about us

About Us

The South Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation Network (SAACCON) is a representative body made up of South Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and peak bodies.

With over twenty organisations as members, we are committed to ensuring our members are supported to continue to provide effective and culturally responsive services and to increase opportunities for our people within South Australia. We do this through working with the Coalition of Peaks and engaging in partnerships with Governments to shape policy and legislative developments on Closing the Gap.

The core of our work is partnerships: we believe that strong, culturally responsive and accountable relationships between the South Australian Government and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations lead to better outcomes for our people and communities and are more likely to meet Closing the Gap targets.

SAACCON respects and acknowledges those that work to improve outcomes for our people and as such, we encourage those who wish to work together, to contact us.

about us

Our Story

WORKING TOGETHER TO CLOSE THE GAP

SAACCON was created in 2019 to work in partnership with the South Australian, Commonwealth and Local governments to Close the Gap in South Australia. We work closely with the Coalition of Peaks, sharing information and ensuring commitments from State, Commonwealth and Local Governments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are met. Not only is it our role to hold the Governments to account, but our Partnership ensures the expertise and experiences of Aboriginal community-controlled organisations inform policy and program development that impact the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

With the Coalition of Peaks established as a national representative body of Aboriginal community controlled organisations, it was important that South Australia developed its own body that supported this work and would continue driving shared decision making. Through this, SAACCON was born.

SAACCON and the Coalition of Peaks are working with its stakeholders to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are central in the decision-making process. Our collective experiences, unique skills and deep understanding and respect for our culture reflect the necessity of having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders exercising autonomy for our future communities.

Governance

SAACCON is a network of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) in South Australia and has been established to work in partnership with the South Australian and local governments to inform policies regarding the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

SAACCON is led by the nominated Lead and Co-Convenors and supported by the Secretariat.

SAACCON is, and will remain, an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO). We maintain and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander independence and autonomy in decision-making, supporting South Australian ACCOs in their service delivery. We must work with other ACCOs to share information, promote fair and equitable representation of our communities and ensure that our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities receive the highest standard of services and support from service providers.

Scott Wilson is CEO of ADAC, the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (South Australia). He is also an Associate Professor & Co-Director at NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence: Indigenous Health & Alcohol at The University of Sydney, board member of the Penington Institute in Melbourne & committee member of Justice Reinvestment SA. Scott’s personal & professional experience in substance misuse has made him a valued member of nearly every major governmental & non-governmental committee in Australia for over 20 years.

Deb is a Kaurna/Narungga/Wirangu women and was raised in Erawirung Country on the river in Berri and Waikerie.  

In her current role Deb is the Senior Advisor of Aboriginal Services at Baptist Care SA and works in strategic and operational governance of Culturally responsive service delivery of 1200 staff and around 400 Aboriginal People and Communities.  Deb works across five service pathways, Disability, Care Pathways supporting young people in residential care, Wardli-ana and the Towards Home Alliance on Aboriginal People experiencing homelessness, young people living with AOD through the Adventure pathways program and supporting young people who are to re-engage and participate in education to help prepare for employment opportunities.

Secretariat

Christine Brown

CEO

Christine is a Warumungu, Kaytetye woman from the Northern Territory and a Ballardong descendant.  She has lived most of her life in Darwin and moved to Adelaide in 2003.  Most of her experience has been in government managing projects across health, aged care, disability, employment and she managed the Darwin Aboriginal and Islander Women’s Shelter for 12 months before leaving to study Law.  Christine completed her Law degree at Flinders University and in 2022 a Master of Business Administration at the University of Adelaide.  Christine is driven by her desire to bring about change for Aboriginal people through the breaking down of systemic barriers.

Jordan Harrison

Administration Coordinator

Jordan is a Wotjobaluk woman from Victoria. Her previous roles have focused on youth, mental health, and indigenous community. Jordan stepped into this line of work starting as the aboriginal and Torres strait islander youth and community engagement worker for headspace, then moved onto youth justice work and spent a few years as an Aboriginal community education officer across 15 schools in the eastern, southern area of Adelaide. Jordan likes to spend her free time painting and spending time with her dog and family.

Sarah

Sarah Hawke

Policy Officer

Sarah has spent most of her life living and working on Kaurna country and is passionate about social justice and positive change. Sarah brings diverse experience, through her studies of Psychology, Mental Health and Patisserie, and working across hospitality, architecture, homelessness, and out of home care. As a policy officer, Sarah supports the Partnership and Transformation work identified in the Closing the Gap Priorities 1 and 3.

Celine

Celine Graham

Policy Officer

Celine is a Kaurna/ Narrunga/Nukunu woman who has grown up in the Northern and Western suburbs of Adelaide, she is the mother of two children. She has almost 15 years’ experience working in the Community services Sector holding positions at the Art Gallery of SA, Women’s Legal Service SA, Relationships Australia and Uniting Care Wesley Port Adelaide. From her work in the sector she developed a strong interest in human rights with a focus on self-determaination, capacity building within mainstream service to work better with families and the community. During her time at Women’s Legal Service she was able to work alongside management to integrate holisitc colloborative approaches between legal and non-legal practicioners leading to better client-led decision making. She hold a Post Graduate degree in Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and is looking to complete her Bachelors degree

Close-2.svg

Marc Fullager

Policy Offcier

Close-2.svg

Erin Maher

Manager, Policy & Projects

Richard Hughes

Corporate Services & Governance

Isaiah

Isaiah Rigney

Programs Assistant

Isaiah is a young and proud Ngarrindjeri Man living and working on Kaurna Country. Isaiah has become an advocate for our Youth not only on a state level but a national level, sitting on the Primary Health Network Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee, First Nations Youth Roundtable on Housing and Homelessness and South Australian NAIDOC Committee. Isaiah has worked in multiple industries alongside his Modelling Career, from Mining, Hospitality and Tourism, Education and Retail. He is passionate for change and hopes for a better future for our younger generations.

Darren

Darren Harris

Senior Project Officer

Darren is an Eastern Arrernte/Mirning man with his skin name “Kemerre” who was born on Larrakia country (Darwin) and had moved down to south Australia in 2018 to further develop his career. Darren has worked and engaged with a range of different Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and Governments for over 15 years such as, Danila Dilba Youth and Community services, Aboriginal Hostels Limited, Aboriginal Sobriety Group, Aboriginal Family Support Services, Northern Territory Government and in recent times having work with the Department for Education’s learning improvement division with Aboriginal Education Services. Darren has studied his Diploma in community services, Diploma of Narrative Approaches for Aboriginal People (Counselling Group and Community Work) and is in his final year of completing a bachelor’s degree in psychological science and sociology. Darren is a father of one and enjoys teaching his son about culture, respect and having fun with one day hoping his son will become a champion for his community through Darren’s guidance and unconditional love.

Close-2.svg

Kate French

Policy Officer

Close-2.svg

Rachel Boag

Project Officer