Board of Directors


Photo of David Follent


New South Wales - Chairperson

David is currently a Senior Project Officer, with in the Aboriginal Chronic Care Team with in NSW Health’s Agency of Clinical Innovation. Previous to this position, he spent over six years within Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) based at Gosford.

The bulk of his time here, he managed the Aboriginal Chronic Care Program with the CCLHD’s Aboriginal Health unit, with secondments to Public Health Unit and Priority Programs, working on projects for Dental and Sexual Health / Needle and Syringe Program). Additionally, before his time at CCLHD, David spend 6 years in South Eastern Sydney and Illarwarra Local Health District (know Sydney Local Health District and Illawarra Local Health District). In his time here, David was an Aboriginal Health Worker, trainee enrolled nurse and Aboriginal Chronic Care Project Lead. In this time, he completed a Certificate IV in Enrolled Nursing (NSW TAFE) and a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (Aboriginal Health College).

David is currently finishing off his Masters in Public Health at Sydney University. On completion of his Master’s degree, he will meet all requirements to have successfully completed the Aboriginal Population Health Training Initiative (APHTI).  David’s passions and interests include Aboriginal Health, Public Health and Health Policy Development.

David, proudly states he is a second generation of this family to venture into Aboriginal health, with his Mother, Sue Follent, one of the early Cohorts of Aboriginal Health Workers within the NSW health System and went on to Manage Bugalweena Service, within Tweed Hospital in Northern NSW, retiring in 2010 after a career spanning nearly 30 years.

Within Aboriginal Health across NSW, and has strong relationships with key stakeholders across NSW. This includes NSW Ministry of Health, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, AH&MRC, Local Health Districts, Primary Health Networks and other government / Non-Government service providers.

Photo of Christina Ingram


Victoria – Treasurer

Christine Ingram is a proud Yidindji women from Far North Queensland, one of three siblings, who grew up in Melbourne.  Christine has worked in Aboriginal Health since the early 90’s.

Christine began her career in Aboriginal Health as a trainee Dental Health Worker within the Oral Health Unit at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS).

Christine has completed the following training: Cert III in Dental Assisting with credits, Cert III in Aboriginal Primary Health Care and a Diploma of Practice Management. Christine has  held a variety of positions and roles at VAHS which has included senior and executive management. Christine was acknowledged for her continued dedication to improving the Oral health of the Aboriginal community and was the recipient of a Dental Health Services Victoria Public Oral Health care Award in 2011. Christine is currently working within the Integrated Team Care at VAHS. This role provides support, advocacy and care co-ordination for our clients with complex needs. An active board member since NAATSIHWP was established in 2008 and incorporated 2009.

Photo of Natalie Pangquee


Northern Territory – Secretary

Natalie is a proud Marrithieyl women who has always had connections to her community in the Daly river region. When she was young her grandmother told her that she always said she wanted to work in the field of helping people. Natalie would travel out to our country/land from when she was about 7 year.

Natalie started her training in 1992 as a Trainee AHW and  am now an AHPRA registered Aboriginal Health Practitioner. Once she completed her training she worked at Woodcupilidya Health Centre. Back then they only had UHF radio contact with the DR on call and they had to drive the car at 80km on the airstrip to see if the plane could land.

There were about 13 outstations and around 300 people who accessed the main community. Natalie was about 16 years old when she was chosen from the community to be the future AHW. As she was chosen she was given the respect to deliver/ provide health care for our Marrithieyl people.

In 1999 she went for a 2 week holiday in Nhulunbuy and loved it so much she went back there and lived for 8 years and worked as a AHW at Yirrkala Health and was adopted by one of the family’s. She learnt a lot from the SAHW about bush medicine and smoking ceremony’s. Natalie worked a lot with the strong women workers who shared their traditional skills with me.

Natalie then decided that the profession was an aging profession there were no young AHW coming through and wanted to know why. I applied for an AHW Education and Training position that was based in Nhulunbuy worked in the specialist field as an AHP Educator and has for the past 10 years.

Natalie also plays a major role in her community and at a state level of the development and training of junior players at Touch Football.

Natalie Portfolio includes: Education and training, Sexual health, Health Promotion and education.

Further studies gained diploma of management and leadership, Certificate IV workplace training and Assessment.

Photo of Thelma Weston


Australian Capital Territory

A Torres Strait Islander born on Mer Island. Grew up in Brisbane. Completed 2 years General Nursing Training at Brisbane General Hospital and then spent 2 years in the Army Nursing Corps. Married and relocated to Perth and raised 5 children. While the children were young Thelma worked as a nurse in Aged Care for fifteen years.

