Meet our team
Chief Executive Officer
Laura was appointed CEO of Supply Nation in 2015, having been involved with the organisation since its inception through her work with two founding member companies. Laura joined Supply Nation following four years at Qantas where she led Qantas Group’s Corporate Community Investment Program.
With over two decades of experience in stakeholder management, risk mitigation and reputation management, Laura’s career has spanned both private and public sectors. Since taking the reins at Supply Nation, Laura has led the organisation through a significant period of growth: doubling the membership base, growing the supplier base by over 300% and increasing the national footprint of the organisation.
Laura is currently a member of Telstra’s Indigenous Advisory Committee, and both McKinsey & Company and NRMA’s RAP Steering Committees. Laura holds a Graduate Certificate in Management from the University of Technology, Sydney; is a graduate of the AICD Company Director’s Course, and holds memberships of the AICD and Women on Boards.
Laura has previously held directorships of Engineering Aid Australia, Supply Nation and Indigenous Business Australia’s Cooee Traveller. Laura was also previously a director and the Chairperson of CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program.
In September 2018, Laura was announced as one of the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Women of Influence.
Laura proudly identifies with her Aboriginal and Italian heritage and was born and raised in Canberra.
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Natakka Alberts is a proud Gangulu and Yiman woman from Central Queensland with strong family connections to Cherbourg. She joined the Supply Nation team in March 2018.
In 2015, Natakka graduated from the Queensland of University of Technology with a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing and International Business and accepted a graduate program with the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships in Queensland. A year later, she moved to Department of Energy and Water Supply, where she worked on increasing awareness about electricity rebates and concessions in Indigenous communities in Queensland; and created the Lockhart River Art Auction which raised over $50K for the Lockhart River community. With over three years of experience, Natakka has exceptional time management skills and is extremely organised to ensure projects are delivered on time. Natakka’s experience ranges from content and collateral creation, email marketing campaigns, to social media campaigns and organising events.
She is passionate about all things Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander related and is determined to be an example to other young Indigenous females. Through her work at Supply Nation, she is able work with Indigenous business owners and communities.
Head of Government Membership
Ricky Bryan has over twenty years of varied experience. He has worked predominantly in marketing and communications across the not-for-profit, IT, arts, government and semi-government, and university sectors. Additionally he has more than twenty years of experience in disability advocacy.
While working in the arts Ricky established a long relationship with Indigenous companies such as Bangarra Dance Theatre, individual Indigenous artists and Big hART with their Indigenous themed works such as Namitjira.
In the procurement area Ricky has been involved in many government and semi-government procurement processes such as for major new website development, software systems and design and creative services as a subject matter expert and client.
Manager, Programs and Partnerships
Tarita is a proud Noongar and Yamatji woman from Western Australia. Tarita brings with her seven years of experience in the oil and gas industry, working in various roles successfully developing, implementing and managing innovative corporate social investment and Indigenous Affairs programs. Tarita has extensive reporting experience which spans across corporate and government environmental reporting and Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) reporting and coordination.
Tarita joined Supply Nation in May 2014 as the Relationship Specialist – WA/SA to build sustainable relationships with Supply Nation’s corporate Members and Indigenous Suppliers and assist them to engage in commercial activity for mutual business gains. Tarita is excited to be a part of the Supply Nation team to assist in creating economic development opportunities for Indigenous businesses.
General Manager, Operations
Costa brings to Supply Nation over 25 years of experience working across a broad range of roles and industries from accounting and business consultancy to information systems management, corporate partnerships and stakeholder engagement, fundraising and business development, operational and executive office roles in the not for profit sector. Costa has worked for charities such as The Smith Family, YWCA NSW, the Children’s Medical Research Institute and the Daystar Foundation and has significant experience in fundraising and program development.
Costa has an MBA from the Sydney Graduate School of Management and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Costa has a deep personal interest in contributing to social impact, and is highly motivated by initiatives that promote equity, strengthen communities and adopt inclusiveness and diversity in their approach.
