2022 Rural Gathering

The 2022 Social Enterprise World Forum Rural Gathering explored and unearthed ways to accelerate community-led rejuvenation opportunities for rural Australia and internationally.

Background

Established in 2008, Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) is the flagship event for the global social enterprise community, providing space for purpose-led people, policymakers, philanthropists, intermediaries and entrepreneurs to connect, learn and be inspired. Each year, SEWF moves around the world to offer delegates challenging, topical programs featuring local, national and international expertise. Australia is hosting Social Enterprise World Forum 2022

The opportunity for rural communities

Hosted by ACRE in association with SEWF 2022, the Rural Gathering (2-5 October) was held in North East Victoria – a rural region that is a hot bed for social enterprise in Australia.

The Rural Gathering offered participants diverse, dynamic and deep opportunities to explore the central theme of community-led rejuvenation through social enterprise, with a focus on developing enterprise capabilities in the next generation, learning from First Nations people, building networks and the enabling role of government and philanthropy. The program was designed around three key objectives

  • Knowledge: Building understanding and recognition of social enterprise as a lever for community-led rejuvenation in rural communities.
  • Know-how: Influencing and accelerating community-led rejuvenation policies and approaches via development of a Rural Gathering Manifesto.
  • Networks: Developing a collaborative network to foster community-led rejuvenation models internationally.
Find out more

Read more about the Rural Gathering program and participants

Rural Gathering Manifesto – a work in progress

The Rural Gathering incorporated development of a manifesto for influencing and accelerating community-led rejuvenation policies and approaches in rural communities across the globe. ACRE is honouring a commitment to finalise the Manifesto on behalf of participants and has prepared a ‘first cut’ that identifies universal principles and synthesises conversations and contributions collected during the Rural Gathering. We are hosting virtual conversations to invite feedback and plan to finesse and release a final version of the Manifesto in mid-December. View the draft here: MANIFESTO (@ 17 November 2022)

Keynote speakers and panel members

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slide-shows-Dumu-5

Matt Pfahlert

Chief Executive Officer ACRE - Australia

Matt Pfahlert

Matt is a well-known social entrepreneur with a long-standing commitment to rural Australia

One of Australia’s pioneering social entrepreneurs, Matt is helping to shape rural Australia through igniting entrepreneurship in young people and their communities. Matt started his first social enterprise in 1993 at the age of 23, working with ‘at risk’ young people in wilderness settings. His passion and drive for positive social outcomes saw him receive the prestigious Young Australian of the Year Award in 1996.

In 2016 as co-founder and CEO of the Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship (ACRE), Matt led a $2.5M community buy-back of the Old Beechworth Gaol – a neglected Australian heritage icon famed for its connection to Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang and located in Matt’s hometown. The site is being re-purposed as an exemplar of social enterprise, impact investment and rural rejuvenation through community owned assets.

Helen Haines 2

Hon Helen Haines

Federal Member for Indi - Australia

Hon Helen Haines

After a career as a nurse and midwife, Helen still wanted to make a difference to her community so she ran for Federal election. In May 2019, she became the first Independent federal parliamentarian to succeed another in the same electorate in Australia. As the Independent Federal Member for Indi, Helen represents people from as far as Corryong in the Upper Murray to Kinglake and Marysville on the outskirts of Melbourne. The biggest towns in Indi include Wodonga, Benalla, Mansfield and Wangaratta – Helen’s home for more than 30 years.

Robert-Musgrove-Bendigo-Adelaide-Bank
Robert-Musgrove-Bendigo-Adelaide-Bank

Robert Musgrove

Executive - Corporate and Public Affairs, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank - Australia

Robert Musgrove

Since joining Bendigo and Adelaide Bank in 1987, Robert has held a wide and varied range of positions across the Group, from Customer Service Officer to playing a pivotal role in the development and expansion of the Community Bank® model. From 2006 Robert managed key innovative partnerships for the Bank before moving into the role of Head of Group Strategy in 2009. Robert joined the Bank’s executive team in 2013. Robert is always on the lookout for challenging and unique ways to give back to his community. He has participated in a number of fundraising events including volunteering for Earthwatch, counting African fauna and flora in South African wildlife reserves. Robert is a director of the Bendigo Art Gallery, and a director of Community Sector Banking.

