Karen Milward

Fellow 2014 - 2017

Karen Milward is a Yorta Yorta woman who was born and raised in Melbourne. She has extensive consulting experience in working with First Nations communities and undertaking complex projects commissioned by Government Departments and their agencies with responsibility for policy and program development and service delivery impacting on First Nations communities.

She is a strong advocate for developing culturally appropriate solutions to the issues confronting First Nations people, which empower individuals and communities so they can confidently and effectively move forward.

Karen has extensive experience in social research. Her expertise and broad ranging experience includes issues concerning First Nations communities and organisations, early intervention and prevention, children and young people, health, housing, drug and alcohol, family violence, native title, education, training and employment, cultural heritage, social justice, and First Nations cultural competence and responsiveness to government and mainstream services. She has worked in various areas of Aboriginal Affairs specialising in community development through education, employment and economic development.

Her skills include: evaluation and reviews, stakeholder consultation, survey design, qualitative and quantitative research and analysis, audit tool development and implementation, First Nations community infrastructure and feasibility study/business case projects, workshop facilitation, establishing First Nations organisations and service models, training development and delivery, employment and career development programs, mentoring of First Nations people, governance training and First Nations organisation board and staff development, strategic, community and business planning, leadership assessment and development, hosting and MC for conferences, and report-writing.

Community consultations are integral to both developmental and evaluative projects Karen is involved in and are underpinned by her belief that they are critical to ensuring First Nations communities can constructively contribute to whole of government and community approaches to strategic, policy and program development and improvements in culturally competent service responses.

Karen is the Chairperson of Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place and Kinaway Chamber of Commerce Victoria Ltd, Chair Community First Development, Director on the Board of Yarra Valley Water and Co-Chair of the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board.

She is a Fellow with Leadership Victoria and member of the Alumni with the Melbourne Business School MURRA Aboriginal Business Master Class program.

Past roles include:

  • Chairperson – Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service – Eastern Metropolitan Region
  • Co-Chairperson – Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV) – National Organisation
  • Member – Victorian Premier’s Aboriginal Advisory Group
  • Victorian Aboriginal Economic Development Working Group
  • Eastern Metropolitan Region Local Indigenous Network
  • Deputy Chair of Ganbina Ltd

In 2022 Karen was inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll.