Yarnteen Ltd
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Yarnteen Governance
Our members acknowledge our cultural and family links representing 3 of the major family groupls in the Hunter region. Our members constitute our Board of Directors, we pride ourselves on maintaining a good governance structure in order to achieve our goal to empower Aboriginal organisations and individuals.

Our governance model has been held up as a benchmark for Aboriginal community and enterprise development. The success of Yarnteen has been attributed to the vision, stability, cohesiveness and co-operation we have been able to generate from all sectors of the Aboriginal and wider community. The Board of Directors meet quarterly to consider planning and program development issues, examine new investment opportunities, manage existing investments and formulate policies which are enacted through the direction of a strong leadership team.

Yarnteen advocates that the way forward for our people is to continue to place emphasis on the economic empowerment of Aboriginal communities, families and individuals which enables the development of financial independence. We believe in empowering our family units and our youth through participation in education, employment and business development opportunities which enable them to make informed decisions about the future.

The establishment of "Yarnteen Group" of companies and associations Yarnteen recognises traditional cultural links and is giving young leaders an opportunity to have a say in their future.
  • Individual members of Yarnteen have reached some of the highest positions in Aboriginal affairs in Australia. Positions held by some of the Yarnteen members include:
    • An elected Commissioner with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Commission (1996-1999);
    • An appointment on the Indigenous Business Australia Board (2001-current);
    • An apointment on the NSW Board of Vocational Education;
    • The Chair of NSW Aboriginal Business Roundtable;
    • Representation on National Stolen General Committee.

  • Yarnteen advocates that  the way forward for Aboriginal people is:
    • To continue to place a greater emphasis on the economic empowerment of Aboriginal communities, families and individuals and the consequential development of the means for financial independence.
    • Empower our family units and youth to enable them to participate in education, employment and business development opportunities and to have the choices to make informed decisions.

Yarnteen’s vision has always been to become full free agents in our own development”. (...Jonas 1991) To achieve this Yarnteen has shown a credible track record on:

  • Enterprise development,
  • Financial management &
  • Accountability.

Board Profiles

Yarnteen’s members and staff provide a broad base of qualifications and experience from which the organisation builds its success and strength. All have contributed, as individuals and as members of other organisations to the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

    Jim Wright - Chairperson

Jim Wright is a happily married Goori man, who has lived in the Hunter Region for 52 years and is a resident of Cardiff. He has a family of 5 boys, 15 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. His family ties extend from the Lower Hunter to Moree, Gunnedah and across the New England tablelands to the eastern seaboard at Kempsey, then down to Newcastle and Sydney.

Jim was the first Administrator of the Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-op Ltd, which he left on a sound basis. He then incorporated and set up Yarnteen ATSI Corporation. After many years with Yarnteen, he set up another Aboriginal Organisation (Youloe-ta Indigenous Development Association Incorporated), to run Yarnteen’s highly successful CDEP. He moved across to Youloe-ta, as the General Manager.

Jim is a Foundation Member of Yarnteen and currently holds the position of Chairperson, a position he has held since the establishment of Yarnteen in 1991.

Jim has been on many Aboriginal Advisory Boards/Committees over the years, namely:

· NSW Parks and Wildlife Advisory Committee

· NSW Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee

· NSW Police / Aboriginal Council

· NSW Department of Housing Advisory Committee

· Many Rivers Regional Aboriginal Housing Advisory Committee

· Tighes Hill TAFE Council

· Chairperson of the Sydney/ Newcastle Regional Aboriginal Land Council

· Inaugural Convener – NSW Aboriginal Health Resource Committee

· Many Rivers Regional ATSIC Councillor 4 – 3 year terms

· NSW Eastern Zone ATSIC Commissioner 1 – 3 year term

· NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Association

· NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sports Council / etc

· NTS Corp Member/Director

Jim has dedicated his life to the advancement of Aboriginal people since becoming actively involved in the Aboriginal struggle in the early seventies. Jim believes that the Aboriginal race has been denied equality and justice in this country and states that the corrections of these injustices are the goals for which he and other Goori’s must strive for.


Ron Gordon - Deputy Chairperson

Ron Gordon is a proud Barkingee man, who was born in Bourke in 1943. He is a happily married man with three (3) grown children and nine (9) grandchildren.  Ron has lived in the Newcastle over 24 years and has been involved in many of the Aboriginal organisations.