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sg-logo-350

Chris Raftery

Head of Enterprise Third Sector and Social Investment, Scottish Government

Chris Raftery

Chris Raftery is from the Equalities, Human Rights and Third Sector Division, The Scottish Government

A three-year plan published by the Scottish Government in April 2017 identified 92 actions to encourage more entrepreneurial activity, strengthen existing organisations and realise market opportunities.

Since the launch of the strategy more than £14 million was invested into contracts, programmes and projects aligned to these strategic ambitions.

In 2019 a Social Enterprise Strategy Reference Group carried out a SWOT analysis of the key priority areas that gave a picture of the Sector’s concerns and ambitions. These major themes emerged:

  • Thought to be given to supporting local needs, particularly in rural areas.
  • Engaging with young people to determine why they might purchase from a social enterprise and how they can become involved in social enterprises throughout their future career.
  • Linked to this is an emphasis on education and training – through both training individuals within social enterprises, particularly in financial literacy and core business skills, and beyond social enterprises through awareness campaigns. Engaging young people is one of the key areas to ensure sustainability of the sector.
  • A certification for consumer markets to raise awareness and to clearly identify to consumers the social impact of their purchases.
  • The social enterprise ecosystem could be decluttered through streamlining organisations that are currently supporting social enterprises in similar domains.

The Scottish Government is committed to a census of the sector every two years. This data is used to map activity to the current action points and consider how they contribute to a set of high level outcomes.

Gerry_Higgins_Headshot-1
Gerry_Higgins_Headshot-1

Gerry Higgins

Founder & Managing Director, SEWF, Scotland

Gerry Higgins

Gerry is the founder and Managing Director of SEWF where he works to develop a global impact economy. Gerry has a BA in Education and a MSc in Business Studies and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of Social Enterprise UK in 2017. Gerry is Irish but has lived in Scotland for over three decades and leads the SEWF team to strengthen and grow the social enterprise movement through convening, influencing and capacity building.

Leading SEWF has come about after decades, working in, establishing and supporting social enterprises in the UK and Ireland and this brings an understanding of the challenges of sustainability and leadership in values-led businesses

 

 

Finlay MacLennan
Finlay MacLennan

Finlay MacLennan

Development Manager, Community Land Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Finlay MacLennan

Finlay studied history at the University of Strathclyde before moving to the Isle of Lewis. His professional career has seen him work with Horshader Community Development and Tighean Innse Gall. He is currently Development Manager for Community Land Outer Hebrides, a consortium of community landowners in the Outer Hebrides formally established in late 2020 that seeks to build on the strengths of community land ownership in the Outer Hebrides by working together.

With 75% of the population of the Western Isles living on community-owned land, Finlay will focus on the ownership, management and stewardship of land in the Outer Hebrides, and outline how CLOH supports members reach their community development aims and facilitates peer support.

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headshot-Mags-McSporran--e1662531872159-250x250

Margaret McSporran

Head of Social Enterprise Development, Highlands and Islands Enterprise,Scotland

Margaret (Mags) McSporran

Margaret (Mags) McSporran has worked in senior roles for HIE since 1995. She has worked closely with stakeholders, clients and communities to develop and expand their businesses, and managed complex projects which contribute to the growth of Scotlands’e sconomy. As Head of Social Enteprise Development, she is developing policy mechanisms to promote growth of social businesses, and supporting third sector clients with complex and challenging issues in the Highlands and Islands region.

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MEG ALLAN Untitled-3-08

Meg Allan

Wilderness Collective, Mallacoota, Victoria - Australia

Meg Allan

Meg Allan was born and raised in the small coastal town of Mallacoota located in Far East Gippsland, Victoria and is passionate about regional futures and fostering opportunities for people of all ages to remain in place. Meg is a co-founder of Wilderness Workspace, which has evolved into the Wilderness Collective and uses enterprise, co-working and knowledge sharing as the catalysts for rural rejuvenation. She is the East Gippsland Shire Council Mallacoota District Place Manager, supporting community-led recovery and future renewal after the Black Summer Fires. Meg is also a member of the Gippsland Community Leadership Program 2022 cohort and is the recipient of the Wayne Casey, Gippsland Young Community Leader Scholarship.

