Dr Ken Henry AC joins Reconciliation Australia Board

On the eve of National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week, Reconciliation Australia has announced a significant appointment to its Board of Directors.

Dr Ken Henry AC, who holds a number of key positions in both the government and private sectors, has formally accepted a place on the Reconciliation Australia Board.

Dr Henry is Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, leading the development of a White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century. He is also a director of National Australia Bank Ltd, Executive Chair of the Institute of Public Policy at the ANU and Chair of the Advisory Council of the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong.

For a decade he was Secretary to the Treasury, a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia and a member of the Board of Taxation. In 2007 Dr Henry was made a Companion in the Order of Australia.

Reconciliation Australia Co-Chairs Dr Tom Calma and Ms Melinda Cilento said they welcomed Dr Henry and looked forward to him sharing his insights, knowledge and experience on the Board.

“Dr Henry is at the forefront of financial leadership in Australia and his extensive experience, across a range of matters, coupled with his vision for a fair and prosperous nation, makes him an excellent addition to Reconciliation Australia’s leadership team,” Dr Calma said.

“I particularly look forward to working with Dr Henry, along with my fellow Board members, to create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to contribute in the community—both culturally and economically,” Ms Cilento said.

Dr Henry said he was honoured to join the Reconciliation Australia Board and to work as an ambassador for reconciliation.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage confronts all Australians. Addressing it begins with genuine reconciliation. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to that endeavour in this way.”

The Reconciliation Australia Board of Directors now consists of six Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander members and five non-Indigenous Australians.

Reconciliation Australia is the national body promoting reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

Paul House with gum leaves and smoke
Paul Girrawah House

Paul Girrawah House has multiple First Nation ancestries from the South-East Canberra region, including the Ngambri-Ngurmal (Walgalu), Pajong (Gundungurra), Wallabollooa (Ngunnawal) and Erambie/Brungle (Wiradyuri) family groups.

Paul acknowledges his diverse First Nation history, he particularly identifies as a descendant of Onyong aka Jindoomang from Weereewaa (Lake George) and Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams from Namadgi who were both multilingual, essentially Walgalu-Ngunnawal-Wiradjuri speaking warriors and Ngunnawal–Wallaballooa man William Lane aka ‘Billy the Bull’ - Murrjinille.

Paul was born at the old Canberra hospital in the centre of his ancestral country and strongly acknowledges his First Nation matriarch ancestors, in particular his mother Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and grandmother, Ms Pearl Simpson-Wedge.

Paul completed a Bachelor of Community Management from Macquarie University, and Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage and Management from CSU.

Paul provided the Welcome to Country for the 47th Opening of Federal Parliament in 2022. Paul is Board Director, Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Member Indigenous Reference Group, National Museum of Australia and Australian Government Voice Referendum Engagement Group.  

Paul works on country with the ANU, First Nations Portfolio as a Senior Community Engagement Officer

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing  connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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