Who you will hear from at ChangeFestNT21

Yinin Durrkhay is a traditional Wangurri woman from Dhalinybuy homeland, born and raised up at Galiwin’ku community in Northeast Arnhem Land. She works at Charles Darwin University, the Aboriginal Resource Development Service (ARDS) and is an independent Aboriginal researcher and consultant. Yinin helps to open the closed doors between ways.
Thomas Mayor is a Torres Strait Islander man born on Larrakia country in Darwin and is a union official for the Maritime Union of Australia. As he gained the skills of negotiation and organising in the union movement, he applied those skills to advancing the rights of Indigenous peoples, becoming a signatory to the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a tireless campaigner. Following the Uluru Convention, Thomas was entrusted to carry the sacred canvas of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. He then embarked on an eighteen-month journey around the country to garner support for a constitutionally enshrined First Nations voice, and a Makarrata Commission for truth-telling and agreement-making or treaties.
‘After the 2020 fires and losing our farm home, the children and me relocated one hundred kilometres away into a different community while my husband stayed behind to clean up and rebuild the farm. While feeling misplaced and disconnected, I felt the urge to close the cap COVID created on top of the bushfire isolation and started to interview local Kangaroo Island residents. I chose to start a project called Humans of Kangaroo Island in July 2020 to tell the stories of islanders one at a time. In March 2021, I was awarded the Community Champion award at The Advertiser and Sunday Mail ‘Woman of the Year’ awards in Adelaide’.
Mark is a Chief Director of Super Native Unlimited & Indigenous Queensland leader who specialises in cross cultural collaboration. He is an Intercultural Leadership specialist from South East Queensland and North East NSW regions. Mark is from the Birrah, Gamilaroi and Bundjalung peoples. Mark brings decades of wisdom from his career in leadership development, diversity and inclusion, and community education across the corporate, government and faith sectors. Mark is currently the Deep Collaboration Lead for Collaboration for Impact, the 2021 Core facilitator for the Australia Council for the Arts Custodianship Program and one of four Pou, Indigenous Intellectual Leader and Knowledge Holder for the 2021 Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity Program.​
Debbie Kilroy OAM is one of Australia’s leading advocates for protecting the human rights of women and children through decarceration – the process of moving away from using prisons and other systems of social control in response to crime and social issues. Debbie’s passion for justice is the result of her personal experience of the criminal (in)justice system and an unwavering belief that prison represents a failure of justice. Debbie was in prison during a brief period of reform, allowing her to access opportunities for education, employment and day release, sharpening her special skill to ‘think around corners’.
Jengis Osman currently works as a union organiser. He has had many occupations over the years including a substantial time unemployed as neoliberalism has decimated the idea of secure employment, providing sufficient work for all and forced education and training onto the individual rather than a collective responsibility. These jobs include a terrible stint in the retail sector, a call centre as a researcher, a garbage man and an ELICOS teacher. Study in different areas of interest began after he finished his studies and found consistent work. This proved better than formal study and struggling to balance employment, study and survive. He is currently a research associate at the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE). He strongly suggests supporting The Australian Unemployed Workers Union.
Athina moved to Palmerston in November 2004 with her husband, who was in the Defence Force at the time, and they bought their home in Marlow Lagoon just a few months after arriving. They have made Palmerston their home and decided this was the place to raise their family. Their children were born here and are now aged 6 and 9 years. Athina has a 20-year career as a spatial science professional, 5 years in the private sector and 15 years in the public service in both NSW and the NT, where she gained invaluable knowledge on governance, procedures, policies and property planning. She is also studying towards a Bachelor of Laws at CDU to equip herself with the legal knowledge that will benefit the community.
Zohar is an experienced producer and director working within a multi-disciplinary context encompassing cultural arts and community programs in Australia and overseas. She has an extensive background in the not-for-profit arts and culture sector including project management and cross-cultural development. She has been Festival Director at Horizon Festival, and is currently CEO/ Executive Producer at La Boite Theatre, Brisbane.
Ari Palani is a passionate director, producer, community engagement specialist and theatre maker, currently based in regional Queensland. He has worked across many communities in Australia facilitating creative outcomes that advocate for youth voice, accessibility, and social cohesion. Ari is internationally focused on building cultural economies, humanitarian responses and increasing the discussion around displaced communities. He has worked extensively in South Korea and Malaysia.
Member for Solomon Luke grew up the eldest of eight kids. They had little money so they all worked, looked after each other and contributed to their community. Luke spent 13 years in the Army, including leadership roles in Parachute Infantry, Commandos, Defence Cooperation Programs, the Territory’s own Norforce as well as overseas service in PNG, Malaysia and Timor-Leste. Luke’s time in the Army taught him duty and service, teamwork and leadership. After leaving the Army, Luke worked overseas in countries such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, Albania and Timor-Leste. Luke co-founded a not-for-profit NGO: Life, Love and Health (LL&G); an Australian volunteer charity for Timor-Leste. LL&H has fundraised and built schools, brought running water to remote villages, and delivered maternal health care. For this work, Luke was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2006 for his relief work during the 2006 humanitarian crisis. Luke established the Remote Area Health Corps in 2008, a Territory based federally funded program to prepare and provide GPs, nurses, dental and allied health
Liz Skelton is renowned for her work and expertise as a leader, consultant, author and facilitator of leadership for social adaptive system change and racial equity. Co-Director at Collaboration for Impact
A driven social change advocate and consultant whose purpose is to evolve the way social change happens in Australia. Co-Director at Collaboration for Impact.
Steven Bird collaborates with Indigenous people, refugees and immigrants to develop new ways of sustaining the vitality of our ancestral languages and cultures. He has been adopted into the Bininj community of West Arnhem Land where he is being taught to speak Kunwinjku. He co-designed the Language Party storytelling format, and has co-produced shows around Australia and in several other countries (see languageparty.org).