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20210628.HR003-Florence-Davidson-scaled

Florence Davidson

Executive Officer, Christie Centre Inc, Mildura - Australia

Florence Davidson

Florence Davidson from the Christie Centre is stewarding a portfolio social enterprise through change and growth. From the Mildura Chocolate Company, to GrowAbility Nursery, from Around Again waste management and recycling to ArtRageUs, the Christie Centre is creating meaningful employment pathways and an inclusive, regenerative economy in Victoria’s north-west

Craig Marshall 1516703860963
Craig Marshall 1516703860963

Craig Marshall

Business Analyst, Worktrainers, Victoria - Australia

Craig Marshall

With its head office in Shepparton, and depots in Bendigo, Wangaratta and Wodonga, GAME Traffic & Contracting is a one stop shop for traffic management solutions, providing services to the Goulburn Valley since 1993. Its 15 permanent staff oversee a workforce of more than 100 casuals, providing a flexible workforce, able to provide high quality services at short notice. GAME is highly visible across regional Victoria and NSW, due to its distinctive “Big Green Diamond”.

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AMBER SENVIC_Mini-94-750x625

Amber O'Connell

Director Social Procurement and Enterprise, Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions

Amber O'Connell

Amber leads the Economic Inclusion team within the Social Procurement and Enterprise Branch that has been established to drive, advocate for and enable inclusive economic practices, programs and policies across DJPR and the Victorian Government. Key priorities are the Victorian Government’s Social Enterprise Strategy, implementation of the Social Procurement Framework and a microenterprise development.

She is committed to utilising the best of both business and social policy to create a more equitable and just society. With a background in impact investment, social enterprise capacity building and investment readiness consulting, Amber brings a breadth of valuable experience in using business as a force for good to her role.

Amber was previously the head of capacity building for a large European impact investor operating in developing and emerging economies with an exclusive focus on purpose-led enterprises and cooperatives. She has a bachelor’s degree in International Business and a master’s in International Development and enjoys merging the best of the two disciplines to create positive systems change.

Wen Bezzina (Profile)
Wen Bezzina (Profile)

Wendy Bezzina

Social Traders, Victoria - Australia

Wendy Bezzina

Wendy is Executive Director Social Procurement & Impact at Social Traders which purposefully makes buying from social enterprise the norm.  Social Traders envisioning the future, fostering entrepreneurial solutions and taking the initiative to create opportunities and things of real value. Creating a more inclusive and equitable Australia through jobs, community services and support for the most marginalised and deeply integrating certified social enterprises into business and government supply chains.

Wendy is Gippsland born and raised. Her unique blend of people and business skills have worked to the benefit of her community. She is regularly called upon to speak at events in the region and beyond, where she advocates on behalf of those with disabilities. At the Melbourne Grand Prix earlier this year she presented on the benefits of the Social Procurement Framework and the importance of engaging social enterprises to create greater impact through procurement.  Wendy is a seasoned leader with 25+ years in diverse roles across health, government, manufacturing, waste and social enterprise management and social enterprise procurement in regional and metropolitan settings.  During her tenures she focused on outcomes through re-modelling services, implementing lean practices and setting transformational strategies. But it is through her work in Social Enterprise that she realised outcomes with purpose that go beyond any number or bottom line.  And while there are those who go to work to improve their lives, earn a living, further their career, Wendy is fortunate enough to create impact every day and improve the lives of others, leaving a future legacy.

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Martin Avila aYCaEev4_400x400

Martin Avila

Community Enterprise in Scotland

Martin Avila

Martin is a champion of social enterprise and passionate about its ability to help strengthen communities and tackle inequality. He is CEO of the CEIS Group, the UK’s largest and oldest social enterprise support organisation. He was previously the Director at the Kinning Park Complex (KPC), a multi-use community venue in Glasgow with a track record of innovative partnership working and of supporting others to develop new programmes of activity. Under his leadership, the KPC conducted a flagship buyout of their centre, delivered a multi-million-pound renovation project and launched one of Scotland’s first Local Place Plans.

