Manager of The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Indigenous Australia Program
Jaki was born and raised in Darwin and is of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, with family connections across the NT and Far North Queensland, including the Torres Straits. Jaki is from a large extended family and is very proud to be a part of such a supportive and loving unit. Jaki sees balancing work and home life as her major challenge but one that she makes every effort to succeed at. Jaki returned home to Darwin in 2008 after spending 11 years in Brisbane, to reconnect with her family and enjoy the relaxed and culturally diverse environment that Darwin and the Northern Territory has to offer.
Jaki’s career includes Hospitality; Secondary Teaching; and, over 18 years in the Australian Public Service (APS) and a short stint in the NT Public Service. Jaki’s experience as a public servant started as a Graduate Administrative Assistant with ATSIC, progressing across a variety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Aged Care programs, and then 8 years in the Australian Defence portfolio. Working her way, across the APS, Queensland and the NT, to the position of NT Director of the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH) in the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) in 2008. Jaki joined The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Indigenous Australia Program in early 2012 and was promoted to the Manager’s position in January 2013.
Jaki is Chair of Vision 2020 Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee; Co-Chair of the Territorians for Recognise Group; and The Foundation’s representative on the Close the Gap Steering Committee.
Jaki has a personal and professional commitment to do whatever she can to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As Manager of The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Indigenous Australia Program, she states that:
“……being able to have direct impact on and positively contribute to programs (and broader discussions) that address ending avoidable blindness and improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is an inspiring and an honourable position to be in”.
“Being welcomed into The Fred Hollows family and charged with a position of responsibility (to keep Fred’s legacy alive) in a complex and diverse environment, is both challenging and rewarding, and keeps me engaged and motivated to make a difference everyday”