Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board Members

The Board is co-chaired by Karen Milward and Mark Stone AM.

Ms Karen Milward          

A proud Yorta Yorta woman, Karen has extensive commerce expertise and experience in working with Aboriginal communities. Karen is the Chair of two Victorian Aboriginal organisations including Kinaway Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce Victoria Ltd, Co-Chair of one national Aboriginal organisation, and became a Director of Yarra Valley Water in 2017. Karen is also a member of the Federation for Aboriginal Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Karen has extensive experience working with Aboriginal communities and government agencies in her role as an Aboriginal consultant stretching over 20 years.

Mr Mark Stone AM

Mark is the Chief Executive of the Victorian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and a member of the Premier’s Jobs and Investment Panel. Mark was previously the Chief Executive of Parks Victoria for 12 years. Mark was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours (2016). Mark has years of strategic business leadership and development experience. Mark has also formerly been the Chairman and Director of various charities and not-for-profit organisations, such as Variety the Children’s Charity of Victoria and Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Day Council.


Board Members:

Mr John Chambers

John Chambers has a career spanning both the corporate and entrepreneurial sectors. John spent 2 decades climbing the ranks at Telstra, at different times leading the Mobile, Broadband and Product Innovation divisions, and being an impassioned advocate for Indigenous empowerment and self-determination with the company. John is now the CEO of tech startup Tappl, helping individuals and workplaces to thrive through enabling simple yet powerful feedback amongst colleagues. John is also a non-executive director of Smiling Mind, a not-for-profit helping improve mindfulness and mental health outcomes in Australia.


Mr Jeremy Clark

Jeremy Clark is a Tjap/Peek Whurrung Traditional Owner with over 25yrs experience in Indigenous affairs and its many aspects. Jeremy is the Managing Director of  Federation Enterprises, General Manager of Barpa Construction Services and  Chair of On County Heritage & Consulting. Jeremy is also a member of the Victorian Treaty Working Group and is a strong believer in Aboriginal people’s right to self-determination and passionate about developing and providing opportunities to improve the economic and social outcomes for his people.


Ms Jeni Coutts

Jeni Coutts has over 30 years’ experience in corporate affairs and stakeholder relations in senior executive positions with some of Australia’s leading companies including AGL, Siemens, Transurban, CitiPower and Hoechst. Jeni has also run her own consultancy for more than 12 years, specialising in stakeholder management on major projects with a focus on road and rail transport. This gives Jeni a unique insight into working with communities and Government to achieve positive outcomes. Jeni’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Laws from Deakin University and a Bachelor of Arts (PR/Politics) from RMIT University. Jeni is also a member of the St. Vincent’s Institute Foundation Board.


Ms Alicia Gleeson

Alicia Gleeson is the Executive General Manager – Human Resources at Crown Resorts in Melbourne. Alicia was awarded the ‘2014 Executive of the year’ at the CEO Magazine Awards and most recently won the prestigious ‘Industry Pride Award’ at the 2015 International Women of Gaming Awards. Alicia’s qualifications include a Master of Business Administration from RMIT University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne.


Mr Rod Jackson

Rod Jackson has a strong background in Health and Aboriginal issues. Rod is experienced in a number of areas in the Not-For-Profit space and enjoys the challenges that NFPs face in a commercial world. Rod is currently the CEO of Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd which operates 46 programs including Health Services, Early Education, Culture, Family and Children’s Services, Community Services, Biodiversity and Land Management, Social Enterprises, Aboriginal Arts and Glass Manufacturing, Housing and Justice. Rod is also one of the Elders/Respected Persons at the Geelong Koori Court, a Director of VACCHO, a member of the Barwon Regional Partnership, and an advisory panel member of Deakin University (Institute of Koorie Education).


Ms Seona James

Seona James is a Yorta Yorta woman and is the Manager - Aboriginal Engagement at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). Seona’s wealth of cultural knowledge has been utilised by many businesses to establish the foundations for Aboriginal engagement. With more than 20 years’ experience in Aboriginal focused roles, Seona has held a range of senior roles at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Linfox Logistics, CPA Australia and the Department of Justice and Regulation (DJR).


Ms Shannon Ryan

Shannon Ryan is a Gunditjamara, Njarindjeri, and Wotubuluk woman. Shannon is one of the founding members and youth workers of Side by Side Youth Inc. (SXS), a youth-driven incorporation that developed and ran a social enterprise café in Bendigo. Shannon is also a board member and youth worker for Hip Hop Opportunities. Prior to this, Shannon worked for the Bendigo Aboriginal Co-Operative as a Child FIRST worker and has previously worked in many hospitality roles. Shannon was the 2015 Victorian Government Ricci Marks Award winner.


Mr Steven Shaw

Steven Shaw is an accomplished financial services executive with a 30-year career in Retail and Business Banking, Strategy, Product Management and Marketing roles in Australia and Asia. Steven has held senior roles in complex multinationals including National Australia Bank, Westpac Group’s Bank of Melbourne business, National Mutual, and GE Capital. In July 2017 Steven transitioned from corporate life to focus on strategic consulting and community projects. Outside his professional commitments, Steven enjoys family life and outdoor activities including mountain bike riding and skiing.


Mr Roger Teale

Roger Teale is Head of Markets – Victoria at Lendlease. Roger is responsible for client and government engagement and new business in Victoria. In addition to his role at Lendlease, Roger is currently the President of the Property Council of Victoria and a member of Committee for Melbourne and CEDA.


Mr Garry Terrill

Garry Terrill is the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Australian Retailers Association. Garry applies his breadth of industry knowledge to bring relevance to the relationships that are managed by the Retail Institute with industry. Garry works closely with government bodies and industry partners to ensure the Retail Institute offer remains relevant, compelling and well understood. Garry’s focus is to support the growth of the Retail Institute to deliver skills and career pathways within its membership to both owners and employees. Garry has worked in the VET sector since 2005, specialising in developing retail skills and employment opportunities with small to large sized retail employers nationally across a wide range of industry categories in the area of pre-employment and existing workers.