Linking Futures

Our Aboriginal Expert Panel


Linking Futures is heavily committed to ensuring we have an Aboriginal expert panel to provide guidance and advise to our Board and contribute their expertise towards addressing our clients’ needs. Since expanding our services to work with industry, non-government, and government partners, we have established a strong client focused service to ensure we are meeting our clients’ demands. Using Linking Futures’ established values and ethics, our Aboriginal Expert Advisory Panel, either individually, or collectively, will work collaboratively with us and our clients, establishing sustainable outcomes that are welcomed by and understood by grass roots community that may be impacted by our clients’ projects.

The Intent of the Linking Futures Aboriginal Expert Advisory Panel and its Function is:

  • To work in collaboration with the Board and the Directors.
  • To provide advise and support To grass roots families and individuals to reach their full potential and aspirations within their own communities; and
  • Assist Linking Futures to meet its growing client and stakeholder demands; and
  • Improve effective communication with Linking Futures’ stakeholders, existing and new client base, industry experts and representatives, and the Aboriginal community; and
  • Contribute to commenting on, and developing policy for Linking Futures’ stakeholders, existing and new client base, industry experts and representatives; and
  • Contribute to, and achieve the goals of Linking Futures’ clients; and
  • Through formal forums, engage with Linking Futures’ stakeholders; and
  • Work collectively and/or individually as required subject to the nature of the engagement.


Outcomes of the Linking Futures Aboriginal Expert Advisory Panel and its Function:

  • Build your future reputation through Linking Futures reputation and Integrity, genuineness, and authenticity; and
  • Bring mutual benefits to the Panel members, our clients, and stakeholders; and
  • Bring diversity into Linking Futures’ ethos, and re-enforce Linking Futures’ Value Proposition; and
  • Ensure Linking Futures’ clients and stakeholders receive robust and professional services.

We are excited to introduce our Aboriginal Expert Panel. We are proud to welcome Dr Donna Odegaard AM, Dwayne Coulthard, Damian RigneyJacinta McKenzie and Kedeisha Kartinyeri to the panel.

You can meet the panel members and read more about them below.


Dr Donna Odegaard AM

A highly respected Larrakia Elder from Darwin NT, Dr Donna Odegaard AM is a businesswoman with over 40 years’ experience. Awarded a Master’s degree on Aboriginal Land Rights, and PhD on the Larrakia Treaty at the University of Newcastle, Dr Odegaard was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters for her lifelong work and commitment to First Nations peoples of Australia.

Dr Odegaard’s other accomplishments include: Indigenous Alumni Award University of Newcastle; Naming Lady and Commissioning Lady HMAS Larrakia; an Order of Australia in 2016 for significant service to Indigenous cultural heritage, broadcast media, education and training, and Reconciliation. In 2018 Dr Odegaard was awarded the prestigious Sir John Storey Lifetime Leadership Award for significant leadership in Indigenous affairs and business.

Dr Odegaard is the owner and founder of Australia’s largest privately owned media network, First Nations Broadcasting Australia, which has four television channels, four radio stations and a production company reaching 2,400 Indigenous communities across Australia in over 30 Indigenous languages.

With over 30 years’ experience in Indigenous heritage, education, native title, land rights, community development and business Dr Odegaard was appointed in 2019 as the Co-Chair of the National Co-design Group Voice to Government and Parliament, and in 2017 became a Director of the Indigenous Land and sea Corporation. Added to this, Dr Odgegaard also serves as a senior Indigenous leader on the Ministerial Forum Indigenous Reference Group for Developing Northern Australia, and in 2019 became the Co-Chair of the Australia and New Zealand Leadership Forum for the Indigenous Business Sector Group. Dr Odgegaard was also appointed to the Indigenous Women’s Business Network, and in 2020 became a member of the Indigenous Advisory Committee, Department of Agriculture, Water and Heritage.

Dr Odegaard is a speaker on Indigenous Business and Entrepreneurship, Indigenous Affairs, Policy Reform and Indigenous Women in Leadership and Business. The driving force behind this is to “to make a positive difference for our people for generations to come and hopefully open the way forward for a younger generation of leaders follow in the footsteps of our First Nations legacy leaders before us.”

Linking Futures welcomes Dr Donna to the Expert Panel of Advisors.


Dwayne Coulthard

Dwyane is a NAIDOC SA Scholar of the Year (2014), Turnbull Family Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement and/or Community Contribution by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law Student (2015), Channel Nine Young Achiever Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander semi-finalist (2015), Australian Defence Force Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award winner.

Dwayne is a conscientious community and social services professional. With a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from University of Adelaide, Dwayne is an experienced Community Specialist with an enviable track record providing legal services community engagement, policy analysis, and organisational development support to NFP’s, local and state government.

Currently engaged as a Project Officer at South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (‘SAHMRI’) Dwayne is leading and guiding research through a Cultural lens around the social and emotional well-being for adolescents.

The breadth of Dwayne’s experience includes his tenure as a community Organiser with Original Power Ltd. Working alongside local community and traditional custodians, the Adnyamathanha Nation, Dwayne oversaw the organising and facilitating community meetings, organising travel for communities and planning strategic actions for the underground coal gasification project proposed for Leigh Creek in the Flinders Ranges.

