Yindjibarndi woman Jody Broun has been appointed as chief executive officer of the National Indigenous Australians Agency, and will become the most senior Indigenous person in the Australian Public Service.
Ms Broun – an award-winning artist, activist and public servant – is currently chief executive officer of the Aboriginal Housing Office and Group Deputy Secretary of Aboriginal Strategy and Outcomes with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
Born in 1963, she is originally from the Pilbara in Western Australia, and her mother was part of the Stolen Generations.
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She holds a Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor of Education and Master’s in Philosophy.
In 1998, she was awarded first prize in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award for her artwork, White Fellas Come To Talk Bout Land, and in 2005 she took first place in the Canberra Art Prize for Half-Time Game.
Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said Ms Broun will bring a wealth of experience across housing, health, education, justice, land and culture, and most notably will work through the intricacies of Commonwealth and state and territory relations in a number of senior roles in different jurisdictions.
“I am immensely proud that the National Indigenous Australians Agency will be led by an Indigenous woman of Ms Broun’s calibre,” said Mr Wyatt.
“She is a highly respected public servant and is passionate about community-led co-design, the economic empowerment of Indigenous Australians, and that education is a key driver of positive change in our communities.
“With a national network to leverage, I am confident she is the right person to deliver on the government’s objectives to achieve the best outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“I am thrilled we are able to appoint such an accomplished and talented Aboriginal woman to this role.”
The National Indigenous Australians Agency has spearheaded a number of significant projects since its establishment in 2019, and Mr Wyatt paid tribute to its first CEO Ray Griggs.
“I want to thank former CEO Ray Griggs for his leadership in overseeing the establishment and expansion of the agency,” he said.
“Mr Griggs has been critical to the success of the NIAA and I thank him for his service.”
Mr Wyatt also thanked acting CEO Blair Exell for his stewardship of the agency during the past six months, delivering a number of significant projects, including the final report for the Indigenous voice and the recently announced Ngurra cultural precinct in Canberra.
Ms Broun will commence a five-year term on 14 February, 2022.