NACCHO welcomes new Chairperson


National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) members have elected Matthew Cooke as their new Chairperson and Sandy Davies as Deputy Chairperson at the NACCHO Annual General Meeting in Cairns.

Matthew Cooke is a proud Aboriginal and South Sea Islander from the Bailai (Byellee) people in Gladstone. He has been NACCHO’s Deputy Chair since 2011 and is CEO of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council. He has a strong background in Aboriginal Community Controlled health as former CEO of Nhulundu Wooribah Indigenous Health Organisation Incorporated.

In 2007 he was named Young Leader in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, and in 2008 received the Deadly Vibe Young Australian of the Year award.

New Deputy Chair, Sandy Davis, joined NACCHO’s Board in 2011 and is Chair of the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service, in which he has been involved for over 30 years. He is Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal Health Council of West Australia, was Chair of the West Australian Aboriginal Legal Service for three years and was Chair of the ATSIC Yamatji Regional Council for 10 years.

NACCHO CEO Lisa Briggs said she was excited NACCHO would be led by such inspiring, strong Aboriginal leaders who have the faith, confidence and authority to represent the views of, and lead the direction for, the 150 members services across the country.

“Both Matthew and Sandy have an incredible passion for building on the vast successes of the Aboriginal Community Control health sector,” Ms Briggs said.

“They are both experienced administrators and visionary thinkers who will be great advocates for our member services.

“NACCHO will be in good hands with Matthew and Sandy at the helm.”

Ms Briggs also acknowledged the incredible contribution to NACCHO of outgoing Chairperson Justin Mohamed.

“Through six years as NACCHO Chair, and almost 30 years in the sector, Justin had made an invaluable contribution to Aboriginal Community Controlled health.

“In his considered and persistent advocacy and leadership, Justin forged strong relationships with all sides of politics and through all states and territories.

“He represented NACCHO during the long process of negotiating and finalising the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan; worked with the Close the Gap coalition; lead the National Aboriginal Health Leadership Forum; constantly promoted the benefits of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services; and oversaw the creation of a long term sustainable plan for Aboriginal health in the next decade.

“He worked with the support and trust of our members as both NACCHO chairperson and deputy chairperson. Justin leaves the organisation in a solid position.

“On behalf of our board, staff and members, I wish Justin every success in his new role as CEO of Reconciliation Australia,“ Ms Briggs said.