Directors

Allan Jones

Position: CEO

Allan Jones is a descendant of the Narungga nation from the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. Allan’s extended family expands across the Northern Territory, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Allan has over 20 years’ experience managing and coordinating jobs and training projects for Aboriginal people nationally.

Christian Gaylard

Position: Managing Director

Christian Gaylard has over 20 years’ experience in the civil and construction industry and over 10 years supporting Aboriginal job-seekers to successful transition from long-term unemployment into employment.

His extensive knowledge of civil, construction and trade training enables clients to install up to date corporate knowledge and skills prior to entering the workplace.

Michael Long

Position: Director

Michael Long – is one of the most recognisable Aboriginal figures in AFL football. He played for the Essendon Football Club between 1989 and 2001, was a member of two premiership sides and the winner of the 1993 Norm Smith Medal. Michael’s parents were removed from their families as children and their experiences shaped his determination to fight racial discrimination. In 1995 when playing for Essendon, following an ANZAC Day game against Collingwood, he became the first player to highlight racial abuse when he reported offensive language used by an opposition player. As a result of his actions, the AFL set about actively stopping racial and religious vilification. In 2001, Michael retired as a professional footballer, but not from working to help Indigenous Australians. In 2004, he famously walked from Melbourne to Canberra to meet the then Prime Minister John Howard to discuss the plight of Indigenous Australians and raise public awareness of the issues. Thousands of people, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, joined in what became known as The Long Walk. Michael has since developed The Long Walk Foundation which opens many doors for Indigenous people in sport, education and employment opportunities. Also the Michael Long Leadership and Training Centre in NT, a facility for developing footballers, students and the broader community. His actions continue to contribute to true reconciliation.

Managers

Robbie Lloyd Peden

Position: GTO Operations Consultant

Robbie is an ex-professional boxer and world champion, Known as “Bomber”, Robbie was awarded Aboriginal Queenslander of the year for his outstanding commitment to community and achievements through sport.

He is passionate about supporting apprentices from start to finish through building and maintaining open and transparent relationships with all key stakeholders to ensure success.

Rene Vodegel

Position: Chief Finance Officer

René Vodegel is a qualified accountant with over 23 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, as well as having run his own consulting firm.

Within the public sector his roles included Treasury and Management accounting within the portfolios of Education, Further Education, Employment and Premier and Cabinet. His private sector experience includes the construction, meat processing and retail industries.

René holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Flinders University with a major in Accounting and minors in Business Law and Finance. A member of CPA Australia, he is currently undertaking an MBA. René sits on a number of not-for-profit community organisation boards and is heavily involved in the ice sports community.

Jason Rae

Position: Operations Manager – SA/NT

Jason Rae is a descendant of the Narungga/Kaurna nations and grew up in Whyalla. Jason has had over 20 years’ experience in the mining, commercial fisheries, civil construction, recruitment and labour hire sectors.

Jan McCalman

Position: Programs Manager

Jan McCalman has a long history of establishing and promoting economic responses to address entrenched exclusion, racism and disadvantage. Jan sees people as a resource not a deficit, and her projects are designed from that core value. She uses her deep understanding of the community, government and commercial sectors to establish credibility and trust.

With an extensive resume of innovative projects, she challenges funders, decision makers and power brokers to confront their inhibition and enjoy the ride. This robust approach has resulted in many quality outcomes for job seekers and the communities she works with. Jan lives in CBD Melbourne but has roots in regional Victoria and New South Wales, where she grew up and her family live.

Rus Nasir

Position: Business Development Manager

Rus Nasir is a descendant of the Djugan nation (Broome), and has worked for 25 years within the business, government, political and higher education sectors.

He holds a degree in psychology/law, and brings extensive experience in, and commitment to, developing businesses and organisations that display strong social and economic inclusion principles and deliver real outcomes.

Rebecca Zahra

Position: Operations Manager – Vic/Qld

Rebecca was born in raised in Melbourne and has held many positions within the civil construction, commercial maintenance, recruitment, training and employment sectors.

She brings a fast thinking, can-do solutions focus to RAW’s day-to-day operations management, compliance, scheduling, reporting, employee communication and client liaison.

Rebecca has a strong commitment and track record of successfully placing people within employment and provides valuable oversight of the systems and functions required of a rapid growth company such as RAW.