About

Our People

Our Board is 100% Aboriginal and we use trained staff and volunteers to drive the NASCA vision of a proud prosperous and healthy Australia for all.

TO ACHIEVE OUR VISION of transforming the lives of Aboriginal young people, we harness the skills of professionals and volunteers from various backgrounds and with diverse experiences.

The NASCA Board, CEO and staff have a wide range of skills and experience that underpins our work. Our people have one thing in common and that’s passion and determination to achieve social equity for Aboriginal Australians.

Our board



2-1-1-mark-heiss-board

Mark Heiss, Chairperson

Mark is a Wiradjuri man from Sydney who is the Head of Scholarships at the GO Foundation. Mark volunteered for NASCA over many years prior to taking on his NASCA Directorship.

  • Mark holds a Bachelor of Education, a Masters in Educational Leadership and is an ACEL New Voice Scholarship recipient. 
  • He was the first Aboriginal person to be named Team Captain for the University of Sydney at the Australian University Games.
  • He is passionate about young indigenous people reaching their potential and taking their place in the world.

Chloe Wighton

Chloe is a Wiradjuri (Galari) woman from Gilgandra, New South Wales. Chloe is currently the Senior Cultural Impact Advisor at the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Australia. She previously worked on the campaign for constitutional reform to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and was employed in the Indigenous strategy at the University of Sydney. Chloe is passionate about the continuation of Wiradjuri culture, particularly the preservation of language. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Archaeology) and is completing a Masters in Museum & Heritage Studies. Chloe is also a proud graduate of NASCA’s Academy Program, Dubbo region.

She has been recognised for her strong advocacy in the community being awarded the Sister Alison Bush Medal University of Sydney’s Alumni.

Lachlan McDaniel

Lachlan McDaniel belongs to the Kilari Clan of the Wiradjuri Nation. He has been engaged by a range of sectors to assist organisations to improve their engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. His experience extends to political campaigning and improving organisations Indigenous Engagement in the not-for-profit and corporate business sector.

  • He completed a Bachelor of Arts/Laws at Macquarie University. Pursuing his passion for empowering Indigenous people through self-determination, Lachlan also studied Canadian First Nations history, law, and politics at the University of Calgary.
  • He completed a Continuing Education Certificate in Indigenous Governance at the Native Nations Institute of the University of Arizona.
  • He is currently undertaking his PhD, researching Wiradjuri cultural revitalisation.

Barbie-Lee Kirby

Barbie-Lee Kirby is a Ngiyambaa, Wailwan, Baakindji-Maraura, Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay woman from Brewarrina, North West NSW. As a high school student, Barbie-Lee was a NASCA participant whilst playing representative netball where she was selected into the NSW emerging athletes program. She has a Bachelor of Business with majors in Accounting and Law from The University of Technology, Sydney, where she is currently studying an MBA in entrepreneurship. She was the first Indigenous candidate to complete the Finance Graduate Program at Qantas, and was promoted to Manager of Corporate Governance.

After six years at Qantas, Barbie-Lee has since joined the law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills as Citizenship Executive. She is a strong ambassador for education and successful First Nations people in business. As such, was an external advisor on the National RAP Committee at DLA Piper and was President of the CareerTrackers Alumni Association. She has since began her journey into the entrepreneurial space and hopes to support the First Nations start-up ecosystem.


Our Staff

Our staff works hard to drive the vision of NASCA and strengthen the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people from many language groups, cultural backgrounds and locations in Australia.


Chief Executive Officer 

Alison Bentick

Alison is a Torres Strait Islander woman with Scottish heritage. Prior to taking on the NASCA leadership in 2022, Alison worked in the Federal Government for 17 years in a variety of portfolios including Indigenous Education, Employment and Disability.

  • At the NIAA she built genuine partnerships with community to improve the lives of Indigenous people, working closely with the development of Regional Governance Bodies to create a narrative and a voice for Indigenous people to achieve social change in areas including employment, education, health and wellbeing.
  • Alison is passionate about supporting the next Indigenous young leaders in this space to work on embedding social change with lasting impact for the betterment of their communities.

Deputy CEO

Shannan Dodson

Shannan is a Yawuru woman who is passionate about the rights of First Nations people and understanding mental health issues, particularly intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

  • She has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs for over 17 years and is an experienced strategic communications and engagement specialist.
  • She worked on the Australian Marriage Equality Campaign and the national campaign for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • She is the Co-Chair of the National NAIDOC Committee.

Our team
Abbey Orcher

Abbey Orcher

Program Lead
Aiyana Tranter

Aiyana Tranter

Program Lead
Amber Ballangarry

Amber Ballangarry

Program Lead
Blake Borgia

Blake Borgia

NSW Program Director
Brittany Hill

Brittany Hill

Program Lead
Chris Bron

Chris Bron

Program Lead
Claire Geary

Claire Geary

Operations Director
Courtney Richards

Courtney Richards

Pathways Lead
Harry Murphy

Harry Murphy

Program Lead
Hayley Astill

Hayley Astill

Program Lead
Jenna Moss

Jenna Moss

Program Lead
Julie Adams

Julie Adams

Program Lead
Kyra Sutcliffe

Kyra Sutcliffe

Program Lead
Lakesha Hedger

Lakesha Hedger

Program Lead
Misty Kelly

Misty Kelly

Program Lead
Nina Sands

Nina Sands

Program Lead
Nikita Mason

Nikita Mason

Program Lead
Pam Boney

Pam Boney

Program Lead
Rosie Fatnowna

Rosie Fatnowna

Program Lead
Sheena Duncan

Sheena Duncan

Impact Director
Tessa Flick

Tessa Flick

Program Lead
Tracey Pigott

Tracey Pigott

Program Lead
Zac Rudge

Zac Rudge

Communications Lead