With a career spanning some 33 years, Kerry has worked in a leadership capacity across community, government and the corporate sector. She was the first Aboriginal woman appointed to Local Government in South Australia.
An educated woman, Kerry holds a Diploma of Business, a Diploma in Aboriginal Primary Health Care Management and a Bachelor of Adult & Vocational Education and completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Corporate Governance Program. She is a Graduate of the University of New South Wales and Thammasat University (Thailand) People’s Diplomacy, Human Rights and International Law Program, a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program, a fellow member of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, a member of the Australian Rural Leadership Network and included in the South Australian Women’s Honour Roll. Kerry has been instrumental in leading community-based initiatives such as: implementation of the Coober Pedy Alcohol Strategy, SA Country Health Aboriginal service development plans and accountability frameworks, the South Australian Aboriginal Sports Training Academy (SAASTA), the SANFL and the SAASTA traineeship program and the Port Adelaide Football Club Aboriginal Power Cup targeting the engagement of young Aboriginal people. She led the transition of the Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service to an independent Aboriginal Corporation and was appointed as its first Chief Executive. She was appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive of the Aboriginal Lands Trust and transformed its business model and governance. Kerry was acknowledged for her efforts in the 2017 Indigenous Social Justice Commissioners report for her insight into Indigenous Property Rights, land tenure and native title and was the first Aboriginal women in Australia to head up an Aboriginal Statutory Land Holding body. Kerry co-owns Mandanga Enterprises a subsidiary of MJ & KP Colbung Pty Ltd along with her husband Michael, where they have brought a unique flair of culture and healing together in skin care products. They use ancient Indigenous knowledge and extraction techniques. In 2009 she was awarded a Public Service Medal for services to Indigenous people in South Australia and was the winner of the 2019 Gladys Elphick Award in recognition for her contribution to community services.
Overview of products/services
Mandanga Enterprises produces skincare products that are made from natural native plants, based on traditional medicines and knowledge handed directly down in their line.