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Our People

Our People

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Asha Bhat - CEO

Asha Bhat leads the award-winning regional Southern Aboriginal Corporation (SAC), which provides services and programs that address the Noongar peoples' needs and aspirations in cooperation with other community and business organizations. With an asset base of $24 million, SAC provides services and programs in areas such as structured indigenous training and employment, family violence prevention, affordable housing, healthcare support and legal services.


Asha has worked across all levels of the organization, from grassroots through senior management, and as CEO, she oversees all aspects of the organization and is responsible for ensuring that sustainability and viability are built into operations on a daily basis.


Under Asha’s leadership, SAC has won awards for demonstrating its impact in the community, including the Community Business Award of the Year 2016 and the 2018 Community Services Excellence Award which recognises excellent leadership and services to the Noongar Community.

Asha has an MBA from Kaplan Business School and holds master’s and bachelor's degrees in mathematics and business and professional accounting. She is an associate member of CPA and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2017 Asha received the Albany Citizen of the Year award and in both 2017 and 2020 was a finalist in the Telstra WA Business Women of the Year Awards. Asha was selected to attend the Global Ambassadors Program in Chicago in September 2016 and she was one of the 11 women leaders selected globally and only awardee from Australia. Asha is also a Cordes fellow and participated in opportunity collaboration in Mexico in 2018. She was one of the 60 successful Cordes fellow and the calibre of Cordes applicants included high-impact, innovative, entrepreneurial for-profit and non-profit executives with a demonstrated commitment to social justice and poverty alleviation.

Oscar Colbung - FVPLS Manager

Oscar Colbung manages the Indigenous Community Links (ICL), Health Promotion, Aboriginal Training and Employment (ATE) and Family Violence Prevention Legal Service (FVPLS).

 

Oscar has been in the role of FVPLS Manager at the Southern Aboriginal Corporation in Albany since July 2015. Prior to this position he worked for SAC for 27 years as a Field Officer, Manager of Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP), Family Violence Regional Activities (FVRAP) Social Program Manager and as Community Relations Manager.

In his previous role as FVRAP Manager he has coordinated, planned, implemented and evaluated many family violence preventative projects and health initiatives in order to reduce the incidence of family violence and to promote healthier lifestyles. Oscar has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Aboriginal Community Management and Development from Curtin University of Technology. At a community level, he is a respected member of the local Noongar and wider community and has developed strong networks and built constructive relationships within the Noongar community. Oscar has worked on several not for profit Boards and was a previous chairperson of SAC.

Greg Mackay – Principal Solicitor (FVPLS)

I spent over a decade in University before I was brave enough to go out into the real world.

Since being admitted to practice in 2009, I have worked in areas connected with Family and Domestic Violence in two States and one Territory.

I have worked with Indigenous services in Central Australia and North Queensland before settling in Albany in 2016.

 

I’m interested in issues around access to justice as well as education and law reform. Outside work, I like cycling, trying to learn new things (right now programming microprocessors) and convincing my young sons that I can understand what the dogs are saying.

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Ruhee Khan - Solicitor (FVPLS)

I am a solicitor at Southern Aboriginal Corporation (“SAC”). I moved down from Perth and joined SAC’s ranks November 2019. 


I have a double degree in law and commerce, a degree in journalism and a post-graduate diploma in occupational health and safety. 


Through my role at SAC I want to empower victims of domestic abuse to find their inner strength, stand up and be heard. I feel honoured to be part of a corporation that allows me to give back to the community.


During my free time I enjoy playing the PS4, reading, meditating and trying out new food with my partner. 

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Lynette Bolton - Community Support Officer (FVPLS)

I have valuable work experiences and skills in the fields of; Education, Primary Health, Family Support, Liaison & Advocacy, Customer Service, Youth Work, Referral Protocols & Client Pathways, Program & Service Development, Working in the paralegal industry with a focus on Family & Domestic Violence, Identifying Cultural Protocols & Building Cultural Awareness, Building Community Capacity & Community Consultation. I am now looking to build on these skills in the work force.

I am resourceful and an adaptable, hard working person, who approaches challenging situations with a positive attitude. I enjoy people from all walks of life and get on well with others. I am a quick learner and would now like to expand my existing skills in all facets, where I believe I could make a positive contribution to the building of community capacity in general and develop myself further in the work force in general. I enjoy being a doting mother to my son Garrence. I love nature and the great outdoors, especially walks along the beach. I love art & music.

