The Ember Connect board guides the organisation’s strategic direction, oversees management, and ensures compliance with our goals, purpose and strategic objectives. All of the board’s members are independent non-executive directors. Our current directors bring with them a wealth of personal, professional and community experiences and are passionate about our work. They act voluntarily and receive no payment for their services.

Our independently reviewed annual financial report to 31 December 2023 can be viewed by clicking here.

Eve Howell, Chair

Living and working on Whadjuk Country.
Eve has over 40 years of business experience in technical, managerial, executive and board roles in the UK and Australia including being an Executive Vice President of Woodside Energy Ltd and Managing Director of Apache Energy Ltd. She has previously served as a Non-Executive Director of Downer EDI Ltd, MMA Offshore Ltd and Buru Energy Ltd as well as a Board Member of the Fremantle Port Authority, West Australian Ballet and the Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation Ltd. She is currently a member of the International Advisory Board of the University of Western Australia’s Public Policy Institute. Eve holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Geology and Mathematics from King’s College, London University and an MBA from Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh Business School). She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Michelle Ellis

A proud Koorie woman from Wiradjuri Country, living and working on Whadjuk Country.
Michelle is currently the Program Coordinator – DigiTech in Schools at Edith Cowan University where she oversees the engagement, delivery and implementation of computer and security science activities for high school students. Before joining the academic world, Michelle was a Primary and High school teacher and Principal before moving on to complete her PhD at ECU on Parent/Teacher interactions: The dynamics of social influence. Michelle has lectured in undergraduate and postgraduate programs at Edith Cowan University and Swinburne University in the areas of ‘Working with Indigenous Child’, ‘Youth and their Families’, ‘Learners and Learning’, ‘21st Century Teaching and Learning’, Learning Theories and Practice.

Marilyn Morgan

A proud Western Arrente and Wiradjuri woman, living and working on Wardandi and Bibulmun/Pibelmen Country.
Marilyn Morgan is a qualified physiotherapist, and an Honoured Life Member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association. She is Chair of the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Physiotherapists, Director of Kaitijin Mia Mia Aboriginal Foundation (“the Bush University”), Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee, (CTG), the Aboriginal National Health Leadership Forum (NHLF) and a member of Cancer Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Group on Cancer Control. Ms Morgan is a national leader in Aboriginal health, cultural safety education and social and emotional well-being. Ms Morgan was formerly a Commissioner of the Conservation Commission WA and a Director of the Aboriginal Economic Development Council WA.

Jenny Bryant

Living and working on Kulin Country.
Jenny Bryant brings more than 20 years of global executive experience to the organisation. She is currently the Chief Human Resources Officer for Wesfarmers, one of Australia’s leading ASX listed corporations. Her previous roles include Human Resources Director and Business Development Director at Coles, one of Australia’s largest retail employers, where she was responsible for Indigenous employment; her team won the Australian Human Rights Business Award in 2015 for creating employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Jenny holds a Master of Arts (Modern and Medieval Languages) from Kings College, Cambridge. Her earlier career includes roles in operations, sales and marketing, working in countries throughout Europe and Africa, as well as the USA. Jenny is a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW).

Susan Chew

Susan Chew is a solicitor admitted in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, having over 20 years of experience advising a number of multinational corporations in the engineering and resources, technology and utilities sectors on commercial and corporate law. Susan has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and a Bachelor of Laws from Murdoch University. She is also a corporate governance specialist, having completed a Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance with the Governance Institute of Australia and serves on several boards in the not-for-profit sector. Susan is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Sadie Heckenberg

A proud Wiradjuri woman, living and working on Nipaluna Country.

Associate Professor Sadie Heckenberg has recently been appointed to the position of Academic Director (Aboriginal Engagement) at the University of Tasmania.  Prior to that she was the Academic Director (Indigenous Research) and a Senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Fellow within the Moondani Toombadool Centre (MTC) at Swinburne University of Technology. Sadie is the President of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC) and sits on the Universities Accord Ministerial Reference Group and the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts.

