Meet Our Team

Meet the Team behind Thirrili. From our esteemed Board of Directors to our dedicated staff members, each person brings a unique perspective and is dedicated to improving the outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities.

Thirrili Board


Donna Murray

Director – Chair, Member of the Executive Sub-Committee

Ms Donna Murray is a proud South West Wiradyuri and Wonnarua nation citizen with strong kinship ties across the Murrumbidgee region and Hunter Valley, NSW. Donna is a member of the South West Wiradyuri Clan Corporation and the Wonnarua Nation Aboriginal Corporation where she is actively engaged in strengthening Wiradyuri and Wonnarua nation building.

Donna is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) and was a recipient of the National 2021 Pro Bono Impact Awards in recognition of her contributions to social change. Donna has formal qualifications in community development, management and Indigenous governance and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors bringing over 30 years’ experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs across various sectors.

Donna is actively involved in the education sector as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney and commits to sessional lecturing at Charles Sturt University and the University of Arizona through the Native Nations Institute. She is a current Director on Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia, the national peak organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and suicide prevention and the Chairperson of Thirrili Ltd a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide postvention service.

Donna works closely with key stakeholders and community participating on several national and state committees focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and education, aged care, disability, workforce development, cultural safety, and health policy and system reform. She has a genuine commitment to community development and Indigenous nation building working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples supporting cultural priorities, practices and aspirations of families, communities and nation groups.


Summer May Finlay

Director – Deputy Chair, Chair Finance Audit and risk sub-committee

Dr Summer May Finlay (CSCA, TAE, BSocSC MPHA, and PhD) is a Yorta Yorta woman who grew up on Awabakal country (West Lake Macquarie) and is a passionate advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Her passion is what has driven her to work in a number of public health fields including social marketing, communications research and policy. She has worked for a range of organisations in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health, not-for profit, university, and for-profit sectors. She is currently employed at the University of Wollongong as a Senior Lecturer.

In addition to working as an academic, she also works as a freelancer for organisations such as Croakey Health Media and the Commonwealth Department of Health. She is Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW Ethics Committee, and Co-Chair of the World Federation of Public Health Associations Indigenous Working Group Summer was previously Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Vice President for the Public Health Association of Australia and was the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Special Interest Group Co-Convener.

She has received three awards from the Public Health Association of Australian for her work in public health and Indigenous health (Presidents Award 2017, Fellowship 2020, and Presidents Award 2021). You can follow her on twitter via her handle @SummerMayFinlay.


Jacqueline Adams


Jaki was born and raised in Garamilla (Darwin) on the beautiful lands of Larrakia Nation. Jaki is a proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, with ancestral links to the Yadhaigana and Wuthathi Peoples of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, traditional family ties with the Gurindji and Kungarakan Peoples of Central Western Northern Territory and extended family relationships with the people of the Torres Straits and Warlpiri (Yuendumu NT).

Jaki has some 30 years’ experience in government and non-government/international development sectors, which includes leadership roles across The Fred Hollows Foundation for the past eleven years. Jaki’s roles in The Fred Hollows Foundation included eye health programming, strategic leadership, partnerships and advocacy across the Indigenous Australia Program, the Pacific, Timor Leste, Philippines and Indonesia. Jaki’s current role, as Director Social Justice and Regional Engagement, sees her leading The Foundation’s positioning in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples having the right to sight, good health and self-determination, with a more specific focus on supporting implementation against the Uluru Statement from the Heart (Voice, Treaty, Truth), allyship accountability and health equity more broadly. Jaki is also supporting the Strategic Partnership with FHFNZ and convenes the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Indigenous Peoples Special Interest Group.

In 2022 Jaki completed a Masters of Social Change Leadership through the Atlantic Fellowship for Social Equity (AFSE) and is a Global Atlantic Fellow. Her social change project focuses on Allyship Accountability from an Indigenous perspective and Jaki continues to understand what the non-negotiables are for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. In 2023 Jaki was awarded the Australian Council for International Development’s (ACFID) Outstanding Contribution to the Sector Award for her championing health equity, supporting strategic eye care relationships in Australia and across the Pacific, helping drive the agenda of the Allies for Uluru Coalition and elevating the voices of First Nations people (in Australia and internationally).

