Newington College

Be a Voice for Generations

Be a Voice for Generations
  • Start Date
    Wednesday, 31 May 2023
  • End Date
    Wednesday, 31 May 2023
  • Time
    6:30PM - 8:00PM
  • Location
    Newington College

National Reconciliation Week Panel Discussion

Prominent First Nations leaders explain what reconciliation means to them – their hopes and aspirations for the future. How can we work together to build a better and more just Australia?


Mark Morrison OAM, Diversity Co-ordinator, Newington College

Michael Manikas, General Manager, DLG Shape

Michael is a proud Biripi and Worimi man, descendant from the Cook and Syron families. He is passionate about Indigenous engagement, particularly in the built environment, social impact issues, sustainability, and family. Michael is a father of three girls and loves coaching their sports and getting involved in their musical interests.

Michael graduated from UTS with Bachelor of Building (Construction Economics) to become one of only three known Aboriginal Quantity Surveyors in Australia and is the only Aboriginal Quantity Surveyor designated as a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors.

Michael was appointed General Manager at DLG SHAPE in 2019, with the goal to make a serious impact on reconciliation and improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through employment and business opportunities.

He has almost 30 years’ experience in the construction and not-for-profit space, and currently holds advisory positions with Western Sydney University and UTS, and is the Deputy Chair of Property Council of Australia’s NSW Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Rosalyn Thomas, Aboriginal Education Consultant, Association of Independent Schools of NSW

Rosalyn Thomas is a Dunghutti woman from Kempsey on the mid-north coast of NSW, who grew up and lives on Darug and Gundungurra Country in the Blue Mountains.

Rosalyn is the Senior Consultant for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education at the Association of Independent Schools of NSW, leading the Waratah Project across 30 schools along with providing support to all NSW independent schools to enhance educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and enable teachers to build confidence to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, and languages across all curriculum areas.

With 12 years’ experience teaching in schools across Western Sydney in NSW, Rosalyn has taught in both mainstream and special needs classes, along with holding key school leadership and executive positions.

Rosalyn has a Master of Educational Leadership and a recipient of the NSW Quality Teaching Award for her work in building high-expectation relationships with Aboriginal students and their families within the Special Education context.

Joe Hedger, Partner, Indigenous Services Group, Deloitte

Joe leads Deloitte’s Indigenous Services Group focussed on working with clients and First Nations communities to solve complex problems.

He is a proud Bundjalung and Yorta Yorta man and is highly respected for bringing the latest trends in strategy, technology and innovation to empower clients and First Nations communities to be future fit in an increasingly complex, disrupted and competitive market.

Joe also leads Deloitte’s growing work on First Nations procurement and is a recognised thought leader in this space. He also contributes to innovative, thought provoking issues of national and global importance to inspire new conversations and disruptive thinking.

What excites Joe every day is being able to reimagine and reshape a nation that centres First Nations’ wisdom, creating a clever and enduring legacy of making the world of our clients, our people and our communities better.