To celebrate 2019 being the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the Menzies Indigenous Capacity Building Unit (ICBU) was gifted the Larrakia name, Biyamarr ma, meaning Pandanus, by Larrakia Man Patj Patj, Janama, Robert Mills. To learn more about our Larrakia name, click here


Biyamarr ma visual representation

Artist Name: Mim (Meikim) Cole

Tribes: Larrakia (NT), Wardaman (NT), Karajarri (WA)

Category: Painting. Acrylic paint on canvas.

Size: 60.9cm x 60.9cm TITLE: Biyamarr ma

Story: This painting represents the beautiful pandanus plant also known as Biyamarr ma to the Larrakia people of Darwin Northern Territory Australia. The Biyamarr ma is an amazing plant that has helped our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes thrive for thousands of years due to its almost limitless uses such as food, medicine, craft objects and much more.

This plant provides us with a large supply of materials, it’s how they are put together and used that makes a world of difference. The creations of our tribal ancestors inspire us to get creative and innovative with what we have at hand in order to piece together solutions. Just like the innovative mindset of our ancestors the Biyamarr ma team strives to do the same. This is reflected in their unifying and solution-based principals focused on relationship building internally and externally, community engagement, the development and growth of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce and much more.

The cross hatching in the painting is a representation of the binding and woven union within the Biyamarr ma team that work together to create a strong foundation for the work that is carried out. Similar to the well-known dilly bags (woven from Biyamarr ma) that are used to carry many things. The dots within the Biyamarr ma nut represents the many seeds that are planted by the endless ideas from the team and all who engage with them which grow to flourish and feed back into the team and the community.

Our team

Dr Sean Taylor
Deputy Director Indigenous Leadership and Engagement (DDILE)

Professor Gail Garvey
Associate Deputy Director, Indigenous Leadership and Engagement (ADDILE) - Brisbane

Mark Mayo
Associate Deputy Director, Indigenous Leadership and Engagement (ADDILE) - Darwin

Vanessa Harris
Manager, Biyamarr ma

Lydia Agius
Project officer, Biyamarr ma

Diane Walker
Project officer, Biyamarr ma

Ashanti Berry
Business administration trainee, Biyamarr ma  

Contact us:

Contact Biyamarr ma via email or phone (08) 8946 8441.

Our Biyamarr ma team, through leadership and collaboration, work to sustain a culturally safe organisation, empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices and maximise opportunities for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Biyamarr ma responsibilities are underpinned by the following Menzies strategic documents:

  1. Menzies 2021
  2. Menzies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy in final stage of approval
  3. Menzies Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2020 - 2022

Responsibilities include:

  • Integrating people, systems, and platforms to maximise opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership across the organisation
  • Building and maintaining relationships, both internally and externally
  • Working in partnership with Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal community-controlled sector to advocate for research priorities
  • Strengthening our community engagement work using a community development approach
  • Playing a key role in developing, implementing, monitoring, reporting and evaluating of organisational strategies that relate to:
    • Growing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce through our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy
    • Menzies Innovate RAP 2020 - 2022
  • Ensure a safe environment where people can share and participate in the co-creation of knowledge.


Menzies aims to provide entry-level employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians located in Darwin, Northern Territory and Brisbane, Queensland.

The entry level program is a traineeship at the Certificate III level and linked to a relevant discipline to their placement.

The traineeship is undertaken through full-time employment at Menzies over 12 months. Menzies is committed to increasing the Indigenous health workforce, and values the contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples bring to the organisation, such as Indigenous knowledges, Indigenous ways of knowing and doing and a stronger representation of views.

Menzies' Biyamarr ma team currently co-ordinates and administers the Menzies traineeship program. Menzies supports the trainees through mentoring, nurturing and coaching, and a mapped career pathway for future employment. The trainees will receive additional support through the Biyamarr ma team.

The qualifications we offer include:  

We have grown the Indigenous trainee opportunities through dedicated funding, empowering our staff and implementing innovative strategies to professionally develop trainees during their time with Menzies. Our trainees journey with our organisation is not just about workplace skills and knowledges and the completion of their related studies – this journey offers them personal growth in a culturally safe space, empowers them to take on new challenges and consider their strengths to make positive life choices.

At the end of their traineeship with Menzies, participants will have a stronger sense of their own strengths, career goals and abilities within the workplace. Their job readiness is enhanced, and we are best preparing them for their journey once they complete their traineeship.

Menzies has designed and invested in an Indigenous traineeship professional development program which continues to grow and adapt. Through a professional development approach of the Four H’s – Head, Heart, Hands, Health, we have introduced a range of regular professional development activities for all our Indigenous trainees.

Head: is about sourcing knowledge and education
Heart: is about their own values and inner strength, integrity eg. Cultural identity and connection to family and community
Hands: is about new skills and being able to do new things
Health: is about the health of our body and how we can look after our body to be able to do all the above.