Many views towards one vision
The Elected Body is a strong and unique group – the only democratically elected voice to government in Australia.
We’re proud of the work we’ve done towards shaping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs in the ACT, as individuals and as a group.
Our collective skills, work experience and qualifications strengthen the voice of Canberra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
We are led by our Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson who have been voted into their roles by our members. Under ACT legislation, we have a set of functions and responsibilities that we must follow to get outcomes for our community.
Elected Body members have their own ACT Government portfolio responsibilities. This allows us to have direct involvement in agreements, policies and programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT.
As one Elected Body, we support Canberra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community for the better. We’re here to help you fully engage in shaping and creating your future wellbeing. With our life experiences and enthusiasm combined, the Elected Body is committed to making changes happen in the ACT.
Elected Body members
Tanya Keed - Chairperson – Member for Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development; Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development; and Canberra Health Services
Tanya Keed is an Aboriginal woman from Dunghatti Country, NSW, who has called Canberra home for more than 30 years. She does critical work in health and trauma management for women engaged with the ACT criminal justice system.
She’s a strong advocate on issues around Aboriginal incarceration, family violence and crime. Her work with corrective services has gone from the Alexander Machonochie Centre and Victim Service ACT to setting up and directing her own consultancy, Clybucca Dreaming, in 2018.
What began as a way to provide Aboriginal-led allied health and trauma management and support services now extends to training and mentoring for communities in the ACT and surrounding region.
Bolstering her extensive work experience are a Bachelor of Social Work and post-graduate qualifications in Indigenous trauma recovery. Tanya’s now working towards a Master of Philosophy.
Paula McGrady - Deputy Chairperson – Member for Transport Canberra and City Services, and ACT Health, Coalition of Peaks
Paula McGrady is a very proud Goomeri/Bigumbul woman from Moree and Toomelah. Having lived in Canberra for over 20 years and working with the community’s most vulnerable people, she acknowledges the struggles we face while promoting optimism for a bright future.
Paula says, ‘Education and opportunity are the key for improved outcomes, and I’ll do everything I can to make sure our children get those opportunities to dream more, achieve more, and become more.’
Paula is working on what’s close to her heart, and what she believes will make a difference for the community. She hopes her advocacy will get better outcomes for employment, work towards eliminating racism, and help community know who their local community services are.
Paula will use her voice at full capacity to contribute to the decisions of today that affect change for our children’s futures. We all want better for ourselves and our community, and she’ll use her position to put your needs at the forefront to get it.
Originally from Woorabinda, Queensland, I’ve been living on Ngunnawal Country for over 30 years. Maurice is currently working at the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre.
This is, proudly, his fourth term on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body and he is 'very honoured to be representing our Community to the ACT Government and their Directorates'.
Maurice says, 'I would like to thank the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community for their support and confidence in me to represent their interests to Government. There are a lot of things that need to change and it’s a hard slog trying to change people's attitude towards letting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people manage their own affairs.'
Ms Deanne Booth has been elected to fill a casual vacancy on the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body.
Jo is a proud Palawa woman from Lutruwita (Tasmania) who moved to Canberra in 1993 to take up a graduate position with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC).
She was a Commonwealth Public Servant for over 30 years, recently resigning to take up an employment opportunity in the private sector.
Jo is a single mum of 2 boys now aged 26 and 21 and is passionate about justice (including Indigenous incarceration rates), health, education and youth issues that impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT.
Jo regularly uses her skills, experience, and expertise to advocate for what the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community wants and, more importantly, needs. As the current ATSIEB member with portfolio responsibility for Justice and Community Safety, Jo is continuing to influence the work the ACT Government is undertaking in this area, including the Closing the Gap justice targets.
Achievements and contributions
- Elected ATSIEB member since July 2014, Deputy Chairperson in her first two terms, portfolios: Community Services; Justice and Community Safety; Transport Canberra and City Services; Health
- Director/ Treasurer, Canberra and District NAIDOC Aboriginal Corporation
- Various roles since 1994 (including prior to incorporation) including Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer
- Member/ Treasurer, EveryMob Board
- Member, Cultural Safety Reference Group. ACT Human Rights Commission
- Member, ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Caucus
- Co-Chair, ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Partnership Advisory Group
- Member, ACT Law Reform and Sentencing Advisory Council
- Member, Our Booris, Our Way Steering Committee
- Former member, ACT Ministerial Advisory Council for Aging
- Former Director, Indigenous Reading Project Board
- Founding member, Winnunga Warriors Basketball Club
- March 2016 to August 2018, ACT Labor Party’s first (and only) Indigenous President
- 2011 ACT NAIDOC Person of the Year
- 2021 ACT NAIDOC Elder of the Year
- Finalist in the 2015 and 2016 ACT Woman of the Year Awards
- Community member on a number of Reconciliation Action Plans, including ACT Health and Basketball ACT
- Mentor to Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff in the Australian Public Service
- Role model for other survivors of domestic violence
Lynnice Church is an Aboriginal woman from the Ngunnawal, Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi people of NSW and the ACT. As a traditional owner, Lynnice has resided in the ACT for most of her life and has dedicated herself to improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the region. Lynnice has over 17 years experience working in the human services sector. She has worked across several ACT Government directorates, including Community Services, Justice and Community Safety, and Canberra Institute of Technology. Throughout her career, Lynnice has been responsible for leading programs and services for vulnerable individuals and families in her community.
Lynnice is currently employed as the Senior Manager, Children Youth Protection Services (CYPS) Performance. In her role, Lynnice leads a team that is responsible for CPYS policy, audit and compliance. Prior to this, Lynnice worked as a Senior Consultant with Insight Consulting where she led a number of key projects in the ACT that focussed on early support reform and co-design. It was through this role that Lynnice established the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Co-design Network, a group that has been instrumental in providing policy and practice advice to the Community Services Directorate.
Lynnice has extensive networks across Australia, acquired through her professional career and her active involvement in the community. She has well-established relationships with senior community and government leaders and ensures that her community’s voice is represented in policy and program design.
A well-known local artist and designer, Lynnice has many artworks across the ACT. Some of the more public artworks include the ACT Reconciliation Day artwork, Gadi Supercomputer at ANU, ACTION buses, Canberra Raiders Indigenous Jersey, ACT Health Cultural Walls, and the artwork designs for Namarag Reserve.
Lynnice is passionate about her community. She is committed to working in partnership with our Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and government to improve the quality of services and supports provided to members of her community.
Elected Body members have projects that may involve community consultation and events.
The Elected Body is supported by a secretariat who:
- organise regular meetings
- provide administration support
- keep us informed on our legislative and reporting commitments
- keep the community informed on issues affecting people living in the ACT.
- Any information available on older memberships.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body 2014
Rod Little – Chair (Resigned)
Diane Collins – Deputy Chair (Resigned)
Fred Monaghan (Resigned)
Jo Donovan (Resigned)
Tony McCulloch (Replaced Fred Monaghan)
Richard (Richie) Allan (Resigned)
Tjanara Goreng Goreng (Resigned)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body 2011
Rod Little – Chair
Diane Collins – Deputy Chair
John-Paul Janke (resigned due to work commitments)
Masepah Banu (replaced John-Paul Janke)
William (Benny) Hodges (resigned due to work commitments)
Maurice Walker (replaced William (Benny) Hodges)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body 2008
Terry Williams – Chair
Diane Collins – Deputy Chair
Get in touch
Contact us if you have questions or comments for any of the Elected Body members or the secretariat.