Martin won a scholarship to Strathclyde Business School’s MBA programme through their Visionary Leadership Scholarship and has previously been part of leadership cohorts through the British Council and the Social Enterprise Academy. He is a Community Land Scotland Board member and was previously a Board member of SURF (Scotland’s Regeneration Forum), Treasurer of the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations and Chair of the Loesje International Foundation.

Chris Martin 1516974996763
Chris Martin 1516974996763

Chris Martin

CEO, Social Enterprise Scotland

Chris Martin

Chris is CEO at Social Enterprise Scotland – the gateway to Scotland’s social enterprise community.

Chris is an experienced social entrepreneur who launched a number of social enterprises including Engage Youth Project and the Callander Hostel. Chris is convenor of the Callender Social Enterprise Network and was responsible for Callender becoming Scotland’s first Social Enterprise town. Chris has an interest in impact investment and is Chair of Impact Invesment Partnership Scotland who recently launched a 15 million Catalyst Fund to support early stage social enterprises.

 

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Aimee Spence 1659539896453

Aimee Spence

Insprialba, Scotland

Aimee Spence

Aimee is originally from Campbeltown, a tiny rural town on the West Coast of Scotland.  After graduating from journalism course at university, Aimee quickly realised she was better suited to a career in the third sector. She then applied for a communications role at Inspiralba, a social enterprise located in her hometown.

Inspiralba was established in 2009 as a charitable enterprise. Inspiralba has developed and offers a range of services, including providing business support, learning and employability opportunities, with a focus on rural social enterprise. Aimee  manages the Rural Social Enterprise Hub which is a focal point for research and development activity on rural social enterprise in Scotland, Europe and further afield.

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Israr v2 1516285150247

Israr Qureshi

Australian National University, Canberra - Australia

Israr Qureshi

Israr Qureshi is Professor at Australian National University. Israr is engaged in field-based research making fundamental contributions to the literature on social entrepreneurship and digital social intermediation, at times challenging taken-for-granted norms in information systems and organisation studies literature. His research has been internationally recognized, leading to the prestigious Sexenio Award from the Spanish Government and the Emerald Citation of Excellence Award. He is a key member of the leadership team implementing the Social Cohesion Grand Challenge Project at ANU.

Alexie Seller 1558609554488
Alexie Seller 1558609554488

Alexie Seller

Impact North, Northern Territory, Australia

Alexie Seller

Alexie is an internationally-recognised social entrepreneur. She is the CEO of Enterprise Learning Projects, a non-for-profit organisation that supports remote Aboriginal communities to share their culture and achieve their aspirations through enterprise.

Alexie is also the founder and convener of Impact North, a stand-alone initiative of Enterprise Learning Projects. Impact North was launched in 2020 after Alexie identified that the Northern Territory was not represented in the national social enterprise sector. Impact North is a community of social entrepreneurs who are committed to creating positive social change in Northern Australia. It runs the annual SESNA (Social Enterprise Summit for Northern Australia) event and offers a variety of resources online.

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Alyson Skinner 309312538_441413958085671_9197143787563929798_n

Alyson Skinner

Social Enterprise Network Victoria (SENVIC) Board + Manager of Venus Bay Community Centre, Australia

Alyson Skinner

Alyson is Manager of the Venus Bay Community Centre and for the past 18 months has been a member of the Gippsland Social Enterprise Collective, SENVIC’s Gippsland Local Lead to establish a network of existing and emerging social entrepreneurs in Gippsland. Alyson is an active leader in the Collective, providing input and liaison to SENVIC and working with the team to provide appropriate learning and development opportunities to regional Victoria.

As Manager of the Venus Bay Community Centre, Alyson established the Community Recycling Enterprise and continues to experiment with other community enterprises that strengthen community resilience and local engagement.
Alyson has extensive board and committee experience including with Neighbourhood Houses Gippsland and was a former elected Councillor of South Gippsland Shire Council.  Alyson participated in the inaugural SENVIC Social Enterprise Leaders Fellowship.

