We are motivated to remove the disconnection between democratic values and the conditions people live under. There are too many powerful people acting for their interests to the detriment of others. We are motivated by egalitarianism, fairness, justice, promoting citizen participation in local, state, and federal governments.
My name is Josephine Cashman and I am a proud Australian. I am honoured to be a descendant of the Warrimay Aboriginal people from the New South Wales, mid north coast whose land extended from north of Forster to Port Stephens, into Gloucester and the Barrington Tops. According to oral history, Warrimay lands were originally bounded by four rivers, the Hunter River to the south, the Manning River to the north and the Allyn and Patterson Rivers to the west. The Warrimay tribe was comprised of 18 clan groups (ngurras) with their lands fallingl within the area of the Maiangal ngurra and the Warrimay people spoke the Gathang language. Traditionally my people used Stockton Bight to travel between the northern and southern parts of our land, known as Birubi Point to the north and Stockton to the south.
I have sustained a continual connection with my land and I am equally proud of my Colonial ancestors who have been in Australia for more than six generations, living on the mid north coast of NSW. One colonial ancestor, William Henry Ralston McClymont was born in Newcastle on 30 August 1828 and was amongst the first Europeans born in Australia. His family established the first Newcastle Inn. Henry Carmichael was William McClymont's stepson and he belonged to the group who founded adult education in Australia. He established the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts in 1833 and the Newcastle School of Arts in 1835. In 1838 he moved his family to the fertile farmland of the Hunter Valley and planted vineyards on his property at Porphyry Point, near Seaham. These vines were to become the finest on the Williams River and soon became well known in the colony. My Carmichael ancestor helped establish and was President of the Hunter River Vineyard Association and became a leader in the NSW wine industry.
I am a former Crown Prosecutor, a lawyer and businesswoman with more than two decades of experience working towards economic progress for Aboriginal people. I was an inaugural member of the Prime Ministers Indigenous Advisory Council and served as the Chair of its Safe Communities Committee until 2017 and I have sat on the Board of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. In recognition of my commitment, I was selected as a friend of the Commonwealth Treasury in 2016 and in 2018, I was an honoured recipient of the UTS Faculty of Law Alumni Award for Excellence. I have undertaken numerous consultancy and voluntary roles for a variety of private, public and not for profit organisations.
In 2016, I founded the Big River Impact Foundation (BRIF) which is an Indigenous philanthropic entity committed to community involvement in decision making and economic independence for Aboriginal people. BRIF aims to transition Indigenous people away from welfare dependency towards economic freedom by encouraging participation in training programs, local business opportunities, community centred employment opportunities and the stimulation of community led economic development. I am committed to addressing perpetual Indigenous disadvantage and I am determined to implement pragmatic solutions.
Recently I have been contemplating Australian values which can be applied pragmatically to Aboriginal needs. Clearly the current funding models have failed Aboriginal people and if it fails one group, it fails everyone. I know one efficient way to make a difference is to encourage people to make their vote count which is not easy because the Australian preferential voting system is complicated.
I am committed to exposing elite, manipulative political agendas which have been polluting Aboriginal communities for too long, taking advantage of my people and their vulnerable natures. I am committed to encouraging networks led by Australians, especially involving those with an Aboriginal background, so we may visit Aboriginal communities to ensure democracy and literacy is taught, understood and practised. I want to encourage political participation, community involvement, knowledge sharing and engagement in representative government.
BRIF is for all Australians. We will be focused on Aboriginal communities in the first instance but our programs have not been exclusively designed to focus on one group. Many Australians do not know the relevance of their voting power because the system has so often failed them. We aim to instigate reform.
Martyn has worked across the Asia Pacific region for more than 15 years as a finance executive in positions of CFO, COO and Management Consultant. He has experience across multiple industries including cloud software, human capital, management consulting and airport infrastructure. He has developed and mentored finance and operation teams across Asia Pacific and built multiple shared service centres supporting the region. Martyn has been instrumental in the development of the cloud accounting software vendor SAASU.com and the IOT software vendor Simble.com. He has assisted multiple software companies through mergers and acquisition activities including sale and eventual listing on the ASX. Martyn advised and assisted Cairns, Mackay and Queenstown Airports to raise $700 million in bank funded debt and has developed strategic plans and assisted executive leadership teams with 30 year airport master plans. Martyn also advised the Solomon Islands government on leading the aviation reform agenda to transform its State owned airports into private corporations. Martyn has worked with multiple Indigenous tourism businesses in the Northern Territory and has been a trusted advisor to Josephine. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Canberra and is a qualified Member of CPA Australia and he is an ASIC registered agent.