Our Team

Andrew Gardiner – Chief Executive Officer

Andrew has more than 30 years’ experience working in the Indigenous sector in Victoria and Far North Queensland, including seven years with the Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria and the past eight years with DDACL.

As an Aboriginal man, Andrew has a strong understanding of Aboriginal culture and a great belief in the principle of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector, its workforce and its outcomes for the community.

With a PhD in Life, Andrew has developed natural leadership qualities through the completion of a Commonwealth-funded Aboriginal Leadership course and extensive on-the-job practical training and experience. He also has a Certificate IV in Business Governance Fraud Investigation and in Fraud Compliance.

Andrew’s key priories are securing a new site and building to cater for the current and future needs of DDACL and the community, as set by the Board’s Strategic Directions document for 2014—2017. He is also committed to the implementation of DDACL’s Operational Plan and Outcomes.

Andrew believes working for DDACL gives Aboriginal people a greater sense of job satisfaction through making a positive contribution to the community each day. He says non-Aboriginal staff also demonstrate a commitment to the best outcomes for the community and, in turn, for the greater good of society.

Jenny Ockwell – Manager Aboriginal Health Services

Jenny is a Wurundjeri woman born on country in Healesville, and has been a member of the DDACL since 1977. She has been employed as the Manager – Aboriginal Health Services at DDACL since January 4th, 2017.

During her relationship with this Organisation she has developed a connection which has formed a deep commitment to improving measurable outcomes in the administration and operation of the Cooperative.

Jenny has a Diploma in Practice Management and is currently finishing a Master’s Degree in Public Health at Melbourne University. Her dedication to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is borne of witnessing the demise of many loved ones over the decades – passing’s which could have been avoided had knowledge been readily available and education supporting lifestyle changes been given to community members.

Jenny has been involved in Aboriginal affairs since the late 1970’s and has been employed at the Cooperative in a number of Administration roles throughout her working life. Jenny was employed at Centrelink for 17 ½ years during the 80’s and 90’s, which equipped her with an ability to interpret and implement Government legislation. Most recently, she has been employed in a number of management roles in ACCHO’s.

Jenny is a mother of 2 boys and 2 girls, a proud grandmother of 4 boys and a proud step-Nan of 3 (2 granddaughters and a grandson). Her interests are developing native gardens which support Australian bird life, preserving our Oral Histories, reading and she is passionate about improving positive outcomes in Indigenous health.

Minh Nguyen – Manager Social and Community Services

Minh has lived in remote Aboriginal communities and worked with Aboriginal peoples when living and working in the Northern Territory over a seven-year period. During this time, Minh has worked in the legal, health and community sectors where she interacted with Aboriginal peoples from a range of backgrounds and roles.

Minh has qualifications in law, humanities and social work which have been brought effectively together in her various roles in the social and community sectors. These include roles in supporting women experiencing workplace problems, research and evaluation, systemic advocacy and sector development. In her work, Minh is committed to building capacity for individuals, families and communities to thrive and become the best version of themselves.

Minh has a strong commitment to the needs and aspirations of the local Aboriginal community, and believes that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing can only be addressed when we also address the fundamental issues of dispossession, cultural identity (and community) and the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our national identity. This underpins her approach to working in, and with, Aboriginal organisations and communities.

Graeme Bird – Manager Corporate Services

Graeme has more than 30 years’ experience working in the banking & finance sector across Australia. He is a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of Finsia (the Finance & Securities Institute of Australasia)

With a great deal of training and experience in accounting & finance, Graeme has led teams of lenders and branch managers in corporate and personal lending areas. He has worked in diverse areas with a 5 year period as CEO of Lifeline in Ballarat, 3 years as Victorian Divisional Director with the Australian Funeral Directors Association and 8 years as Business Manager with Berengarra School. He holds an Associate Diploma of Business (Banking & Finance) and is a graduate of the Company Directors course with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Graeme has been a member of Apex and Rotary Clubs throughout Australia over a period of 40 years and has held positions of club president, secretary and treasurer on numerous occasions. Graeme is a Life Member and a past District Governor of Apex. He is a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary.

Graeme holds directorships with COTA Vic (the Council on The Ageing) as treasurer; and Interchange Victoria as chairman. He hopes to aid DDACL through passing on his experience to staff and community members, helping community build a strong resilience and self-direction.