Jaki has a personal and professional commitment to do whatever she can to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are leading decision making, and also advocating for the right to sight, good health and self-determination for Indigenous Peoples globally.


Kim LaVerne Bellear


Ms LaVerne Bellear is a proud Bundjalung woman from the North Coast NSW. Her career encompasses over 30 years in health administration in both the public and not for profit sectors. LaVerne is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Medical Service Cooperative Limited (Redfern).

LaVerne has held several senior leadership and directorship roles, with a particular focus on Aboriginal Health reform and improvement. LaVerne is a board director for Sydney Local Health District; is the current Co-Chair for the Sydney Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Health Partnership and a Board Director for Thirrili Ltd. Her involvement in previous appointments have shaped Aboriginal health strategies locally and nationally. LaVerne is a former Director of the National Aboriginal Community Control Health Organisation (NACCHO,) and former Director and A/CEO of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council.


Tanja Hirvonen


Ms Tanja Hirvonen is a proud Aboriginal Australian woman through her mother who was born in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, and Tanja identifies as Jaru and Bunuba. Her Grandmother is from the Barkly Tablelands region and Tanja's Grandfather is from East Kimberley, Western Australia. Tanja grew up in Mount Isa and has lived and worked throughout the Northern Territory for the past eight years and has been living in Queensland for the past 2 years.

Tanja is a Jaru and Bunuba woman. Tanja is a registered Clinical Psychologist and has a double degree majoring in psychology and human research management. She also holds a postgraduate degree, Masters in Clinical Psychology. Regarding working experience Tanja has had over twelve years of practical psychological experience, and has worked in academic, clinical, and executive roles as a clinical psychologist. Tanja is currently working as the Wellbeing Director with ABSTARR Consulting. Tanja is a current Board Director of the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association and the Queensland Director for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Alliance and The Black Dog Institute. Tanja is passionate about working in evidence based and culturally safe ways to make a difference to the health and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Karl Briscoe


Karl Briscoe is a proud Kuku Yalanji man from Mossman – Daintree area of Far North Queensland and has worked for over 20 years in the health sector at various levels of government and non-government including local, state and national levels which has enabled him to form a vast strategic network across Australia.

Karl’s vision for his people is to see dramatic improvement in the premature mortality rates of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, not only in communities but the entire nation, ensuring the life expectancy rates of our people are equivalent or better than that of non-Indigenous Australians.


Thirrili Staff

Chief Executive Officer

Tania Brown

Interim Chief Executive Officer

Shannan Klaas

Executive Assistant to CEO

Audit Account

External Auditor

Stephen Lambert

Director of Special Projects

Shakira Licence

Data Administrative Officer

Corporate Services

Tammy Riley

Executive Manager Corporate Services

Catherine Rutherford

Operation Support Coordinator

Tracey Zou

Finance Coordinator 

Doreen Walsh

People & Culture Coordinator

Md Mesbahul Hasan

IT Support Officer


Ben Speare

Communications Manager

Alice Currie

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Policy and Governance

Erin Reilly

Executive Manager Policy and Governance

Michael Halloran

Policy and Research Officer

Service Delivery

Marnie Weule

Executive Manager Service Delivery

Chenoa Dowling

Regional Coordinator QLD & NT

Zac Nix

Regional Coordinator NSW, VIC and TAS

Malcolm Asto

Regional Coordinator ACT


Kristy Puleánga

Advocate, ACT

Peter Harris

Advocate, ACT

Alison Orel

Advocate, TAS

Kim Reid

Advocate, NSW

Phillip Ingram

Advocate, NSW

Veronica Maloney

Advocate, NSW

Shibs Sharpe

Advocate, VIC

Richard Fraser

Advocate, QLD

Lillian Oliver

Advocate, QLD

Karen Dodd

Advocate, QLD

Greg Cusack

Advocate, QLD

Jaylene Cooper

Advocate, NT

Patricia Councillor

Advocate, WA

Justin Mogridge

Advocate, SA

Jaime Rayson

Advocate, WA

Darralyn Collard

Advocate, WA


If you’re wondering about our constitution, find it here to download.