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.

Karinda Taylor – Manager Aboriginal Health Services

As a Wamba Wamba woman from Swan Hill, Karinda is an experienced and committed health services manager who believes that connection to culture and a sense of belonging are vital to overall health and wellbeing.

Karinda studied a Bachelor of Nursing at Deakin University from 2003-2005 and holds a graduate Diploma of Midwifery Science from LaTrobe University. She was a Nurse and Midwife at Swan Hill District Hospital from 2006-2010 and has also managed Koori Maternity Services at Mildura Aboriginal Health Service.

After moving to Melbourne three years ago to lead the Department of Health’s ‘Improving care for Aboriginal patients’ program, Karinda more recently managed Koolin Balit for the Gippsland region.

Karina’s team prioritises primary health care, healthy mothers and children, chronic disease management, men’s health, tobacco cessation and healthy lifestyles in order to work towards closing the health gap.

Karinda says working for an Aboriginal health organisation such as DDACL allows her to be part of a community that sets its own health priorities at a local level. She believes that Aboriginal Community Control is the best way to work with communities to improve health and social outcomes. It is her goal to build strong health workforce and partnerships that are meaningfully committed to closing the health gap.

Laura Edwards – Health Service Supervisor

Our Health Service Supervisor, Laura, is a Division One Registered Nurse and has worked in the acute hospital setting in a range of clinical areas for eight years.

Over the past five years, Laura has been the Primary Clinical Supervisor for a corporate health organisation, involved in a Victorian Government preventative health initiative called WorkHealth.

As Health Service Supervisor, Laura provides leadership, supervision and support to Aboriginal Health Workers and nursing staff, as well as coordination of visiting services at Bunurong Health Service. She also ensures the efficient running of the clinic and the highest level of patient care.

Laura is passionate about being a part of a clinical team and providing high-quality services to the Community that foster and support positive and fulfilling lifestyles. She is also dedicated to delivering health care services in a professional and efficient manner, in keeping with Aboriginal culture and traditions.

Christopher Tsagaris – Healthy Lifestyle Team Coordinator

As the Healthy Lifestyle Team Coordinator, Christopher aims to help close the health gap through reducing the instance of smoking, increasing physical activity and improving nutrition in Eastern, South-Eastern and Southern Metropolitan Aboriginal communities.

A former Men’s Health Worker & Coordinator of Uncle Reg Blow’s Healing Program, Christopher has a Bachelor of Applied Social Science, a Diploma of Counselling & Communication and a Certificate IV in Population Health. He works for the Co-operative in order to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Kylie Semmens – HACC Coordinator

With a background in palliative care and a Certificate III in Aged Care and Home and Community Care, Kylie is passionate about helping people to live an independent, healthy life in their own home.

Kylie is committed to supporting those eligible for Home and Community Care through assistance in the home as well as increasing social engagement through the Co-operative’s Planned Activity Group.