Our directors

The Gumala Trust Pty Ltd Board is comprised of six Directors. Three of these Directors are independent, with no material business or relation ties to the Beneficiaries of the Trust. The other three Directors are Traditional Owner Directors, one from each of the Bunjima, Yinhawangka and Nyiyaparli language groups.

GIPL Directors are appointed by the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) Board. The positions are advertised and the appointment process is run and governed by the GAC Board. The term of a Director is five years.

To learn more about our Directors, please view their profiles below:


Brendon Grylls brings a wealth of regional development and north west experience to the Gumala Foundation team. He has a background in small business, farming, and manufacturing, which precede a 16-year term in state parliament. Brendon maintains an ongoing focus on indigenous policy and programs.

He is well known for his advocacy of regional issues, his commitment to expanding indigenous opportunities, and his innovative approach to both public policy and business after his political career.

Brendon is based in Karratha with his family where he runs a small consultancy business focused on developing the businesses and community of the Pilbara and Regional WA. He has been a strong advocate for Indigenous business development in the region.

As Chair of the Gumala Foundation he looks forward to working closely with the traditional owners of the Yinhawangka, Banjima, and Nyiyaparli language groups to honour the objectives of the trust deed.

Claire is a Nyiyaparli woman who was born in Marble Bar, where she spent her early childhood years.

She has worked in various types of industries throughout her life, including seven years in health, and has a ten-year serving with the police, where she achieved the rank of Senior Constance with the Queensland Police Service. She is currently working to provide support to Indigenous candidates who are seeking employment opportunities in the mining industry.

Claire has held various directorships for Aboriginal Corporations over the past 20 years, including her role in a non-for-profit organization that provides Health and Educational assistance to youth and elderly in the Pilbara. She brings this experience and passion to her role in Gumala Investments Pty Ltd, where she has been a Director since November 2019.

Ever since she was young, Claire has been passionate about using education and community development as effective ways to accelerate social change. She enjoys supporting the Nyiyaparli people through employment opportunities that make positive impacts on their lives and is motivated to get more community driven programs and projects started.

In her spare time, Claire enjoys spending time with her family.

Helen is a local from the Pilbara. She worked as a primary school teacher for several years and was one of the founding members of Gumala Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) when it was established following the successful negotiation of the Yandi Land Use Agreement (YLUA) in 1997. She became an inaugural Bunjima representative Director on the Board of GAC and worked hard to assist with the development of Gumala’s first office in Tom Price and the organisation of many community meetings, several of which took place on country. Her commitment to managing governance aligned with culture grew with the long journey she has been on in the last 20 years of working within the frameworks of committees and boards, including being an inaugural Director of IBN Corporation Pty Ltd when it was established in 2001.

Helen brings to the role as a GIPL Director, extensive mainstream knowledge and experience as well as cultural knowledge and sensitivity in working with the Yinhawangka, Nyiyaparli and Bunjima people and within the structures for which they came together to form and grow. She understands the challenges of managing trusts and believes in delivering appropriate and effective services in meeting the objects of the Foundation to alleviate the stress and poverty and to make a positive difference for the beneficiaries.

Ian is a graduate of the University of WA with post graduate qualifications in financial planning, and has worked with Australia’s leading banking, investment managers and financial services institutions.

He has specialised in advising, consulting, planning, supervising and managing short and long term investment funds for the last 25 years, starting with the billion dollar Queensland electricity industry employees superfund. He held the role of the investment specialist independent director of the MG Community Foundation, Kununurra, between 2011 and 2015.

Irina Cattalini is a highly driven and energetic executive, with over fifteen years of experience in community and public services. She is highly regarded in Australia and abroad for her strategic thinking, exceptional management skills and personal integrity. Irina is an accomplished leader of change, skilled in navigating teams and sectors through reform. She has a talent for translating complex policy analysis with clarity and strategic influence, resulting in positive and high-impact outcomes.

Prior to her current role as Executive Manager of One Tree Community Services, Irina served as CEO of the WA Council of Social Service, the State’s leading community service peak body. She has a very keen commitment to social justice and has made a strong contribution to the local, national and international community. Irina has served as Vice President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, as a founding Board member of Reconciliation WA, and on the CEO’s for Gender Equity group.

Her international work has included hosting the Commonwealth People’s Forum at CHOGM, serving as a member of the Civil Society Advisory Council at the Commonwealth Foundation, andas a member of the Alumni of the USA State Department International Visitor Leadership Program. Irina has also contributed to United Nations General Assembly hearings with civil society on the Post 2015 Global Development Agenda 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Irina graduated from the University of WA with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science with Honours in International Relations. She also has a Diploma of Business and is an Alumni of Leadership WA. She has been awarded as one of WA Business News 40 under 40, the winner of IPAA’s Non-Profit Leader of the Year and UWA’s Strategic Alliance Award.

Roy Tommy (Pitithangu, meaning dry leaf) grew up on Mininer, Mount Vernon and Pingandy pastoral stations. His Yinhawangka name was given to him in traditional song by his grandmother, Maggie Bimba. His mother was the last fluent speaker of Yinhawangka, and in 1980 commenced recording the language, songs, stories, genealogy, birth and burial places, and the names of Yinhawangka lands.

He was a Yinhawangka representative on the YLUA negotiating team, one of the founding 25 members of Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, one of its inaugural Governing Committee members, and has served on the boards of Gumala Aboriginal Corporation and Gumala Enterprises Pty Ltd on a number of occasions.

Pitithangu is currently working on a project for the preservation of Yinhawangka with assistance from Wangka Maya Language Centre, IBN Corporation, the Yinhawangka Trust and the Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity.


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