Dwayne also brings consulting experience to Linking Futures. Dwayne was heavily involved in designing, implementing, and facilitating consultations for a feasibility project with young Aboriginal people with the aim of establishing an Aboriginal Youth Council in South Australia, delivering report to the Commissioner for Children and Young People. Established in response to the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission and the Nyland Report, Dwayne has also served on the Aboriginal Community Leadership Reference Group (ACLRG) as their Executive Assistant, providing secretariat and administrative support to the ACLRG.

Dwayne serves on the Board of Conservation Council of South Australia, as an Advisory Board Member for the Special Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement, on top of his previous appointments to the Advisory Board for the Special Administration of Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association, the Law Society of South Australia – Aboriginal Issues Committee member, Watpa Meyunna South Australian Indigenous Legal Professionals Association, Indigenous Law Students Mentoring Program Committee member, and the Adelaide University Student Representative Council.

Linking Futures welcomes Dwayne to the Expert Panel of Advisors.


Damian Rigney

Damian is a proud Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna descendent with strong cultural connections with Indigenous communities across SA. Damian has an enviable 20-year track record of significant successes in health service and project management in the Aboriginal Primary Health Care sector, working collaboratively across many government, non-government, and community sectors.

Damian’s vision is to inspire people. Inspiration is a core strength of Damians, complimented by his adaptable communication style. Damian aligns the principles for working with Indigenous communities and the principles for nursing from a clinical perspective, ensuring continuity of care, cultural safety and adhering to respectful frameworks and engagements. Damian’s core attributes of responsive care define holistic health from an Indigenous perspective, utilising a relational approach that affiliates his capabilities.

Damian is motivated by building capacity, good governance, and structure. In the venture of future endeavours, innovating new approaches will be a key factor to continue to support improving the social determinants of health & wellbeing for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people in communities. Damain sees strength in empowerment, and his leadership capabilities, and professional approaches, guide good practice in service provision focussed on high quality; comprehensive health care that defines quality and contributing to closing the gap.

Linking Futures welcomes Damian to the Expert Panel of Advisors.


Jacinta McKenzie

Jacinta comes to the Linking Futures Expert Panel with an enviable background in Aboriginal health leadership.

Currently serving as the Integrated Team Care Supervisor/Indigenous Health Project Officer Country & Outback Health Port Augusta – Chronic Disease Management, Jacinta oversees the Aboriginal Outreach Workers and Care Coordinators (Registered & Enrolled Nurses) delivering comprehensive primary health care services to patients chronic disease.

This means Jancinta brings with her deep skills in Aboriginal Primary Health Care Engagement Initiatives, Community Capacity Building, Project Planning & Collaboration, Cultural Endorsement Programs for GP Practices, as a Presenter – Culturally Safe & Practical Solutions, Policy & Procedure Development Support, and Project Management & Implementation to name a few.

Jacinta has also served as a Health Promotion Activity APY Aboriginal Family Practitioner, contributing to the delivery of culturally appropriate services for Aboriginal families and their children that respects the values of Aboriginal people, extended family, and their community and clan group.

Previous roles, including as the Senior Project Officer Aboriginal Service & Development Unit Families SA; the Aboriginal Family Practitioner, Country Directorate Department for Child Protection; as acting Regional Manager, Watto Purrunna Aboriginal Primary Health Care SA Health; as ATSI Healthy Families Project Co-ordinator Watto Purrunna Aboriginal Primary Health Care; and Aboriginal Wellbeing Co-ordinator, Watto Purrunna Aboriginal Primary Health Care SA Health – further reinforce Jacinta’s Aboriginal health credentials.

With a Bachelor of Applied Science (Indigenous Professional Practices) – deferred, a Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Intervention, Certificate IV in Aboriginal Primary Health Care, a Certificate III in Community Services and Health, and further credentials in Community Services Mental Health (non-clinical), Child Protection Mandated Notification, Child Safe Environments, Multi-Agency Investigation, Case Management and Case Planning, Train the Trainer, and Office Business Administration, Jacinta is an extremely well-rounded member of the Panel.

With Ministerial Acknowledgement letters from Hon Jay Weatherill MP – Minister for Families and Communities, an Individual acknowledgement NAIDOC Award, Role Model Youth 2003 Team Acknowledgement Award, to add to her team awards, Jacinta can be justifiably proud of her track record.

Linking Futures welcomes Jacinta to the Expert Panel of Advisors.


Kedeisha Kartinyeri

A proud Ngarrindjeri woman, Kedeisha holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and currently undertaking the daunting Chartered Accountants program.

Fluent in the full suite of accounting activities from accounts payable, end of month reconciliations, and budget preparation; through to all aspects of payroll and quarterly BAS returns, Kedeisha is currently immersed in a myriad of small to medium businesses, including Reconciliation SA, and Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation based in Murray Bridge, South Australia.

Kedeisha fits well with Linking Futures’ ethos of ‘Walking in Two Worlds’ providing Cultural insight and perspective to clients’ financial and administrative functions, and the people who perform them.

Linking Futures welcomes Kedeisha to the Expert Panel of Advisors.