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Susan Lee - Community Support Officer (FVPLS) Katanning

I have worked with Noongar families in my many and varied roles ever since I came to Katanning in 2007. These have been local families in Katanning but also through outreach, such places as Gnowangerup, Tambellup and Jerramungup to name just a few of the places I have worked within the community.


I love helping Noongar women to hopefully make them feel empowered.


Living in a small country town gives me plenty of time to relax and enjoy my blended family. Between my partner and I, we have six adult sons and six grandchildren. Half of the grandchildren live in Katanning and the other half live in Perth.

Pamela Watts - Counsellor/Community Support Officer (FVPLS)

I am a Mother to a beautiful daughter, two sons and have been blessed with three grandchildren. (I want more) 😊
Family is my first love, empowering and supporting people is a passion of mine and I am honoured to be in a position to provide for community. 


My employment started with Southern Aboriginal Corporation in 2011 as an educator trainer Moordity Yakka Pre employment program, then in 2012 as Indigenous Community Links coordinator, to be in my current role as Counsellor/ Community Support since 2014.


I hold a Diploma of Community Services,  Diploma of Counselling,  Certs in Youth Work and Mental Health with extensive experience in trauma informed practice and 16 years of collective knowledge and highly developed skills from employment in Community Service roles in Personal support programs, Juvenile Justice Officer, Career Guidance Counsellor and headspace to provide the best care and support to clients and families.

Sri Mallela - Finance Manager

Cricket. Mangoes, and family.  My name is Sri, and those are just three of the many things I love.  Moving from India to New Zealand almost two decades ago, and then moving from New Zealand to Australia in 2011, I have found Albany to be my peaceful home.

I am a member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand.  I have vast experience in the hospitality industry, and legal sector.  I enjoy working at SAC because it gives me the opportunity to give back to the community in the best way I can, through my profession.

My beautiful wife and two kids are what keep me going, and to say I'm a family man is an understatement.

In my spare time, I love going for long walks as it keeps me fit and lets me enjoy Albany's beautiful scenery.  I also enjoy playing cricket with my kids, and watching documentaries on Netflix.

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Wendy Kennedy - Business & Administration Officer

I have recently commenced with SAC as Business & Administration Officer in March 2021.

 

I work closely with the CEO, FVPLS Manger, Finance Manager and Property Management Coordinator and Health Promotion Officer.

 

I enjoy my job, it is challenging and rewarding at the same time.

 

I graduated high school from La Salle College in Perth, completed a Cert II Business Traineeship with Brothaboy Clothing,  commenced a Traineeship at ANZ bank in West Perth with Maxima and then worked for 18 months as Family Support Worker.

 

I graduated from The Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute for the ‘Yorga Djenna Bidi Aboriginal Women’s Leadership Program 2021’.

 

Family is Everything.

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Leanne Williams - Education Project Officer (FVPLS)

I started working for Southern Aboriginal Corporation in October 2018 as the Education Project Officer for the Family Violence Prevention Legal Service.

I was born and raised in Mt Barker. I am married to Darryl Williams, we have lived together in Albany for the last 27 years and have 4 children together.

My passion and interests are art, crafts and family.

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Leanne Williams - Education Project Officer (FVPLS)

I started working for Southern Aboriginal Corporation in October 2018 as the Education Project Officer for the Family Violence Prevention Legal Service.

I was born and raised in Mt Barker. I am married to Darryl Williams, we have lived together in Albany for the last 27 years and have 4 children together.

My passion and interests are art, crafts and family.

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Narelle Miniter – Property Management Coordinator

I have a background in Finance and Housing, and I’m currently employed at the Southern Aboriginal Corporation as the Property Management Coordinator.

 

I started my employment with SAC in May 2021. Some of my duties are to maintain tenant’s database and update information as required, maintain a positive relationship with tenants with day-to-day operations of the property, assist and support tenants with any property maintenance issues, and prepare and update lease agreements for new and existing tenants.

 

Away from work, I like spending time with my family and friends.

