Aaron Clark, Director Korin Gamadji Institute
Raised in south west Victoria on Framlingham Mission, Aaron is a proud descendant from the Tjap Whurrung people of the Gunditjmara nation. Aaron has extensive experience in cultural expression across many platforms and a passion working with young people in leadership and mentoring programs. He has played a key role in the development of the Brambuk National Park and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap, and the Kirreet Barreet Art and Culture Centre in Ballarat.
Aaron has been a member of various Reconciliation Action Plan steering committees, including Carlton Football Club and Hostplus. Aaron has played a significant role in strengthening football pathways for Victorian Aboriginal Youth in his previous role as Indigenous Programs Manager for AFLVic. This has included extensive education for non-Indigenous people involved in the industry, and supporting off field development for the participants.
Michael Lacy, Head of Community
At Richmond, Michael works to develop Indigenous leadership and employment pathways through the Club’s Korin Gamadji Institute. He has successfully built the Club’s partnership with The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, and worked extensively with culturally diverse communities and groups.
Michael has a background in teaching physical education and health, he is Co-Chair of Richmond’s Reconciliation Action Plan, and Chairs the Emerging Indigenous Executive Leadership Program working group.
Luke Murray, Indigenous Engagement Manager
Luke is a proud Wamba Wamba and Yorta Yorta man from the Murray River. He has worked extensively in the Aboriginal community since 14 years of age where he did his first work experience at Lake Condah Co-op now known as Windamara. Luke has primarily worked in Indigenous Education particularly in Higher Education with 12 year’s experience at the University of Melbourne and another 3 years at La Trobe University.
Currently Luke is the Indigenous Community Engagement Manager for the KGI Institute. Luke’s main role is to engage the local community in KGI program, events, activities and general use of the facility. Luke has two boys 6 and 9 and resides in Bendigo on Dja Dja Wurrung country the land of his Great Grandfather Sir Doug Nicholls. Luke believes that quality education is the key for Aboriginal self-determination and better quality of life.
Thara Brown, KGI Program Manager
Thara is a proud Koori woman, born and raised on Wurundjeri Country in Kinglake. Her mother’s family are from Barmah, Yorta Yorta Nation and father a child migrant from Malta.
Thara has a Performing Arts and Education background and has taught in government secondary schools as a Health and PE teacher.
Thara is passionate about creating positive experiences and providing opportunities to inspire Aboriginal people whilst sharing First Peoples culture with non-Indigenous Australia to increase understanding and work together to create positive change.
She has been connected with the KGI since it was first established in 2011, introducing dance and netball programs, before joining the team full time in 2017.
Thara’s role is to lead strength-based initiatives to engage and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth through cultural connection and career and educational pathway opportunities.
Tahlia Biggs, KGI Programs Coordinator
Tahlia is a proud Barkindji woman who grew up on the Wiradjuri and Dhudhuroa country of Albury/Wodonga. Whilst completing her VCE at Wodonga Senior Secondary College, she undertook a school-based traineeship with AFL-SportsReady at the National Australia Bank.
At the 2014 Albury/Wodonga NAIDOC Awards Tahlia was the recipient of the “Youth of the Year” Award and in 2017, the proud recipient of the Ricci Marks Awards.
Tahlia began her KGI journey as a participant on the REAL program in December 2011, represented KGI at the Victorian Youth Parliament in 2014, and has completed a Certificate II in Indigenous leadership with the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre. She is now employed by KGI as the Program Coordinator, designing and delivering programs to Indigenous youth.
Tahlia is passionate about empowering young people through education on the diversity of Aboriginal culture and breaking misconceptions. She has gained political experience through volunteering for her local member of parliament and she aspires to sit in the House of Representatives in Federal Parliament in the future.
Rana Hussain, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator
Rana Hussain is a Social Worker, Writer, and Community representative. Having previously worked as a Primary School counselor Rana took a sharp career turn to work in the AFL industry and is now the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator at Richmond Football Club. Rana has always had a passion for footy and believes in football’s unique ability to connect communities.
Rana’s current work is centered around working with women, LGBTQI, multicultural and all abilities communities. Rana is the mother of a very savvy 2-year-old and loves podcasts; making and listening to them.
Jessica Bennett, KGI Program Coordinator
Jessica Bennett is a proud Ngunawal woman who grew up on Wiradjuri country in Albury. In 2016 Jessica completed her HSC and in 2017 started a Bachelor of Laws at Monash University where she has been honoured to receive a Monash Indigenous Scholarship for Achievement and Equity.
She was involved in her local community as Vice President of the Albury Aboriginal Youth Committee and strives to become involved in the Melbourne Indigenous community.
Jessica has been involved in the Korin Gamadji Institute for a number of years completing REAL programs, attending Dreamtime camps and creating a number of short films in the Digital Storytelling Programs.
She is passionate about social justice issues and human rights, especially those of Indigenous peoples, and is determined to have a career where she can make the quality of life better for other people.
Jessica is now employed by the KGI as the Program Coordinator, designing and delivering programs and a great mentor for Indigenous youth.