Thelma applied to Marr Mooditj Foundation to study Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health graduating with an Advance Certificate and a Diploma. An award for excellence in Diabetes Education Prevention and Control, Medication Certificate School of Pharmacy at Curtin University. The students were fortunate to accompany two doctors one an eye specialist on a Trachoma Survey visiting the communities of Meekatharra, Wiluna, Jigalong, Newman, Laverton and Kalgoorlie and Certificate in Trachoma Screening. While a student at Marr Mooditj Thelma was fortunate to be selected to go to the USA and spent time touring the Navajo Lands in New Mexico and Arizona and also toured Alberta Canada. Thelma was employed by Derbarl Yerrigan Aboriginal Health Service and while there worked in many positions as a Senior Health Worker and also as Manager of one of the outer branches of Derbarl Kerrigan. Thelma relocated to Canberra and is now employed by Winnunga Nimmityjah Health Service as the Administration Receptionist and manage the NSP programme. Thelma has been the ACT representative on the Board of NAATSIHWP since October 2013.

Photo of Yancy Laifoo


Torres Strait Island – Director

NAATSIHWP representative for the Torres Strait Islands and from Badu Island, Yancy has been a Health Worker for over 19 years and Board Members since 2012. Currently the Manager for Health Programs in a Primary Health Care she is overseeing the Child and Maternal Health Program throughout the Torres Strait Islands and Northern Peninsular Area, she also worked with Qld Health in theatre and A&E.

She is active in supporting and encouraging other Health Workers to achieve and to gain higher qualifications. Yancy herself has an Advanced Diploma in Primary Health Care, Cert 1V Workplace Training & Assessing and a Degree in Community Development. In her spare time and coming from a large family of 24 plus extended family she enjoys getting everyone together and going fishing, teaching kinship and culture to younger family members. She likes to ensure children are involved in sports and healthy activities.

Photo of Judith Parnham

Judith Parnham

Queensland – Director

Judith Parnham represents both Aboriginal and the Torres Straits and is a proud Ankamuthi (Northern Peninsular Area. Qld) and Erub - Darnley Island descendant.

Judith was born in Mossman Far North Queensland and lived and schooled in areas expanding from Mossman to Mt Isa.

She has been an Indigenous Health Worker since 2004 and has worked in the areas of Cairns and Northern Peninsular Area.  Judith is currently working at the Atherton District Hospital on the Atherton Tablelands.

Judith believes that her resilience and determination to improve Indigenous health statistics and providing culturally appropriate awareness and services to the indigenous communities fuel her passion for educating and creating opportunities of awareness to non- indigenous communities.

Her continuous self-improvement and nurturing personality enable her to groom / role model, mentor and encourage the current and future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and health professionals.

Judith’s portfolio includes:  Hearing Health, Health Promotion and Education, Chronic Disease, Child Health, Wound Care and Community Health.

Further studies have seen Judith gain her Diploma in Indigenous Primary Health Care, Diploma in Indigenous Education and is currently completing a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion.

Other significant achievements within Indigenous Health is:

2005- The Premiers Award for Participation in the Homelands Partnership

2008 – Implementation Coordinator for the Indigenous Bowel Cancer Screening Program

2018- NQPHN Health Professional Awards – Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker/Practitioner of the year.

Photo of Raeylene McKenna

Raeylene McKenna

Western Australia – Director

Raeylene is a proud Yawuru/Bunuba Women from Broome, WA. Graduated as Health Worker in 2003 and worked at Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service, Kimberley Population Health Unit and Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service Ltd (KAMS) in many different roles.

Raeylene is Currently managing the KAMS RTO, delivering the Cert III in ATSI Primary Health Care, Cert IV in ATSI Primary Health Care Practice and the Cert IV in Mental Health. Raeylene is passionate about ATSI Health, she believes that we are the change makers and are critical to the health workforce, and in Closing the Gap. Raeylene’s other passion is being able to transfer cultural knowledge between local and mainstream Medical Services and provides Cultural Safety Training and mentoring to staff at KAMS. She hopes that she will be able to contribute to the positive changes required to support better health outcomes for our people.

Photo of Suzie Smith

Suzie Smith

Tasmania – Director

Suzie Smith is a proud palawa woman and mother of two from southern lutruwita (Tasmania). Suzie began her career working for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation as a child care trainee , pregnancy support work and went on to study cert III and cert 4 IV in Aboriginal primary health Practice, achieving practitioner status in 2014.

Suzie is currently the senior Aboriginal Health practitioner and clinic supervisor at the Aboriginal Health Service in nipaluna (Hobart) and has completed her diploma in practise management and vocational graduate certificate in chronic disease self- management.

Suzie has always been passionate about improving the health of her community and believes that promoting the important role and work done by Aboriginal Health workers / practitioners is an integral step to ensure Aboriginal people get the quality health care they need.