New additions to Reconciliation Australia Board

Reconciliation Australia today welcomed two new members to the organisation’s Board of Directors.

At the first Board meeting of the year, Co-Chairs Dr Tom Calma and Ms Melinda Cilento said Peter Nash and Joy Thomas made excellent additions to the directorship.

“We are extremely pleased to have two distinguished leaders join us in our journey towards reconciliation,” Dr Calma said.

Ms Cilento said: “Their strong and diverse backgrounds in corporate and government affairs will strengthen and complement the work we do—particularly for Reconciliation Actions Plans and constitutional reform.”

Mr Nash is the Australian Chairman of KPMG and holds positions on KPMG’s Global and Asia Pacific boards. Having joined KPMG in 1982, Mr Nash has worked for the firm in Australia, Canada and the Asia Pacific region, and led a number of major global accounts spanning the financial services and energy and natural resources sectors.

Mr Nash has held a number of senior roles including Head of Markets and Head of People, Performance and Culture, and most recently Head of Audit in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

“It’s an honour to join Reconciliation Australia’s Board of Directors,” Mr Nash said. “Reconciliation has always been very significant to me and I look forward to working with Corporate Australia on this important issue.”

Ms Thomas is a Senior Policy Adviser and Manager of the Australian General Practice Network Member Engagement Strategy. She joined AGPN in 2008 after serving for many years as an adviser to former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, and chief of staff to Ministers in the Howard Government.

“Throughout my career in policy and government, I have always been committed to making a difference,” Ms Thomas said.

“I look forward to making a contribution along with other Directors of the Board of Reconciliation Australia in sharing the vision of reconciliation with the broader Australian community”.

The Reconciliation Australia Board of Directors now consists of six Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander members and four other Australians.

The announcement of the new directors comes ahead of tonight’s launch of the 300th

Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Agribussiness GrainCorp, one of Australia’s largest grain suppliers, will launch their first RAP at a special function in Sydney.

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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