trauma impacting on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in today’s evolving society. Gallang Place is a trauma informed organization and accredited under the (Quality Improvement Council) QIC Standards.

Noeleen is a trained mediator with the Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre in Brisbane and is the Founder of the Ghungalu Aboriginal Corporation which is involved in Native Title issues. Noeleen recently won a federal government scholarship for governance training which includes membership to the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Noeleen is a former Board Member of the Southern Queensland Regional Parole Board from 2001 – 2013 and she is a current Director of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation.

Special Guest Presenter Elders Panel: Aunty Rayleen Burns, Social Worker / Community Elder

Biography: Aunty Rayleen Burns was born in Brisbane and is a second generation stolen generation. Her mum was raised in the Cherbourg Girls Dormitory and lived in the Dormitory until she was 14 years of age and then she went to work as a domestic servant for a policeman in Hebel, near Dirranbandi, Southwest Queensland. Her mother met her dad there and they later married in Brisbane.  

Aunty Rayleen is the youngest of 10 kids, 5 sisters and 4 brothers, she has heaps of nieces and nephews. Moved to Brisbane when she was 11, left school at grade 7 to start working in the Northgate Cannery and sewing clothes. She worked for 10 years in the factories. She moved to Mt Isa for work at the Coles Store, and was there for 2 years. She then came back to Brisbane and met her husband, she has four children and is a grandmother to nine grannies and 3 great grans, the youngest is one. She did the usual housewife things, raising her kids and doing part-time work here and there.

She went to kangaroo Point TAFE in 1982 and 1983 and completed a Diploma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Welfare. She got a job with Centrelink in Human Resources, she was there for 9 years and 9 months and during that period she started her Degree in Social Work, studying part-time and graduating in 1992 with a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Queensland, Faculty of Social Work and Social Policy.

After graduating from University of Queensland, she commenced work as at social worker in Aboriginal and Islander community Health Service in Hubert Street in Woolloongabba for 3 years and she then moved to Tennant Creek and worked in Aboriginal Health and then in Mental Health in Queensland Health in Cairns in the Child and Youth Mental Health Services in Cairns.  

From there she moved to Aboriginal Health service in Port Hedlands in WA. And she worked for the Royal Flying doctors services in Hopevale Aboriginal Community in North Queensland and from there she moved to Aboriginal Community Health in the Katherine NT and then from there to Alice Springs to the Central Australia, Aboriginal Congress Alcohol and Drug Program and a short period at the Aboriginal and Islander Institute of Indigenous Health (IUIH) in Morayfield and since then is retired. Her Social Work Degree allowed her to travel the country and work in obscure and interesting places. Furthermore, her work in Social Work has enabled her to travel to the World Indigenous Healing Our Spirit Conference on three occasions in Albuquerque USA, and Edmonton in Canada and in Hawaii. She also visited Tahiti and Thursday Island in the Torres Strait to learn about Torres Strait Islander culture.

Aunty Rayleen was a Board Member of Gallang Place, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Counselling Services and she was also a Board Member of Winnam Housing Co-op, and on the Board of the National Stolen Generation Alliance. In her retirement, she is still travelling, she has just come back from Winton and Longreach, she comes home for a bit and then she’s off again to Uluru in June. She is a quiet achiever and her life’s work has been in the areas of Social and Emotional Well-being in the grassroots Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. A large majority of her work has been with Traditional People in the Remote Communities across Australia. This has been her passion. Although retired, she is still actively involved in this work; addressing the social and emotional well-being in the community. Click on

Special Guest Presenter Elders Panel: Aunty Rose Elu | Cultural Educator | Community Elder, Brisbane, Queensland.

Biography: Aunty Rose Elu was born on Saibai Island top western Torres Strait. Father side Chieftain Clan, (Saibai Koedal ) Mother (Thabu Clan). Her family moved from Saibai Island in the late 1940's to the tip of Australia, the land was given to her family by the traditional owners currently known as SEISIA. Aunty Rose spent her childhood, primary & Secondary education at Bamaga.

Aunty Rose left to do further extended studies in Melbourne and lived there for 17 years. She later moved up to Brisbane to do academic studies at the University of Queensland. She has a BA double major in Anthropology & Political Science, Post graduate study at the University of Hawaii, including a PhD program on Customary Law. She holds a Diploma in Theology. Aunty Rose has been a Public Servant for over 20 years, working for various State Government Departments.

