Meet the EK Board

Kate Golson

Chairperson

Kate is a community-based researcher with an interest in community development and organisational change. Kate has consulted for a range of organisations including the Nulungu Research Institute at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Western Australia, Pew Charitable Trusts, the Kimberley Land Council and the Kimberley Institute. Kate has worked with Kimberley communities and organisations on projects concerned with sustainable development, conservation and land management, tropical river research, oral history, native title and cultural heritage protection. Born in Canberra and raised in Papua New Guinea and England, she holds an MA in Anthropology (Development Studies) from Sydney University. Kate joined the Board of EK in 2007, inspired by ‘the considered and informed activism of co-founder Pat Lowe’ and has served as Chairperson of the Board since 2010.

Peter Mitchell

Vice Chair

CEO of the Men’s Outreach Service in Broome, Peter is a founding member and former chair of Environs Kimberley. He has significant experience in local community development and governance, including a six-year stint as an elected member of the Broome Shire Council, and membership of the St Mary’s College School Board. After he completed a BA degree at Curtin University, his early working life was mostly spent in fieldwork in outback WA, in the mining and surveying industries. Since he moved to the Kimberley in 1988, his roles have included Telecentre Coordinator for Broome and Halls Creek, and field officer for the Department of Child Protection and Kullarri Employment Services. Peter’s passions are engaged by conservation and sustainability, Aboriginal empowerment, the Kimberley, music — and football.

Kat Taylor

Secretary

Kat is an environmental consultant with extensive experience working for Aboriginal and environmental non-government organisations, including the Kimberley Land Council in Broome and the Centre for Appropriate Technology and Arid Lands Environment Centre in Alice Springs. She is an environmental educator and water specialist with a special focus on drinking-water supply risk management. Currently studying for a doctorate, Kat holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science (Honours) plus a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology from Murdoch University. The roles she has held range from Natural Resource Management Officer of the West Australian Department of Water in Perth to co-presenter of The Sound Environment on Radio Goolarri. Kat moved to Broome in 2010 and says, ‘It is inspiring to see EK’s staff and supporters working on wonderful projects that support a positive future.’

Laurel Sutcliffe

Treasurer

Laurel, a teacher at Broome Senior High School, previously spent 20 years at Yakanarra Community School near Fitzroy Crossing, where she served as School Administrator and Principal. Laurel holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma in Education from Melbourne University. After graduating, she taught at schools in Victoria and Papua New Guinea before moving to the Kimberley in 1986 to work in Aboriginal education. She joined EK in its early days of campaigning against a dam on the Fitzroy River and was motivated to join the Board because she cared about preserving the natural environment. Laurel says: ‘I love being a member of EK and hanging out with like-minded people. The staff members are friendly, fervent and funny. As a member of EK, I feel optimistic about the future.’

Carmel Leahy

Board member

An upper primary teacher at Yiyili Aboriginal Community School, Carmel has previously served as a literary specialist at Broome Senior High School and taught at Nyikina Mangala Community School and various other schools and institutions. Author of the Society for Kimberley Indigenous Plants and Animals (SKIPA)’s Guide to growing a garden in Broome, she participated in the society’s weeding and conservation projects with Goolarrabaloo Rangers and volunteers. Her work for EK has included preparing herbarium samples for the West Kimberley Nature Project. Among her qualifications is a Bachelor of Education in Multicultural Education from Edith Cowan University and a Masters in Applied Linguistics from Charles Darwin University. As a teacher at Yakanarra Community School in the 1990s, Carmel helped develop the school from its rudimentary beginnings in a bough-shed to a proper school with a full-time principal, four teachers and an adult education facility.

Craig Philips

Board member

A member of the EK Board since 1999, Craig owns a computer IT sales-and-service company. He has served on the boards of the Broome Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Centre West Kimberley and St. Mary’s College. His previous roles include Managing Director of OEM Supplies — Northwest, and before that Victorian sales manager of Columbus Mufflers and West Australian sales manager of Lukey Mufflers. Craig was born in Melbourne and moved to Broome in 1994. He says, ‘The Kimberley is special country, which has captivated my heart, but the people that EK has attracted, volunteers and staff, have been my true inspiration. We have a team of professional scientific and cultural experts and active carers and I am proud to be a part of EK.’

Alexis Harper

Board Member

Lexi is passionate about health in a holistic sense and values local environments, food systems and communities and the roles they each play in people’s wellbeing. Her academic background includes a BA in Naturopathy and Masters in Public Health. She has been a resident of Northern Australia for over 10 years, having lived in Darwin for a number of years before moving to Fitzroy Crossing in 2016. She has recently decided to call Broome home for a while. Lexi is interested in creating local, sustainable food systems as well as ensuring the wild spaces that make the Kimberley special are preserved for future generations. 

Natalie Davey

Board Member

Natalie Davey comes from Fitzroy Crossing. She works at Baya Gawiy, the Children and Parenting Centre (CPC) and Early Childhood Learning Unit (ECLU). She is building a teachers’ resource system for local and visiting educators and creating programs based around the local Aboriginal seasonal calendars. 

At Wangki Radio, the local station, she is a broadcaster along with her father. They present a morning language program called ‘Danggujarra’.   

Natalie’s creative arts project with Mangkaja Arts is developing a jewellery collection inspired by country.

Natalie is dedicated to sharing the world around her and bringing people together through cultural understanding.  

Rebecca Laird

Board Member

Rebecca grew up in small Western Australian country towns before moving to the Kimberley as a teacher 20 years ago. She has taught in remote and Broome schools and has a Bachelor of Education in Intercultural Studies and a Master of Applied Linguistics. Rebecca is interested in sustainable practices and planning within education and contributed to developing the sustainable schools community in Broome. She is passionate about digital education and supports teachers to integrate technology into their work. She joined EK while living in remote communities to help preserve the beautiful Kimberley environment and support the people who care for it. Rebecca is keen to work with the Kimberley community to ensure a sustainable future for its land and people.

Isaiah Mckenna

Board Member

A newly graduated Year-12 from Saint Mary’s College and this year’s Head Girl, Isaiah is an enthusiastic and driven young Indigenous person excited to be joining the EK Board. When Isaiah was 15, she represented the Kimberley in the YMCA WA Youth Parliament as a member for Arts and Culture — the youngest in the youth chamber. Her committee’s ‘Arts and Culture Redevelopment Bill’ passed in the Youth Parliament and was given to the Premier. Besides politics, Isaiah is passionate about causes such as Native Title, the Arts and world history. Her goals are to become a Constitutional or Intellectual Property lawyer and the Australian Minister for Indigenous Affairs. On the Board, Isaiah will apply her perspective and skills to enhance the success of the organisation and generate progressive change throughout the community. 

Monica Edgar

Board Member

I am Lead Country Manager for NBY. I have a passion for ‘looking after country’.  I love our home in the Kimberley and want to help protect it from the pressuring outside world.  I have worked in collaboration with others through my job and find that the majority of the Kimberley’s residents work hard looking after country to keep it safe. I also provide education to the younger generation through school programs.