Bringing over 10 years of event management in both corporate and agency environments, Melissa joined Supply Nation in March 2019.
Melissa has extensive experience managing large-scale events including Networking Events, Conference Gala Dinners, Awards Nights, Product Launches, Seminars and Roadshows throughout Australia, for a broad range of stakeholders across multiple industries.
Melissa is proud to be part of the Supply Nation team, helping drive engagement within the Indigenous business sector through a successful calendar of events.
Indigenous Business Officer
Rick joined Supply Nation in January 2019 as a member of the Certification and Audit team bringing with him extensive experience working with Aboriginal communities, managing Aboriginal controlled organisations and facilitating and supporting Aboriginal economic development and managing business operations.
After an initial career working in Information technology, assisting system users to specify their requirements of new information systems, Rick was a foundation partner in a social research consultancy and for over 10 years managed and participated in evaluation, review and information systems projects, focused in the human and community services areas, throughout Australia. Through this experience he developed an understanding of and deep interest in Aboriginal economic development and the positive impact business success can achieve for Aboriginal people. Rick completed a Master of Business Administration and moved into project management and senior management positions with Aboriginal organisation in Australia’s East Kimberley region.
Rick’s management, governance, compliance and business experience working with Aboriginal individuals, groups, boards and companies, in particular, experience negotiating, implementing and managing joint ventures is a solid foundation for the certification and auditing of Aboriginal businesses in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.
Indigenous Business Officer
Katherine is a proud Gumbaynngirr woman originally from the Nambucca Valley in NSW. She has been working in Queensland recently with various stakeholders as a projects administrator in the construction and engineering industry.
Katherine brings a wealth of experience within accounts, contract and compliance evaluation, Indigenous employment and recruitment and Joint Venture negotiation and agreements.
Katherine has a dedicated passion for developing Indigenous economic independence and opportunities for Indigenous businesses, people and communities.
In her role as Indigenous Business Officer, Katherine will join the Certification team and will be working on registering and auditing our Joint Ventures as well as supplier auditing and conducting certifications.
Patrick is a proud Dharug man from Western Sydney/Lower Blue Mountains. Patrick is in the penultimate year of an Arts/Law Degree planning on undertaking an Honors year in 2019 in Indigenous Studies. Having spent the past few years working as a paralegal in both corporate and government services, he is seeking to gain an understanding of the Indigenous Business sector.
Partick interest is building a sustainable nation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the role that business ownership plays in this. He is joining us through the CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program.
Manager, Corporate Services
Annalees has worked most recently in business services, finance and management roles in the Domestic and Family Violence and Homelessness sectors. Her previous experience includes finance, HR, quality and compliance gained within the international development, media and retail sectors. Annalees is passionate about social equity for all and thrilled to be working for an organisation that shares these values.
Head of Certification and Audit
Ray joined Supply Nation in August 2012 as an Indigenous Business Specialist, responsible for engaging with Indigenous businesses to promote and process applications for Supply Nation’s certification program.
Ray brings with him over 15 years of experience in the security, risk management and the audit/compliance industries. He has assessed, developed and implemented internal enterprise risk management systems and frameworks, quality assurance and protective security risk for numerous national blue chip businesses across varying industries including retail, hospitality, logistics, manufacturing and construction.
Ray’s experience in assessment and auditing and his keen eye for detail serves him well in ensuring that Supply Nation’s certification program maintains its high standard of integrity and authenticity.
Reception and Administration Coordinator
It took Colleen all of two seconds to decide to take on her role as Reception and Administration Coordinator for Supply Nation. Colleen is committed to being as useful as possible and is toe-curlingly excited about the opportunity to support the Supply Nation enterprise to grow and flourish.
Colleen has highly developed coaching and listening skills, and a wealth of experience in business, leadership and social justice, in Australia and Cambodia. Colleen likes to participate in thought – provoking conversations, that lead to innovation, fresh ideas and clarity and is here to make a difference.