A Wiradjuri scholar, Sadie was awarded her PhD in 2018, entitled Nothing About Us Without Us: Protecting Indigenous knowledges through oral histories and culturally safe research practices. Sadie was a Fulbright Scholar based in the Kamakakūokalani Centre for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai’i Mānoa, has been a Columbia University Oral History Institute Summer Fellow, a National Library of Australia Norman McCann Summer Scholar, has held a Confucius China Studies Program Young Leaders Fellowship as well as attending Columbia University’s International Summer Program on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Policy.

Sadie also sits on the board of Black Duck Group, on the Universities Australia DVC Corporate Committee, and she has held a ministerial appointment on the Higher Education Standards Panel (2018-2021).  Sadie is the Lead CI for Australian Research Council’s Linkage Project: Empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Girls, Changing Communities.

Lisa Sarago

A proud Bundaburra Yidinji/Western Yalanji woman

Lisa Sarago is a trailblazing Bundaburra Yidinji/Western Yalanji woman, and the CEO of Land on Heart.

An award-winning Indigenous leader, Lisa has dedicated her career to promoting cultural awareness and nurturing tech talent within Indigenous communities. Her strategic leadership and advocacy for disadvantaged groups have earned her industry-wide recognition.

With a focus on empowering individuals, particularly Indigenous women, and fostering inclusivity, Lisa’s vision extends to her role as a non-executive director on the LiveTiles Limited Board. Her experience as Chief Executive of various organisations, including Goanna Education and Goanna Solutions, underscores her commitment to creating opportunities for marginalised groups.

Natasha Kickett

A proud Kariyarra/Bunuba woman living and working on Whadjuk Country

Tash is a Kariyarra/Bunuba woman who grew up in the Pilbara town of Port Hedland and now lives in Perth with her husband and three children. Tash holds a Bachelor of Social Work and has experience in frontline child protection, cultural consultation, research development, social policy and strategic development across both government and non-government sectors. Tash always seeks opportunities that result in better outcomes for Aboriginal people and is passionate about trauma-informed, culturally safe, and family-led approaches that embrace the importance of family, kinship and cultural connections.

Tash is well connected across the community and has a reputation as a person who demonstrates integrity, respect, and knowledge of working with Aboriginal people. Tash uses her cultural knowledge and understanding to complement her experience as a Social Worker to work towards better outcomes for Aboriginal people, families and communities.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Tash is known for her compassionate and empathetic nature, which enables her to connect with individuals and communities on a deep level. Tash’s unwavering commitment to social justice and tireless efforts to improve the lives of vulnerable populations, particularly Aboriginal people, make her an exceptional advocate and catalyst for positive change.

Maryanne Wilson

Living and working on Whadjuk Country

Maryanne is a qualified Fellow of the CPA, with a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Information Technology) Degree from Curtin University. She has worked in the sport and the not-for-profit sector in Western Australia for over 25 years.

She was previously the Chief Financial Officer for Richmond Wellbeing one of Western Australia’s leading mental health service providers; the inaugural Finance Manager for Optus Stadium, Financial Controller for Clontarf Foundation, and the Chief Financial Officer at the Western Force and RugbyWA.

Maryanne is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, is currently the Chair of the UWA Sport Advisory Group and previously served as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of the Western Australia Institute of Sport, where she was a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and also served on the PrideWA Committee.

Throughout her career, Maryanne has maintained a clear focus on working with organisations that support people as they strive to be the best that they can be in their life and remains dedicated to helping build a society that is inclusive, mindful, and considerate.

Ember Connect wishes to acknowledge the many Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and we honour their deep continuing connection to land, sky, waterways and community.

We pay our respects to our Elders past, present and emerging who illuminate our journey to truth-telling, culture and conservation, which remains stronger than ever.