NACCHO’s Board of Directors is comprised of:

• The Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson who are elected by delegates from Member Organisations at an Annual General Meeting, for terms of three years each; and

• 14 Directors who are elected by delegates of Member Organisations at Annual General Meetings in their individual States and Territories – two each from NT, QLD, NSW, VIC, SA, and WA, and one each from Tasmania and the ACT.

Past chairs include

Dr Puggy Hunter – NACCHO Chairperson 1991-2001
Ms Pat Anderson – NACCHO Chairperson 2002-2003
Dr Naomi Mayers – Acting Chairperson 2001 & 2005
Mr Henry Councillor – NACCHO Chairperson 2001-2002, 2003, 2005-2007
Mr Tony McCartney – NACCHO Chairperson 2003-2005
Dr Mick Adams – NACCHO Chairperson 2007-2009
Mr Justin Mohamed – NACCHO Chairperson 2009-2014
Mr Matthew Cooke – NACCHO Chairperson 2014 – Present

The NACCHO Board

Matthew Cooke – Chairperson Elected 13 November 2014


Matthew Cooke

Matthew is a proud Aboriginal and South Sea Islander from the Bailai (Byellee) people in Gladstone, Central Queensland.

Matthew was elected as Deputy Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) in 2011, then appointed as Chairperson in November 2014. He was previously the CEO of Nhulundu Wooribah Indigenous Health Organisation Inc., the Aboriginal Medical Service in Gladstone, for more than six years. During this time Matthew served as the Deputy Chair and Secretary of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC).

In 2012 Matthew was appointed as the Indigenous Affairs Manager for Bechtel Australia, a renowned worldwide engineering, procurement and construction company. Recently, Matthew stood down from the QAIHC Board of Directors to take up the role as the CEO of QAIHC.

In 2007 Matthew was named Young Leader in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and in 2008 received the Deadly Vibe Young Leader award. Matthew’s active involvement spans all four levels of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Sector – national, state, regional and local.

Current Leadership roles within the Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Sector:

• Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), including the Chair role of the Finance & Audit Committee.
• Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC, State Affiliate Body).
• Former Deputy Chairperson and long-serving Director of Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC).
• Former CEO and current Director of Nhulundu Wooribah Indigenous Health Organisation Incorporated (Gladstone AMS).
• Inaugural Chairperson and current Director of Central Queensland Regional Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Organisation (CQRIACCHO).

Other Leadership roles;

• Native Title Applicant and Trustee Director for the Port Curtis Coral Coast Native Title Claimant group, in Central Queensland.
• Director of Bailai Aboriginal Corporation for Land & Culture
• Committee Member of the Regional Development Australia – Fitzroy Central West Queensland.
• Committee Member of the Commonwealth Department of Health OCHREStreams Advisory Committee.

Sandy Davis – Deputy Chairperson Elected 13 November 2014


Sandy Davis

Arthur (Sandy) Davies is a proud Nanda man of the Amati region and has an extensive history in Aboriginal affairs which dates back some 30 years.

Between 1979 to 2007, Sandy has either been a Board Member, Chairperson or CEO of the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (GRAMS) and is currently the Chairperson of GRAMS and Deputy Chairperson of NACCHO.

Sandy has long been involved in Aboriginal politics, representing the Murchison Gascoyne on numerous local, state and regional forums.

He has been instrumental in the establishment of various committees, forums and Aboriginal agencies for the Amati region, such as Aboriginal Justice Forums, Land and Sea Council, Streetworker Aboriginal Corporation and the Bundiyarra Aboriginal Resource agency.

Sandy has also been an inaugural member of many of the Aboriginal services and is passionate about social justice and making sure our people have a voice and the right to be heard, advocating for improvement in Aboriginal health and have equal rights for all our people when they are accessing health services and other services provided by government agencies.

Christine Corby – New South Wales Until May 2015


Christine Corby

Christine is a Gamilaraay woman from north-western New South Wales, born in Sydney and returned to her mother’s country, living in Walgett for the past 40 years.

She was the Legal Secretary for the NSW Aboriginal Legal Service for 11-years in the Walgett Office. When funding was announced in 1986 for the establishment of a local Aboriginal Medical Service in Walgett, Christine commenced as CEO, a position she has held 29 years.

Christine is also CEO of the Brewarrina Aboriginal Health Service; former Chairperson of Bila Muuji Aboriginal Health Service, representing 11-member services of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AHMRC) in the (former) Greater Western Area Health Service (GWAHS) region and the Chairperson of AHMRC.

Christine is a Justice of the Peace, holds a Graduate Diploma of Health Management, a Diploma of Management, a Diploma of Health Sciences and a Diploma of Business Management. In 2005 Christine was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM), the Centenary Medal in 2003, and received the NSW Health Hall of Fame Award in Aboriginal Health in 2005.

