The Council of Aboriginal Services WA (CASWA) is thrilled to announce the appointment of James Christian PSM MPA as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). James brings over three decades of exceptional leadership experience in both the Aboriginal community-controlled sector and Government, making him an invaluable addition to the organisation.

James Christian is a proud First Nations Australian from the Wiradjuri community in Central Western New South Wales, who has made Perth his home, along with his family. His deep connection to his heritage and his unwavering commitment to advancing the rights and well-being of Aboriginal communities across Australia have been at the forefront of his distinguished career.

James’s remarkable contributions to the Aboriginal community-controlled sector are exemplified by his pivotal role in the negotiations leading to the development of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap. As a key member of the leadership group of the National Coalition of Aboriginal Peaks, he played an instrumental role in shaping policies addressing Indigenous Australians’ disparities. Furthermore, in response to the devastating destruction of Juukan Gorge by Rio Tinto, James was a driving force behind the establishment of the First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance, advocating passionately for preserving and protecting Indigenous cultural heritage.

James Christian’s extensive qualifications and notable achievements also include the awarding of the Public Service Medal in 2011. This prestigious accolade recognised his exceptional efforts in creating economic development opportunities and employment for Aboriginal people throughout New South Wales. Moreover, his advocacy was instrumental in securing recognition of Aboriginal people as the First Peoples in the constitution of New South Wales, a momentous achievement in the ongoing journey toward reconciliation.

One of James’s core strengths lies in his ability to foster successful Aboriginal community engagement and establish partnerships that empower Aboriginal people, ensuring their genuine involvement in decision-making processes. He has an impressive track record of leading Government and non-Government delegations to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, where he championed the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Rights of Persons with Disability.

In welcoming James Christian as the new CEO for the Council of Aboriginal Services WA (CASWA), we are embarking on an exciting chapter of leadership and advocacy for Aboriginal communities in Western Australia and beyond. James Christian’s appointment represents a significant milestone in CASWA’s journey towards achieving its mission of empowering and uplifting Aboriginal people. With his unparalleled wealth of experience, unwavering commitment to Indigenous rights, and remarkable achievements in the Aboriginal community-controlled sector and government, we are confident that James will lead CASWA to new heights of success. His dedication to preserving Indigenous cultural heritage, advancing economic opportunities, and fostering genuine community engagement is truly inspiring. We are excited to see James Christian spearhead CASWA’s efforts to create positive change and improve the wellbeing of Aboriginal communities across Western Australia.

James commences in his role on 9 October 2023 and can be contacted via email at

For inquiries and further information, please contact Klaudia Shenton, Policy and Strategy Manager,