How Big Are Your Dreams? is governed by a Steering Committee empowered to make key decisions in relation to the program. The project partners are represented on the Steering Committee together with key community members.
We are working to increase the ability of former participants to participate in the governance of the program. For the moment, they are working as peer support workers for the new participants. We hope that in the future, they will have ideas on how the program can be improved and are motivated to join the Steering Committee.
In 2011, we will also invite parents of former participants to express interest in joining the Steering Committee.
Tranby Aboriginal College
Based in the inner Sydney suburb of Glebe, Tranby Aboriginal College is Australia’s oldest Indigenous education provider, celebrating its 52nd birthday this year. The College plays an important role in the struggle for the achievement of social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and has a strong history of Indigenous rights advocacy.
Tranby is a not-for-profit co-operative owned and operated by Aboriginal people. It has seen thousands of students graduate from its courses and go on to improve their lives and those of their families and communities. The Tranby learning environment is a community atmosphere, respectful of Indigenous culture and ways of learning.
Indigenous students travel from all over Australia to undertake nationally accredited Diploma level courses, which have been developed in response to community need and are designed to empower Indigenous people. It is Tranby’s fundamental objective to guarantee a job or a placement in further education for each and everyone of our graduates.
Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers
Gilbert + Tobin is a leading corporate law firm and a key player in the Australian legal market. From our Sydney and Melbourne offices, we provide innovative, relevant and commercial legal solutions to major corporate and government clients across Australia and internationally, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
Our reputation for expert advice extends across a broad range of areas including: Corporate Advisory, Mergers and Acquisitions, Capital Markets, Tax, Banking and Finance, Communications and Technology, Competition and Regulation, Intellectual Property, Media, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, and Real Estate and Projects. Our clients include many of Australia’s major corporations including Telstra, Westpac, Woolworths, Brookfield Multiplex and AGL Energy.
Established in 1988, Gilbert + Tobin employs more than 400 lawyers and professionals and has the highest proportion of female partners of any major Australian law firm.
Gilbert + Tobin’s CSR and Pro Bono programs grow from a well-entrenched responsibility to “give back” to the community and in particular to help ensure our justice system is accessible to all, including those who are marginalised and disadvantaged. Our CSR program connects many dimensions of our business such as our staff, the community and the environment. We are also acknowledged as a pioneer in providing pro bono services. G+T’s pro bono practice assists in a very wide range of legal areas and has a strong history of supporting Indigenous people.
Michelle Hannon, Pro Bono and Corporate Responsibility
Michelle Hannon is the partner at Gilbert + Tobin for Pro Bono Services & Corporate Responsibility. As a pro bono lawyer, she acts for marginalised and disadvantaged individuals and organisations representing those who cannot otherwise afford legal assistance. The practice acts across a range of legal areas and has a particular focus on legal issues affecting Indigenous Australians, People with Disabilities and Refugees. However, Michelle specialises in discrimination and human rights law. She has conducted several public interest and test cases in these areas and made successful communications to the United Nations Human Rights Committee alleging human rights breaches by the Australian Government. The practice conducts more than 300 matters a year.
Michelle is also responsible for the Firm’s CSR program which was formally established in 2007. The program has a strong focus on working with Indigenous Australia and has a Reconciliation Action Plan, Indigenous Youth Program and employment opportunities.
Michelle is a director of the National Pro Bono Resource Centre and was a director of the Public Interest Law Clearing House for a number of years.
Prior to joining the firm, Michelle worked in industrial and employment law and litigation for a major law firm. She was the principal solicitor at the NSW Disability Discrimination Legal Centre, undertaking test case and public interest litigation, policy work and community legal education in the area of disability discrimination.
Michelle has a Masters in Law and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney.
University of Technology, Sydney
Professor Rosemary Johnston, Australian Centre for Child and Youth: Culture and Wellbeing.
The Australian Centre for Child and Youth: Culture and Wellbeing is an innovative interdisciplinary 21st century centre that integrates technology, research, teaching and practice in all fields pertaining to the culture and wellbeing of children and youth.
The lead project of the Centre is an interdisciplinary project called Literate Australia (PDF, 662kb). It is an umbrella for a number of cell projects that have specific outcomes relating to the education, culture and wellbeing of children and youth.
Literacy – and the idea of a literate nation – are not just educational issues but relate to and are influenced by health, parenting practices, communities and cultures of influence, and the larger sphere of government policies.Literate Australia is committed to developing community initiatives that enhance not only skills, but the imaginations and minds that help to generate creative and civil societies.
Professor Rosemary Johnston is Head of Education at UTS and Founding Director of the Australian Centre for Child and Youth: Culture and Wellbeing.
She has served and continues to serve on the executive of a number of national and international boards, including as Vice President of the Fédération Internationale des Langues et Littératures Modernes, which is affiliated to UNESCO and has 40,000 members in association across the world; the Children’s Literature Association (USA); the International Research Society for Children’s Literature; and the Montgomery Institute (Canada). As well as setting up and developing the Literate Australia project, she is currently leading two large research projects, New Ways of Doing School: Mixing story and technology to generate innovative learning, social and cultural communities (funded by the Australia Research Council); and New Ways/Old Ways: Converging Roads, with the Martu communities of the Pilbara. She is also one of three chief investigators on an international project, Children’s Culture & War, funded by the Leverhulme Trust (UK). She is widely published in the fields of literacy and children’s literature, and her work has been translated into several languages. Professor Johnston recently received an award from the Affinity Foundation for Academic Contributions to Intercultural Relations.
