Vicki Clark OAM - Founder & Chairperson

Vicki is a proud Mutthi Mutthi and Wemba Wemba woman, and lifelong advocate, supporter and activist for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. Vicki founded The Aboriginal Catholic Ministry of Victoria (ACMV) and became the first ever Coordinator of Ministry, where she fostered Aboriginal spirituality within the Catholic church of Victoria for over 25 years. ​

After identifying the need for support of Aboriginal families in education, Vicki, along with John Arthur, the ACMV and others, launched Opening The Doors Foundation.

Vicki has guided people through the lands of her ancestors around Lake Mungo to listen, learn and feel the spirit of the land. She is currently the Chairperson of Yingadi Aboriginal Corporation and is committed to the Treaty process of Victoria including as part of the Aboriginal Treaty Working Group.

Vicki has been on numerous boards including as Australian Catholic University, the Mary MacKillop Foundation, Caritas Australia, the Sisters of St Joseph, the Edmund Rice Education Australia and as Chairperson of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council. Vicki has won countless awards for her commitment to the Aboriginal community and to Reconciliation, including the Order of Australia Medal which she was awarded in 2018.

John Arthur OAM - Founder & Treasurer

John is the Co-founder of Opening The Doors Foundation and has been a trustee since inception. John practiced law before switching to a commercial career in the mining industry with the Rio Tinto Group. John chairs the board of L Arthur Pty Ltd, one of Australia’s oldest family businesses.

John has been actively involved with pro bono work in education for over thirty years. This includes being the inaugural Chair of Council at Loreto Mandeville Hall Toorak and Chair of the Loreto Congregation Australia and the South East Asia Province Finance Advisory Committee. John has also been a contributor to Jesuit Social Services and the Edmund Rice Congregation.

John is on a number of committees including Newman College, Melbourne University Investment Committee and the Finance Advisory Committee for the Blessed Sacrament Fathers Congregation. John was awarded Order of Australia Medal in 2012 for his leadership and service to educational and social service organisations in Victoria and Aboriginal education.

Jason Kelly

Jason is Mutthi Mutthi and Wamba Wamba man, dedicated to Aboriginal education and Reconciliation. Among his accomplishments, Jason helps to preserve and share Mutthi Mutthi culture and Country and has assisted with cultural artefact preservation at Lake Mungo. Jason has also shared his culture, history and language through the education system and school curriculum. He is currently supporting Aboriginal Students in Victoria as a Koori Education Support Officer.

Jason also passionate about promoting harmony and has worked with Unity Earth which brings together people of different faiths and spiritualities globally. Among many feats, Jason has travelled to Ethiopia, the US and spoken at a convention on Mutthi Mutthi Country, the Country of his ancestors.

Jason is a part of the First Peoples Assembly of Victoria, which is determining the next steps in the Victorian Treaty Process between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians.

Melissa Brickell

Melissa is a Yorta Yorta Ulupna and Wiradjeri Australian woman who has been actively supporting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community on justice issues: reconciliation and human rights, and in particular Stolen Generations. 

Melissa has 10-year teaching experience in Victoria and the Northern Territory in public and private sectors in Primary, Secondary, University, TAFE, Prison, Museum and the Church.

Melissa has worked with a number of education and welfare organisations in supporting the welfare, cultural rights and freedoms of Aboriginal peoples, including with the Department of Employment Education and Training, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria, the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, MacKillop Family Services, and the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care.

Melissa has been a committed community volunteer with a number of organisations  over the years; some for many years: The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Committee, The Living Museum of the West, Reconciliation Victoria, State and, National Sorry Day Committees, Stolen Generations Alliance, MacKillop Heritage and Information Services, Victorian Aboriginal Catholic Council, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council, Caritas Reference Group,  National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission, and for the Opening The Doors Foundation for 16 years.


Melissa received: A Reconciliation Award for Advancing the rights and community life of Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, Maribyrnong City Council, 1998; a Community services Award, Stolen Generations Victoria, 2007, and a Leadership and Mentoring Elders Award, Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Limited, 2017.

Dr Julie Andrews

Julie is a Yorta Yorta and Woi Wurrung woman with connection to Wirdajuri peoples. She is committed to empowering young Aboriginal people through education and mentoring. Julie is involved in community development and is an anthropologist and has a long connection as a scholar in Aboriginal Studies at Latrobe University. She is Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Studies and Indigenous Strategy Committee for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University.

For over thirty years Julie has been instrumental in developing Aboriginal higher education at La Trobe University’s Bundoora and regional campuses across Victoria. Among her many roles, Julie lectures and researches on Aboriginal community, cultural knowledge, families, identity and self- determination. She is a working party member for the Indigenous Australian Dictionary of Biography project and is a Melbourne Museum Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Council Member, and is involved in the Aurora Education Foundation Internship Program, and has been involved in the North Balwyn Rotary Indigenous higher education scholarships as a mentor.

Professor Gabrielle McMullen AM

Gabrielle is a graduate of Monash University and from 1981-1995 was a member of its Faculty of Medicine and also became Dean of its Catholic residence, Mannix College. She was then Rector of Australian Catholic University’s Ballarat campus from 1995-2000 and its Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) until February 2011. In the latter role, her responsibilities  included the University’s Indigenous education and research portfolio.

In 2011-2017 Gabrielle was a Trustee of Mary Aikenhead Ministries. Her other community contributions have encompassed education, health, theology and community service boards and currently include the Councils of the University of Divinity and of PNG’s Divine Word University, President of the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows, and Chair of Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Ltd and of the Australian Catholic Council for Pastoral Research.

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

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