Neil McLean 1659602420087
Neil McLean 1659602420087

Neil McLean

Chief Executive, Social Enterprise Academy - Scotland

Neil McLean

Neil was appointed Chief Executive of the Social Enterprise Academy in 2007. The Academy has since become the largest Institute of Leadership and Management Centre in Scotland, working with more than 1,000 adults per year, During this time the Academy has shared its model internationally and introduced an award winning Social Enterprise in Schools programme which the Scottish Government has commissioned to be available in every school in Scotland by 2025.

Prior to 2007, Neil worked in the private sector where he established a UK-based IT consultancy firm that worked with large corporate clients, including American Express, Pfizer and British Aerospace. Neil later completed a MBA at Stirling University before founding Quit&Save, a social enterprise to support people quit smoking using peer language principles.

Peter Sacco 1634774812790
Peter Sacco 1634774812790

Peter Sacco

General Manager, Social Enterprise Academy - Australia

Peter Sacco

Peter has a background in business management, social enterprise, professional coaching and the delivery of entrepreneurial learning and development programs aimed at accelerating and supporting youth and community – led entrepreneurship and working with people and organisations who are working for social purposes across Australia.

Peter is highly experienced in project management, community and stakeholder engagement, facilitation, social enterprise development and enterprise education for young people.  Peter is inspired by the creativity and innovation found within the ideas of people of all ages and enjoys working with youth and communities to support them to achieve what they are passionate about.

Dave Upton_NEW
Dave Upton_NEW

David Upton

CEO, Common Good Solutions, Canada

David Upton

David Upton is a committed social entrepreneur who is passionate about social change and using business as a tool to strengthen communities by helping to build capacity within the social innovation and community based social enterprise ecosystem on a regional, national and international basis. Recent Affiliations include: CEO of Common Good Solutions, a Community Interest Company in Nova Scotia; CEO of Social Enterprise Institute, an online learning platform delivering social enterprise training globally; Founding Vice-president of the Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia; Member Canadian Government Social Innovation and Social Finance Steering Group; Member Nova Scotia Community College; Department of Business Advisory Committee and Nova Scotia Department of Education Business Council Board Member.

Mary-Anne Scully
Mary-Anne Scully

Mary Anne Scully

Rural Gathering Lead + Marketing & Partnerships, ACRE - Australia

Mary Anne Scully

Mary Anne is bringing to life a dedicated program for rural and regional innovators called the Breakout Accelerator.

Co-developed by ACRE and Second Muse (a global innovation agency), the Breakout Accelerator is a new way of connecting rural and regional creativity and drive with the power and reach of international networks, experience and expertise.

Mary Anne loves working with and supporting regional people who are striving to build thriving businesses and organisations. She is an experienced business strategist, educator and communicator.

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ANNE GRIPPER 0141121_amendolia_anne_011

Anne Gripper

Co-Chair, ACRE Board - Australia

Anne Gripper

Anne has enjoyed working in leadership roles in sport for 23 years.  She is currently the Executive Director of Sport and Recreation at the NSW Office of Sport. Anne became involved in philanthropy when she founded the June Canavan Foundation in 2010.  As Chair of this Foundation,  she takes an active role in contributing to  raising the profile of small scale philanthropy.  She is also a Director of Cycling Australia.

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MMM.bio_.image_.2022-scaled-e1659693141852-250x250

Mark McKenzie-McHarg

Principal at Mach 2 Consulting + foundational shareholder of Yackandandah Community Development Company - Austraila

Mark McKenzie-McHarg

Mark founded and runs Mach 2 Consulting from Yackandandah in North East Victoria. His work is focused on strategic planning and business case preparation in the public, private and community sectors. He has worked extensively in the establishment of numerous social and community-owned enterprises.

Mark was a foundation shareholder and first Chair of the Yackandandah Community Development Company.  Formed in 2002 in response to the closure of the township’s only fuel station, YCDCo was set up under social enterprise principles with a broad-based ommunity ownership model. Today, nearly 50% of local households are shareholders in YCDCo Ltd.

