Our advisors

Our advisors have been on the First 1000 Days Australia journey since its inception. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have our own methods of engagement, knowledge sharing and family strengthening. The First 1000 Days Australia advisors are our touchstone for the development of policy and position statements, ensuring our initiatives are culturally safe and empowering for families.


Ms Lisa Thorpe

CEO, Bubup Wilam for Early Learning Aboriginal Child and Family Centre

Lisa Thorpe, a Gunditjmara/Gunnai woman from Victoria, is currently the CEO of Bubup Wilam for Early Learning Aboriginal Child and Family Centre. She has been a forthright advocate for the right to self-determination for Aboriginal children and their families. For most of her working life, Lisa has been employed in Aboriginal community-based and community-controlled organisations. Lisa has a Master of Public Health from Deakin University where she held an Associate Professor position with the Institute of Koorie Education. Lisa has lived in Melbourne’s Thomastown for 30 years and has four children and four grandchildren.


Ms Deborah Mellett

Aboriginal Community Health Coordinator, Mornington Peninsula Shire

Deborah Mellett is a Gurindji woman with ties to the Jawoyn people in the Northern Territory. She has more than 25 years’ experience of providing specialist advice on the education, training and employment of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory and Victoria. Deb has been a partner in a business, supported the establishment of Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and is currently responsible for improving the outcomes of Aboriginal families by focusing on the early years. Deb is Ambassador for BreastScreen Australia and is active on numerous committees and networks, including the Local Aboriginal Network.


Aunty Diane Kerr

Elder of the Wurundjeri Tribe

Aunty Diane Kerr is a respected Elder of the Wurundjeri Tribe, and a mother, grandmother and aunty to many across several generations. She has devoted years of her time to her local community as a mentor and foster carer, and worked in various fields including child care, education, native title, Stolen Generation support, and other community work. However, her passion lies in the area of social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal communities. Aunty Diane is inspired by the women in her family, and today, she relishes the responsibility of guiding younger generations to uphold Aboriginal law in a modern world.


Ms Rose Gilby

Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University

Rose Gilby is a Wiradjuri woman and Lectures in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University. She delivers health education, clinical services and is a member of the Cultural Educators and Cultural Mentors Network. Trained in Critical Incident and Stress Management, Rose provides debriefing sessions to individuals and groups experiencing trauma. Rose is a key member of the ‘Welcome Baby to Country Ceremony’ in Mildura and surrounds, ensuring the continuation of old traditions in a contemporary way for families, Elders and community.