Ivan is Barkanji. He was born in far-western New South Wales, grew up on Bundjalung country and has resided and worked in Western Sydney for the past 20 years. He is a member of the Stolen Generations. Ivan has many years of experience as a counsellor, clinical and educational consultant and is a group leader in the Strong Aboriginal Men’s Program.
Ivan was the senior Aboriginal counsellor with Link-Up NSW, specialising in supporting stolen generation clients with alcohol and other drug issues, trauma, grief and loss, dual diagnosis and mental health issues, prior to starting with the Education Centre Against Violence in 2011.
In the last 10 years, Ivan has worked in the social welfare/counselling field at the WHO Rehabilitation facility, Foundation House and the Salvation Army Foster House before joining Link-Up NSW.
As Clinical Consultant for the Men’s Programs, Ivan regularly guest lectures at Macquarie University on the impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal people. Ivan is also responsible for delivering the ‘Weaving the Net’ series of workshops throughout NSW with a focus on child protection and the ‘Journey of Survival’, which assist Aboriginal people to identify the impacts of colonisation and the ideals of healing for individuals, families and communities.
Ivan is the founding director of Wiimpatja and has strongly invested in supporting the self determination of First Nation people through healing programs and empowerment workshops.
Ivan sits on the Aboriginal Communities Matter Advisory Group (ACMAG) which advises NSW Health Education Centre Against Violence as well as a number of other community based bodies.
Ivan is NBAC’s Chairperson and has held this position since 2018. He is passionate about early intervention, consultation and achieving the best possible outcomes for Aboriginal children and families.