Dr Donna Odegaard


Dr Donna Odegaard

Dr Donna Odegaard AM is a respected Larrakia Elder from Darwin, NT, a business woman with over 40 years’ experience, awarded a Master’s degree on Aboriginal Land Rights and a PhD on the Larrakia Treaty from the University of Newcastle. Recently Dr Odegaard was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters for her lifelong work and commitment to First Nations peoples of Australia.

Other accomplishments include: Indigenous Alumni Award University of Newcastle; Naming Lady and Commissioning Lady HMAS Larrakia; Order of Australia in 2016 for significant service to Indigenous cultural heritage, broadcast media, education and training, and Reconciliation.

In 2018 Dr Odegaard was awarded the prestigious Sir John Storey Lifetime Leadership Award for significant leadership in Indigenous affairs and business.

Dr Odegaard is the owner and founder of Australia’s largest privately owned media network, First Nations Broadcasting Australia, which has four television channels, four radio stations and a production company reaching 2,400 Indigenous communities across Australia in over 30 Indigenous languages.

In 2022 Dr Odegaard founded AMRA, Aboriginal Mining Remediation Australia which is the first Indigenous led environmental remediation and restoration of Indigenous land and sea Country company in Australia.

With over 30 years’ experience in Indigenous heritage, education, native title, land rights, community development and business Dr Odegaard was appointed in 2019 as the Co-Chair of the National Co-design Group Voice to Government and Parliament; and in 2017 became a Director of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation and a senior Indigenous leader on the Ministerial Forum Indigenous Reference Group for Developing Northern Australia. In 2019 Dr Odegaard became the Co-Chair of the Australia and New Zealand Leadership Forum for the Indigenous Business Sector Group and the Indigenous Women’s Business Network; and in 2020 a member of the Indigenous Advisory Committee, Department of Agriculture, Water and Heritage.

Dr Odegaard is a speaker on Indigenous Business and Entrepreneurship, Indigenous Affairs, Policy Reform and Indigenous Women in Leadership and Business.

The driving force behind this is “to make a positive difference for our people for generations to come and hopefully open the way forward for a younger generation of leaders to follow in the footsteps of our First Nations legacy leaders before us”.

"The role of First Nations Women is a force in business, but we are often quiet achievers who don't get a chance to be on vocal platforms. But, we shouldn't underestimate the significant social impact and contribution to First Nations economic development in Australia and globally. I encourage our women and girls, particularly in remote and regional locations to be brave, reach out, get involved and become change makers and leaders in their communities. Create speaking platforms, speak to each other, have a collective national voice, speak up, share our knowledge, experience and bring each other along the journey. We make a difference, watch this space when we choose our platform."

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