Karen is a Yorta Yorta woman who was born and raised in Melbourne. Karen is a strong advocate for developing culturally appropriate solutions to the issues confronting Aboriginal people that empower individuals and communities so that they can confidently and effectively move forward.
Consultant, Facilitator, Trainer
Community Service and Engagement, Cultural Diversity, Education, Environment and Sustainability, Families, Governance, Health and Medical, Indigenous Affairs, Leadership, M.C. and Facilitator, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Mentoring, Public Service, Government, Public Policy, Social Justice and Human Rights, Voluntary Work
Karen owns and operates Karen Milward Consultancy Services (since 2004) and has extensive consulting experience in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and undertaking complex projects commissioned by Government Departments and their agencies with responsibility for policy and program development and service delivery impacting on Aboriginal communities.
Karen has extensive networks across Australia within all levels of government and with Indigenous communities and organisations on a broad range of initiatives across Australia – especially those targeting Indigenous communities. Karen has held senior policy and program management positions in Government and has been involved in Aboriginal Affairs all her life and consulting in Aboriginal affairs for 20 years.
Karen’s skills include: evaluation and reviews, stakeholder consultation, survey design, qualitative and quantitative research and analysis, audit tool development and implementation, Aboriginal community infrastructure and feasibility study/business case projects, workshop facilitation, establishing Aboriginal organisations and service models, training development and delivery, employment and career development programs, mentoring of Aboriginal people, governance training and Aboriginal organisation board and staff development, strategic, community and business planning, leadership assessment and development, hosting and MC for conferences, and report-writing.
Community consultations are integral to both developmental and evaluative projects Karen is involved in and are underpinned by her belief that they are critical to ensuring Aboriginal communities can constructively contribute to whole of government and community approaches to strategic, policy and program development and improvements in culturally competent service responses. Karen has developed and delivered over 4,500 Aboriginal Cultural Respect and Training Programs for government departments and their agencies and the public and private sector across Australia. Karen has worked with 35 Aboriginal communities and their organisations in Victoria and with over 100 Aboriginal communities and their organisations nationally across all issues relevant to Indigenous communities in Australia.
Karen is the Chairperson of Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place and Kinaway Chamber of Commerce Victoria Ltd, Co-Chair of ICV and is a Deputy Chair of Ganbina Ltd and a Director on the board of Yarra Valley Water.
Karen was the Co-Chair of the former Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board, a Fellow with Leadership Victoria and with the Alumni for the Melbourne Business School MURRA Aboriginal Business Master Class program.