Our Board & Executive Team

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Wunan is governed by a board of directors, made up of a mix of Aboriginal people who reside in the East Kimberley, and non-Aboriginal people who can offer expertise in the areas of commerce, investment and corporate governance.

Wunan’s board members are appointed primarily on the basis of experience and skill, rather than on representative or political grounds. The standard period of office for Board members is three years.

Ian Trust

Chairman since 2008, Executive Director since 2004

Ian has been involved with Wunan since its inception in 1997 and has been the Executive Director since 2004. Ian is one of the driving forces behind Wunan’s key strategy to establish a strong economic base, which allows it to deliver sustainable programs to assist Aboriginal people of the East Kimberley to create better lives and a positive future for themselves. In addition to Wunan, Ian is engaged with a number of national and regional organisations that contribute to the broader objective of creating Aboriginal independence. These include the Indigenous Land Corporation, Kimberley Development Commission and Kimberley Land Council – Kimberley Futures. Ian is also involved in the support and development of emerging Aboriginal leaders in the East Kimberley because he believes developing strong leaders from within the Aboriginal community is crucial to drive and maintain development strategies and ensure Aboriginal people achieve their full potential.

He is also one of the Leaders of the East Kimberley Empowered Communities Group.

Contact: Email –Ian.Trust@wunan.org.au | Phone – (08)9168 3881

Chairman and Executive Director
Chairman since 2008, Executive Director since 2004

Director, Indigenous Business Australia (IBA)
Director, Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC)
Director, Aarnja Board, West Kimberley
Board Member, North Regional TAFE
Formerly Founding Chairman, Wunan Foundation (1997-2003)
Formerly ATSIC Commissioner (Kimberley)
Formerly Chairman, Wunan ATSIC Regional Council

A local Gija man from Wuggubun Community, Ian speaks English and Kriol (of the English Creole Language family).

Ian has a strong and coherent vision of a better future for Aboriginal people in the East Kimberley — a future beyond welfare and government dependency.

Ian has worked tirelessly to progress this vision through such initiatives as the ATSIC Regional Council’s “future building” strategy (1996), the East Kimberley Aboriginal Achievement Awards, reforms in the Aboriginal Housing and Infrastructure sector, and as Executive Director of Wunan Foundation.

Tom Birch

Director since 2002

Formerly Wunan Chairman 2002-2007
Deputy Chairman, Kimberley Land Council (KLC)
Director, Kimberley Language Resource Centre (KLRC)
Director, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre (KALACC)
Formerly Director, Wunan ATSIC Regional Council

A traditional owner of Balangara Native Title (Wyndham area), Tom speaks English and Kriol (of the English Creole Language family).

Tom sees poor educational and employment outcomes are the key issues impacting Aboriginal people in the East Kimberley. These are underpinned by a lack of parental responsibility for children and a breakdown of family structures. Tom works through the Wunan Board to encourage personal responsibility, educational solutions and reward for effort.

Tom worked for many years in the Kimberley pastoral industry before taking up various community Leadership roles. He focused particularly on restoring Native Title and improving the economic future of Kimberley Aboriginal people.

James Elliott

Director since 2014

Jamie Elliot works to address a wide variety of challenges in the Aboriginal health, housing, education, sporting and community liaison areas. He is experienced in taking a hands-on role, as well as viewing things from a big-picture perspective and over the years he has gained a broad range of knowledge and professional experiences, especially in relation to Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.

Jamie is highly respected within his community and he now seeks to further his involvement, combining his business acumen with his desire to contribute to his community. He sees his role as a Director on the Wunan Board as an ideal way to work with a group of like-minded individuals to achieve something special. He is passionate about providing meaningful advice and leadership on behalf of his people.

Jamie and his wife Tracey were the founding house parents of Wunan’s Dural Education Excellence Program.

Michael Ashforth

Director since 2018

Michael is Executive Chairman of AMB Holdings Pty Ltd, the private holding company of Angela Bennett, a role held since November 2014. Prior to this he was head of Natural Resources for Australia with Macquarie Bank.

