Our Board of Directors providing governance and direction
The Breakaway Board of Directors comprises 10 community members and one specialist non-member director. The total membership of the Corporation comprises the member Directors, Breakaway staff members and members of the Breakaway Aboriginal Advisory Committee.
All projects and services conducted by Breakaway staff are overseen by the Advisory Committee whose membership includes representatives from major family groups in the Bunbury Geographe region.
Dr Louis Evans, Executive Chairperson
Louis is a retired university professor with Noongar heritage who over the course of her thirty three years at Curtin University pursued a wide range of research interests including human endocrinology, medical laboratory science, aquaculture and aquatic resource management. In the latter part of her academic career Louis led research programs focussed on traditional Aboriginal knowledge about medicinal plants and the sustainable use of mine lakes. Following her retirement from Curtin University in 2007 Louis has worked in various roles and positions including CEO of the Ngalang Boodja Council Aboriginal Corporation (2010 – 2014), Board member of Gumula Investments Pty Ltd (2008) and Board member of the South West Development Commission (2011 – 2016).
Greg Little, Co-Vice Chairperson
Greg is a highly respected Elder in the Greater Bunbury Noongar community. He joined the staff of the Bunbury Regional Prison as a Prison Support Officer in 2000 where he now has a major role in the management, leadership and mentoring of the Prisoner Peer Support Group, is an active member of the Prisoners Risk Assessment Group and provides supportive crisis counselling, group and family counselling as required. Greg has provided training in the Gatekeeper program in prisons throughout the state and regularly provides guidance and training related to cultural awareness. In recognition for his contribution to the SW Noongar community Greg is a five times recipient of Noongar of the Year awards and serves the wider South West community as a member of the Justice of the Peace Association.
Joyce Dimer, Co-Vice Chairperson
Joyce is a leading Noongar Elder in the Greater Bunbury region. She has completed bachelor degree programs in Indigenous Community Health and Social Work and has worked for the South West Aboriginal Medical Service for almost 20 years in various roles including HACC Coordinator, Family Support Officer and Social Worker. Her contribution to the SW Noongar community over this period has been recognised by a number of awards including State NAIDOC Noongar of the Year Award (2005), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Award and the Regional Senior of the Year for the South West Region in the 2008 WA Seniors Awards and the NAIDOC Elder of the Year Award in Bunbury in 2011. Joyce has served as a Councillor in the Noongar Country Regional Council, ATSIC (1999 – 2005) and as an Elected Member of the One Noongar Claim Negotiation Team (2001 – 2016), Elected Member of the Gnarla Karla Booja Working Party (2009 – 2010), Board member, Goomburrup Aboriginal Corporation (2008 – 2016), Board member, Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School (2014 – 2015) and is presently the Chairperson, Goomburrup Aboriginal Corporation (2015 -2016).
Sharon Cooke, Board Member
Sharon is a respected member of the Bunbury Noongar Community, having grown up in Harvey and spent most of her working life in Bunbury. Sharon is a qualified primary school teacher with a post graduate qualification in Indigenous languages. Through her current role as Community Liaison Officer at the Bunbury Regional Office of Catholic Education Sharon is in regular contact with a wide range of members of the Bunbury Noongar community. She recently completed a Certificate IV in Holistic Counselling and Mind Body Medicine through the LIFE Academy and is a strong advocate for improvement in AOD services in the SW.
Karim Khan, Board Member
Karim is a Noongar man from the Donnybrook and Collie areas in the South West. He has worked for the Department of Parks and Wildlife and its predecessors for 20 years as a Seasonal Firefighter, Conservation Employee, Aboriginal Trainee Supervisor and Southwest Native Title Culture, Heritage and Liaison Officer. His current position is Programs Coordinator, in the Aboriginal Heritage Unit in the Parks and Visitor Services Division. Karim has received a Certificate of Excellence in relation to promoting Aboriginal Culture within the department. He also received the Eugene Winmar Award in 2013, the DPaW award for the most outstanding Aboriginal employee in Parks and Wildlife. Karim plays an active role in community organisations and is presently Secretary, Maamun Danjoo Koorliny Waankininy men’s group in Bunbury, Board member, Noongar Boodjar Language Cultural Aboriginal Corporation and Board Chair, South West Aboriginal Medical Service.
Lesley Nelson, Board Member
Lesley is a Whadjuk and Ballardong woman with senior management, policy and program implementation experience that has accumulated over more than 25 years in both the government and non-government sectors. She has held executive positions in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations in both WA & NSW. Lesley has a Bachelor of Commerce, a Masters in Applied Epidemiology and holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). She is a fellow of Leadership WA and attended the National Executive Women’s Conference at Stanford University. In 2012 – 2015, Lesley was the director of Indigenous Banking Solutions with the Westpac Bank. For the past two years Lesley has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of South West Aboriginal Medical Service, (SWAMS), one of the leading Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations in Western Australia and the main provider of health services to Noongar people in the South West. Lesley is currently a board member of South West Chamber of Commerce, Heart foundation of WA and Business South West and is the Chair of the Bunbury Aboriginal Workforce Development Centre Advisory Group
Dr Richard Oades, Board Member
Richard has a Doctorate of Philosophy in Social Sustainability, a Master of Arts in Community Development, a BSc (Hons) in Sociology and a BApSc in Social Work. He has extensive senior management experience in Western Australia’s public service, where he initiated the Probation and Parole service to the remote Kimberley region and led the West Kimberley Department for Community Development for 13 years. Following his return to Perth Richard managed the statewide Crisis Care service for 6 years, including the development of the Bali Helpline, Men’s DV Service and Afterhours Services for Disabilities and Carers. After moving to the South West Richard first worked with the South West Development Commission where he had a major role in the Supertowns project in Margaret River, Manjimup and Collie and is now the Chief Executive Officer of Pathways SouthWest, a Bunbury based not for profit mental health service provider.
Rolf Stene, Board Member
Rolf has been a stalwart supporter of commerce and industry in the South West for most of his life. He was the founding President of Regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (RCCIWA) and has served as the president of the South West Chambers of Commerce and Industry (SWCCI) and the Bunbury Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Rolf has also served in numerous business and community organisations including the Pastoral and Graziers Association, Bicentennial Committee for Bunbury, Bunbury Port Authority, Rotary, Trade and Commerce Council CCIWA and Leschenault Business Enterprise Centre. In 2007, as president of SWCCI, Rolf played a pivotal role in the establishment of the South West Academy of Sport, the leading SW organisation providing support and encouragement to young sportspeople throughout the region. Rolf is now the Patron of this organisation. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to business and community in the South West, Rolf was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division in 2002. In 2004 the Small Business Development Corporation honoured Rolf as the Inaugural Inductee to the Regional Small Business Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards the development of regional small business in Western Australia.
Ian Williams, Board Member
Ian Williams, AO, BE, FAusIMM had an extensive career in the resources industry and held positions as an Executive Director of Hamersley Iron Ltd (RioTinto) and subsequently as Managing Director of Century Zinc Ltd during the development and operation of the large zinc mine in North West Queensland. Since retirement Ian has served as a director on three listed mining companies and four Indigenous trusts. He has also served as Chairman of the State Training Board, the Port Hedland Port Authority and the University of Queensland’s Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining. He was awarded an AO for his contribution to Aboriginal employment and business development in Queensland and Western Australia. Ian and his family own and operate a small property and winery in the Crooked Brook Valley, Dardanup.