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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 - Mr Jason Ardler

Jason Ardler PSMMr 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.

​Deputy CEO for Policy and Programs - Julie-Ann Guivarra​

​Julie-Ann is a proud woman of Aboriginal and​ Torres Strait Islander descent.

Julie-Ann was previously the Group Manager of the Recognition and Empowerment Group at the NIAA. She led the coordination of the whole-of-government processes for the implementation of the Government’s commitment to the Uluru Statement from the Heart as it relates to the enshrinement of a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution, Truth Telling, International policy and the Empowered Communities program.

Before joining the NIAA in 2022, Julie-Ann worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). She served as Australia’s Ambassador for Gender Equality and was Australia’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, Andorra and Equatorial Guinea. In this role, Julie-Ann became Australia’s first female Indigenous Ambassador. 

​Julie-Ann has also been posted to New Delhi and Geneva. In addition, she has multilateral experience, serving as the Counsellor (Agriculture) in the World Trade Organisation and has published several articles on trade issues.

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