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. He is a proud Gunditjmara man, born in the Victorian town of Portland. Barry has lived in Bendigo for more than 20 years, previously 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 meaningfulemployment.
Natasha Garner, Vice Chairperson
Tash is a Wiradjuri woman who grew up in Bendigo and lives locally with her family. Tash is an accredited mental health social worker with particular interest in working with parents with infants, children and adolescents. She has worked with the local mental health service sector since 2003 and previously worked at BDAC between 2008-2011. She has been with the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service since 2011 where she currently works as the 0-12 Clinical Coordinator, as well as in private practice at Central Victorian Child Health as a Child and Adolescent Therapist since 2018. Tash has a particular interest in working with infants and is passionate about creating opportunities to optimise parent-infant mental health and attachment relationships. She has post-graduate qualifications in Parent-Infant Mental Health and chairs the local Parent Infant Mental Health Network, where she has been a member since 2005. Tash completes her Master in Healthcare Leadership mid-2020 and is passionate about enhancing health, social and emotional wellbeing for local families and developing supportive opportunities for youth wellbeing, engagement and connection in our community.
Hazel Hudson, Treasurer
Hazel joined the BDAC Board in 2015. Hazel is currently the Manager Family Services at the Njernda Aboriginal Corporation and is a qualified Accountant (CPA). 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. Hazel is a qualified accountant who has worked for over 30 years inNot-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. She grew up in Bendigo, but her family is from the Hawkesbury region in NSW andshe 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.
Nicola Perry, Director
A proud Ngarrindjeri woman, Nicola grew up in Swan Hill and lived there with her children until moving to Bendigo in 2019. Nicola works for Department of Premier & Cabinet as an Aboriginal Community Development Broker, prior to this she worked for Department of Justice & Community Safety as a LAJAC Project Officer and as RAJAC Executive Officer. Previously, Nicola was a Director for Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS) for 3 years. She has much experience working and volunteering on community committees such as NAIDOC committees in Swan Hill and Bendigo, Aboriginal Community Justice Panel and Dhelk Dja Family Violence.
Craig Leary, Director
Craig is a Gunditjmara man. Craig holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. He is employed at Department of Education as the Koori Education Co-ordinator for the Loddon Campaspe area. Craig also held positions with Department of Health in senior roles and as a Senior Advisor and taught in government school. Craig has worked with the Aboriginal communities across the North-West of Victoria for over 30 years. Craig is a long-term member of BDAC.