Our team


The Gumala Trust (GIPL) is part of a larger team, the Gumala team! We work closely together with the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, even working from the same Perth Office on Adelaide terrace. This is why, at our Annual General Meetings and other Gumala events, we all put on the same team shirts and work together to make the events run without a hitch.

This close relationship means that although we’re responsible for different things in the Gumala Foundation, we come together to work on projects that need both GAC and GIPL’s input. We need our entire Gumala team to help the Foundation thrive.

Overall, the Gumala Team is a big family, but the GIPL team itself is small, but mighty! Back in 2017, GIPL started with just 3 team members, but we’ve grown since then! You can contact us at our East Perth offices by emailing GIPL@gumalatrust.com for any GIPL or Investment related enquiries.

John Raftis is the Executive Officer for GIPL. He oversees both the GIPL team and the investments in the Future Fund. John works closely with the EO of Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, to jointly achieve maximum outcomes from the Foundation for our Beneficiaries and Members. He started with the Foundation in 2015 as a Chief Financial Officer, before taking on the role of GIPL EO in 2017.

He has a Bachelor of Business, Accounting, from Curtin and has been a registered Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) since 2000. John is a fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia (FGIA) and won the WA Dux award for Corporate Governance in 2005.

Born in Perth, John went on to spend most of his childhood in regional towns, including Moora, Northam, Geraldton, Karratha and Port Hedland. Outside of work he likes to garden, cycle and spend time with his family. John is also a regular plasma donor with the Red Cross, and he completed his 100th donation in 2020.

Kirsty Whiteoak took on the role of Office Manager & PA in 2021. As the Office Manager she looks over the day-to-day operations of GIPL and assists both the GIPL Board and our EO as the EA. Prior to this role, Kirsty worked within the Early Years Sector for 18 years, 8 of which involved running early year services within Northam, Murdoch and Rockingham.

She recently completed her Diploma in Project Management, has a Diploma in Leadership and Management and a FETAC level 6 (equivalent to an Advanced Diploma) in Supervision in Early Years.

Kirsty was born in the UK, and through her mum’s side has family spread across Austria and Serbia. Prior to her move to Perth in 2013, she lived in Ireland for 4 years. Kirsty loves to travel and has a keen interest in learning about different traditions, cultures and values.

Sarisa is responsible for the accounting and financial reporting function within GIPL, which includes providing accurate and timely financial reports for end-of-month and end-of-financial-year reporting periods. She enjoys being able to work independently and loves working with numbers. Sarisa started with the Gumala Foundation in the shared services team in 2015, before undertaking a role at GIPL as Finance Officer in 2017. In 2020 she progressed into her current role as Accountant for the GIPL team.

She completed her Bachelor of Commerce in Management and Marketing in 2007 and went on to complete her Master of Accounting in the following year, both at Curtin University. Sarisa has also been a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) since 2015.

Sarisa grew up in Nakhon Si Thammarat, in Thailand, before moving to Australia, which she loves. Outside of work she likes taking her family out to reptile centres and hiking trails, and loves finding new challenges for them to undertake together.

Briana Clements is our PR & Communications Officer, managing all corporate communications including making videos, managing GIPL’s social media and website, and curating annual reports and GIPL’s Gumala Newsletter contribution. She started this role in 2020.

She graduated from UWA with a Bachelor of Arts and first-class honours in Communications and Media studies, specialising in Transmedia, or cross-platform, storytelling/marketing. Briana has completed a course in Adobe InDesign CC and completed Cultural Foundations for Workplaces – Empowering Respect and Relationship, which was facilitated by Jolleen Hicks.

Briana was born in Perth, in the Kalamunda Hills, and went to Treetops Montessori School in Darlington, so she’s spent her whole life on Whadjuk Noongar land. During her school years, she travelled to Wyndham to help teach literacy to the local First Nations school children, and during her university years helped film and create a call-to-action video with FARA and UWA to allow them to gain the funding to undertake a research project on the industrial impacts on the Murujuga Rock Art. Outside of work, she loves all things creative and getting out with her dogs to explore the Perth Hills. She’s also currently undertaking a Certificate in Horticulture.

Kate originally started with the GAC finance team back in 2019, before undertaking a role in the GAC Projects team that managed the Housing Program rollout. She has now moved over to GIPL to take on a new role as our Property Management & Social Investments Project Officer, where she will be continuing to support the Housing Program.

As a Gumala Member, Kate really enjoys working in a job that supports her community, and she's excited to learn more about GIPL's Investments. Outside of work, Kate has two young boys, and you'll often find the family fishing, camping, or heading off on an adventure, as she loves to travel.

Shazade has taken over the role of Finance and Administration Assistant. She’ll be helping to lighten the load for our Accountant and Office Manager and assisting in preparing for the GIPL Board Meetings. She wanted to work for GIPL so she could be in a job that let her work alongside, and benefit, her Community. She also wants to broaden her skills in Finance and is excited to learn more.

Growing up, Shazade travelled a lot. Born in Queensland, she lived there until the age of 6, before moving across Australia to Kambalda, a small mining town in the Goldfields. After completing Primary School, her family packed up and moved again, heading to her Mother’s homeland; a tiny fishing town in the Northern Territory called Borroloola. Two years later they came back to WA, settling in Perth where they’ve been ever since!

She spends her free time with her partner and two young children, with weekends full of swimming lessons, trips to the park, and catching up with family.

Corné has joined the GIPL team as our Finance Support, and will be supporting our Accountant, Sarisa. She’s excited to be part of the GIPL team and is looking forward to applying her knowledge and skills to the financial processes, while also continuing to learn and grow alongside the organisation.

Originally from South Africa, Corné grew up in a diamond mining town called Kimberley, before migrating to Perth 16 years ago. Her name is pronounced “Cor-nay” and is shortened from Cornelia, with German origin.

Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, reading, and volunteering.


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