People

Team photo of Acktion group

The AKction2 project is made up of four teams, who collaboratively work together on research activities. These include the AKction2 Reference Team, AKction2 Project Team, Chief and Associated Investigators, and Networks.

Kelli Owen

Kelli Owen 

Kelli is a Kaurna, Narungga & Ngarrindjeri woman, mother of five and Mutha (nanna) of two boys. She has lived experience with kidney disease, peritoneal dialysis, haemodialysis, kidney transplantation and being a carer of her son on his kidney disease journey. Kelli has used her personal and family experiences and knowledge of kidney disease to advocate for and support others on their journeys. 


Rhanee Lester

Rhanee Lester 

Rhanee is an Adnyamathanha woman with family and community ties to Port Augusta and the Northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia. She has lived experience with kidney disease, haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and kidney transplantation. She was invited to speak at a KHA meeting at the Royal Adelaide Hospital where she first connected with the AKction project and the work they were doing, and expressed interest in joining as an ARG member. 


Jared Kartinyeri

Jared Kartinyeri 

Jared is a Ngarrindjeri Wiradjuri man from Adelaide with lived experience with kidney disease, haemodialysis and kidney transplantation. Jared was invited to join AKction through Rhanee, and says that the best thing about being a member of AKction is being able to connect with others who have been through the same thing, and to be apart of a group that helps the community.   


Shellander Champion

Shellander Champion

Shellander is an Adnyamathanha, Kuyani, Mirning and Kaprun woman, currently living in Port Augusta, South Australia on Bangarla country. She is the provider for her family and a mother to a young boy living with Autism. With lived experience of kidney disease, Shellander is also an advocate for improving knowledge and education around the NDIS, and breaking down complex government policies into practical ways of working that align with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of doing, being and knowing. Her goal is to embed long-term change in the government systems so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs and services are driven and led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people because only we know how to best deliver these to our Mob.


Lili Simpson Lyttle

Lili Simpson Lyttle

Lili’s mob is from the Northern Torres Straits Saibai Island (Goigu Island), connecting through to the coastal mainland of the western province of Papua New Guinea (the Beeneh people).  


Ramon

Ramon Gadd

Ramon Gadd is a kidney health advocate with lived experience of kidney disease, dialysis and kidney transplantation. 


Kidney Warriors

AKction Reference Team members who have passed

Inawinytji Williamson (Elder)

Inawinytji Williamson (Elder) 

Ina grew up in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara or APY lands Fregon, moving to Kaurna Yarta Adelaide to begin dialysis. She is a well-known artist, language teacher and Elder. She often interprets and advocates for other community members in kidney care settings. Ina co-founded the AKction 1 Reference Group with Nari Sinclair, after connection over their shared advocacy work.   

Nari Sinclair

Nari Sinclair 

Nari Sinclair is a Ngarrindjeri and Yorta Yorta woman, mother, and grandmother. She has lived experience with kidney disease, haemodialysis, and living with complex comorbidities.  After chasing down politicians outside Parliament House advocating for better transport options, Nari connected with Inawinytji Williamson, becoming the founding members of the AKction1 Reference Group. 

  • Matthew Hobbs
  • Alice Abdullah
  • Richard Brooks 

Kim O'Donnell

Project co-lead / Chief Investigator A

Janet Kelly

Project Lead / Chief investigator

Kelli Owen

Chief Investigator

Rhanee Lester

Chief Investigator

Nari Sinclair

Chief Investigator

Alyssa Cormick

Research Assistant

Tahlee Stevenson

Research Assistant

Melissa Arnold Chamney

Associate investigator, PhD student

Liz Rix

Senior Research Fellow

Brandon O'Connor

Administration Assistant

Students

Name Course Project Year
Basil Abou Assali  Honours Health and Medical Science  Identifying gaps and strengths in current kidney care.    2019 
Claire Dekuyer  3rd year Health and Medical Science  Mapped dialysis services in South Australia  2020-2021 
Terry Kai Loon Lau  3rd year Health and Medical Science  Mapping ‘Typical’ Kidney Transplantation Journey for Adult Indigenous Australian in South Australia  2021 
Ejaz Nijadi  3rd year Health and Medical Science  Mapped a Typical Health Journey for Indigenous Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease onto Dialysis  2021 
Alyssa Cormick   Psychology Honours   Mapping Journey of an Aboriginal woman with Kidney Disease to identify strength and resilience   2021 
Millicent Baker   Nursing Honours  What is the experience of Aboriginal patients’ following their discharge post renal transplantation in South Australia?’ 2022-2023 
Ayleen Castro   Nursing Honours  Exploring the experience of South Australian Aboriginal Patients following the confirmation of their kidney transplantation until their discharge: a qualitative study’ 2022-2023 
Veda Naidu Mitra   Nursing Honours  What is the experience of Aboriginal people with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) during the COVID-19 pandemic? 2022-2023 
Melissa Arnold Chamney   PhD  Cultural safety education in Australia  Ongoing  
Kelli Owen   Masters  Indigenous Governance in Kidney Health Research Ongoing  

Chief investigators

Kim O'Donnell

Kim O’Donnell   

University of Adelaide, Flinders University   

Kim is a Barkindji/Malyangapa woman from far Western NSW, and a Senior Researcher, Aboriginal Health Care Research, Adelaide Nursing School at the University of Adelaide. Kim is a Public Health researcher with extensive understanding and experience working with Australia’s First Peoples in education, health, and governance.  

