GRAMS Board

The Governing Body of Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service is the Executive Committee, who are responsible for upholding and promoting the objectives as set out in the GRAMS Constitution.

Sandy Davies - Chairperson

I am a proud father of eight kids and nineteen grandchildren. I am also a proud Nanda man of the Yamatji region, with a keen interest in football (particularly the Northampton Rams.) I am a keen supporter of all the young men who play football especially my sons, Cameron and young Sandy who are playing and Shannon and Brett who used to play football years ago, although Shannon may make a comeback.

I have an extensive history in Aboriginal affairs which dates back some thirty years ago, when I first took to the road with key people such as Leadham Cameron and Bill Mallard fighting for justice and a fair go for Yamatji people. My mentors include people such as the late Robert Riley and the late Leadham Cameron who were key people in my life, they left great legacies for this region. One of my other great mentors is Margaret Colbung who herself is a fighter for Aboriginal Health injustices.

I want equal rights for all our people when they are accessing health services provided by government agencies. I am passionate about social justice and making sure our people have a voice and the right to be heard.

Gordon Gray- Deputy Chairperson

I have been living on and off in the Mid West region for nineteen years, working in various government agencies. I have two grown daughters and four lovely grandies. I enjoy fishing.

The community will remember me from the ATSIC days as I was the Regional Manager for the Murchison Gascoyne Region. I have worked in Kununurra and Kalgoorlie and was also employed by FACSIA, whose role was to increase access to mainstream funding for Aboriginal people. I also worked on the Trans-Line east of Kalgoorlie.

I want to pass on my knowledge and experiences that I have learnt over the years to the younger generation as I believe that our youth are the future of our people. If we, the current leaders within our community don't make sure that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to take them to the future, then it will be our region that will be poorer. I am passionate about capacity building as I see this as the best way in which true empowerment can be gained for our people as capacity building works in a similar way as GRAMS and that it is holistic.

I believe that diabetes is the hidden threat in our people and if we don't get smarter on how to tackle chronic disease in the future, it could be very bleak for our people. I believe that with smart thinking, which GRAMS has shown through the establishment of the mobile clinic for the Murchison, the future of our people is only going to get better, but we must make sure that we include all our clients as much as possible in GRAMS planning for a better health community.

Finally, I truly believe in the Mountain and the Mohammad statement which means that if something does not come to you, then you must go to it - a bit like a mobile clinic! I am currently involved in the development of the Mt. Magnet Clinic, which will provide better health care to our people living in the region.

Justin Mallard

I am a well-known sporting identity in the Geraldton community, having played for the local State Basketball League team, The Buccaneers, and then local footy team Railways for many years. I also tried my hand at playing football for towns, but basketball is my first passion. I have won many awards for my sporting skills which I also hand back to the youth through my involvement with the coaching of young people.

I am a young dad of a beautiful little girl, Arley, who like her dad attends many meetings of the GRAMS board, and a son Talan. I come from a long line of political activists starting with my mum and dad, who were both instrumental in the establishment of the Aboriginal Medical Service back in 1978, in the little house in Beachlands. My Mum then went on to become one of the well-known fighters for equality for all in health in this country.

I, like Arley, had an early introduction to political life as my Mum used to take me along to many of her meetings to show me and my brothers what our people had to do for funding health care services.

I am no stranger to the GRAMS Board having served as a member previously. I am a strong supporter of GRAMS and what it stands for which is making sure our community has access to the best health care service. I want to see more young people standing up and having a go. I want to see them working alongside the current leaders of our community so that when they speak on behalf of either the community or their family, they will do so with strength.

Rachel Mallard

I am a proud Nanda woman with strong cultural ties to the Barrel Well/Kalbarri areas. I am a proud mother of seven children, three girls and four boys as well as a grandmother of two beautiful little boys, Kelvin and Peter. I come from a strong family of political activists and William Mallard Snr was instrumental in the implementation of a number of Geraldton initiatives and a strong fighter for Aboriginal rights.

I am passionate about family, culture and health, as I believe that without good health you have nothing. I believe that any programs that are being developed for Aboriginal issues are to be done in conjunction with Aboriginal people, as not to teach our people how to do things will only end negatively.

I became interested in the board because I believe that I can make a difference, that our youth need to be consulted more and that the community needs to take an interest in how health services can look after their health needs.

Carrissa Bellottie

I currently live in Geraldton, however I still like to call Shark Bay my home, where I grew up and lived for many years.

Both Parents are still with me, my Mother coming from the Shark Bay (Malgana) area and my Father who grew up around Northampton/Murchison areas (Nanda) and whose Father (my Grand Father) is from the Mullewa (Wajarri) area.  I have 3 Sisters and 1 Brother, from whom I have many Nieces and Nephews.  I like to spend a lot of my spare time getting back to Shark Bay, enjoying the sunshine, swimming and fishing life.

I currently work in the Education Sector, in particular Midwest Aboriginal Education.  My role is the Coordinator of Aboriginal Education and we cover a large area of 4 networks – Geraldton, Murchison, Gascoyne and Southern networks.  Previously my working life was spent working with Indigenous Affairs for the Commonwealth Government, working with agencies such as ATSIC, ATSIS, DEEWR, DIMIA, FaCSIA  and FaCHSIA. It’s safe to say that most of my working life/career has been working in Indigenous Affairs.

I have been a member on the Board of the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service for a couple of years now and have loved the opportunities it has given me, especially in being a part of a team that continues to provide one of the best AMS services in our Country.

In my spare time I also sit on the Board of the Great Northern Football League (GNFL), which is the local footy league in Geraldton.  With the support of my fellow Board members and the 7 local Football Clubs I have successfully introduced an Indigenous Round included in the yearly Fixture and also Cultural Awareness workshops to members of the GNFL Football Community.

Personally I live by the words in that we must always show Respect to one another and more importantly our Elders.  Respect is one word in our English dictionary that seems to be overlooked and I believe our people and our community need to see more of it, and just in general use it more in our everyday life, especially in our younger generation.

Veronica Jones

 I am a proud Noongar mother of 2 children, I’ve lived in Geraldton for over 20 years, and started my career working alongside our most vulnerable families as a receptionist at GRAMS when I was 16 years old.

I left GRAMS 6 years later to have my first child and then went onto complete my Bachelor of Social Science (Indigenous Services) in 2003. For the next 5 years I worked in various federal agencies working with community organisations.

Through this time I developed a strong desire to build up the strengths of our communities especially our women and children. More specifically how to overcome violence, abuse and breaking down the barriers that leads to dysfunction in our families.

This passion comes through my own desire to raise happy, healthy and well-adjusted children whilst also working at the‘Department Child Protection and Family Support’, to support others to do the same.

I am a firm believer that for our people there must be a holistic approach to overcoming barriers, which is why being a GRAMS Board Member is important to me as the service is not just focused on health, but also the social, emotional and spiritual aspects that lead you on to a happy health parent raising happy healthy kids. From there we can only have happy healthy communities.

My favourite saying is by Gandhi “BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD”….speaks for itself…….

We appreciate the support and cultural leadership the board exercise on a regular basis.