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 is a leadership expert, Founder of consultancy Mackerel Sky – Leadership Matters and Co-Founder of Mindfulness for the Global Village. Her enterprise work focuses on assisting leaders to create spaces for workforce populations to flourish and thrive.
Isabelle has a powerful track record actively supporting Aboriginal Australians in the workplace. She also brings the business case for diversity and inclusion to her government and corporate client base. Clients reap diversity dividends, crash through unconscious bias, and position their enterprises to succeed in the global village.
Isabelle is currently completing a PhD in Mindful Leadership, which is a strong focus in her consultancy work. Her research investigates the fascinating links between mindful leadership and workplace performance, and wellness. An authority in evidence-based approaches to contemporary leadership challenges, her recent engagements include driving conscious inclusion for leaders throughout Transport for NSW and University of Newcastle, mindful leadership for leaders at icare, authentic leadership in luxury brands including Dior Couture, LVMH and Benefit; and global leadership APNIC.
Isabelle holds non-executive director roles in the NFP and Foundation sectors. She enjoys lecturing in Positive Psychology, Mindfulness and Leadership at the the UTS Business School. She is a seasoned speaker, master trainer and expert coach.
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 KARI and former CEO, Paul is a proud Aboriginal man with family connections from both the North Coast and South Coast of NSW. For the past 35 years he has lived in Gandangara Country, South West Sydney.
During his professional career, Paul has worked across a number of important Aboriginal portfolios specific to employment outcomes, housing, education and human services. Such a position has given him the opportunity to visit many Aboriginal communities and witness firsthand the vast social issues affecting Indigenous Australians today – as well as the sheer resilience of the world’s oldest culture.
Since 1999, Paul has been committed to working exclusively in the Aboriginal 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.