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Nikita Armstrong – Data Entry & Reporting Officer

I have recently started working for Southern Aboriginal Corporation as the Data Entry and Reporting Officer. I perform receptionist duties for the Family Violence Prevention Legal Service including liaising with the solicitors, community support officers and the counsellor.

 

Before working at Southern Aboriginal Corporation, I studied a Diploma in Community Service, Cert IV in Youth Work and a Cert III in Community Service.

 

I do respite care for the Department of Child Protection which has made me want to work within the community service sector. I want to make a difference to the quality of people’s lives, helping those who are struggling to build a better life and to give them hope for a better future.

 

Away from work I like to spend quality time with my two beautiful children and partner, going on adventures and getting outdoors. The most important thing to me is my family.

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Mark Colbung – Health Promotion Officer (Gnumaries Hurt Program)

I joined Southern Aboriginal Corporation in 2016, in 2020 I had some time off and have now returned as Health Promotion Officer for ‘Gnumaries hurt program’.

 

I enjoy my job and loving helping my community with healthy lifestyles and promoting the benefits of quitting smoking and encourage the younger generations of the damage tobacco has on their lives and future.

 

Away from work, I do lots of volunteer work and give back to my community, I help with the soup kitchen for the homeless this is run through the church of all nations.

 

Family man, love my Children and Grandchildren.

 

In my spare time I like going to the gym and family outings.

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Gloria Hill – Community Liaison Officer

I am a Community Support Officer at Southern Aboriginal Corporation based in Narrogin since the 2nd of November 2020. I had previously resigned from the Kaata-Koorliny Employment Enterprise Development Aboriginal Corporation [KEEDAC] to take up this current position. My previous role was the Team Leader for Psychosocial/ National Disability Insurance Scheme [NDIS] and worked in that role for 2 years.

 

I am a highly organised, diligent, conscientious individual with a thriving wealth of acknowledgement for Aboriginal Health, Counselling, Criminal Justice and Community Services. I have acquired ongoing and outgoing experiences within the Aboriginal communities within the State of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Victoria, having obtained many qualifications and accolades throughout my career in these roles. I have demonstrated exceptional interpersonal, communication, integrity and leadership skills, and a valuable team member who displays excellent teamwork. Being a qualified Counsellor and Health Worker, I pride myself on setting a professional work ethic to work with a diverse range of people and apply culturally appropriate techniques and procedures to treat people with respect and courtesy in challenging situations. I have previously been a valued team member of a variety of positions including Aboriginal Chairperson of Community Arts in the Mid-West, Chairperson of NAIDOC in Narrogin, Domestic Violence Advocate and Suicide Prevention having attended many Workshops and Conferences in Perth and Interstate.

 

My qualifications include Diploma in Counselling, SARA Domestic Violence Awareness, Associate Degree in Aboriginal Health [Care & Healing] from Curtin University of Technology, Degree in Bachelor of Applied Science in Indigenous Community Health from Curtin University of Technology. Officially Opened the “Shooting Stars” Glass Jars Netball Program at Narrogin Senior High School. First Aboriginal Female Police Aide Inducted in 1985. Employed as an Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer at Sir Charlie Gardiner Hospital [SCGH], Yorgum Aboriginal Corporation as a Senior Counsellor, Department of Corrective Services, Community Corrections Officer for a period of 13 years, Noongar Alcohol & Substance Abuse Services as a Family Support Officer, FORWWARD in Northern Territory as an Alcohol Counsellor, Western Australian Police Force as a Police Aide serving in Metropolitan and the Mid-West.

 

The Western Australian Police Aboriginal Service Medals were presented at the Great Southern Police District Awards Ceremony held in Narrogin on December 15 , recognised commitment to Policing, and who had previously served with the Force. The Great Southern Police District Superintendent Ian Clarke presented WA Police Force Aboriginal Service Medal to Gloria Kickett. The medals acknowledged the dedication of Aboriginal WA Police employees.

 

I am a respected member of the community and I look forward to my role at FVPLS [SAC] working with victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse to enhance their ability to make changes in their life and wellbeing.

 

During my free time I love going to the family farm and feeding my ducks and chooks. I have two little dogs who I love very much they keep me insane and protected. I am currently working on a new project “Malli Numbat Rising [Yarra]” at the farm, planting 4,000 plants where saltine areas are.