The Bulbulwul Baya Advisory Group

In 2018, The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW was proud to add its voice to reconciliation through the publication of our first Reconciliation Action Plan.

As part of the plan, the Society committed to listening to the guidance of First Nation peoples and communities on the best means to advance reconciliation in our organisation and the communities we serve.

To this end we established an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group.

We call it the Bulbulwul Baya (Darug for strong voice) Advisory Group.

The role of Bulbulwul Baya is to support the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW to work cooperatively with First Nation peoples, communities and organisations towards a just and equitable society. The purpose of the Advisory Group is to:

  • Provide strategic advice on matters relating to the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW’s work towards reconciliation including guidance on ensuring:
    • An inclusive and respectful environment for employees, members and volunteers.
    • Our services are culturally appropriate.
    • The perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are embedded in our policy and advocacy work.
  • Oversee our engagement activities and strategies.
  • Inform the Society on matters of importance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Provide a source of cultural support and guidance for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.

The Bulbulwul Baya Advisory Group meets four times a year and has up to ten members.

At least two of the members are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander employees, at least two members are from regional and rural NSW, and at least three members are women.

The Bulbulwul Baya Advisory Group reports to the State Council via the Social Justice Advisory Committee.

The current membership is:

  • Jack de Groot, St Vincent de Paul NSW CEO
  • Kate Temby, St Vincent de Paul NSW Executive Director, Corporate Services
  • Grace Toomey, Councillor NSWALC (Western Region) 
  • Ivan Clarke, Senior Consultant – Men’s Program (Education Centre Against Violence) 
  • Mitch Saddler, St Vincent de Paul NSW Director, Commercial Enterprises 
  • Vicki Parry, Executive Director, Barang Regional Alliance 
  • Des Jones, Chairperson, Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly 
  • Jake Robertson, St Vincent de Paul NSW Manager Aboriginal Development, Housing and Homelessness
  • Yeena Thompson, Community 
  • Kelly Mundine, Community 
  • Lisa Buxton, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry 
  • Rob Cohen, St Vincent de Paul NSW Aboriginal Engagement Partner (Chair) 
  • Rhiannon Cook Manager, St Vincent de Paul NSW Manager of Policy and Advocacy 
  • Malcolm Picken, Amelie Housing, Social and Affordable Housing Fund Program Co-ordinator