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Introducing a new member of the Croakey team

Croakey Health Media is delighted to announce that David Morgan has joined our team as Chief Operating Officer, taking over the roles of Laurell Grubb in business development and Kay Giffin in finances.

He introduces himself below to Croakey reader.


David Morgan writes:

For over 35 years I have worked in the not-for-profit and community sectors as a senior executive, primarily with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

My most recent fulltime position was Chief Executive Officer with Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal community controlled entity providing comprehensive primary healthcare services to Aboriginal people living in Gippsland, Victoria. I retired from this role and fulltime work in July 2021 for personal reasons.

Previous roles include:

  • Chief Executive Officer of Tennant Creek based Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation
  • Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Darwin based Danila Dilba Health Service
  • Financial Controller for Menzies School of Health Research and
  • Chief Operating Officer of the Lowitja Institute.

I have also worked in local Government as Chief Executive Officer of the Arnhem Land based Milingimbi Council and as the Director of Finance for Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation in Maningrida.

Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations has given me the opportunity to gain an understanding of the social determinants of health, their impact on communities and how they must be addressed to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It has also given me an appreciation for the cultural determinants of health.

A little about my background. I originate from a suburb of Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand, called Otahuhu, where I spent my childhood and school years as well as training to be a chef. However, I caught the travel bug at an early age and left Otahuhu as soon as I could.

Being a qualified chef, I found that there was work wherever I went. I travelled extensively through Australia and then England where I joined the British Army (not as a cook) for four years. I’ve travelled the west coast of the United States and even spent a short amount of time working in Zimbabwe. One of my more unusual experiences was my involvement, when in the army, with an expedition to Loch Ness in Scotland to hunt for the Loch Ness monster. But that is another great story of its own! Suffice to say, it was in all the newspapers at that time, or at least those in Otahuhu.

It was while working in a Northern Territory mining camp, as the Camp Manager, that I decided I needed further formal qualifications to enhance my skill base. I chose to move to Adelaide to study and it is there where I not only gained my tertiary qualifications but also met my future wife, Diàn.

My qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce degree, registration as a Certified Practising Accountant and Fellow of CPA Australia, and I’m a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

I have often been asked to provide advice to community based organisations to improve their financial management systems. For three years, I was the pro-bono financial advisor to the Finance Committee of Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service, an Aboriginal Medical Service based in Perth, West Australia.

In addition to financial expertise, I have extensive experience in human resource management, information technology and stakeholder engagement. Having served as a director and treasurer on many not-for-profit boards of management, I have good corporate governance knowledge and experience. I believe in transparent and accountable management practices and making myself available to both stakeholders and the community.

Catching up with colleagues from my Lowitja days, Penny Smith and Alwin Chong. It’s great to maintain these long term friendships, most importantly during the COVID pandemic.

Values matter

I was attracted to being part of the Croakey Health Media team as we do work closely together, even though we are a network scattered across the country rather than being in the same office. I enjoy the team meetings and am looking forward to engaging with stakeholders whenever I can.

I am also totally committed to the same values that I see all of the Croakey team displaying. I have a passion for community engagement, justice and equity for all, helping those who are less fortunate than I am, and I especially like being able to continue working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues and organisations.

In the short time I have been working at Croakey Health Media, I am amazed at how much the Croakey team collectively achieve; the organisation’s reach and influence far exceeds the size of its budget. I am looking forward to helping to grow Croakey’s sustainability and to help ensure a healthy future for public interest journalism that is committed to health equity.

But enough of the business me. I do have another life. I now live in Maryborough, Victoria, which is located on Dja Dja Wurrung country. I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land and they have my deep respects for their caring for culture and Country.

I am an avid gardener, although the garden at my new house in Maryborough is proving to be a real challenge. Since I moved to Maryborough in early September 2022, there has been almost constant heavy rain, extended cold periods, blazing hot sun and swarms of every type of insect or animal that eats everything but the weeds, and the weeds are prolific. Even though I was born in the city, I enjoy country living and going out bush whenever I can.

One of the reasons why I moved to Maryborough, in the centre of the Victorian golden triangle, is that I detect for gold in my spare time. I only use a metal detector and as I am also an environmentalist, I always fill in any holes I dig and ensure that campsites are left clean and tidy. While it is nice to find the odd bit of gold or artifact, I really enjoy just being out bush away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Fishing is another favourite pastime, but I don’t get to the beach or rivers very often these days.

Living in Maryborough has allowed me to participate in community activities. I am a member of Maryborough Volunteer Resource Centre, the local Climate Action Group and the Maryborough Writers Group. I was also a volunteer for the recently held Energy Breakthrough event where I judged student presentations on how they developed their manpowered vehicles and prepared for the races.

I would like to acknowledge and thank Laurell Grubb, who has retired, for her assistance in the handover and for having such good, easy to navigate systems in place. In finance, I’m replacing Kay Giffin and I thank Kay for her work in keeping accurate up-to-date financial accounts.

That’s about it for me. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you are interested in supporting our work, or engaging with Croakey Conference News Service and Croakey Professional Services. I am always keen to hear from Croakey supporters, contributors and readers, and we are looking forward to unveiling some new services this year.

My contact details are: Email: accounts AT croakey.org and Twitter: @CroakeyServices .


• Croakey acknowledges and thanks Croakey contributor and public health academic Penelope Smith for introducing David Morgan to us, and for supplying these photos from times when they worked together.