Board of Directors


Photo of David Follent


New South Wales - Chairperson

David is currently a Senior Project Officer, with in the Aboriginal Chronic Care Team with in NSW Health’s Agency of Clinical Innovation. Previous to this position, he spent over six years within Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) based at Gosford.

The bulk of his time here, he managed the Aboriginal Chronic Care Program with the CCLHD’s Aboriginal Health unit, with secondments to Public Health Unit and Priority Programs, working on projects for Dental and Sexual Health / Needle and Syringe Program). Additionally, before his time at CCLHD, David spend 6 years in South Eastern Sydney and Illarwarra Local Health District (know Sydney Local Health District and Illawarra Local Health District). In his time here, David was an Aboriginal Health Worker, trainee enrolled nurse and Aboriginal Chronic Care Project Lead. In this time, he completed a Certificate IV in Enrolled Nursing (NSW TAFE) and a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (Aboriginal Health College).

David is currently finishing off his Masters in Public Health at Sydney University. On completion of his Master’s degree, he will meet all requirements to have successfully completed the Aboriginal Population Health Training Initiative (APHTI).  David’s passions and interests include Aboriginal Health, Public Health and Health Policy Development.

David, proudly states he is a second generation of this family to venture into Aboriginal health, with his Mother, Sue Follent, one of the early Cohorts of Aboriginal Health Workers within the NSW health System and went on to Manage Bugalweena Service, within Tweed Hospital in Northern NSW, retiring in 2010 after a career spanning nearly 30 years.

Within Aboriginal Health across NSW, and has strong relationships with key stakeholders across NSW. This includes NSW Ministry of Health, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, AH&MRC, Local Health Districts, Primary Health Networks and other government / Non-Government service providers.

Photo of Judith Parnham

Judith Parnham

Queensland – Deputy Chair

Judith Parnham represents both Aboriginal and the Torres Straits and is a proud Ankamuthi (Northern Peninsular Area. Qld) and Erub - Darnley Island descendant.

Judith was born in Mossman Far North Queensland and lived and schooled in areas expanding from Mossman to Mt Isa.

She has been an Indigenous Health Worker since 2004 and has worked in the areas of Cairns and Northern Peninsular Area.  Judith is currently working at the Atherton District Hospital on the Atherton Tablelands.

Judith believes that her resilience and determination to improve Indigenous health statistics and providing culturally appropriate awareness and services to the indigenous communities fuel her passion for educating and creating opportunities of awareness to non- indigenous communities.

Her continuous self-improvement and nurturing personality enable her to groom / role model, mentor and encourage the current and future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and health professionals.

Judith’s portfolio includes:  Hearing Health, Health Promotion and Education, Chronic Disease, Child Health, Wound Care and Community Health.

Further studies have seen Judith gain her Diploma in Indigenous Primary Health Care, Diploma in Indigenous Education and is currently completing a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion.

Other significant achievements within Indigenous Health is:

2005- The Premiers Award for Participation in the Homelands Partnership

2008 – Implementation Coordinator for the Indigenous Bowel Cancer Screening Program

2018- NQPHN Health Professional Awards – Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker/Practitioner of the year.

Photo of Suzie Smith

Suzie Smith

Tasmania – Secretary

Suzie Smith is a proud palawa woman and mother of two from southern lutruwita (Tasmania). Suzie began her career working for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation as a child care trainee , pregnancy support work and went on to study cert III and cert 4 IV in Aboriginal primary health Practice, achieving practitioner status in 2014.

Suzie is currently the senior Aboriginal Health practitioner and clinic supervisor at the Aboriginal Health Service in nipaluna (Hobart) and has completed her diploma in practise management and vocational graduate certificate in chronic disease self- management.

Suzie has always been passionate about improving the health of her community and believes that promoting the important role and work done by Aboriginal Health workers / practitioners is an integral step to ensure Aboriginal people get the quality health care they need.

Photo of Antoinette Liddell

Antoinette Liddell

South Australia – Treasurer

Antoinette Liddell is a proud Wajarri woman of the mid-west region of Western Australia, born and raised on Barngarla country, Port Lincoln, South Australia. A mother of three and a registered Aboriginal Health Practitioner with over 12 years of experience in Aboriginal Primary Health Care.

Antoinette is currently at the University of Adelaide with the Adelaide Rural Clinical School in an Aboriginal Health Research role to further her skills and knowledge. She is passionate about improving the health of Aboriginal Peoples and believes through her clinical knowledge, experience and leadership skills as an Aboriginal Health Practitioner combined with her research capacity she will be able to support, educate and re-empower communities, individuals and families to make a difference.