Database and Audit Coordinator
1st Indigenous Bank Teller (ASB) NZ, 1st Funds Management / Interior Design (Lend Lease),1st Indigenous Body builder, 1stNSW Admin Supervisor, 1st NSW Customer Retention Manager – (NAB), 1st NSW Consumer Business Banking Manager (WBC), Studied Opera (NSW)– vocally (Soprano – Dramatic coloratura), 1 of Top 300 MLC Life (MLC) Financial Advisers to gain Dealers Licence (1987) today referred to as (ASIC Tier 1), 1st MetLife Australia (USA), RaboBank (Australia), volunteer, environmental and sustainability activist – however last but not least, her loved ones, and family and friends will say to you is that she’s never forgotten where she came from or who she’s been fighting for – just a better life for all.
Relationship Manager VIC
Candace is a community engaging, team playing, grab-the-bull-by-the-horns opportunity making, kayak racing, barra chasing, cowboy boot wearing, knit and crochet daring, straight shooting kind of girl.
Candace has returned to Melbourne recently after four years living and working across the Kimberley region of WA and joins us from Swimming Australia, where she was instrumental in shaping a sustainable strategy for Indigenous Swimming Programs and development of the organisation’s inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan.
Candace brings an eclectic mix of skills and experience including supply chain management, change management, Indigenous community development and delivery of Tertiary Business Education from her roles in the corporate, government, not-for-profit and educational sectors across urban, regional and remote communities. Candace is excited to be joining a talented team of thought leaders for Indigenous business growth and looks forward to the opportunity to drive best practice.
With a background in event management, logistics, cross-cultural education and performing arts programs, Katie brings broad experience to the Supply Nation team. She came on board in September 2015 to assist with the Connect conference and tradeshow in Perth, and has helped grow our national Connect events by more than 20% year on year.
With a BA in Organisational Communication, Katie has worked in not-for-profit, government and private sectors over two decades in more than 10 countries. A career highlight includes two years working on the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch relay, managing the event in 6 countries in the South Pacific followed by 100 days straight travelling the nation ensuring 11,000 super excited Torchbearers were in place and on time!
Katie is passionate about making a difference, and contributing to increased understanding between people of all backgrounds.
Relationship Manager ACT
Experienced Project Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the government administration industry. Skilled in Sales, Public Speaking, Facilitation, and Management. Strong research professional with a Master’s Degree focused in History from the University of Adelaide.
Relationship Manager NSW
Ben Price joined Supply Nation in April 2018 and brings over 10 years’ of experience in working with corporate and government customers across Australia and New Zealand. Ben has a background in relationship management and has a good understanding of procurement processes, having worked closely with procurement teams over the years.
Most recently, Ben has worked in the office supplies industry where he was a Client Business Consultant for Winc. Ben managed a portfolio of large corporate and government clients, including the largest state contract in the organisation. In this role he worked with senior managers and procurement teams to reach their strategic CSR objectives, including diversity targets.
He is passionate about diversity and inclusion and is excited to be working with organisations who aim to make a difference in the Indigenous space.
Relationship Manager QLD and NT
Nimmi has an Electrical and Electronics Engineering degree. She started her career as a lecturer teaching Electrical Machines and Signal Processing. She immigrated to Australia in 2004 and worked for ISS in Engineering department developing SCADA programming. Later she joined ICN, Queensland working with Major projects in helping them with procurement of goods and supplier verification.
She has a proven record of forming collaborative relationships with both internal and external stakeholders involving private companies and government bodies with the ability to lead and influence to mitigate risk and provide long term value over the life of the project. Prior to joining Supply Nation, Nimmi worked with Boeing Defence Australia as Industry Engagement Specialist.
Ana joined Supply Nation in Februrary 2018 and brings more than 20 years’ of experience in various financial roles. Ana was born in Montevideo, Uruguay where she completed her accounting studies, and then migrated to Australia in 1991.
