Current Board Members

The Current Board Members are:

Graham Atkinson

Graham Atkinson (Chairperson)

BSW, BA, MBA

17 July 2014 -

Graham Atkinson is a member of the Victorian Indigenous community. He graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Social Work in 1977 and Bachelor of Arts in 1981, and from RMIT with an MBA in 1994. He is a former director on the boards of the Indigenous Land Corporation, National Centre for Indigenous Excellence and National Indigenous Pastoral Enterprises. He currently sits on the boards of the North Central Catchment Management Authority, the Judicial Commission of Victoria and Parks Victoria. He also chairs Federation Enterprises Pty Ltd and Barpa Constructions Pty Ltd. He formerly chaired the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation and led the Dja Dja Wurrung negotiating team’s successful Recognition and Settlement Agreement with the state government in 2013.

In 2014, Graham was inducted into the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll, which recognises Aboriginal people, past and present, who make the most profound contribution to Victoria’s Aboriginal community and to the state of Victoria. Graham was recognised in 2017 for his lifelong contribution to land justice and the wellbeing of the Dja Dja Wurrung People. He was nominated for Senior Victorian of the Year 2018. In early 2021 he was appointed as a member of the Victorian Aboriginal Employment and Economic Council in also the Melbourne Academic Centre of Health base at the University of Melbourne.

Marg Allan

Marg Allan PSM

BA Business (Local Government), Grad. Dip. Public Policy, MA Public Policy & Governance; GAICD

2 January 2020 -

Building on an extensive career in local government, Marg joined the Victorian Public Service from 2016 to 2021 as Regional Director Loddon Mallee with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. In this role she was responsible for the conversion of government environmental policy into effective on-ground actions across one of the largest and most diverse regions of Victoria.

Marg is also a member of the Victorian Local Government Grants Commission. Her qualifications include Bachelor of Business (Local Government), Graduate Diploma Public Policy, Master Public Policy and Governance. Marg has also completed the ANZSOG Executive Fellows Program is a graduate of AICD and Leadership Victoria.

In 2019 Marg was named in the Top 50 Public Sector Women by the Institute of Public Administration Australia and awarded the Public Service Medal in 2022.

Rodney Carter

Rodney Carter

Diploma Governance (Investigations)

Secretary's Nominee - 2 January 2020 -

Rodney Carter is a descendant of Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta people and resides between home in Bendigo (his grandfather’s traditional Country) and Pental Island near Swan Hill (his wife’s traditional Country). He has extensive experience in Cultural Heritage management and a particular interest in linking people to landscape through the integration of biodiversity and Cultural Heritage projects. Rodney currently works for DDWCAC as Group Chief Executive Officer. Prior to this he worked at the Game Management Authority with Victorian Public Land Fire Management as a heritage specialist, as project manager for the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Centre as part of the Melbourne Museum project, and as Bunjilaka's inaugural Centre Manager. Rodney is currently a member of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council. He was a member of Museum Victoria’s Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee, then Regional Director of the North-West Regional Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Program. A defining moment for Rodney was negotiating for, and being a signatory to, the Dja Dja Wurrung people's native title settlement under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010.

Nikita Charles

Nikita Charles

Certificate III Business, Certificate Land Management, Diploma Business, Diploma Leadership and Management

Deputy Chairperson - 2 January 2020 -

Nikita’s Traditional Owner heritage is Dja Dja Wurrung through her father. Nikita celebrates her Culture as a Djaara woman and strives to raise her young son in an atmosphere of encouragement and pride.

Nikita is currently working with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Agriculture Victoria, Agriculture Policy as the Project Officer, Aboriginal Self-Determination.

Nikita worked at Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, trading as DJAARA, as the Program Manager, Member Engagement for many years, supporting the Membership with events, Community Support Programs, and many other tasks.

Emerging as a community leader through her participation in Dja Dja Wurrung Youth Governance activities and contribution to the Djaara cultural renaissance, in 2020, Nikita was appointed as the Deputy Chair of the Dhelkunya Dja Land Management Board.

Daniel McLaughlin

Daniel McLaughlin

MNRM, Grad Dip AppSc, B AppSc

(VPS-non remunerated) 2 January 2020 -

Daniel McLaughlin has over 15 years’ experience in protected area management in a range of leadership, operational and planning roles. Daniel has graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Masters of Natural Resource Management in 2011, a Graduate Diploma of Applied Science (Parks, Recreation & Heritage) in 2009 and a Bachelor of Applied Science (parks, recreation & heritage) in 2000.