JOSH COLLINGS Troweling-acres-of-change-to-feed-community
JOSH COLLINGS Troweling-acres-of-change-to-feed-community

Joshua Collings

Co-Founder Acres & Acres Cooperative, Corryong - Australia

Joshua Collings

Following devastating bushfires in 2020, Corryong’s Josh Collings saw a need in the Upper Murray to provide fresh produce to the region’s small communities. Acres and Acres Cooperative started from a small food swap group in the region with the aim to set up a series of community market gardens across the Upper Murray.

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Sara 2c491af70299e6c71279bb0bf6de1131

Sara Jenkins

Co-ordinator Corryong Neighbourhood Centre, Corryong - Australia

Sara Jenkins

In 2015 the Corryong Neighbourhood Centre (CNC) leased the town’s bakery and turned it into
a social enterprise in a bid to help build employment and training opportunities in the town. The bakery’s success allowed CNC to turn its attention to the neighbouring town of Walwa, home to just 300 people, to establish the Upper Murray Rural Service social enterprise. With the help of funds from the William Buckland Foundation and Social Enterprise Australia, the business is operating, and locals do not have to travel out of the region to access mechanical repair services.

Gemma 1648464837718
Gemma 1648464837718

Gemma Whitehead

Corryong Neighbourhood Centre, Victoria - Australia

Anne Gripper

Anne has enjoyed working in leadership roles in sport for 23 years.  She is currently the Executive Director of Sport and Recreation at the NSW Office of Sport. Anne became involved in philanthropy when she founded the June Canavan Foundation in 2010.  As Chair of this Foundation,  she takes an active role in contributing to  raising the profile of small scale philanthropy.  She is also a Director of Cycling Australia.

IRENE-DUMOO
IRENE-DUMOO

Irene Dumoo

Thamarrurr Youth Indigenous Corporation, Bright + Wadeye - Australia

Irene Dumoo

The Thamarrurr Youth Indigenous Corporation aims to improve the lives of the indigenous people of the Thamarrur region in the Northern Territory through identifying and developing its future leaders.

Irene is part of the Bright Education Program in Victoria which aims to deliver new cultural experiences/challenges to school-aged kids from Wadeye. Whilst attending the Bright P12 College, participants learn new skills in literacy, numeracy and continue their development as young role models. With our local community partnerships, we encourage our participants to involve themselves in a variety of community, art, music and sporting activities which both challenge and educate the students.

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Bec Crawley 9G5TLgjlUUS4Gg2WRbur

Rebecca Crawley

Co-owner of Dumu Cafe, Bright, Victoria - Australia

Rebecca Crawley

Rebecca Crawley and her husband Justin began their association with the Wadeye Community in the Northern Territory in 2003.

Both are members of the Thamurrurr Indigenous Youth Corporation and set up the Thathangathay Foundation which aims to improve the lives of the indigenous people of the Thamarrur region in the Northern Territory through identifying and developing its future leaders.

Rebecca co-owns and operates Dumu Balcony Café in Bright – a social enterprise that employs and trains youth from the Thamarrurr region in the Northern Territory. Whilst working in the café participants learn valuable employment and life skills and develop knowledge to use in their community or anywhere else they choose. Dumu, meaning ‘black duck’ in the local language, helps develop future leaders and promote reconciliation with every coffee served; providing young people with the opportunity to develop skills for their lifetime.

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Uncle Al r59_3_703_861_w703_h937_fmax

Alan Murray

Dhudhuroa-Yorta Yorta Traditional Owner - Australia

Allan Murray

Allan Murray, proud Dhudhuroa-Yorta Yorta man, plays a facilitator role within projects, working with the designers and building relationships with the Traditional Custodians of the land on which projects are located.

Allan’s from Dhudhuroa Country, in the high country of Wodonga. His mother grew up in Yorta Yorta Country. Allan’s mother and father met on the same mission. In the 1970’s his Dad took a job on a roads project and the family moved to Albury.

Traditional Yorta Yorta lands lie on both sides of the Murray River roughly from Cohuna to Albury / Wodonga. They include towns such as Echuca, Shepparton, Benalla, Corowa and Wangaratta and extend northwards to just south of Deniliquin.