With almost 20 years in investment banking, Michael has played a leading role in some of Australia’s largest and most complex mergers and acquisitions acting for local and offshore clients.

Over the course of his career, he has been a director of a number of private and publicly listed companies and was a Member of the Australian Takeovers Panel for nine years.

Michael was a partner of leading Australian law firm Freehills for eight years until 1997, when he led the establishment of the Perth office of Gresham Partners, a leading independent Australian corporate advisory business. He holds a Bachelor of Jurisprudence (Hons) and LLB (Hons) from the University of Western Australia.

Greg Tait

Director since 2018

Greg Tait is a Lunga/Gidja (Kitja) man from Halls Creek, where he still resides with his wife, family and grandchildren. He’s a highly respected community leader in the East Kimberley who holds on to traditional customs and protocols, and their preservation and maintenance is an integral part of his life. Greg had a 17-year career as a WA Police Officer, based in Halls Creek, and was a member of the Australian Army’s Norforce volunteer service for 12 years. Greg is also a musician whose successful band played in the region for many years. Greg rose to fame as the star of the 2011 movie “Mad Bastards”. He has also worked as a truck driver and at the Argyle Diamond Mine and currently runs a small transport business, which includes several buses.

Jean O’Reeri

Director since 2019

Jean is a Wilinggin woman from Karunjie Station on the Gibb River Road. She has lived and worked in Wyndham in the East Kimberley region since the 1960s. Jean worked as an Aboriginal teaching assistant for over 20 years, most recently with pre-primary aged children at St. Joseph’s School in Wyndham.

Jean has held directorships with Ngnowar Aerwah Aboriginal Corporation in Wyndham, which provides alcohol and other drug treatment and rehabilitation programs to community members and is a current member of the Wyndham advisory group.

Troy Zafer

Director since 2019

Troy is the Managing Partner of ZAC Creative, an award winning advertising production company which produces TV ads and online videos for clients across the globe.

Over the past 23 years Troy has been building businesses and managing teams in the Advertising and Technology industries in Australia and the UK which have worked with many of the world’s leading brands.

Troy, who worked alongside Ian Trust to produce the ‘Swimming The River’ and the ‘Pathway To Empowerment’ videos, is passionate about helping to bring equality to all Australians.

Our Executive Team

Eddy Gaskill

Executive General Manager

In March 2020, Eddy joined the Wunan team as Executive General Manager, and is delighted to be living and working in the East Kimberley. He was previously based in Perth, and has worked as a senior leader in a variety of commercial service organisations. Most recently, Eddy was a member of the executive team at a large community services provider, where he played a lead role in the organisation’s service transformation project. Eddy is originally from the UK, where he worked as a regional manager in the hospitality industry for 10 years, before completing his MBA – and taking a new role as a senior manager in the telecommunications industry. Eddy has always sought opportunities to work with people-driven organisations that are adapting to change, and has recently completed his PhD research in the field of human-centred design and service innovation. He feels privileged to be in the working in the East Kimberley, with the opportunity to learn more about the country and its people.

David Selvendra

Chief Financial Officer

David R S Selvendra has more than 20 years of experience in commercial and not-for-profit sectors in Australia and overseas. He has developed highly versatile skills and business acumen throughout his career in a variety roles in a number of different industries.  

In 2010, David joined Wunan as a Management Accountant, and co-founded iBase (formerly KBS) in 2012, a social enterprise providing accounting and bookkeeping services to other not-for-profit Aboriginal corporations. At present, David also serves as the principal accountant of iBase which has shown significant organic growth over the years. 

David, with his well-rounded experience in the corporate sector, believes that the financial function plays a supportive role to operations while also maintaining a strategic focus for long term sustainability and growth. While social returns dominate most discussions within the not-for-profit sphere, David, as the CFO of Wunan Foundation, intends to bring in the financial return and value-for-money proposition to the decision making table to attain viable equilibrium.

David is a member of, CPA Australia, Chartered Institute of Management Accountant (CIMA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).  He also holds an MBA in Management from the Central Queensland University of Australia.