Board of Directors
Desert Pea Media is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who share the organisation’s vision. A new Board is elected in October/November of each year.
Our DPM Board consists of highly skilled and passionate people, who generously give their time and expertise to the organisation.
Shelly Rowell, Chairperson
A woman of Gamilaroi descent, Shelly is also Director of Adaptive Creativity providing professional services in the arts, tourism, urban planning and social enterprise sectors. Shelly has a Masters Degree in Sustainable Tourism, a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Development and a Diploma in Digital Media. Shelly is an active and passionate board member who supports the creative team, helping steer Desert Pea Media towards organisational sustainability.
Chris Andrews, Vice Chairperson
Chris currently works with a Sydney based social enterprise supporting the most marginalised members of our community with access to essential health, welfare, social and recreational services. Previous engagements have involved projects accelerating Millennium Development Goals in the Pacific and working with rural and remote Indigenous communities to leverage Federal and State Government funding to develop “On Country” enterprises. Chris holds degrees in Chemical Engineering and Teaching. He is strongly committed to knowledge sharing and supporting our Original Nations people to express their unique stories for all Australians to hear and understand.
Matthew Priestley, Co-Founder
Co-founder of Desert Pea Media, Matt is a proud Mehi Murri man from Moree, NSW, a member of the Terry Hie Hie clan of the Gomilaroi Nation. Matt has a long history of working with contemporary and traditional Indigenous media. Matt was principal artist of CCD organisation BigHart (1989-99) and AFI Laureat for his short film Hurt in 1991. Acclaimed in both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous arts industry as a traditional and visual artist, Matt works across media platforms to communicate a powerful message of Indigenous cultural sustainability and development. He sees education as an important tool for empowerment and self-determination. Matt is a visual artist, film maker, traditional dancer, song writer and theatre-maker.
Peter MacLean, Treasurer
Peter is a Partner and Director of Walker Wayland, NSW Chartered Accountants. He and his team provide specialist tax and financial advice to a wide-ranging client base in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. Peter was involved in Walker Wayland becoming the first chartered accounting firm in Australia to pilot the Everybody Counts Program, a community-based initiative of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. The initiative aims to encourage team members to get involved in the local community by supporting charities through volunteering, workplace giving and offering skills pro bono at a national and local level.
Jane Bennett, Secretary
Jane is a freelance strategic consultant with over 25 years experience most recently in Aboriginal health, Indigenous land management and governance (cultural and corporate). Her previous roles span Commonwealth and State government as well as NGO experience across Australia and East Malaysia. Jane's efforts secured permanent roles for Indigenous Land Management Facilitators. Her interests are collaboration, collective impact, co-design and program logic, to enable positive change and healing, especially where it demonstrates social impact and nourishes Original Peoples culture and livelihoods. Jane is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has links with the Galiwin’ku community through her father’s war service.
Sue’s professional life was in the education sector. Her tertiary education began at UNSW with a BA DipEd leading to secondary school teaching qualifications. She subsequently trained as a school counsellor and was a registered psychologist. Sue worked in a number of rural and metropolitan schools as a school counsellor and in various senior management positions within the NSW Department of Education. She retired as the regional manager of the school counselling service, based in Bathurst. Sue’s membership of the DPM Board has spanned a decade. Sue is a seasoned supporter of Desert Pea Media’s work and has proudly watched its evolution. Sue is also the mother of the founding member/creative director, and grandmother to a bevy of redheaded children (not his).
Ben Bardon has had a 25-year career in the not-for-profit employment and training sector. Ben has 10 years experience as CEO of one of Australia’s largest Group Training Organisations, and 3 years as a CEO of a large regional Employment and Training organisation. He also co-founded the London Apprenticeship Company as the UK’s first Australian style Group Training Organisation.Ben has been a Board member of Group Training Australia, The National Employment Services Association, The NSW Board of Vocational Education and Training, and the Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board. Despite this he has retained his sense of humour and his commitment to growing the capability and responsiveness of the education and training sectors. Ben is The Managing Director of Strategy3 and its principal consultant.