Chris is a proud Gumbaynggirr man, born and raised in Garlambirla (Coffs Harbour) within the Gumbaynggirr Nation of NSW, who continues his cultural development with local Elders and local communities. Chris, who studied Business at Newcastle University holds a strong background in NSW Aboriginal Land Rights, Cultural Heritage, Community Consultation and Business Administration. In 2014 he was awarded the inaugural Young Business Person of the Year by the NSW Business Chamber and received the honour of being named Coffs Harbour City Council’s NAIDOC Person of the Year for the city of Coffs Harbour in 2015.
Chris has held the position of CEO of Coffs Harbour Land Council and most recently the CEO of Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance. Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance approaches community development from a positive perspective and focuses on what gives Aboriginal people an advantage: their culture. The Alliance aims to position culture as the foundation for the long-term sustainability of the region’s 12,000 Aboriginal people. Culture is linked to the building of pride and self-esteem as well as providing a viable career path.
In addition to his 15 years’ experience leading Aboriginal community controlled organisations on the Mid North Coast, Chris is a regular speaker at Aboriginal summits, events and in the media. He’s also a confident speaker within an office environment and if you’ve been lucky enough to have a yarn with Chris you’ll know he’s a goldmine of information about his region’s culture, lores, natural treasurer’s and traditions, which he gladly shares with compassion, sensitivity and humour. We welcome Chris to the role to bring his strong management experience and cultural knowledge to lead Tobwabba Aboriginal Medical Service as a best practice provider of holistic health services for the Worimi Nation.