Ron was employed by the Aboriginal Hostels for 13 years and is currently employed as the Co-ordinator of Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council.


Ron has been on many other committees including:


·         Served on the board of the Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-op for 18 years and 12 of these as Chairperson.

·         Co-Founder of Gu-Dgodah Youth Accommodation (youth at risk).

·         Member of Aboriginal Advisory Committee of the Lake Macquarie City Council and the Guraki Newcastle City Council.

·         Manager of Kirinari Aboriginal Youth Hostel – 1990 to 1997

·         Member, Newcastle University Board of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education. 


Ron has been a Fountain Member of Yarnteen since 1991.


Saretta Fielding

Saretta is a Wanaruah woman and has lived most of her life in the Lake Macquarie area. She is a dedicated family woman and has committed herself to improving the lives of Indigenous people in the Hunter region for over 20 years.


Saretta is a pioneering member of Yarnteen and was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2009, prior to this she held senior management positions in both the Awabakal Aboriginal Cooperative and Yarnteen College as well as playing an active role as a business partner in a family business which she continues to do. Recently Saretta has also launched her own business, to accommodate the commercial success of her artwork.


Growing up in a family with an Aboriginal father and non Aboriginal mother provided Saretta with a strong connection to two very different and often conflicting cultures. Yet these experiences motivated her to follow a career devoted to finding new ways to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.


Saretta is passionate and committed to seeing the Aboriginal community advance towards economic and social inclusion. She believes that through unity, vision and planning, we can achieve a sustainable future that embraces reconciliation and is rich in economic opportunity.


Patricia Capper

Patricia was born in Tamworth in 1947, but has lived in the Hunter area on and off for over 50 years. Her family ties extend from the Hunter to the New England tablelands.

Pat believes that having a Christian up-bring has made her a better person, with strong family values, and work ethics.

Pat has been an active, committed member of our Community, working with different women, elders and youth groups. She helped organise an Indigenous ‘Girlz Talk’ program within the Hunter High Schools, an elders cooking and craft group, worked with women and young girls on the CDEP for 10 years, doing sewing, mosaic, screen-printing and quilting.

Pat is a long time member of the Awabakal Co-op and Awabakal Land Council.

Patricia held the position as Executive Secretary for 10 years and 4 years as Assistant Secretary.

Pat believes that the way forward for Aboriginal people, is to set achievable goals, be positive, stand united, have a clear vision about where you are heading through education, training, and reconciliation.

Patricia has been a Foundation Member of Yarnteen since 1991.


Dianna Gordon
Dianna Gordon is a descendent of the Kamilaroi tribe and was born at Walgett in 1948.

She is a mother of three (3) and grandmother of nine (9) and has lived in the Newcastle community for over 24 years. Dianna worked within the Aboriginal Hostels for 19 years, 13 years as a Houseparent and 6 years with University students.

Dianna is a prominent member of the community and is involved in community advancement at many levels, particularly in regards to women’s issues and the care and mothering of our youth.

Dianna has been a Foundation Member of Yarnteen since 1991.


Doug Gordon

Doug was born at Collarenebri in 1965 and is a descendent of the Kamilaroi tribe. He has lived in the Newcastle area for 24 years.


Doug has good family values and strong work ethics, knowledge of the local community, owner/Member of local building company.   Doug is a member of A.H.O advisory panel and a member of the Awabakal Co-op and LALC.

He is strong believer in economical development as the cornerstone to Indigenous Australians future along with education and training.

Doug has been a Member of Yarnteen since January 1999.

DJ Faulkner

Dallas was born in Gunnedah in 1982. Dallas is a descendent of the Gamilaroi people has lived in Newcastle for the majority of his life.

Dallas firmly believes that his strong family and Community values, identity, honesty and vision is a direct influence of the positive role models in his family, noting especially, his Parents, Brothers, Sisters, Grandparents, Uncles and Aunties.

Since completing Year 12 at Cardiff High School, Dallas has sought Employment with an established Aboriginal Organisation based in Newcastle. During his employment Dallas has successfully completed Certificate III in Business Administration, Certificate III Financial Services and is currently completing Diploma in Financial Services.

Dallas is a member of the Awabakal Co-operative and Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council. Dallas believes that for Aboriginal people to continually survive, we must set goals, we must strive for better services and we must be united.

DJ has been a Member of Yarnteen since 25 May 2005.


Warrick (Wok) Wright