Katena Valastro

Business Operations Manager
Nyikina and Wakaya

Katena was born and raised on Larrakia Country. Her mob are originally from Nyikina Country (Kimberley region) and Wakaya Country (Barkley region). Katena has spent the past eight years going walkabout. She lived in Sydney, travelled the world and landed in New York City where she briefly worked, and has now returned to Larrakia Country.

Katena has a double degree in Commerce and Arts, majoring in International Business, Arts Management and minoring in Dance Performance and Human Resource Management. She has spent most of her time working in events with additional experience in production, project management and has a growing passion for HR, people and culture. Katena strives to see First Nations people and cultures at the centre of education, art, creative spaces and governance.

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Name Surname
Communications Lead
Wiradjuri, Ngemba & Paakantji

Rona is a proud Kaytetye woman from Central Australia who works with high impact organisations to create systems that centre First Nations people, knowledge and solutions.

Rona is the founder of Common Ground and brings 7 years 
of professional experience working across First Nations organisations and not for profits. Rona was previously the Director of First Nations at YLab, a social enterprise that puts young people with diverse lived experiences at the centre of designing and developing innovative and impactful solutions 
to complex social issues. Over her career, Rona has worked in policy at the Central Land Council, the Research Unit for Indigenous Languages at the University of Melbourne, Reconciliation Victoria, and the Foundation for Young Australians.In 2020, Rona was a finalist for the Victorian Young Achiever awards, was awarded a Westpac Social Change Fellowship. In 2019 Rona won a Diana Award and was named a 'Woman of the Future'  by Women's Weekly.Through her work with First Nations communities across Australia, Rona aims to create future systems that centre First Nations people, knowledge and cultures.Rona currently resides in Mpartnwe on Arrernte Country.