Photo of Richelle Jackson

Richelle Johnson

Victoria – Director

Richelle is a proud Gunditjmara & Wiradjuri woman with Family ties to Wamba Wamba, Yorta Yorta, Gunni Kunni & some communities in NT.

Richelle walked in her grandmother’s footsteps, Joyce Johnson, and learned from her how to care for family and community at an early age.

Her career started at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) back when she was just 17 years old as a Dental Nurse in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.
She went on to become an Aboriginal Health Worker and worked in Ravenhall Correction Center for four years and at the Parkville Juvenile Detention for two years.

Currently she is an Aboriginal Health Practitioner at the Epping Clinic for VAHS.
Richelle loves working with her community to help them live a healthier life.

Photo of Yancy Laifoo


Torres Strait Island/Northern Peninsula Area – Director

NAATSIHWP representative for the Torres Strait Islands and from Badu Island, Yancy has been a Health Worker for over 19 years and Board Members since 2012. Currently the Manager for Health Programs in a Primary Health Care she is overseeing the Child and Maternal Health Program throughout the Torres Strait Islands and Northern Peninsular Area, she also worked with Qld Health in theatre and A&E.

She is active in supporting and encouraging other Health Workers to achieve and to gain higher qualifications. Yancy herself has an Advanced Diploma in Primary Health Care, Cert 1V Workplace Training & Assessing and a Degree in Community Development. In her spare time and coming from a large family of 24 plus extended family she enjoys getting everyone together and going fishing, teaching kinship and culture to younger family members. She likes to ensure children are involved in sports and healthy activities.

Photo of Raeylene McKenna

Raeylene McKenna

Western Australia – Director

Raeylene is a proud Yawuru/Bunuba Women from Broome, WA. Graduated as Health Worker in 2003 and worked at Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service, Kimberley Population Health Unit and Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service Ltd (KAMS) in many different roles.

Raeylene is Currently managing the KAMS RTO, delivering the Cert III in ATSI Primary Health Care, Cert IV in ATSI Primary Health Care Practice and the Cert IV in Mental Health. Raeylene is passionate about ATSI Health, she believes that we are the change makers and are critical to the health workforce, and in Closing the Gap. Raeylene’s other passion is being able to transfer cultural knowledge between local and mainstream Medical Services and provides Cultural Safety Training and mentoring to staff at KAMS. She hopes that she will be able to contribute to the positive changes required to support better health outcomes for our people.

Photo of Skyan Fernando

Skyan Fernando

Australian Capital Territory

Skyan is a proud Gomeroi/Ngunnawal Woman, living and working in the Canberra/Queanbeyan area.

Skyan is currently the Senior Health Promotion Officer for the Southern NSW Local Health District.

Working as an Aboriginal Health Worker for more than 10 years in Aboriginal health and community services, she has since taken further study to become an Aboriginal Health Practitioner and more recently, has completed a Graduate Diploma Social and Emotional Well-being (Indigenous Health Promotion).

Skyan has been involved with initiatives such as the Deadly Choices program, the Aboriginal Ear Health program, the Healthy Eating Active Living program, and the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. She also has experience as a Reconnect Officer and a Dual Diagnosis Worker, supporting young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with mental health and substance use issues to reconnect with their culture, education, and employment.

Skyan is commited to enhancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes and strives for mob to be confident and self-sufficient.

Photo of Dawn Daly

Dawn Daly

Northern Territory

Dawn is connected to the Dalabon language group at Weemol in the Nyirranggulung Ward from her mother's side, and to the Ngengiwumirri language group in the upper Daly region from her father.

Having commenced the old ‘Basic Skills’ Training in 1987 at the Nauiyu Nambiyu Community Health Centre in the Northern Territory, Dawn soon became the 203rd registered Health Worker under the Aboriginal Health Workers Registration Board of the Northern Territory.

Following the National Scheme, she was one of the first to be a registered Health Worker under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board.

Across her working career, Dawn has been employed by various agencies including local community government council, Northern Territory Government and Aboriginal Medical Service of the Northern Territory.

Dawns’ work and experience in local health centers have included managing primary health care programs, providing acute and emergency after hour’s health care, medical evacuations within a remote Aboriginal community and surrounding outstations; including being the manager.

Her experience as an Aboriginal Health Worker and Practitioner has been challenging and rewarding and enables her to contribute towards improving Indigenous health, education and employment.