Jo is a Palawa woman from Tasmania who moved to Canberra in 1993 to take up a graduate position with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC).
She has been a Commonwealth Public Servant for the past 24 years and currently works in higher education policy.
Jo is a single mum of two boys aged 14 and 20 and is passionate about health, education, justice, and youth issues that impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT.
Achievements and contributions
- 3 separate nominations for the 2017 Australian of the Year Awards
- Elected in March 2016 (term concludes July 2018) as the ACT Labor Party’s first Indigenous President
- Deputy Chairperson of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body (ATSIEB)
- Chairperson, Canberra and District NAIDOC Aboriginal Corporation
- ACT NAIDOC Committee member for around 20 years
- Nominee, 2017 ACT NAIDOC Person of the Year Award
- Nominee, 2017 ACT NAIDOC Elder of the Year Award
- Community member on Basketball ACT’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group
- Nominee, 2016 National NAIDOC Person of the Year Award
- Nominee, 2016 ACT NAIDOC Person of the Year Award
- Nominee, 2016 ACT Citizen of the Year Award
- Finalist in the 2016 ACT Woman of the Year Awards
- Finalist in the 2015 ACT Woman of the Year Awards
- 2015 – Australian Government Department of Education and Training, Secretary’s Excellence Awards 2014 – individual winner in the capability through diversity category
- Former member, ACT Ministerial Advisory Council for Aging
- Member, Governance Group, Prevention of Violence against Women and Children Strategy
- Co-chair, ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Partnership Advisory Group
- Moderator, ACT Indigenous Email Network
- 2011 ACT NAIDOC Person of the Year
- Community member on the ACT Department of Health’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group that developed the Department’s Inaugural RAP 2011-12 and the 2012-2015 RAP
- Director on the Board for the Indigenous Reading Project
- Founding member of the Winnunga Warriors Basketball Club
- Mentor to Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff in the Australian Public Service
- Role model for other survivors of domestic violence
Jo wants to use 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 hoping to continue to influence the work the ACT Government is undertaking in this area.