Since then, Ana has worked mainly for non-for-profit community organisations in the all-rounder role of Finance Officer. She worked for the CRC Justice Support for 8 years until May 2000, for the Dusseldorp Skills Forum for a period of 9 years until October 2009, when she joined the National Association of Community Legal Centres until January 2018.
With over 20 years’ experience in communications and design, Lea has been working with Supply Nation since 2016. With over a decade working in the arts in marketing and as an actress, Lea understands the power of great creative and is experienced in social media campaigns, collateral design, content creation and management, image curation, print collateral roll out and generally making sure campaigns are delivered effectively and on time.
Willow Saige joined Supply Nation in January 2018 as the Executive Assistant to the CEO & Deputy CEO. Willow’s deep interest in and contribution towards bringing community diversity and inclusion onto an even playing field, is the main reason for joining the Supply Nation.
Willow has over 27 years experience in the support services space, in the not-for-profit, corporate and government sectors, at senior management level in the capacity of EA, research analyst in government energy and environmental policy in Australia and Asia, project manager and events manager.
Willow has a Diploma in Clinical Aromatherapy and a Diploma in Doula Services and previously a specialist doula in both the birth and end of life spaces. Willow is a poet and writer and is in the process of publishing books to assist with transitional experience.
Relationship Manager WA and SA
Lee is a positive communicator and skilled stakeholder manager which has included working predominantly with Indigenous communities within the public and private sector for the majority of his working life. Successfully delivered economic and social capital through having extensive experience in challenging and dynamic positions managing stakeholder engagement, programs and partnerships. Experienced in case management; project, program and change management; and policy development and management within state and federal government; financial and business advisory services.
Lee is experienced working in the resource and oil and gas sectors establishing, developing and implementing economic development strategies and project managing economic development programs and partnerships throughout Australia.
Building strong economic and social outcomes through a passion of working with all people predominantly Indigenous and diverse cultures, and building sustainable capability.
Head of Membership, NSW
Sandra is a proud first generation Australian with Assyrian and Iraqi heritage. She joined the Supply Nation team in April 2017. Sandra graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of International Studies and Bachelor of Business and Commerce majoring in International Relations and Global Business Strategy.
In 2015, she went on to the business development team at CEB, a best practice and management consulting company working with corporate and government organisations. There, she engaged with Finance, Procurement, Risk and Audit Executives in strategic partnerships and now aims to transfer her skills and experience in the not for profit sector.
She is passionate about all social and equality causes and strives to empower Indigenous people and communities through the work accomplished at Supply Nation.
Manager, Indigenous Business Engagement
Jenny is a Wiradjuri woman from Central West NSW. Jenny joined the Supply Nation team in October 2013. She brings with her extensive experience from working within Government Departments such as the Department of Education Employment and Work Place Relations (DEEWR). Most recently she worked with the Department of Human Services (DHS).
Prior to working within Government she worked for the Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council for approximately 12 years. Jenny has also sat on the Board of Darkinjung Land Council and was also elected as Chairperson of this organisation. Jenny holds a BA in Adult Education and Community Management, obtained from the University of Technology Sydney, she graduated in May 2013 and was the first member of her family to attend University.
Jenny is extremely passionate about creating genuine opportunities for Aboriginal people, and is aware of the barriers Aboriginal people face on a day to day basis , she is very excited about where this journey will lead with Supply Nation.
Sybil has been working with Supply Nation managing marketing and communications since 2014. Her marketing career has encompassed working with start-ups, small and medium sized businesses and not for profits since 2008 – spanning the development of business units and taking products to market within large, established businesses; to working at the coal face with brand new businesses, helping them bring their ideas to fruition. Sybil is known as a creative and intuitive marketer who brings her strong communication skills to help create engaging, successful campaigns.
Manager, Digital Programs
Andrew is an experienced digital project manager focused on optimising customer experience to drive sustainable growth and solve complex problems. A design and digital thinker, Andrew has experience across multiple industries including government (both state and federal), media, education and technology. Previously he has worked for the NSW State Government where he helped to redesign services with citizens and for citizens.
