Support Act has announced the expansion of its dedicated First Nations community engagement team with the hires of William Oui and Cooper-Lily Nikora.

William Oui is the charity’s new First Nations Community Engagement/Case Worker, a proud Meriam man from Zenadth Kes (the Torres Strait Islands) with strong connections to the Samsep peoples from Erub (Darnley Island). Based in Kombumerri/Gold Coast, he brings 14 years’ experience in support work for non-profit community organisations and government agencies.

Cooper-Lily Nikora has been promoted to the role of First Nations Administrative Assistant. A loud and proud Tūhoe woman from Aotearoa/New Zealand living on Wurundjeri Country in Naarm/Melbourne, she has worked as a music publicist and artist manager for the past nine years, specifically with First Nations people, and started her work with Support Act as a volunteer in 2021.

They join Cerisa Benjamin, a proud Warlpiri, Gurindji and Jawoyn woman, based in Naarm/Melbourne, who has been promoted to First Nations Programs Lead

Cerisa explains: “It’s with great pleasure that we welcome William and Cooper-Lily to the team, growing our First Nations support so that we can better serve First Nations music workers through crisis relief, mental health and wellbeing support.

“I also want to thank and acknowledge JB Hi-Fi through their Helping Hands workplace giving program, as it is their support that has made this possible.”

In the crisis relief team, Anne Jacobs has been promoted to National Programs Manager, overseeing the crisis relief, mental health and wellbeing and First Nations teams. Angela Doolan has been promoted to Crisis Relief Team Leader, Tim Coutts-Smith has been formalised in the role of Crisis Relief Social Worker and Jim Lawrie as Crisis Relief Administrative Support.

In fundraising, Bec Shand has been promoted to Partnerships Manager – Fundraising, and Mel Morris has transitioned to the role of Community Fundraising and Engagement Associate. Katja Krstic has been promoted to Programs and Communications Coordinator.

Clive Miller, CEO of Support Act, adds: “We have been very lucky to work with some wonderful people over the past few years of the pandemic, and are delighted that we have been able to largely promote from within to fill some current vacancies. 

“It’s a busy time at Support Act as we navigate the changing landscape and position ourselves to best help our industry to provide crisis relief where needed, and to create a more mentally healthy industry with a particular focus on cultural change, psychological safety, equity and inclusion.”