Aunty Rose is also a member in various Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, including Association of Social Anthropology in Oceania, Association of Education in the Pacific. She is a worldwide traveller and has presented various papers at the Forums and Universities throughout the world, most recently at United Nations on Climate Change. Aunty Rose also sits on various committees at the Anglican Church of Australia, Church Warden Anglican Non Geographic Parish, Diocese of Brisbane. Aunty Rose currently works for a not-for-profit organisation; namely Relationships Australia Queensland as a Counsellor and Indigenous Service Delivery Advisor.

Special Guest Presenter: Mercy Baird, PhD Candidate of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre James Cook University, Cairns, currently enrolled in the College of Arts, Society and Education, Division of Tropical Environments and Societies.

Biography: Mercy grew up with her families in the Aboriginal community of Yarrabah near Cairns in North Queensland, where she attended the Yarrabah State School and Cairns State High. Mercy is also a mother of four and grandmother of twelve. Her heritage and ancestry connections comes from the Umpla people of NE Cape York near Lockhart River, Yirrganydji peoples of Cairns to Port Douglas coastal strip, the Kabi Kabi and Gooreng Gooreng people of the Sunshine Coast SE Queensland and Ambrym Island of Vanuatu.

Topic: Indigenous Families and Kinship on the Healing Journey from Suicides.

Over the past 35 years Mercy has been actively involved in Church work, Community and youth development in Local Government, Organizational development and governance. Her profession is in the field of Indigenous Health and Primary Health Care, Alcohol prevention/education, Counselling. She also has expertise in Cultural Awareness, Education and training. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid Training and Indigenous Suicide Prevention. Mercy aims to present on her research topic of family, kinship and the healing journey from suicides.


2015 Post Graduate Certificate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research, QLD

2010 IRIS Indigenous Risk Impact Screening Tool Train the Trainer, QH

2007 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid ORYGEN, MU. VIC

2005 Certificate 4 Indigenous Business Governance The Learning Workshop, QLD

2002 Masters of Primary Health Care, Flinders University S.A

1998 Short Course Systematic Approaches Child, Family and Community FU SA

1998 Short Course Therapeutic Approaches to Child, Family and Community FU, SA

1996 Honorary Diploma Health & Community Services Alcohol Rehabilitation & Counselling Aboriginal Coordinating Council, QLD

1996 Certificate 2 Health & Community Services Alcohol Rehabilitation & Counselling

Aboriginal Coordinating Council, QLD.

Key Publications & Health Promotion Initiatives:

Co-author, Contributor, Research Assistant of books and articles;

2012 Inside Out -The Mental Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in Custody 2012. Queensland Forensic Mental Health Service, Queensland Health.


2005 Dr. Roger Cribb (2005) SUBMISSION TO SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE Indigenous people and Mental Health on Cape York Peninsula Individual Submission.

2013 Haswell, M. R., Wheeler, T., Wargent, R., Brownlie, A., Tulip, F., Baird, M., … Jackson Pulver, L. (2013). Validation and enhancement of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychiatric hospitalisation statistics through an Indigenous Mental Health Worker register. Rural and Remote Health, 13. Retrieved from

2002 Hunter, Ernest, Tsey, Komla, Baird, Mercy, and Baird, Les (2002) Indigenous mental health promotion: process, politics, paradox and practicalities. In: Rowling, Louise, Martin, Graham, and Walker, Lyn, (eds.) Mental Health Promotion and Young People: concepts and practice. McGraw-Hill, Roseville, NSW, Australia, pp. 201-214

2001 Hunter E, Reser J, Baird M & Reser P. An analysis of suicide in Indigenous communities of North Queensland: The historical, cultural and symbolic landscape. Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, Canberra, 2001.


‘I see Research as a key to learning new ideas and uncovering the hidden gems of knowledge, skills, values and beliefs that can enrich purpose and meaning as Indigenous people’.

Special Guest Presenter Elders Panel Aunty Valda Coolwell, Brisbane Elder

Biography: Aunty Valda is Gooreng Gooreng woman through her father’s linage. Her mother is a first generation South Sea Islander born in Australia. Her father came from Tanna Island in Vanuatu in the South Pacific. She spent most of her younger life living in Gooreng Gooreng Country from Bundaberg to Gladstone and that’s where she got her education. When she was at school, she was picked to go to play netball in Brisbane and had no billets. When she got to Brisbane, she was taken to the Salvation Army women’s home at South Brisbane. When she went to netball the next day, a girl from netball came and took her to go and stay with them. So she went and stayed there with them, she was 13 at the time. After finishing school, Aunty Valda couldn’t find a job in Gladstone so she left because she grew up very poor, she needed to go to work, so she ended up in Brisbane. She got the train down to Brisbane to look for work and stayed with her cousin. Aunty Valda went straight from school to working at the Mater Private for the Sisters of Mercy as a Pantry Maid. She met a lot of Murri girls there at the time and they became good friends with her and even some girls from Cherbourg who also became her good friends.

