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Jim Maher has lived and worked in Mount Gambier for over thirty years. In that time he was worked as an IT Manager, a lecturer at TAFE and a lecturer and tutor at Uni SA’s Mount Gambier campus. In 2006, Jim was elected to the Mount Gambier City Council, which he served for two terms until 2014.

Jim utilised his position with the Mount Gambier City Council to advocate and promote equality, reconciliation and recognition within the region on a public level. He was instrumental in the development of many reconciliation activities including making a formal acknowledgment of the Boandik peoples as Traditional Owners a part of the Council’s protocol and the permanent display  of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags in the Council Chamber. Jim was also played a pivotal role in initiating research programs to explore and document Aboriginal heritage in the region, facilitated a visit by Commissioner Mick Gooda to promote reconciliation and recognition and set up and acted as Co-Chair for the Vision for Hope Reconciliation Forum.

To the Board, Jim brings along-standing commitment to reconciliation, a unique perspective of how to tailor programs to regional communities and a voice for the South East.

Jim is married to Vivianne Maher,an Elder of the Mount Gambier Aboriginal Community whose career as a social worker has long-lasting positive effects on the local community. Together, they have three sons Kyam, Cameron and Gibran who have all succeeded in their chosen fields,and carry with them an understanding of the issues of disadvantage of First Nations peoples.

Jim is passionate in his belief that sustainable reconciliation must be built on a shared understanding of history and heritage,and that this can only be achieved by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people working together. As former Commissioner Gooda promoted, reconciliation works at many levels and requires respect and relationships, not just symbols. Real and lasting reconciliation will grow from grass roots community effort.