John Mitchell – Victoria


John Mitchell

John Mitchell, is a proud Wemba Wemba man and the Deputy CEO of Njernda, an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) in Echuca, Victoria.

John’s first appointment in Aboriginal Health was at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) in Fitzroy, where he was a Dental Field Officer and then a Medical Driver. He also spent a brief time as an Aboriginal Health Worker at VAHS prior to relocating to Echuca to work as the Medical Co-ordinator at Njernda.  John attained a formed qualification as a Practice Manager with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO).

John has much knowledge and skills in Aboriginal affairs and of issues facing Aboriginal communities across the state, and his commitment to Aboriginal health is shown by his 27 years of experience working in ACCHOs. He is the current Chair of the VACCHO and a nominated Victorian delegate on the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Board.

The portfolios John is involved with, demonstrates how broad his knowledge of Aboriginal culture, issues and the community is.  His portfolios includes, Deputy Chair of the Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee (Loddon Mallee) and Chair of the Local Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee; the Loddon Mallee Aboriginal Reference Group, Health Network Partnership (Campaspe Shire), Family Violence Steering Group (Campaspe Shire), a representative of the Victorian Aboriginal Children and Young People’s Alliance (VACYP), Aboriginal Children’s Forum and Aboriginal Justice Forum.

For John, the best interest of Aboriginal communities is number one and close to his heart. He is always searching for the best possible outcomes in health, justice, emotional wellbeing, housing, employment and more recently child protection. John now finds himself at a stage of his life where he wants to give back to community, honouring his commitment for better outcomes and contributing at a State and National level with VACCHO and NACCHO.  John looks forward to the day Victoria Aboriginal people sign off on a Treaty and secure ongoing sustainable funding for the ACCHO sector.

Shane Mohor – South Australia


Shane Mohor

Shane Mohor is currently the CEO of the Aboriginal Health Council of SA Inc.  (AHCSA) and has been with the AHCSA since November 2010. Shane has worked in Aboriginal health as a Registered Nurse and Senior Executive in Government, University and Non-Government Organisations for over 27 years in South Australia as well as interstate.  Shane has a Bachelor of Nursing and enrolled in his Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

Shane has a passion for the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector and is strongly committed to improving the health and well-being status of Aboriginal people. He is also strongly committed to the advancement of employment for Aboriginal people, in particular for Aboriginal Health Workers.

Shane was elected as President of the Board of Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) in 2013 and continues to carry out this role.

Shane also holds a Ministerial appointment to the Ethics Health Advisory Council in SA Health and sits on the newly established Torrens University of Adelaide (Laureate International Universities) Advisory Council and the Public Health Program Advisory Group.  Shane is an associate member to Nunkuwarrin Yunti of SA Inc.

Elizabeth Adams – Queensland


Elizabeth Adams

Elizabeth Adams (Lizzie) is an Aboriginal woman of the Mardigan Peoples of Far South West Queensland.

Lizzie is CEO of Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Company Ltd, is Chairperson for QAIHC, represents QAIHC on the Queensland Rural Medical Education Board, and Chairperson of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak Ltd.

Lizzie began her career in Aboriginal and Islander Affairs in the early eighties, training initially as a nurse. She continued to gain a range of skills and qualifications in the Indigenous Health Sector, including the accredited areas of Health Service Management and Governance.

Over the years Lizzie has worked for a number of community controlled organisations spanning housing, legal, education and health. It is this experience and her active participation in her local community that maintains Lizzie’s drive for change and improvement in the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Adrian Carson – Queensland Commenced November 2015


Adrian Carson

Adrian Carson has more than 20 years experience working in the Indigenous health sector. As the current CEO of the Institute for Urban and Indigenous Health, Adrian plays a leading role in promoting partnerships and integration with other mainstream health services, and identifying strategic responses to the significant and geographic dispersion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the South East Queensland Region.

In the past, Adrian has played a key role in leading and managing change in Indigenous health including the implementation of the COAG Close the Gap and Health and Hospitals reform agenda.

Recently Adrian led the development of the innovative and sustainable business model in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled comprehensive primary health care with Institute for Urban and Indigenous Health.

He has led the program development and expansion of Deadly Choices initiative across multiple sites and the innovative and sustainable business model in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled comprehensive primary health care,

He has worked as CEO of Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, the peak body for unity controlled health services in Queensland, and consulted with State and Commonwealth Health departments.

Vicki Holmes – South Australia


Vicki Holmes

Vicki Holmes is an Aboriginal women descended from the Tanganekald (SA) and Western Aranda clan.

