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Meet the Team

Marjorie Anderson

National Program Manager Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Crisis Support Team Lifeline Australia

Marjorie is an Aboriginal woman born and bred in Redfern, her mob is from northern NSW. Over the past 6 years, Marj has worked at the Aboriginal Housing Office in a number of roles including Principle Project Manager, Acting Manager Program Management, Regional Manager Northern Region and most recently Director Sector Investment and Development. Prior to working at the Aboriginal Housing Office, Marj has worked at Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Department of Juvenile Justice and Tourism NSW, The Olympic Coordination Authority and ABC. Marj is passionate about building resilient sustainable communities.

Alan Heath

Community Engagement Lead Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Crisis Support Team Lifeline Australia

Alan has a wealth of experience working with the Aboriginal community in the Mental Health space. He is reliable, punctual, and hardworking with excellent communication skills and has the ability to work well autonomously as well as, in collaboration with other services.  While his background is in Nursing, mental health, and wellbeing he has a firm understanding of trauma care in responding to crises. He looks forward to this challenging role utilising his skills in critical thinking combined with knowledge and lived experience being able to support people experiencing crisis with mental illness and psychiatric disabilities

He is familiar working within his scope of practice, cultural safety, confidentiality also, within a supporting role having experience with case management using a client-centred approach. Adhering to legal frameworks and policies and procedures.

Chrissy McKenzie

Clinical Lead Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Crisis Support Team Lifeline Australia

Chrissy has a wealth of experience with bringing together cultural and clinical approaches to responses to wellbeing for Aboriginal people. Chrissy has experience with crisis response, child protection and social work. Chrissy was the Senior Aboriginal Mental Health Clinician for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit in South Australia and Managed the Allied Health Unit for South Australian Health.

Bianca Hunt

Centralised In Shift Supervisor Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Crisis Support Team Lifeline Australia

Bianca comes from the South Coast Lifeline office where she holds many roles which include Centre Supervisor, Training and engagement officer, South Coast ISS, and Chair of the RAP working group for south coast. Bianca has an extensive background in training which includes Psychological First Aid Training- general and tailored Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander‘Walking in Good Spirits’ PFA, Certificate IV Training and Assessment, SpiritDreaming - Family Group Conferencing facilitator, Aboriginal Employment Recruitment and Retention Toolkit Training and many others.

Dallas Taylor

Service Delivery Lead Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Crisis Support Team Lifeline Australia

Dallas has worked in Aboriginal Affairs most of his working life most recently with the Aboriginal Housing Office in NSW. He has worked with Aboriginal Community Housing Organisations to raise their sustainability to gain and keep National Registration through a contractual and Housing Provider Framework Process. Dallas has also successfully managed the three Regions within the AHO which gives makes him highly visible throughout NSW. Dallas is very well respected in community by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. When he is not working hard he is a popular DJ.

Jia Natty

Digital Media Coordinator Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Crisis Support Team Lifeline Australia

We are very excited about Jia joining the 13YARN communications team as the Digital Media Coordinator to support and tend to all the 13YARN social media and digital platforms for the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander line.

Jia is a Gamilaroi man from Gunnedah NSW who has experience working on several first nations communications and community engagement projects providing cultural awareness within Accor. He also has experience working on several other community programs in a communications capacity that have provided services to the first nations communities of NSW in the health and arts sector.

Nikita Ridgeway

Marketing Specialist Lead Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Crisis Support Team Lifeline Australia

Nikita is an Aboriginal woman who is a communications specialist, project manager and events planner who is also skilled at planning, executing, and optimising online marketing, projects and event strategies. She promotes products through multiple digital strategies.

Nikita achieves consistent success with excellent planning skills and proactive campaign tracking. Passionate about connecting with target audiences and driving consistent growth. She is insight-driven and adaptable to changing market conditions. Nikita is an accomplished Graphic Designer offering 12 years of experience working with 100+ clients on projects and programs at a local, regional, and national level within Australia. She has demonstrated success in project management, team leadership and schedule coordination. Lifeline is lucky to have Nikita join our family.

Tayla Scerri

First Nations Workforce Coordinator,  13YARN

Tayla is a proud Boorooberongal woman of the Darug Nation from the Hawkesbury Region in NSW. She is passionate about working with her community and helping people overcome barriers, and empowering them to see that they have a future.
Tayla is a mum of two beautiful girls, Lucy, 6, and Heidi, 5, who are definitely the little boss.
In her spare time, she loves going to the gym, lifting weights then stopping in at Maccas for two cheeseburgers on the way home. It’s all about balance, right?  😁

Advisory Board

Leilani Darwin

Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy at the Black Dog Institute

COUNTRY(MOB): Nunukul, Quandamooka

Leilani is already well known within the sector for her work and leadership in Suicide Prevention and Mental Health she is a powerful advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led, culturally informed practices within mainstream services. This has been built from her own personal lived experience of losing many loved ones to suicide and her own mental ill health. Living with depression, anxiety and suicidality Leilani navigates workplace obligations and her own wellbeing.

Through her leadership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre she will continue to work closely with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to support and empower their voices and participation in key policy reform, program development and advisory roles across both the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention sector.

Tom Brideson

Chief Executive Officer – Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia

COUNTRY(MOB): Kamilaroi/Gomeroi

Over the past 30 years Tom has been active in mental health and health policy, social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB), clinical mental health care, suicide prevention, education, and mental health leadership. Since April 2020 Tom has been the Chief Executive Officer of Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia.

Tom is a Kamilaroi/Gomeroi man born in Gunnedah, NSW. He is a member of the Red Chief Local Aboriginal Land Council, Indigenous Allied Health Australia and is an Executive Member and Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Mental Health Ltd. Tom is a member of The Mental Health Services (The MHS) Learning Network. Tom is a Co-Chair of the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy Taskforce. Tom is a Deputy Commissioner of the Mental Health Commission of NSW.

Previously Tom was the State-wide Coordinator for the NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program, a role he has held since 2007.

Tania Dalton

Director of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Mental Health (NATSIMHL)

COUNTRY(MOB): Wathaurong/Gunditjmara

Tania is Managing Director and Founder of Tiimanno Consultants. Tania is a proud Wathaurong/Gunditjmara woman who is based in Geelong.

Tania is a registered psychologist and has been Chairperson of the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association since 2013.

Tania is also a Director of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Mental Health (NATSIMHL) group and a member of the AHPRA Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Health Strategy Group.

Pat Dudgeon

Director of the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention at the University of Western Australia

COUNTRY(MOB): Bardi people in Western Australia

Pat Dudgeon is a psychologist and professor at the Poche Centre for Aboriginal Health and the School of Indigenous Studies at UWA. Her area of research includes Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention.

She is the director of the Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention at UWA. She is also the lead chief investigator of a national research project, Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing that aims to develop approaches to Indigenous mental health services that promote cultural values and strengths as well as empowering users. She has many publications in Indigenous mental health, in particular, the Working Together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principals and Practice 2014.

Anna-Louise Kimpton

Director of Policy -National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

Our Vision

Our vision is to achieve a nation free of suicide. We know the current statistics for suicide and self-harm for Aboriginal people are disproportionately high. To tackle this problem head-on, this service will be led by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Board and employ professionals in suicide prevention and crisis support utilising Lifeline’s extensive experience and infrastructure.
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Our Story, Our Healing

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