The co-chairs of Reconciliation Australia Tom Calma AO and Melinda Cilento today announced the appointment of Bundjalung woman Karen Mundine to the role of Chief Executive.
Ms Mundine says she is honoured and excited to have been selected to lead the organisation at this time.
“As Australia prepares to take another major step in our reconciliation journey with the delivery of the Referendum Council’s final report, 2017 and the years ahead promise to be both exciting and challenging for our organisation," she said.
“I am passionately committed to our national reconciliation journey and seeing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures valued and respected by all Australians.”
Professor Calma said he was delighted Ms Mundine has agreed to take up the role.
“Karen has been with our organisation since 2008, taking up the Deputy Chief Executive position in 2014. Over this time Karen has gained a deep understanding of national reconciliation action and public engagement,” he said.
“She is a highly capable executive, well regarded in business, community and government circles. Her work in raising the national profile of our organisation and gaining major corporate support for our vision has been outstanding."
Ms Cilento said Ms Mundine is an impressive leader and will bring renewed energy, together with a deep understanding of the reconciliation task ahead of us.
“She has been an advocate for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples her entire career, and I am delighted she has accepted this leadership position,” she said.
Outgoing CEO Justin Mohamed said he is very pleased to be leaving the role in Ms Mundine's capable hands.
"I am personally delighted to be handing the reins over to Ms Mundine who he calls a great friend and outstanding leader," he said.
Professor Calma acknowledged the contribution of Mr Mohamed and his efforts to advance reconciliation in Australia in the past three years.
"He leaves Reconciliation Australia in a strong position to continue our work advocating for, and supporting a more just and unified nation. Solid foundations that I am confident Karen will build on,” he said.
Ms Mundine has held previous roles as the Director of the Gondwana Children’s Choir Board, Mary Mackillop Board Director; senior public affairs and communications roles with federal government departments including Prime Minister and Cabinet and Foreign Affairs and Trade.