University of Adelaide: Kim O'Donnell Flinders: Kim O'Donnell


Janet Kelly

Janet Kelly

University of Adelaide  

Associate Professor Janet Kelly is a nurse researcher and course coordinator focused on improving health care and outcomes for and with Aboriginal people. She works collaboratively with Aboriginal community members and health and research professionals in urban, rural and remote areas to improve health care experiences and outcomes.  

Janet Kelly


Kelli Owen

Kelli Owen  

University of Adelaide, SAHMRI, SA Health, NIKTT  

Kelli Owen is a Kaurna, Narungga & Ngarrindjeri woman, mother of five and Mutha (nanna) of two boys. She is the National Community Engagement Coordinator for the National Indigenous Kidney Transplantation Taskforce (NIKTT), a member of NIKTT Operations Committee, co-chairs the Community Engagement Working Group, Project officer with SA Health overseeing the Kanggawodli renal project with CNARTS (Central Northern Adelaide Renal & Transplantation Service) and is a chief investigator and reference group member of AKction with the University of Adelaide.  

Kelli Owen


Rhanee Lester

Rhanee Lester  

University of Adelaide, Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network  

Rhanee Lester-Tsetsakos is an Adnyamathanha woman with family and community ties to Port Augusta and the Northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia. She is a chief investigator and reference group member on the AKction Project due to her advocacy for and lived experience with kidney disease since 2004. She works at a local, state and national level in the space of Aboriginal kidney care, providing unique perspectives as a patient-consumer, peer navigator, and a First Nations researcher and a worker in the field.  

Rhanee Lester


Nari Sinclair

Nari Sinclair  

University of Adelaide  

Nari Sinclair is a Ngarrindjeri and Yorta Yorta woman, who co-founded the AKction 1 Reference Group. She has successfully lobbied politicians, attended parliament and conducted radio, television and newspaper interviews advocating for Aboriginal people living with chronic kidney disease. She has a strong history working with health professionals, renal services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and support services to identify needs and co-design responsive strategies, and currently acts as a chief investigator on the AKction 2 project, co-facilitates workshops and community consultations.  

Nari Sinclair


Sam Bateman

Samantha Bateman  

CNARTS  

Dr Samantha Bateman in a nephrologist and general physician, working for the Central and Northern Adelaide

Renal and Transplantation Service at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. As a PhD candidate, based at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, she is researching the benefits and burdens of kidney transplantation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the University of Adelaide. She hopes to improve access to and outcomes of kidney transplantation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as this is an area, identified by the community, to be of significant need.  


Josee’ Lavoie

Josée Lavoie

University of Manitoba, Canada   

Dr. Lavoie is a professor in community health sciences at the Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba. She is also director of Ongomiizwin Research Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing. Dr. Lavoie's program of research is located at the interface between policy and Indigenous health services, with a focus on contracting, accountability and responsiveness. She is particularly interested in how western and Indigenous knowledge systems interface in the provision of health services in Indigenous communities, and is actively engaged in collaborations in Australia and New Zealand, and in circumpolar health research.  

Josée Lavoie


Associate investigators

Name Area
Kylie Herman Nurse Unit Manager, Port Augusta Renal Unit
Lisa Jamieson Associate Professor, Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, University of Adelaide
Melissa Arnold Chamney Course Coordinator, Adelaide Nursing School, University of Adelaide
Odette Pearson Associate Professor, Aboriginal Health Equity Research and Strategy, SAHMRI
Richard Le Leu Clinical Research Coordinator, Clinical Research Group, CNARTS
Shilpa Jesudason Staff Specialist Nephrologist and Chair of the Clinical Research Group, CNARTS
Project Lead, ANZDATA
Stephen McDonald Director of Dialysis and a Senior Staff Nephrologist, CNARTS  
Executive Officer, ANZDATA  
Chair, NIKTT
Tamara Mackean Associate Professor, Flinders University, George Institute NSW

 

People we collaborate with

  • Aboriginal community members
  • Adelaide Nursing School, University of Adelaide
  • Central Northern Adelaide Renal & Transplantation Service (CNARTS)
  • SA Health
  • SAHMRI- Wardliparingga Health Equity
  • The Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium
  • Kidney health Australia
  • Purple House
  • The Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ)
  • The National Indigenous Kidney Transplantation Taskforce (NIKTT)
  • Port Augusta Renal Unit
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services
  • Pika Wiya Health Service, Port Augusta
  • Ceduna District Health Services
  • Ceduna Kooniba Aboriginal Health Services
  • Kanggawodli Hostel
  • Caring for Australasians and New Zealanders with Kidney Impairment (CARI)
  • Community Outreach Dental Program (CODP)
  • Lowitja Institute