COORDINARE appoints inaugural Aboriginal Board member
7 September 2021
COORDINARE, the South Eastern NSW PHN, is pleased to announce Paul Knight as the first Aboriginal Board member and inaugural Chair of the soon-to-be established Aboriginal Health Council for the region.
Mr Knight, currently the Chief Executive of the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council, has more than 25 years’ experience in senior management, including extensive experience across Indigenous employment, business and economic development as director of several private businesses.
According to Dianne Kitcher, CEO of COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN, Mr Knight brings a wealth of relevant experience and local knowledge to the role.
“We are delighted to have Mr Knight join our Board and lead the establishment of our Aboriginal Health Council. As well as his management experience, he has a good understanding of the health system and has been a member of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Board for 10 years including roles as on the Aboriginal Health, Finance and Performance Committee and more recently Independent Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee. Mr Knight is also a past Board member of the Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service,” she said.
“Mr Knight is a sought-after leader within the NSW community with appointments to the Board of the Illawarra Academy of Sport and has recently been appointed to the Heritage Council of NSW and the NSW Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee.
“Mr Knight’s appointment to our Board and the formation of the Aboriginal Health Council will enable COORDINARE to strengthen our consultation and engagement with Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal input and representation on our governance structures will assist us to ensure that decisions, investments and innovations are culturally relevant and aligned to local care needs and expectations,” said Ms Kitcher.
“Working in partnership to address unacceptable health inequities and improve health and wellbeing for Aboriginal people in our region is a priority for COORDINARE. We are committed to ‘Closing the Gap’ in health outcomes for over 25,800 Aboriginal people on the lands of the Yuin, Dharawal, Ngunnawal/Ngambri and Ngarigo Nations.”
Mr Knight, in his role as Chair of the Aboriginal Health Council, joins COORDINARE’s skills-based Board. Mr Knight said he was excited by the appointment, and is looking forward to working with the Aboriginal community, local clinicians and the Staff and Board of COORDINARE to improve the health outcomes for Aboriginal people across South Eastern NSW.
“We know Aboriginal people face many challenges in relation to health and the key to successfully addressing these issues are through strengthening and improving the coordination of care by engaging meaningfully with consumers, local communities, and clinicians across our region,” said Mr Knight.
“There has never been a more important time to ensure people understand the importance in looking after their health and following health advice.”