Meet The Team
First Nations man and community member, valued volunteer
Kevin is a proud Bundgjalung man who first became involved with Deadly Connections in 2020 when he attended our very first Deadly Brothers group in Waterloo. Kevin was keen to meet the young brothers of the community and share with them his own personal experiences and insights into the justice system. Kevin is well respected and now regularly volunteers his time with Deadly Connections as a community leader and knowledge holder. He has been quickly adopted as an Uncle by both staff and participants of Deadly Connections.
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Steven Caruana is a human rights advocate, policy and detention monitoring specialist. He is the Coordinator of the Australia OPCAT Network, a coalition of non-government organisations, academics, statutory officer holders and oversight bodies interested in preventive human rights monitoring of closed institutions under the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.
Steven is currently involved in monitoring designated mental health units in NSW and has experience previously monitoring aged care facilities, immigration detention and correctional facilities. In addition to this work, Steven is a Churchill Fellow, Ambassador for the Human Rights Measurement Initiative and Co-editor of the External Prison Oversight and Human Rights Network newsletter. Steven is involved with Deadly Connections because he sees Keenan and Carly and their staff live out their truth everyday. Connection to culture, healing and being truly rooted to the community is at the heart of everything Deadly Connections stands for and does.
Lynda-June Coe is a sovereign Wiradjuri and Badu Island woman, Higher Degree Research student – Macquarie University, Associate Research Fellow – Wollongong University, Educator and Activist from Erambie, Cowra NSW. Her research interests include Indigenous sovereignty(ies), decolonisation and nation-building. She is a representative of FISTT (Fighting in Solidarity Towards Treaties) and has been activating and disrupting settler colonial systems and narratives for over 10 years. Lynda-June has engaged in Blak-led movements supporting national campaigns such as ‘Black Lives Matter, Stop Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, Environmental – Climate Justice, Child Prisons and Child Removals. She is a passionate advocate and supporter of Deadly Connections who believes in the principles of self-determination and community-based solutions.
Megan Williams is a Wiradjuri and has worked for two decades to advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s knowledges and needs in program design and evaluation, research, ethics and university curriculum, especially to improve health services for people in prison and post-release. She is long term collaborator and miimi sister of Mibbinbah health promotion community organisation and is Co-Chair of independent health media organisation Croakey.org.
Megan is currently Chair of the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network Human Research Ethics Committee, a member of the AIHW National Prisoner Health Information Committee, member of the Corrective Services NSW Aboriginal Advisory Council and an Associate Editor of Health Sociology Review. Megan is the Research Lead at the University of Sydney’s National Centre for Cultural Competence, and a member of the Sydney Institute of Criminology working with multiple community and government partners on NHMRC, ARC and government grants to improve prison health care including throughcare, palliative care and peer support. Megan is also Principal of Yulang Indigenous Evaluation consultancy company and developed the Ngaa-bi-nya Aboriginal evaluation framework (said narbinya) published in the Evaluation Journal of Australasia. Megan regularly translates research for community audiences including through Croakey’s #JusticeCOVID, #JustJustice, #CroakeyVoices and #RuralHealthJustice series.
Thalia Anthony is a Professor of Law at the University of Technology Sydney and collaborates with researchers from the UTS Jumbunna Indigenous Institute for Indigenous Education and Research. She has produced a substantial body of publications on the legal system and its intersections with colonisation. Her expertise is especially on the role of systemic racism in the criminal justice system. Professor Anthony works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to enhance self-determination and strengths-based approaches within and beyond the criminal justice system. Her books include Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment (2013) and Decolonising Criminology(2019).
Simon is involved with Deadly Connections to firmly support the vision of Keenan and Carly and staff to make a difference and transform the lives of First Nations peoples and communities in the child protection and criminal justice system across New South Wales and Australia
Simon Jovanovic is a Walbunja man and the founder and CEO of the Byamee Institute. Simon is an innovator and advocate for Aboriginal economic development and effective employment policy.
Simon is an emerging scholar with the Department of Indigenous studies at Macquarie University, currently in his final year of PhD candidature. Simon previously worked in Aboriginal affairs from 2009 to 2018 providing advice and support for Aboriginal policies, programs and services across the human services sector.
CEO and Principal Solicitor, National Justice Project
George is the principal solicitor of the National Justice Project and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Macquarie University. He is well known for his extensive work in fighting for justice for the mentally ill, LGBTI Australians, immigrants, prisoners, asylum seekers, youth detainees, and First Nations people.
“I joined the advisory board of Deadly Connections to work with their hardworking and talented team as they are an incredibly effective grass roots organisation that is delivering desperately needed services in a culturally safe way and who are driving institutional and social change.”
Other board members include Phyllis Simpson, Rose Anderfield, Angela June Coe and June Christian. Deadly Connections is deeply grateful for their contributions to our Advisory Board and values their individual expertise.