Our Advisory Board


Roland Wells

Roland has had over 15 years experience working with rural communities, primarily in the US.  He is currently the Director of Technology at the Africa Community Trust, which is committed to building a community’s technological capacity. Roland has broad experience in a number of community fields, including community technology education, community engagement and development, entrepreneurial business development, operations management, disaster response, connected technology, sustainable building technology, and radio and film production.  Prior to working with the Africa Community Trust, Roland founded and managed a diverse list of community projects and entrepreneurial businesses, including: The Beatbox (Youth and Community Technology Center), KRUU-LP 100.1 FM (Community Radio Station), The Bonnell Project (open community incubator), WalkerGroup, Inc (disaster inspection service), and Cypress Villages (sustainable housing development).



John Davidson

John Davidson has had an illustrious career as a senior international medical scientist and manager. His early career appointments were undertaken with hospitals in Adelaide, London, and Munich. He then moved into the business world as a senior product manager first for Hewlett-Packard and then for Acuson in California. He subsequently became Director, Worldwide Cardiology Marketing, Siemens Ultrasound, an arena in which he continue to specialize on his return to Australia. He has published technical papers and a US patent.  John now lives with his wife in Robe, South Australia, where he is active on a number of local fronts, including President of the Robe Men’s Shed Association, and supports Jill in her work as Chair of the Robe branch of the National Trust of SA.


Dr Sarah Mott

Prior to her recent retirement Dr Mott was Head, Mount Gambier Regional Centre, University of South Australia 2009-2013. Before this she was State Director (NSW) for the Australian College of Health Service Executives. From 2000-2005, she was the inaugural Professor of Rehabilitation Nursing with Royal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney and the University of Western Sydney.  Dr Mott has had a long career in health, over four continents, including extensive experience in clinical practice, research, education and management. Her credentials include a PhD, and teaching qualifications. Her research interests include chronic physical and mental illness, and rural and community health.

Jim Maher

Jim has a Bachelor of Arts (with honours in Philosophy and Logic), and worked in the IT industry in PNG, Victoria and South Australia – including many years as IT Manager in the local timber industry. After leaving IT, Jim taught in the Business and Management program at TAFESA Mount Gambier, and over the past 5 years has taught in the Social Work and Foundation Studies programs at the Mount Gambier campus of UniSA. He has been an elected member of the Mount Gambier City Council for the past 7 years with a particular focus on the areas of environmental sustainability, community development, lifelong learning and reconciliation. He has been the presiding member of the Council’s corporate and Community Services Committee and the Lifelong Learning sub-Committee.

We wish to acknowledge the wonderful life and work of Viv Maher, who passed away recently. Viv was a social worker of many years standing, having graduated from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree accompanying her social work qualification. In her career Viv combined both practice and teaching of Social Work. She established the field work unit at the University of Papua New Guinea, and more recently taught and guided Social Work students at the Mount Gambier campus of UniSA. She was a key contributor to most of the main support agencies in Mount Gambier and the South East, and taught senior Economics at Tenison Woods College. Viv was senior Social Worker at Pangula Mannamurna, the Aboriginal Health Service for the South East. She was awarded life membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers, a rare and highly deserved honour. Viv was an elder of great wisdom, knowledge, and grace, and her advice, intelligence, compassion, and humour will be greatly missed.

Dr Scott Heyes

Dr Scott Heyes is an Associate Professor of Cultural Heritage in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra, Australia. He is Convener of Indigenous studies in the Faculty. He holds research associate positions at the Smithsonian Institution’s Arctic Studies Center in Washington D.C., and at Trent University’s Frost Centre for Canadian and Indigenous Studies in Canada. His research and teaching interests centre on Indigenous knowledge systems and Indigenous heritage issues in Indigenous Australia, Fiji, and the Inuit homelands of Arctic Canada. He is currently working on design, mapping and oral history projects in these three regions in partnership with Indigenous communities and organisations. He frequently takes students to the field to participate in research projects, including an annual visit to remote parts of Fiji, where students learn about natural systems and Fijian knowledge directly from Indigenous Fijians. He supervises a rich cohort of graduate students who are engaged in design and ethnographic projects.

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