Our People

Our Board of Directors play a crucial role in the governance and oversight of the organisation, ensuring it is being managed effectively, ethically and in alignment with our strategic goals.

  • Dawn Wallam

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    Dawn is a Bibbulman Wadandi women of the Nyoongar Nation who has been making a huge difference in the lives of Aboriginal children through her work in the community services sector for 40 years. 

    CEO of Yorganop, Western Australia’s only foster care agency, Life Member of SNAICC – National Voice for our Children, Life member of NAIDOC WA and first Chairperson of the Noongar Child Protection Council, Dawn maintains the vision of nurturing children is central to every decision she makes.

    Served as a SNAICC Board member for over 20 years and is a founding member of the Nyoongar Outreach Services and the Nyoongar Family Safety and Wellbeing Council who also served as the elected representative for the Karlkarniny Regional Council of ATSIC and is the current chair of West Coast Language Development Centre.

    Proactive in representing Aboriginal children and family issues at all levels, including local, state, national and international forums in her many advocacy roles.

    Inductee of the WA Women’s Hall of Fame and finalist in the Aboriginal Award category of the 2019 Western Australian of The Year Awards, 2018 recipient of the Community Services Excellence Award for ‘Excellence in Leadership’ and Life Member of NAIDOC WA.

    Dawn joined the Yorgum Board in June 2018.

  • Lennett Sandy

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    Lennett is a Whadjuk Noongar Yorga, who grew up on the Moora Reserve with her grandmother, mother, uncles and brother.  She has two children, eight grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.  

    She has connection to Busselton, Wardandi Country through her Great Grandmother Clara Layland/Mippy (nee-Harris) and Rockingham -Gnaala Karla Boodja through her Great Grandfather Arthur Mippy. She also has connections to Roebourne through

    her great grandfather Sandy McPherson and Grandfather Jimmy/James Sandy Snr.

    Lennett is employed by The Aboriginal Catholic Ministry (ACM), as a Pastoral Assistant, to engage in hospital, hostels, and home visitation, including recording and regular updating of data. Work with the ACM team to plan and facilitate community events,

    including Elders/Seniors gathering.

    Lennett is proudly committed to the community, as demonstrated in her service as a committee member for six committees including Yorgum Healing Service (of which she is a founding member).

    • Marr-Mooditj Training (Aboriginal Health Training)
    • Moorditch Gurlongga Association (MGA)
    • Trading as Coolabaroo Child Care & Coolabaroo Housing
    • Street Friends WA
    • Babbingur Mia Aboriginal Advisory Group
    • WANSLEA Cultural Advisory Committee

    One of her goals is to take what she has learnt, use it to build a stronger more independent community service which provides culturally appropriate services at grass roots and community level. 

    Lennett Sandy
  • Farley Garlett

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    Farley is a proud Whadjuk Nyoongar Elder who was raised on Ballardong country, with lived and professional experience embedded in Native Title and Aboriginal heritage and is passionate about working positively with Aboriginal people to achieve meaningful community outcomes.

    He has in-depth knowledge and understanding of the past and current issues affecting Noongar individuals, families and the wider communities, his leadership as an Aboriginal Elder and cultural authority is recognised throughout Western Australia and is an Award Winner of NAIDOC Elder of the Year and the Silver Star by the Governor General of Australia.

    Farley was previously the Chairperson Perth Noongar Regional Council, ATSIC from 1999 to 2002 and then was elected as the WA ATSIC Commissioner and is currently a Board member of Nyoongar Outreach Services, Nyoongar MiaMia Housing Corporation and Mandjah Boodjah Aboriginal Corporation.

  • Angela Ryder

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    Angela is a proud Goreng/Wiilmen woman from the Noongar Nation, residing and contributing to Boorloo (Perth) on Wadjak Boodja for over four decades. With a rich history of service and collaboration, Angela has been an integral part of numerous Boards and Committees, engaging closely with government bodies and community organisations.

    She holds esteemed titles such as Life Member and Founder (2000) of Langford Aboriginal Association and Life Member of NAIDOC Perth (2022). Angela’s contributions have earned her accolades, including induction into the inaugural Western Australian Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011. Her dedication was further recognized at the 2013 Perth NAIDOC Awards Ceremony, where she was named Community Person of the Year. Angela was also a finalist for the Aboriginal Award at the 2017 Western Australia of the Year and received the John Curtin Medal in 2017 for her enduring leadership within the community.

    Angela’s advocacy extends to promoting Cultural, Social, and Emotional Wellbeing, as well as addressing issues of Loss and Grief within the community. Grounded in her own experience of childhood separation from her family, Angela’s narrative forms the core of her impactful Cultural Training initiatives.

    With a robust background in finance management, governance, human resource management, and community development, Angela brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as a Board member.

    Angela joined the Yorgum Board in November 2023, enriching the team with her expertise and passion for community empowerment.

    Angela Ryder
  • Laurel Sellers

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    Laurel proudly identifies as a Goreng/Menang Noongar woman from Katanning, within the ancestral lands of Wagyl Kaip. Her lineage is rich, with her father having Yamatji heritage and familial connections to Martu through his maternal line. Moreover, her ties extend into the Pilbara and Kimberley regions, thanks to her children’s paternal lineage.

    Since 2014, Laurel has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Yorgum Healing Services, a role that has allowed her to steer the organisation into becoming a respected leader in trauma-specific care within a social and emotional well-being framework, particularly focusing on Aboriginal communities across Western Australia (excluding the Kimberleys).

    Beyond Laurel’s professional roles, she has actively engaged in advocacy and advisory capacities, collaborating with government entities on diverse topics such as community engagement, housing, corrective services, child protection, family violence, and responses to child sexual abuse. Laurel’s involvement extends to serving on boards, including a two-year tenure on the WACOSS Board, and co-founding the Noongar Family and Safety Council in 2017.

    Overall, Laurel’s journey reflects a commitment to holistic healing, cultural preservation, and advocating for the well-being of Aboriginal peoples, underpinned by a strong foundation in community leadership and governance.

    Laurel Sellers

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