Board of Directors

John Brown - Chairperson


JohnBrown.jpg - smallJohn Brown is a descendant of the Wiradjeri people and the Dja Dja Wurrung people.  He has served on the ACES Board for 6 years in various positions including Chairperson, Secretary and currently is Deputy Chairperson.

John has been an active member of the Melbourne Koori community all his life. Other Aboriginal Community controlled boards he has served on include the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service and Yappera Children’s Service.  He has been involved in various advisory panels on Koori education in Universities and TAFEs. 

John has coordinated various Koori Basketball Carnivals (including Regional and State-wide). Up until  recently John was involved in the Thornbury Basketball Club where he held the position of president for 20 years.

He served with the Australian Army for over 15 years and reached the rank of Sergeant. His employment experience in the Aboriginal community includes the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service; Yappera Children’s Services and the Dandenong Aboriginal Cooperative. John is currently an ACLO for Victoria Police.




 Patricia Ockwell - Vice Chairperson


PatriciaOckwell.gif - smallAunty Pat was born in Carlton and lived in Healesville most of her life and is from a family of fifteen. Aunty Pat is a Wurundjeri Elder. Her work in the community is very important to her and she is a member of several organisations including: -

The Aboriginal Community Elders Services.








Phil Cooper - Public Officer


PhilCooper.jpg - smallPhil is a proud Yorta Yorta man who has worked in Aboriginal affairs for over 35 years. He was founding member of a number of Victorian Aboriginal organisations and over the years has been employed in the areas of education, welfare, youth work and justice.

Phil is currently employed as a Community Development Officer with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Ltd.

Phil is actively involved in the Aboriginal community and is currently Chair of the North & West Metropolitan Indigenous Family Violence Action Group; Chair of the Victorian NAIDOC Committee; Co-chair of the Darebin Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Council and Board Member of the Fitzroy Stars Football Club, to name a few.

In 2010 Phil was appointed a White Ribbon Ambassador for the elimination of violence against women; and also received a Victoria Police NAIDOC Community Award for his contributions to the community.




Linda Bamblett - Treasurer


Linda Bamblett


Linda Bamblett is a proud Bangg/Wiradjuri woman. Linda is the Chief Executive Officer at VACSAl. Linda has worked at Bert Williams Aboriginal Youth Services as well as VACSAL Family and Children’s Services. Linda has her Certificate IV and a Diploma of Youth work.

Linda sits on many committees and is also a founding member of Yappera Children’s Services. Linda is a long serving member of VAEAI. Linda is Secretary on the Board of Management for VAHS and Treasurer of Fitzroy Stars Football club.  Linda is the current Chairperson of North Metro Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee and had been acknowledged for ten years commitment to the Aboriginal Justice Forum.




Muriel Bamblett


MurielBamblett.jpg - small

Muriel Bamblett is a Yorta Yorta woman who has been employed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency since 1999.  Muriel is active on many boards and committees concerning children, families including the Victorian Children’s   Council; the Australian Institute of Family Studies Advisory Council; the Aboriginal Child and Family Services Network. She is the Chairperson of the Aboriginal Community Elders Services Incorporated.

Muriel has been the recipient of a number of awards, including an AM (membership in the General Division) in the 2004 Australia Day Honours for her services to the community, particularly through leadership in the provision of services for Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander children and families. In 2009 Muriel was appointed an Adjunct Professor at Latrobe University’s School of   Social Work and Social Policy. Muriel was a Board Member on the NT Inquiry into the Child Protection System 2010.






Lorraine Patten


LorrainePatten.jpg - smallGundijamara Elder Loraine ‘Bunta’ Patten grew up near Warrnambool but moved to Fitzroy during her early school years.

She was influenced by the civil rights activism in inner Melbourne in the early 1960’s and 70’s. She helped raise money for the Aboriginal Funeral Fund, which provided funds for dignified burials for local Aboriginals who were usually buried as paupers.

In the 1980's  she campaigned for an Aboriginal Cemetery (realised in 1992 as the Weeroona Aboriginal Cemetery in Greenvale).

In 2000 she took up a Diploma in Aboriginal Arts and discovered a new creativity.  

In 2005 she won the Deadly Art award at the Victorian Indigenous Art awards.





Peter Rotumah


PeterRotumah.jpg - smallPeter Rotumah began performing in Melbourne in the early 1970's.  

As a member of the band Hard Times he wrote and performed several original songs.  He studied music at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Adelaide and went on to play bass in Djaambi and various community bands before setting up his own band, 3 Gubbas & Me (later known as The Peter Rotumah Band).  

After touring the USA, he ventured into theatre, composing for and performing in numerous plays.  His work earned him a nomination for a Green Room Award for Sound Design. He has also produced and played  music for Koori children’s circus, Circus Tarrangoss.  Peter is currently Chief Executive Officer at 3KND radio.




Joan Vickery


JoanVickery.jpg - smallJoan Vickery is a Gunditjamara Elder born in Portland, Victoria.  Her family heritage is from the Lake Condah Mission. 

She has an AO (Order of Australia) and has worked in Koori health for over thirty years.

Employment experience includes Aboriginal Affairs, Department of Health, Northland Secondary School, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Victorian Health Services Commission and the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service.

Her involvement with Aboriginal committees (spans many years):

Founding member of Koori Diabetes Services and Ngwala Willumbong Co-operative a drug and rehabilitation service.


She has been a board member of the following organisations:

  • Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (Executive)
  • Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency
  • Camp Jungai Corporation
  • Victorian Aboriginal Health Service
  • Aboriginal Housing Board (Victoria)
  • Aborigines Advancement League Inc.
  • Aboriginal Community Elders Services Inc. (current)
  • Koori Heritage Trust Inc. (current)

Other current community involvement includes:

  • Patron for Onemda Koori Research & Development Unit – University of  Melbourne
  • Elder on Koori Court – Broadmeadows Magistrates Court &  Elder appointed to Morwell County Court - Koori County Court
  • Reference group member for Broadmeadows Magistrates & Morwell County, Koori County Court
  • Elder & Mentor to Wirraway Mirrim (Challenge - Deep) Aboriginal Research Group, Lecturer RMIT (casual)
  • Elder in Residence Institute of Koori Education Deakin University

Joan’s tertiary qualifications include a Masters in Public Health (Deakin University).




Fay Carter


FayCarter.jpg - smallAunty Fay Carter is an Elder of the Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung people. Following in the footsteps of her Elders, she has been involved in the struggle for rights for her people over the past 30+ years. She has held a variety of positions in both government departments and Aboriginal community organisations, always with a commitment to self-determination.  

Aunty Fay has been involved with ACES from its beginning and worked as manager for the many years.  She sees these years as very rewarding, allowing her to give something back to the Elders who paved the way through their struggle before her. She sees the Elders' leadership role as one of Aboriginal society's greatest assets and is keen to see that role strengthened today. 






Tribute to Uncle (Dr.) Alf Bamblett