Leanne is a Yorta Yorta woman of the Dhulanyagen Ulupna Clan. Leann’s family has a strong and long-standing commitment to Aboriginal affairs. Her grandmother, Geraldine Briggs and her mother Frances Mathyssen are both highly respected Aboriginal leaders. As Leanne comments: “I have been privileged to be a part of a strong matriarchal clan whose values and sense of social responsibility was instilled from an early age”.
Leanne has made significant contributions over many years to Aboriginal communities in the areas of economic development, employment, community development, tourism and the promotion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in business. Leanne is also passionate about the elimination of violence against women and children and was instrumental in the development of the Iramoo Zone – Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program.
Leanne brings to her current roles, including as the Outback Academy Chairperson, a career spanning over thirty-years from earlier front-line roles in the public sector, through to Board Advisory Committee responsibilities in the areas of economic development, employment, tourism, and the prevention of family violence.
Leanne’s leadership and representative roles have also included the preparation of public submissions such as Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians (2011); Indigenous Economic Development Strategy (2010); Parliamentary Inquiry into Developing Indigenous Small Business (2008); and the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children (2008). Leanne’s contributions to her community have been noted through various awards and invitations to represent Australian Indigenous women such as:
- United Nations Convention on the Status of Women – Australian Government NGO Delegate, (January 2010)
- United Nations Fellowship (attended Geneva 2006)
- United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women NGO Delegate (Australia 2006)
- United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples Issues (2004)
- Victorian Women’s Honour Roll – Minister of Women’s Affairs (2004)
Clare has been a Director of All-iN Productions Pty Ltd for over 20 years. During that time All-iN Productions has been continuously engaged by government, community-controlled, philanthropic and business organisations to support community capacity building, economic development, employment and training programs with Aboriginal communities across Australia. The Company has a strong track record of engagement and collaboration with Aboriginal consultants and Aboriginal communities, including Traditional Owners and community-controlled organisations.
Clare was a key driver in forming the Outback Academy in 2013 with Aboriginal leaders from Victoria and Western Australia. Clare and her colleagues had become frustrated at the slow pace of investment and lack of attention to the core base infrastructure needs of start-up Aboriginal enterprises and organisations. Clare’s work over the past eight years has focused on supporting Aboriginal organisations to position themselves for sustainable business, training and employment. This work informed the establishment of the Outback Academy.
Clare brings a long-standing experience and understanding of the complexity for some of re-engagement in education, training and employment and start-up business enterprise. Her Masters in Education focused on the area of language, literacy and numeracy development including for Aboriginal and other young people. Today that experience has contributed to the development of the Outback Academy RESPECT employability skills program – with Outback Academy Aboriginal leaders and founding members Kevin Williams, Leanne Miller, Neville Atkinson, Mark Olive and Les Wallam. RESPECT includes Red Dust Healing program participation with founders Tom Powell and Randall Ross, and cultural strengthening with local communities.
Clare also brings a strong commitment to education and employment pathways for people with disability. Her first child Kathleen was the inspiration for All-iN Production’s most successful resource development project – All-IN Cooperative Education – Making Schools Work for Everyone, Curriculum Corporation 1991. Now 28 years of age, Kathleen supports the work of the Outback Academy Red Dust Heelers (disability awareness program) to encourage and engage Aboriginal and other Australians with disability to pursue education, employment, sports and recreation. More recently Clare was the lead researcher and writer for the Australian Government – Swinburne University project that informed and advised the establishment of a national disability network for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (now the First Peoples Disability Network) – Building Culturally Secure Services for Indigenous Australians with a Disability (2007).
Robert’s family heritage is the Nanda Tribe, a small Aboriginal group located from Murchison River through to Kalbarri. Robert with his partner, Tanya Forsyth, is a Director of Business Wanganhaa (BW Consulting). Robert is also the co-founder of the Max’s Black sauces a 100% owned and operated Aboriginal business.