ACKNOWLEGEMENT

The office of the Opening the Doors foundation is located on the lands of the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung People of the Kulin Nations. Opening the Doors Foundation acknowledges the traditional owners of ancestral lands across Australia. Respecting Elders past and present and local Aboriginal Custodians.

SUBSCRIBE FOR EMAILS
CONTACT

Phone 03 9443 9070
 

CLICK HERE TO EMAIL

 

434 St Georges Rd
Thornbury VIC 3071

 

 

WARNING

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website may contain images of deceased persons

© 2018 | Opening The Doors Foundation

FOUNDATION TRUSTEES & STAFF

Vicki Clark | OAM - Founder & Chairperson

I grew up in Melbourne and as a young adult and mother in the 1980’s, mum, Joan and I were a part of a small group Aboriginal people who met regularly in private homes to share faith and Aboriginal spirituality. When the group successfully received funding from the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne for a headquarters I was offered the job as Coordinator of Aboriginal Catholic in Victoria. I liked it that much I stayed for 25 years until 2015. That’s because I could recognise strong the connection between Aboriginal ceremonies that had been conducted for many millennia and the ceremonies of the Church.

Through the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry and a couple of good friends, I was able to establish the Opening The Doors Foundation in 2001 to enable Aboriginal families to participate in the educational systems of their choice. Now independent of the ACM, the foundation is strong and proud to be the only foundation that walks with families from Prep to Year 12. I believe the reconciliation journey between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australian can be credited to our success. As we totally reply on philanthropy and donations, to continue to open the doors.

My other passion is education which led me to develop the Proud Race program, which invites schools to research and create life-sized bollards of inspirational Aboriginal people and erect them in school premises. The FIRE (Friends Igniting Reconciliation through Education) Carriers program also sought to embed the spirit of reconciliation with Catholic schools. Schools that make a commitment to the FIRE Carriers program elect student leaders to carry out the duties of FIRE Carriers and fundraise for OTDF.

My contribution to the Reconciliation process has been recognised in a number of awards, but my greatest honour, however, is not bestowed by such awards, it’s when people come to the land of my Ancestors at Lake Mungo to listen, learn and feel the spirit of the land.

John Arthur | OAM - Founder - B.A Laws and Commerce

John Arthur is a founder of Opening The Doors Foundation and has been a trustee since its establishment in 2001. John has had 20 years corporate experience in finance and investments with the Rio Tinto Group (formerly Conzinc Rio Tinto Australia) and is currently Chair of the Board of L Arthur Pty Ltd, one of Australia’s oldest family owned businesses in the transport logistics industry.

John holds a combined Bachelor of Laws and Commerce degree from Melbourne University. He has had a long pro bono association with organisations involved in education and the wider community including inaugural Chair of Council at Loreto Mandeville Hall Toorak and Chair of the Loreto Congregation Australia and South East Asia Province Finance Advisory Committee.

 

John is Chair of Newman College, Melbourne University, Investment Committee and a member of the Finance Advisory Committee for the Blessed Sacrament Congregation.

Carol Messer | Founder - B.A (Hons) Dip. Business (Governance)

I have been involved with Opening The Doors Foundation since its very beginning. I was a Founding Trustee and was the first Administration Officer for the Foundation. It is a joy to return to the role of Trustee and to see how the Foundation has grown and flourished from its humble beginnings.

I am happily retired now, living with my husband in Heathcote in Central Victoria. I volunteer with the St Vincent de Paul Society and I’m currently the Public Officer for Yingadi Aboriginal Corporation. Above all, as a wife, a mum and a very proud grandma, my family is my rock and my world.

Professor Gabrielle McMullen | AM FRACI BSc (Hons) PhD (Monash)

Following postdoctoral research in Germany, Professor Gabrielle McMullen joined the Department of Biochemistry at Monash University and also became Dean of its Catholic residence, Mannix College, in 1981. She was then Rector of Australian Catholic University’s Ballarat campus from 1995-2000 and its Pro- and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) until February 2011. In the latter roles, one of her national responsibilities was the University’s Indigenous education and research agenda. 

 

In July 2011 Professor McMullen was appointed a Trustee of Mary Aikenhead Ministries, which was established at the instigation of the Sisters of Charity of Australia to continue their health and aged care, education, research and social service ministries.  Since November 2015 she has also been one of four lay members of the Governing Council of the Missionary Sisters of Service. Other current roles include member of the Council of the University of Divinity and of the Council of the Divine Word University in Madang, Papua New Guinea and national President of the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows. Further community contributions have encompassed membership of education, health, theological, social services and pastoral research boards.

 

Professor McMullen was awarded Member of the Order of Australia in 2012 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and a Dame of the Order of Malta. 

Nerita Waight

Completed my Bachelor of Arts and Laws at Melbourne University in 2011 whilst undertaking a cadetship through the Australian Taxation Office.  In 2012, I commenced a traineeship with the Victorian Government Solicitors Officer where I was able to undertake my practical legal training whilst undertaking exciting work in various branches. 

 

In 2014, I commenced working at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service which I commenced as a civil lawyer then moved to the family and youth team.  In late 2016, I moved into a dual role, undertaking both legal casework and policy work culminating in the establishment of Balit Ngulu in 2017, a specialist legal service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

 

I am currently in the process of completing my Masters of Law at the University of Melbourne and hope these studies will continue to foster my passion for social justice and equity and help me discover innovative ways to solve the justice issues plaguing my community.

Please reload