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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Indigenous Evaluation Committee members

Indigenous AffairsEvaluations and EvidenceIndigenous Evaluation Committee
Thursday, 28 April 2022
Publication author(s):
National Indigenous Australians Agency
Chair of the Committee - Associate Professor Jason Ardler

Jason Ardler PSMAssoc Prof Jason Ardler PSM is an Aboriginal man of the Yuin nation, with cultural ties to the NSW South Coast.

For 20 years, Jason held senior executive roles in the NSW public sector, including seven years as the Head of Aboriginal Affairs NSW, where he led government strategy and reform in Aboriginal economic participation, community governance, land rights, culture and heritage, community safety, environmental health and service accountability. Prior to joining Aboriginal Affairs NSW, Jason was Executive Director Culture and Heritage in the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change.

Jason has been a member of numerous national and state level councils, executive committees and working groups on Aboriginal affairs, state and economic development, public land management, and social policy reform.  He is also an experienced board member, currently appointed to the NSW Health Pathology Board.

In 2018, Jason received the Public Service Medal (PSM) for outstanding public service. He is a Fellow of the Australian New Zealand School of Government and in 2019, was awarded the Sir James Wolfensohn Scholarship to undertake an executive leadership program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge. Jason holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of NSW and is a Global Alumni of the Commonwealth Study Conference. 

In May 2020, Jason co-founded Thirriwirri, a 100% Aboriginal-owned consultancy with the purpose of supporting Aboriginal communities and others to work differently, confidently and effectively together to achieve the social, cultural and economic aspirations of Aboriginal peoples. In November 2020, he was appointed to the role of Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Indigenous Strategy and Services at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine and Health.

Independent Member – Dr Fiona Cram

Dr Fiona CramDr Fiona Cram is an Ngāti Pahauwera woman from Aotearoa New Zealand. Dr Cram is a prominent Maori evaluator with expertise in Indigenous led research and evaluation.

Dr Cram has a PhD in social and developmental psychology from the University of Otago. She has lectured in Social Psychology and has also been a Senior Research Fellow within the International Research Institute of Māori and Indigenous Education at the University of Auckland. In the middle of 2003, Fiona established Katoa Ltd, which is a Māori Indigenous research organisations as well as offering a range of research and evaluation training.

Dr Cram’s research interests are wide-ranging including Māori health, justice, and education. The over-riding theme of Fiona's work is Kaupapa Māori (by Māori, for Māori). Fiona is Editor-in-Chief of the Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA) new evaluation journal, Evaluation Matters - He Take Tō Te Aromatawai, published by the NZCER.

Independent member - Ms Nattlie Smith

Nattlie Smith

Ms Nattlie (Natt) Smith is a proud Wiradjuri woman from Condobolin/Orange NSW and the Director for Aboriginal Outcomes for the NSW Department of Customer Service. She has over 20 years of experience in both government and non-government policy and operational roles across many human service areas. Natt is committed to making a positive difference through culturally responsive policy development, service design, program implementation, evaluation and analysis. Natt advocates for the importance of Aboriginal people having a voice in culturally responsive service design, program implementation and the evaluation process and has overseen a number of place-based Aboriginal-led co-design projects.

Natt was awarded the Australian Evaluation Society’s Indigenous Evaluation Award for Excellence for the Aboriginal Evidence Building in Partnership Project (2019).

Natt is a Board member for Reconciliation NSW, former Co-chair for NSW Closing the Gap – Officer Level Working Group for Housing, former Chair for AHO’s Aboriginal Research and Knowledge Advisory Committee and a former member on NSW Department of Communities and Justice’s Human Services Dataset Governance Advisory Group.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer Policy & Programs - Ms Letitia Hope

Letitia HopeLetitia Hope is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Policy and Programs at the National Indigenous Australians Agency. A proud Bundjalung (Northern Rivers NSW), Torres Strait Islander and South Pacific Islander woman.

Over the past 28 years, Letitia has had a varied and wide career working across Commonwealth and State governments in both mainstream and specialised social policy development, program management and service delivery across human services, housing, health and community services, Veterans Affairs and Indigenous Affairs.

Letitia holds a deep rooted and demonstrated commitment to delivering the art and science of excellence in public sector leadership and management and serving the government of the day impartially with diligence. Letitia is one of the inaugural members of the Australian Public Service Academy faculty and is a council member of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (ACT) 2021-2023.

Letitia has held various Senior Executive roles including Deputy CEO/Chief Operating Officer (COO), Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS); Assistant Secretary, Health and Community Service Programmes Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA); and National Manager Service Transformation, Centrelink.  

Letitia holds an Executive Masters of Public Administration through the ANU and a Graduate Certificate in Management (Public Sector) through the RMIT.

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