The Tribal Warrior Association
The Tribal Warrior Association is a non-profit organisation initiated and operated by Aboriginal Elders. It provides certified commercial maritime training, employment opportunities and mentoring to underprivileged Australians, with an emphasis on Aboriginal youth. Since its inception in 1998, the Association has trained more than 560 maritime students, many of whom have since found gainful long-term employment.
The Association owns and operates two vessels, the Tribal Warrior and the Deerubbun. These vessels are used for maritime training, corporate charters and cultural cruises in Sydney Harbour. The Tribal Warrior became the first Aboriginal vessel to circumnavigate Australia in 2003 when it visited every major Aboriginal community on Australia’s 36,000-kilometre coastline. This successful business designed within Aboriginal cultural frameworks including acknowledging the importance of Elders in the whole enterprise.
Shane Phillips, Chief Executive Officer
Shane Phillips is an outstanding community leader and respected spokesperson for Aboriginal Australians. His work was recognised publicly with a Deadly Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cultural Advancement in 2010. Shane is passionate about the importance of empowering Aboriginal people and is a dedicated contributor to a range of community organisations. He has cultural connections to the Bunjalung, Wonnarua and Eora peoples.
Prior to his appointment as CEO of the Tribal Warrior Association, Shane’s career included roles working with young people in child protection, juvenile justice and the law, including working with the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody as a community liaison officer under the Honourable Justice Hal Wooten.
Shane’s achievements and participation in community service are outstanding and were recognised in April 2008 when he was an invited participant in Prime Minister Rudd’s 2020 Summit; he shared his vision in the “Options for the Future of Indigenous Australia” stream. He has received numerous Awards and Recognition for his outstanding contribution to community service, Aboriginal education and cultural awareness.
A proud father of four, he is passionate about empowerment and self determination of Aboriginal youth, an advocate of Aboriginal rights, a campaigner for justice and has been a spokesperson for the Aboriginal Rights Coalition protesting the NT intervention.
A Life Member and Coach of the Redfern All Blacks Under 19s rugby league team, Shane is also a Member of the National Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, the Gilbert & Tobin Reconciliation Planning Team, the National Aboriginal Alliance, and the Quarantine Station Community Committee.
Mudgin-gal Aboriginal Women’s Centre
Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Women’s Centre is an Aboriginal organisation based in inner-city Sydney. As a service run by Aboriginal women, for Aboriginal women, it is unique. Mudgin-Gal means ‘women’s place’.
Mudgin-Gal’s identity and the enduring support it offers in the heartland of Australia’s urban aboriginal population defies conventional description.
It offers safe haven and active support for women, girls and their young families through services that, because they are offered peer to peer are unique.
These services span Mudgin-Gal’s day-to-day operations and welcoming presence as a drop-in centre and source of positive cultural and social networking, through to dedicated programs in areas such as in-home family support; provision of expert referral for accommodation, legal and medical support and court support and post-release services.
Perhaps most important is Mudgin-Gal’s role as a leader in the community.
Through the growing suite of award-winning mentoring and education programs run through its ‘Healthy Family Circle’ program, developed in partnership with Relationships Australia, Mudgin-Gal is empowering women and young girls with the self esteem, confidence and life skills they need to become role models for their own children and families and, by extension, for their community.
Through its groundbreaking work to address family violence, Mudgin-Gal has gained national recognition. Its ‘Black Out Violence’ campaign won the Violence Against Women Prevention Award in 2004 and has since been rolled out – with help from Mudgin-Gal trainers and ambassadors – to communities in regional NSW. The program has been cited by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission as a best practice model for addressing violence in urban Aboriginal communities.
By building strength from within, it is Mudgin-Gal’s vision to help shape a community that lives with hope, pride and self sufficiency; a community in which every member has the same chance of achieving his or her dreams as any other Australian.
Dixie Link-Gordon, Executive Officer
Dixie Link-Gordon is part of the Gurang Gurang people of Queensland. She is strongly committed to the Aboriginal community, particularly in relation to women, addressing violence and abuse, and promoting community development.
Dixie’s work has ranged from the development of community-based education and training to advocacy and assistance in the areas of legal aid, education, support and advocacy for Aboriginal women. Dixie played an instrumental role in conceptualising and developing the Black Out Violence project, in collaboration with other Aboriginal woman and with Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations. Black Out Violence represents the culmination of knowledge ad experiences of a vast range of experts and volunteers in and around the areas of violence and abuse in Aboriginal communities.
Dixie is a member of the NSW Premier’s Council on Preventing Violence Against Women and is a member of a wide range of task forces and action groups in inner city Sydney including the Redfern/Waterloo Taskforce and the Inner-City Domestic Violence Action Group.
Dixie received the Bicentennial Medal for Working with Aboriginal Women (2001) and most recently her work in advocacy and education to stem domestic and family violence was recognised with the award of the UTS Alumni Human Rights Award (2010).