Leah is the Director of Wollotuka Institute at the University of Newcastle. As the CEO of Reconciliation Australia from 2010-2014, Leah led Reconciliation Australia into becoming a professional, trusted and innovative organisation. Leah was a co-founder of Yarnteen Ltd (1992-2009) — a successful Indigenous enterprise operating several commercial and social ventures including bulk warehousing, a car wash, a building company, a registered training organisation, cultural resource/education centres.
Leah, a Torres Strait Islander, has senior professional with over 20 year’s business and not for profit experience. Leah has a strong demonstrated track record in achieving organisational results, creation and maintenance of strong networks and stakeholder relationships by working collaboratively with governments, community and the private sector.
In 2009, The Australian Financial Review Boss Magazine recognised Leah as a “True Leader” and in 2012 Leah was recognised in the inaugural 2012 Australian Financial Review/Westpac 100 Influential Women Awards.
Leah holds several Board positions including as Board member of The Smith Family, Board member of Foundation for Young Australians, Member of CSIRO Indigenous Advisory Council, Director of First Australians Capital and Director of Indigenous Business Australia Asset Management. She held previous Board positions as Chairperson of Aboriginal Housing Office NSW, member of Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, Indigenous Business Australia and Chair of Indigenous Business Policy Advisory Group.
In 2010, Leah hiked the Kokoda Track as a mentor with the Jobs Australia Foundation Indigenous Youth Leadership Program.
Jenny Boddington has over 23 years’ experience in strategy, investment banking and private equity. She is currently Chairman of Latitude Insurance and a Director of NSW Treasury Corporation (TCorp), a non-executive director of Chief Executive Women and ANZ Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance, as well as an executive mentor with Merryck and Co.
Until 2016, Jenny was Global Head, Bancassurance for QBE Group responsible for driving QBE’s insurance business with financial institutions. Prior to that, Jenny was CEO and a Director of QBE Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance Limited. She was also a Director of QBE Mortgage Insurance (Asia) Limited based in Hong Kong and Executive General Manager of Financial Institutions at QBE, responsible for bancassurance in the region, as well as marketing, organisational excellence, change and communications.
Before joining QBE, Jenny was Director of Private Equity for Deutsche Asset Management and a Director of Deutsche Bank investment banking in both Sydney and London.
Jenny has a Masters Honours degree in Metallurgy, Economics and Industrial Management from Oxford University.
Patrick Chaney is a seasoned construction management professional with 20 years’ experience in commercial construction in regional and metropolitan Western Australia. For the last five years Patrick has worked as a consultant and executive in the property development industry. For two years Patrick worked with NANA Australia a subsidiary of NANA Development Corporation (US Aboriginal Corporation). During this time with NANA, Patrick serviced a number of indigenous and non-Indigenous clients, including Indigenous corporations, government agencies, private and not-for-profit developers.
Patrick has extensive experience in local, state and federal government procurement and contracting and the development and execution of strategies in securing government contracts.
Patrick is currently General Manager Operations with St Ives Retirement Living, a leading provider of retirement living accommodation in WA. He is also a member of the Property Council of Australia (WA) Retirement Living Committee.
Michelle Deshong is from Townsville, North Queensland and draws here connection to Kuku Yulanji nation. She has completed a BA with First Class Honours in Political Science and Indigenous studies and is working on her PhD (on the participation of Aboriginal women in public and political life) at James Cook University. Michelle is currently the CEO of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute.
Michelle has worked in both the Government and NGO sectors, and has held many senior leadership roles and she currently holds a number of directorship roles in the Not for Profit sector, including the Supply Nation Board, Thirrili and the OXFAM Indigenous Advisory Council. In 2013 Michelle was named in the Australian Financial Review/Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards.
Michelle has extensive experience in areas of leadership, governance and politics. She has a strong commitment to human rights and has also been an NGO representative on many occasions at the United Nations forums on the Commission on the Status of Women and Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. She has a strong background in gender equality and works to ensures that the voices of Indigenous women are represented at all levels.
