KARI was established in 1999 through the creation of KARI Limited, which has long supported the Aboriginal community by designing and delivering quality programming and services. Today, KARI Limited continues to be a leader in the space of Aboriginal child protection.
In 2016, after 17 years of successful operations, the KARI Board of Directors agreed to the creation of the KARI Foundation. They understood the outcomes of Aboriginal could be further achieved by increased collaboration between state and federal Governments, Corporate Australia and Collective Australia.
2021 marked the launch of KARI Aboriginal Procurement ‘KAP’, our aim with the creation of KAP is to deliver an end-to-end customer experience and walk alongside corporate Australia to help facilitate KARI services Australia wide.
Across these three entities, KARI is proud to employ over 180 people, with approximately 80% of our staff identifying as Aboriginal. We operate nationally, and our headquarters are in Sydney.
We strive to offer a continuum of award-winning services that all begin with meaningful community engagement. Our commitment to providing high quality, sustainable services and programs that benefit our community is unwavering.
At KARI Limited, we live by our mission, vision, and values. These are reflected in all aspects of the work that we do.
Flourishing Aboriginal families, youth, and communities.
Building strength in families and services.
KARI Limited is guided by seven core values:
Our Core Business
KARI Limited is funded by the Department of Communities and Justices to deliver programs across Metropolitan Sydney in the realms of:
Early Intervention Programs
Permanency Support Program
Community life in Australia is strengthened by Aboriginal people, culture, reconciliation and connection.
We work with community to create meaningful points of connection to share Aboriginal culture and achievement.
KARI Foundation is guided by five core values:
Our Core Business
KARI Foundation has no geographical boundary. It aims to service first and foremost Aboriginal people and communities across Australia whilst also supporting collective and corporate Australia on the journey to a more reconciled Australia.
We design, support and deliver programs across the following focus areas:
KARI Ltd and KARI Foundation Board of Directors are made up of six individuals, each with their own vast range of knowledge and experience that will ensure our future growth and community success for years to come.
Gary Potts – Chairman
Gary, a Wiradjuri Man originally from Parkes NSW, has spent the majority of his days in Campbelltown. A proud father, grandfather and a devoted husband to his loving wife Debbie, Gary has been a leader in Aboriginal Affairs since 1992. He’s held a number of positions on boards and committees in the Campbelltown/Liverpool areas and is currently employed with the NSW Department of School Education, where he performs a crucial role as an Aboriginal Specialist.
Both Gary and Debbie know firsthand the trials and tribulations that come with being a foster carer – they also know the rewards. They themselves have been foster carers for a number of years.
Gary is honoured to be KARI’s Chairperson and is thrilled to see the service grow to become a leader in the field of Aboriginal child protection, prevention and community capacity building.
Isabelle Phillips – Director
Isabelle Phillips has 20 years non-executive director experience in the NFP and Foundation sectors. She is a sessional academic at the UTS business school and co-author of the UTS online MBA program. Isabelle’s consulting on leadership for workforce wellness and performance spans eight countries and almost three decades.
Isabelle has broad experience in partnering with government, corporate and professional member-based organisations. Her work resources and upskills organisational leaders and sector leaders as they face talent shortages, tech disruption, and upheaval due to changing legal and market environments, competing ideologies, and increasingly fragile social licences to operate.
Isabelle is a lead author on the Australian Belonging Framework and a Fellow of the UTS Inclusivity Fellowship. Isabelle has been lucky enough to learn from her extensive experience in delivering executive coaching and leadership for impressive First Nations leaders in a variety of industry sectors including human services, law, tertiary education, professional services and sports management.
Steve Ella – Director
MPhil (Med), GradDip-IndigHP
Steve is an Aboriginal man from the Yuin Nation on the South Coast of NSW however grew up in the Aboriginal community of La Perouse. Steve is the Manager of Nunyara Aboriginal Health Unit for the Central Coast Local Health District, has a 20 year background in Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol work and was inducted into the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Honour Roll in 2012 at the National Indigenous Drug Alcohol conference in Fremantle, he was awarded the First Peoples award at the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) conference in Brisbane in 2013.
Steve is a member of the NSW Health Aboriginal Directors and Managers Strategic Leadership Group and previously lectured at Sydney University as an Adjunct lecturer. Steve also has co-authored a handbook for Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Work and is an Associate Investigator with the Centre of Research Excellence- Indigenous Health and Alcohol Research
Paul Ralph – Director
A founding member of both KARI Ltd and KARI Foundation and former CEO, Paul is a proud Indigenous man with strong family connections from both the North Coast and South Coast of NSW.
During his professional career, Paul has worked across a number of important Indigenous portfolios specific to employment outcomes, housing, education and human services. Such a position has given him the opportunity to visit many Indigenous communities and witness firsthand the vast social issues affecting Indigenous Australians today as well as the sheer resilience of the world’s oldest living culture.
Since 1999, Paul has been committed to working exclusively in the Indigenous community sector and has found this to be the most challenging and exciting time of his professional career.
Casey Ralph – KARI CEO
Casey is a proud Aboriginal woman with connections to the north and south coasts of NSW. She has spent the majority of her life living on Gandangara Country in South Western Sydney.
Casey started her career working in education and in 2005 transitioned to working within the community welfare sector. She is now the current CEO of both KARI Ltd and KARI Foundation Ltd.
Casey is passionate about ensuring that Aboriginal children, families and communities have every opportunity afforded to them and is committed to designing and implementing innovative programs that empower, support and enhance skill development.
Are you interested in finding out more about KARI’s activities? Here you’ll find our current community report for a more comprehensive overview of the business.