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Reflections from new BCSDA Board Director Susan Moylan-Coombs

As the founder & CEO of the Gaimaragal Group, I lead an organisation that leads social change and creates social impact.

 

Our aim is to amplify voices of First Nations People and elevate Indigenous Knowledge systems and structures in a contemporary social space, to lead and guide modern day Australia out of the climate and environmental crisis.

 

So, when I was invited to join the Board of the Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia it was an easy decision, as the Gaimaragal Group and BCSDA share many similar beliefs and ambitions. As a Board Director, I would welcome a discussion with any professional who thinks their own organisation might benefit from joining BCSD Australia.

 

I want to use my position as a Board Director to foster engagement with First Nations people and communities to develop better programs for change. Having a seat at the table is a start in overcoming the limited role we currently have in climate, biodiversity, circular economy, and other sustainability discussions.

 

As a Board Director, I bring my extensive experience working with First Nations communities, with specific expertise in community consultation, empowerment and storytelling.

 

The philosophies and teachings of First Nations Peoples of this land we today call Australia, encompasses a way of life that has sustained us for tens of thousands of years, is worth sharing, and in doing so, we can create a new story of connection and wellbeing for all Australians.

 

My ancestry is from one of the oldest surviving living cultures on this planet.  A Woolwonga Gurindji woman from the Northern Territory, I was taken at birth from my parents, who were also removed as part of former government policies; these children today known as the Stolen Generations.

 

Born Susan Calma, I am related to the former Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Tom Calma.  At the age of 3 years, I was adopted by the eldest son of the iconic Australian public servant Dr H.C. “Nugget” Coombs and raised on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Gaimaragal country as Susan Coombs.

 

Previously, I held positions of Producer, Director and Executive Producer, ABC’s Indigenous Programs Unit and Head of Production, NITV a division of SBS. I am also a Cultural Curator and work across a diversity of sectors from construction, education, housing, health and community.

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