In Brisbane she met her husband and eventually married him and remained here in Brisbane. Have lived in Brisbane since she was 17 years old and lived nowhere else except for her home Country. Aunty Valda has 5 children; her husband was a hardworking man and was in the Malayan Campaign in a Peacekeeping Deployment, they were very poor. All the Murris around them, they all supported each other. She worked for the Golden Circle cannery at Northgate during the pineapple season and was excited to get her pay every day. She also worked for the South Brisbane Fish Board and then at the Saint. Andrews Hospital just before she got the call to go and work in the Post Master General based in Elizabeth Street, behind the main post office. Aunty Valda worked there for 20 years until she got made redundant. The computerised telecommunications came to the Edison Telephone exchange and they were the first ones to use computers in Queensland. When she finished work, after retirement, she joined a lot of Murri Orgs in Brisbane, she was part of the Board of Dundalli Youth Service and on the Board of the Brisbane Elders for six years .

She raised five children in Brisbane inner city area, in Milton and West End, always looking for a house. She is a grandmother with 9 Grandchildren, raised her eldest grandson. She does Acknowledgements to Country around Brisbane, she is an Elder with Queensland University of Technology, and provides advice and guidance about Aboriginal issues. She is also affiliated with the University of Queensland. Every week, she is actively involved in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community and the wider Australian Community. Aunty Valda's ongoing and tireless work continues as our Mentor and Leader in the Brisbane Community, providing assistance, guidance and support to countless, individuals, families, and organisations both in the grassroots community, and within government and non-government sectors.

Special Guest Speaker, Conference Dinner: Danny Morseu, Olympian Basketballer - 1980 Moscow & 1984 Los Angeles | Director, National Indigenous Basketball Academy

Biography: Danny Morseu is of the Dauareb Clan of the Meriam Nation & the Wagadagam Clan of Mabuiag Island with family ties to Erub Island in the Eastern Torres Strait. He was born on Thursday Island and spent his childhood in Tamwoy Town, a mission at the back on Thursday Island, where he grew up without running water or electricity. He started playing basketball at school and developed his career in the National Basketball League.

Danny attracted the attention of National Basketball League Coach Brian Kerle after playing a match against Kerle’s club, the Melbourne-based St. Kilda Saints on tour in Queensland. Kerle convinced Danny to move to Melbourne in 1978, where he played in the St. Kilda’s championship winning teams of 1979 and 1980.

Danny played 217 NBL games in total, winning another NBL championship with the Brisbane Bullets in 1987. Danny played for the Australian team at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow and at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He was the first Torres Strait Islander to represent Australia at the Olympic Games. He also played twelve world cup matches for Australia and was inducted into the NBL Hall of Fame in Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Danny Morseu has been instrumental in the induction of many young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in basketball on a local, national and international level. Patrick Mills and Nathan Jawai are just a couple of his success stories.

Danny is currently the Director of the National Indigenous Basketball Academy, their mission is to achieve “Excellence, Healthy Lifestyles, Economic Opportunity, Cultural Recognition and National Pride” He is actively involved in mentorship and supporting young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Basketballers to achieve their goals, vision and dreams. 

Special Guest Speaker; Mr Stephen Corporal BSoc Wk, BA (Psych), Prof Cert IR, MSocPol, Senior Lecturer / PhD Candidate Griffith University, Justice of the Peace (Qual).

Biography: Stephen is an Eastern Arrente man with close family connections to many other First Nations People. He was born in Townsville and lives in Southeast Queensland. He was involved in counselling and welfare work in the Brisbane Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community for many years before completing his Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) degrees at the University of Queensland in 2003.

As President of the Social Work Student Association (SWSA) he was announced the 2003 SBS Valedictorian for his work with Social Work students at the University of Queensland. In 2004-2005, he was the Indigenous Postgraduate Representative for James Cook University's Postgraduate Student Association and the IPLO on CAPA. Stephen was President of the Social Work Alumini at UQ from 2006-2007. He completed a Masters of Social Policy at James Cook University.

Stephen worked as the Senior Student Support Officer at the UQ Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit from 2005 to 2009 and also as the Indigenous Recruitment Manager at the University of Queensland School of Medicin until 2011. He is currently working at Griffith University where he is involved in researching, lecturing and supervising students. Stephen is a PhD Candidate; his PhD research topic is titled" Indigenous health workforce building: University Indigenous students and lecturers' interactions".

Special Guest Presenter & Elders Panel Member: Reverend Jenny Thompson | BCW, BHS (Mental Health), CMACA

Biography: Jenny Thompson is an Aboriginal/African American woman; her traditional Aboriginal links are with the Wakka Wakka People belonging to the Kabi Kabi language group of the South Burnett area.