In 2016 Michelle is undertook research in the USA and Canada as part of her Fulbright scholarship to develop strategies for Nation building, leadership and gender equality. She was also named as the 2015 National NAIDOC Scholar of the Year.
Glenn Johnston has over 25 years’ experience in procurement and logistics management across different industries, market leading companies and government. He is currently Director of Procurement at Transport for NSW, Group Rail.
Glenn is a nationally recognised procurement expert and thought leader with a deep and proud passion for Indigenous business engagement. By helping Indigenous businesses grow and develop, Glenn firmly believes that this will lead to greater opportunities for Indigenous employment and a more inclusive economy.
Glenn was the recipient of the 2016 Supply Nation Procurement Professional of the Year Award in recognition of his work developing and engaging Indigenous businesses. He is a Fellow (Chartered status) of CIPS and Chair of the NSW Chapter of CIPS, the globally recognised peak procurement and supply professional body with over 120,000 members. Glenn is also a Board Member of the AIATSIS Foundation.
In August-September 2016, Glenn became a Jawun program secondee and spent 6 weeks living with the Aboriginal Community of Lockhart River (Far North Qld), considered to be the most remote Aboriginal Community in Australia. During this time he helped the Mayor, CEO, Councillors, Elders and motivated locals develop a framework to enable less reliance on welfare and employment by the Council, through building small businesses with a goal of achieving self-determination though economic opportunities. Living with the Aboriginal Community also highlighted the importance of preserving the Indigenous culture through language, songlines, music, dance and art.
Glenn is a Dharug man from Western Sydney and still lives on traditional Dharug land in Glenhaven.
Justin Mohamed is the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People and a proud Aboriginal man of the Gooreng Gooreng nation, near Bundaberg in Queensland. Justin has dedicated the past 28 years to working towards building a strong and healthier nation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Justin believes that better health is clearly linked to the positive outcomes of reconciliation and that better health for his people will build stronger education and employment outcomes, financial security, social participation and respect.
Prior to his role with the Victorian Government Justin was CEO of Equity Health Solutions, CEO of Reconciliation Australia, Justin chaired the, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, and was Co-Chair of the National Health Leadership Forum. He has also been the director of the Academy of Sport, Health and Education, based at the University of Melbourne’s Shepparton campus, and CEO of Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative.
Justin has also held positions on multiple community, state and national working groups, committees and boards. Justin continues to be a director of Kaiela Institute and Co Chair of Cricket Australia’s National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council.
Aaron Pedersen has over 20 years’ experience in digital product and marketing with a track record of delivering innovative products that drive customer and revenue growth. With a background in law, he has managed his own business from start up to sale and held senior roles in some of Australia’s largest companies, bringing a unique combination of hands on entrepreneurial drive and creativity, with enterprise level discipline in analysis, strategy and programme management.
Scott Wharton is Head of Better Risk Outcomes at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).
Prior to joining the CBA in 2016, Scott was Managing Director and Global Head of Enterprise Supply Chain for Citigroup in New York. He led a global organisation with team members in over 50 countries, providing operations, technology and risk solutions to Citi businesses. Scott started his corporate career with PwC Consulting in Sydney.
With broad experience across risk, operations, technology, finance and shared services, Scott has a reputation for successfully leading innovative and complex change programs and performance improvement initiatives.
Scott has served on the Board of The W. Edwards Deming Center for Quality, Productivity, and Competitiveness at Columbia Business School and the Business Council of the American Australian Association while in New York City.
Scott is currently co-Chair of the CBA women’s network and Chair of the Business School Advisory Board at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Scott holds a Bachelor of Science from The University of Sydney, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Technology, Sydney, an Executive MBA from INSEAD and an Executive MBA from Tsinghua University in Beijing. Scott also completed the Leading Innovative Change Executive Program at the University of California, Berkeley, and he is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS).