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Lilly Brown announced as new CEO of Magabala Books

Tue, Sep 19, 2023

Following an extensive nation-wide recruitment process, Magabala Books is delighted to announce the appointment of Lilly Brown as CEO of Magabala Books.


An interdisciplinary educator and researcher, with broad leadership experience across a range of sectors, the appointment of Lilly Brown signals a bright future for Magabala Books.

“On behalf of the staff and Board of Magabala, I am extremely delighted to welcome Lilly Brown as the new CEO of Magabala Books.  Lilly brings a wealth of experience and knowledge and capacity to Magabala which will augur well for the next chapter of our journey as Australia's leading First Nations publishing house. This is an exciting time for Magabala”, said Tony Lee, Chairperson of Magabala Books.

Dr Lilly Brown joins Magabala Books having spent over a decade advocating for the self-determination of First Nations people, including supporting organisations, particularly in education, to develop practices of cultural safety and racial literacy, and to establish mechanisms of meaningful and sustainable governance that centre the critical knowledge and diverse lived experience of First Nations people. She has a PhD in education and youth research from the University of Melbourne and a Masters in politics and education from the University of Cambridge.

Lilly has put these qualifications to practice in her work including as an Education Specialist with the Aurora Education Foundation and most recently as Executive Director with headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation. She continues her work with Aurora as a Board Director and is the Chair of Jalygurr Guwan, an early years Aboriginal education centre here in Rubibi (Broome). The most profound learning ground for Lilly has been her work with First Nations young people and Elders. Lilly is a proud Gumbaynggirr woman and lives in Rubibi (Broome) on the unceded lands of the Yawuru people which is also the traditional Country of her partner and children.

“It is with humility and excitement that I take up the role of CEO of Magabala Books. The arts and culture sector are set to experience a renaissance with creativity again being recognised as part of the fabric of who we are as a nation. As a self-determined, First Nations governed and led publisher, Magabala has a lot to share after decades of advocating for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander story-tellers and creatives. Within this context, I look forward to working alongside the Board, staff, and Publisher, Nimunburr and Yawuru woman Rachel Bin Salleh, to carry forward the organisation's core values in the next stage of Magabala's journey”, said Lilly Brown.

Lilly will commence as CEO in January 2024.

In the interim, our General Manager Kate Rendell will continue to support the leadership transition as Acting CEO. Kate has been managing our business development, philanthropic programs, strategic partnerships and special projects at Magabala Books for 5 years.

We look forward to welcoming Lilly Brown to our team, and are proud our future is in such strong hands.