Jenny is a mother of three children and ten grandchildren. She is an ordained Deacon of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane and has a Bachelor Degree in Community Welfare and a Bachelor Degree in Health Science (Mental Health). Jenny has her own counselling and therapy practice, where she works with mainly children and adolescents. Jenny is a Spiritual Healer and a medical intuitive and uses these methods in her practice.Her counselling and therapy practice covers, grief and loss, anger management, mental health, emotional release and play therapy. Jenny conducts many workshops and seminars in Indigenous cultural and spiritual methods of healing and connection. She has been doing this work for over twenty years.Much of Jenny's work has been with Indigenous women, their families; children and adolescence, she has done this for many years. Jenny also provided a counseling service for the Youth Detention Centre and Women's Correctional Centre.

Jenny worked as the Indigenous Consultant in the Mater Child and Youth Mental Health Service for over thirteen years. During this time she was a Director and Deputy Chair of Searchlight Inc's Hymba Yumba Community Hub. Jenny is one of the founding members of this Indigenous School.

Jenny has taught a case management course in the Indigenous Unit at the Kangaroo Point TAFE and mental health subjects for over four years and provides training on various counseling needs and case management within communities as well as running workshops for families and communities on social and emotional well-being. Jenny is trained also in emotional therapy, grief and loss counseling, play therapy, suicide intervention and sexual assault counseling. Through her private practice Jenny offers Individual and Family counseling, Professional Supervision, Spiritual & Ancestral Work, Cultural Intuitive Clearing and Cultural Body Work.

Jenny is the founding member of the Internal Reconciliation Program "Gin Murun Gari" and the Junjarina Wurithin Healing Centre.

Aunty Jenny is a respected Elder within the Aboriginal Communities she works in, as well as the wider communities.

Dr Noritta Morseu-Diop, Managing Director, Malu Mai Wellness Consultancy Pty. Ltd.

Author: Healing in Justice: Giving a Voice to the Silent and Forgotten People 2017

Biography: Dr Noritta Morseu-Diop is a First Nations Australian woman originally from Tamwoy Town, Thursday Island in North Queensland. Her ancestral heritage extends from mainland Australia to the Kulkalgal Nation to the Erubam Le and Ugaram Le and to the Dauareb Clan of the Meriam Nation. She graduated from the School of Social Work and Social Policy in 1992 at the University of Queensland, St. Lucia Campus. 

Since that time Noritta has worked extensively in the grassroots Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and within non-Indigenous communities throughout the state of Queensland. The areas of her work include: grief & loss, bereavement counselling and support, criminal justice, prison rehabilitation, mental health, community development, cross-cultural education, social work and welfare education and training, drug and alcohol counselling, Indigenous health and human rights and social justice advocacy.

Noritta was awarded a PhD in Criminal Justice and Social Work at the University of Queensland in the School of Social Work and Human Services, St. Lucia Campus on the 22nd of July, 2010. She is a recipient of the UQ 2010 Dean’s Commendation for Outstanding Research and Higher Degree PhD thesis. Noritta is a 2011 Winston Churchill Fellow and a 2006 Australian Federation of University Women Fellow. She is a Co-Founder and current Board of Director of Gallang Place, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Counselling Services based in Brisbane. Noritta is the Founder and current Managing Director of Malu Mai Wellness Consultancy; a family owned company that is committed to addressing the social, emotional, cultural and spiritual well-being of individuals, families and communities on a local, national and international level.


Bringing Healing to those Forgotten and Silent Peoples, those First Nations Peoples who are incarcerated. Last year marked the 25th year since the Royal Commission Recommendations into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody...nothing much has changed since that time, our People are still highly represented in the prison and criminal justice system. In her PhD thesis and Book, Noritta describes this high incarceration rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People as an insidious form of genocide. In light of the current political situation regarding the over-representation and abuse of First Nations Australians in the prison and criminal justice system; Noritta's talk will highlight aspects of her PhD research which investigated the utilisation of Culture as Rehabilitation. She will bring to the forefront the voices of our men and women in custody and some of their views on ways in which to address the high incarceration and recidivism rates, she will share some of the stories and experiences of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islanders and Maori Peoples with prison rehablitation programs and the impact on their journey from prison to community. 

We are raffling this beautiful and authentic painting by deadly Torres Strait Islander artist Moana Ahwang for the World First Nations Traditional Knowledge Conference...Tickets are $10 each or 3 tickets for $20...if you are interested send an email to or call Noritta on 0459 508 460 ...Thank you!😊 

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