Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative is governed by a seven-member board elected by members.
Barry Fary, Chairperson
Barry joined the Board in 2014 and is the current Chairperson. He is a proud Gunditjmara man, born in the Victorian town of Portland. Barry has lived in Bendigo for more than 20 years, working at Bendigo TAFE and assisting Koori students with their education and pathways to employment. He is passionate about seeing Koori people receive the best possible education and go on to gain meaningful employment.
Diane Wilson, Vice Chairperson
Di is a Barkindji woman and comes from a little town called Willcannia in north-west NSW. She settled in Bendigo in 1995, and joined the Board in December 2014. Di’s professional background is in aged care, and she worked in various roles at BDAC for five years. She is currently the Aboriginal wellbeing officer at Loddon and Tarrengower prisons, and is passionate about improving health and wellbeing within all Aboriginal communities.
Hazel Hudson, Treasurer
Hazel joined the BDAC Board in 2015 and is the current Treasurer. Hazel is currently the Manager of Family Services at Njernda Aboriginal Corporation. Hazel is a qualified Accountant. Hazel is a Kamilaroi women who lived in Echuca/Moama community since 7 years of age and has connection via children to Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta Clans and her extended family connections. Hazel resided in Bendigo for 6 years during the 1980s and returned to Bendigo in 2013, she now resides in Echuca. Hazel is a qualified accountant who has worked for over 30 years in Not-For-Profit organisation at a grass root level with and for Aboriginal communities members. Hazel is passionate about working with and for vulnerable Aboriginal children and families
Paula Murray, Director
Paula joined the Board in 2014 and is the current publicity officer. She grew up in Bendigo, but her family is from the Hawkesbury region in NSW and she is a proud Dharug woman. She is currently the executive officer at the Loddon Mallee Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee within the Department of Justice. Paula has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Melbourne University and practised as a solicitor for 10 years.
Raquel Kerr, Director
Racquel is a young Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta woman who joined the BDAC Board in 2016. Racquel is currently the Coordinator for Cultural Heritage for the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, working with Victorian legislation to protect tangible and intangible places and heritage on Country. As part of her role, Racquel focuses on the opportunities for Traditional Owners working on country, and the education and practice of culture to and with the wider community. She has been working in the cultural heritage industry for 7 years, having started as she turned 18. Racquel was born in Echuca, and lived in Kyabram, Shepparton and Melbourne respectively before settling in Bendigo in 2015. Her passion lies within protection and the education of Aboriginal culture, and engaging with youth around mental health and to connect them with culture.
Desley Slade, Public Officer
Desley joined the Board in 2017. A proud Kamilaroi women from Moree NSW. Desley has lived in Bendigo since 2011 and is currently the Traditional Owner Project Officer for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, coordinating the implementation of commitments as they relate to agreements between the state of Victoria and Traditional Owner Corporations with a strong focus on the Dja Dja Wurrung Recognition and Settlement Agreement. Desley is passionate about empowerment through education, cultural heritage and closing the gap.