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Merinda Hansen


Merinda Hansen is a Yued woman born in Melbourne and raised in Perth.Merinda is an Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer at Brookman Primary School in Langford and has been a Noongar Language teacher at several schools.

Merinda learnt Noongar language through Beryl Harp (deceased), and Charmaine Hayden who were both teaching Noongar language at Langford Primary School in the early 1990’s as well as Roma Winmar from Moorditj Noongar Community College. Merinda decided to become a language teacher and has been delivering Noongar language since then. Amongst teaching language in schools and at LAA, Merinda has raised 10 children with her husband of 23 years.

*Committee Member since 2004

Dawn Bessarab

Vice Chairperson

Dawn Bessarab is an Aboriginal woman of Bard (West Kimberley) and Yindjibarndi (Pilbara) descent. She is a senior social worker who graduated with her PhD in 2007.

Dawn is the Secretary of Langford Aboriginal Association and a Professional Director on the board of the Family Violence Prevention Legal Service.

Dawn has extensive experience across the Western Australian public sector, specifically in the area of Child Protection, family violence, alcohol and substance abuse and the criminal justice system. Dawn lectures regularly on Indigenous issues and has presented internationally and published on her work. Dawn is a cross cultural trainer and has extensive experience in developing and facilitating the delivery of programs in the area of parenting, governance and cross cultural training.

*Committee Member since 2008




Angela Ryder


Angela Ryder is a Wilman/Goreng Noongar woman originally from Katanning and has lived in metropolitan Perth her adult life.

Angela has worked relentlessly in the Aboriginal community for more than 30 years, with particular focus on empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through the promotion of cultural, social and emotional wellbeing. Part of her work has included the delivery of the National Empowerment Project (NEP), Grief and Loss workshops, Cultural Awareness training and women’s leadership initiatives.

*Committee Member since 2000 to 2015; 2017 to current


Anne Oxenham

Committee Member

Anne Oxenham is a Nanda woman originally from Geraldton. She lived her early years in Ajana and went to school in Galena and Binnu. Anne moved to Perth in 1975 and went to Central TAFE for two years.After having various jobs in housekeeping, bar work and cooking, Anne is now Kitchen Manager at a petrol station in Kewdale.

*Committee Member since 2012


Kathryn Ross

Committee Member

*Committee Member since 2020


Marie Pryor

Committee Member

*Committee Member since 2020