Through his roles in land management, he has ensured a connection with traditional owners and implementation of joint management across Victoria. Daniel has a focus on promoting an understanding of natural and cultural heritage, and protection of important sites for the benefit of future generations, the implementation of the JMP is seen as a tangible step in delivering these outcomes across Dja Dja Wurrung Country.

Daniel was recognised in 2019 for his 15 years’ service to Parks Victoria, in this time he is held a variety of roles from field-based roles to District Manager and his current position as Regional Director. He has a passion for strong leadership, healthy work environment and dedication to his employees.

Aunty Marilyne Nicholls

Aunty Marilyne Nicholls

Cert IV Cultural Heritage Management; Cert IV Conservation Land Management

2 January 2020 -

Aunty Marilyne Nicholls is a recognised artist, an Indigenous weaver and painter based in Wood Wood, Victoria. A proud Elder of the Djaara, Aunty Marilyne’s ancestry connects her with both the freshwater people of the Victorian Murray River and the saltwater people of the Coorong coastline in South Australia. Marilyne has Watti Watti, Yorta Yorta, Barrapa Barrapa and Dja Dja Wurrung heritage on her father’s side, and Ngarrindjeri heritage on her mother’s side. Marilyne grew up on the Murray River near Swan Hill, where her family’s farming life on Watti Watti Country taught her land management and agricultural knowledge, self-reliance, and a deep connection to her Traditional Land.

Marilyne’s professional career spanned 38 years in Nursing, and Aboriginal health and community development. After retiring, Marilyne travelled overseas, spending time with other first nations’ people, to learn and exchange Cultural and spiritual knowledge.

Aunty Marilyne’s return to Dja Dja Wurrung Country enabled her to further connect with Djandak and Culture, and to devote her energies to her cultural practices, and sharing her knowledge as a Djaara person with emerging generations. Acknowledged and loved as a Djaara Elder, Auntie Marilyne is passionate about involving the Dja Dja Wurrung Community in creating their future through the opportunities that have been won through the 2013 Recognition and Settlement Agreement.

Today, Aunty Marilyne is a member of the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation and works as a consultant to Djandak (Country) Enterprise on Natural Resource Management projects.

Ron Kerr Jnr

Ron Kerr Jnr

Cert IV in Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management; Cert IV in Government Investigations

9 March 2022 -

Ron Kerr Jnr was appointed to the Board by Minister D’Ambrosio on 9 March 2022.

Born on Yorta Yorta Country, Ron is a proud Djaara man, descended through the Leonard Kerr Family line. Ron is an Elder and a keeper of Cultural Knowledge. Ron is a proud parent of four children.

Ron joined the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (DDWCAC/DJAARA) as a member so he could be an active member of his Traditional Owner group, a positive contributor to the community through his cultural and life experiences, and a positive example towards the wider community. This has created something for him that helps Ron to strive to be part of a group that works on setting the foundations for our younger generations on the Country we call home, Dja Dja Wurrung Country.

Ron has worked for the DJAARA for fifteen years in different roles and is presently in a senior role as Project Coordinator, Cultural Heritage. As a DDWCAC Board Director, in 2013, Ron was on the negotiating team and is a signatory to the Recognition and Settlement Agreement (RSA). Ron’s connection to Djandak and our Djaara Community, will serve him well in to making a strong contribution to the work of the Board.

Ron joins the Board at a critical stage of implementing our Joint Management Plan for the Dja Dja Wurrung Parks, as work on delivering the JMP Projects ramps up. His involvement in overseeing the Implementation of the JMP Strategic Initiatives will strengthen the Board's capability to fulfill its role, in line with the aspirations of the Djaara People.



Inaugural and Past Members of the Board

The Inaugural and retired Board Members are:

Inaugural and retired Board Members

Graham Atkinson
DDLMB Chairperson (continuing)

BSW, BA, MBA

17 July 2014 - 30 June 2021

Marlene Burchill

BSW, MSW, Diploma Family Therapy

17 July 2014 - 1 January 2020

Rodney Carter

Diploma Governance (Investigations)

17 July 2014 - April 2016 (Reappointed 2 January 2020)

Doug Humann AM
Inaugural Deputy Chair

BA (Hons), Dip Ed, GAICD

17 July 2014 - 1 January 2020

Rick Kerr

Cert IV Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management

28 June 2017 - 30 June 2020

Dr Jan Mahoney

BA, PhD, Grad Dip Business, Grad Cert International Health, Advanced Company Directors Diploma, FAICD, Associate Leadership Victoria

17 July 2014 - 1 January 2020

Trevor Miles
DELWP Secretary’s Nominee

BAgSc

17 July 2014 - 1 January 2020

Rebecca Phillips

BA, Cert IV Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management

17 July 2014 - 1 January 2020

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