Vicki has been with Nunkuwarrin Yunti for 34 years. She has had many roles in the organisation, her rst position was the Medical Receptionist, 1986 and she became the Health Co-ordinator of programmes such as Women’s Health, HIV, Diabetes, Mental Health, Social/Welfare support which were expanding and developing.

In 2010 Vicki became the Chief Executive Ocer of Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia. As Chief Executive Ocer of Nunkuwarrin Yunti, she holds positions on the Boards of NACCHO, the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia, REACCH, Aboriginal Home Care and 1st Peoples National Congress.

Vicki has always been passionate about the Social and Emotional Well Being of the Aboriginal Community.


Michelle Nelson-Cox – Western Australia


Michelle Nelson-Cox

Michelle is the elected Chairperson of the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia. A Noongar woman from the Ballardong region east of Perth, Michelle has been a passionate campaigner for the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector for over 30 years.

Michelle is a current member of the NACCHO Board of Directors, the previous President of Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service, is a Director of Noongar Radio and a Member of Western Australian Reference Group. Michelle holds a Batchelor of Arts for Community Management and Adult Education and Bachelor of Social Science Indigenous Services.

Michelle has worked in Community Controlled Organisations, Native Title, Medicare, Housing and Education and is committed to ensuring the future of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector as the leading provider of quality primary health care essential to the cultural needs of our people and improving the life expectancy of our people.

Donna Ah Chee – Northern Territory


Donna Ah Chee

Donna Ah Chee is the CEO of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation, the Aboriginal community controlled primary health care Service in Alice Springs.

Congress employs around 300 sta delivering services ranging from antenatal and postnatal care, early childhood development, chronic disease, social and emotional wellbeing, women’s and men’s health, a 55 place childcare centre as well as auspicing ve health clinics in central Australia.

Donna has lived in Alice Springs for over 25 years and is married to a local Yankuntjarra/Arrernte man and together they have 3 children.

She is a Bundgalung woman from the far north coast of New South Wales. She has been actively involved in Aboriginal affairs for many years, especially in the area of Aboriginal adult education and Aboriginal health. In June 2011 Donna moved to Canberra to take up the position of CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) before returning to Congress in July 2012.

Donna has convened the Workforce Working Party under the Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Forum, was Chairperson of the Central Australian Regional Indigenous Health Planning Committee (CARIHPC), a member of the NT Child Protection External Monitoring Committee and jointly headed up the Northern Territory Government’s Alcohol Framework Project Team. She currently sits on the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC) and at a local level represents Congress on the People’s Alcohol Action Coalition (PAAC).

John Paterson – Northern Territory Commenced November 2015


John Paterson

John Paterson — born and bred Territorian, John’s family is affiliated with the Ngalakan tribe, located in the Roper River region.  John was appointed as the EO of AMSANT in June 2006 and immediately outlined his priorities for the organisation in the coming years.

“John’s goal is to strengthen and enhance our community controlled health services in the NT so we can improve both the quality and duration of life for Aboriginal people,” John  says. “I’m particularly keen to help improve the mental health of the people in our region, with a holistic approach to primary health care.

“He hopes to build on the AMSANT’s strong history of advocacy and to continue lobbying the territory and federal governments to acknowledge the on-going success of the Aboriginal community controlled health sector.

“His other important agenda is to advocate vigorously for the further roll-out of the Primary Health Care Access program (PHCAP) to improve the access of Aboriginal people to comprehensive primary health care services.”

John’s professional appointments:

CEO, Wurli Wurlinjang Health Service, ATSIC State Manager, Victoria, ATSIC State Manager, South Australia, ATSIC Regional Manager, Broome, ATSIC Regional Manager, Murchison/Gascoyne, Senior Advisor, NT Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, (Acting) Director of NAALAS (North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service), ATSIC Commissioner, NT (North Zone), Council Liaison Officer, Northern Land Council

John has represented ATSIC at the United Nations Working Group of Indigenous Populations in Geneva, and at Indigenous economic conferences in Canada.

In 1992 he graduated from Edith Cowan University with a Bachelor of Social Science (Human Services) and has completed leadership courses with the Australian Rural Leadership Program.

Julie Tongs – Australian Capital Territory Commenced 1997


Julie Tongs

Julie is a Wiradjuri woman born in Leeton NSW, raised in a small country town called Whitton. She has lived in the ACT region for around 40 years.

Julie’s long history of community service and involvement in the ACT has provided her with a strong knowledge and understanding of the issues impacting Aboriginal people in the ACT and region.

Julie has been involved with Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service (AHS) for 15-years. Julie was a Board Director from 1993-1997 and appointed as CEO in 1997.

Julie continues to represent the ACT and Winnunga Nimmityjah AHS on many local and national steering committees and has been a NACCHO Board Director since 1997. In this role Julie has gained a vast amount of knowledge and experience as a national representative and at a strategic planning level.