Who are we?
We are people of Aboriginal heritage, family, business leaders and community advocates passionate about, and committed to equitable futures and limitless opportunities for all Australian children.
Jodie is a business woman, entrepreneur, community advocate and Company Director. As a small business owner / operator for over 20 years and General Manager of Cultural Choice Office and Work Supplies, Jodie is an astute business strategist and operations manager with a particular flair for networking and business relationships.
Jodie curently represents Fairhaven Services at a board level and strives to help provide a service that will assist the organisation and individuals reach their full potential.
Jodie is passionate about working with the community, in particular the Indigenous community. With husband Mark and two son’s Connor and Fletcher they have worked for many years on establishing the Cultural Choice Association.
Mark is a Gamilaroi man from Walgett in northern NSW. Mark worked for many years as an Aboriginal Education Worker in local high schools and a local school for disengaged young adults. Mark has worked for many years in small business and is the Managing Director of Cultural Choice Office and Work Supplies.
Through his own life experience Mark is a committed advocate for stronger futures for aboriginal children. Together with wife Jodie and sons Connor and Fletcher, Mark was a driving force in the establishment of the Cultural Choice Association.
Mark recently discovered a passion and talent for Aboriginal art. Mark was taught his craft by Aboriginal Elder and 2008 Naidoc Artist of the Year, the late uncle Les Elvin.
Proceeds from Mark’s art supports the Association and features across the Cultural Choice Office and Work supplies Indigenous product range.
Andrew has over 15 years experience in the not-for-profit sector, as Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Family Day Care Australia and previously across a number of operational, business development and executive roles with the YMCA of NSW.
Andrew has a Masters of Marketing and Communications and is experienced in association membership management, public relations, advocacy and communications. Andrew is passionate about not-for-profit branding and in bringing an organisation’s Vision to life through a mission centric approach to strategic planning and operational management.
With tertiary qualifications in education and extensive experience in early childhood education Andrew knows firsthand the significant developmental, social and economic impact of quality education and is a passionate advocate for equity and accessibility for all children.
Belynda is a proud Wiradjuri women and mum of two, who has resided on the Central Coast her whole life.
Belynda studied a Bachelor of Applied Science, Physiotherapy at Sydney University’s health science campus at Lidcombe and has worked as a Physiotherapist for 15 years in both the public and private sector.
Belynda has a passion for Indigenous health and wellbeing in particular Indigenous youth and looks forward to working alongside the Cultural Choice Association board to make a positive impact in our community.
Ken has been seen in various roles during a long career, firstly in the printing industry and more recently with Cultural Choice Workplace Supplies. In the past Ken has worked in senior roles with the public sector and prior to working with Cultural Choice ran and operated his own successful printing business. Whilst senior management roles were the source off income, Ken also liked to work and volunteer in many community areas, this has seen him honoured with Life Memberships to Gosford City Hockey Club and Gosford Musical Society, Ken also spent many years with the Volunteer Bush Fire brigade and Surf Life Saving at Ocean Beach NSW.
Working with Cultural Choice has opened up his knowledge of the Indigenous community and many of the issues they face in both business and everyday life, notably for a brief association with a young Indigenous lady who worked for a short period at Cultural Choice before passing away before her time. Ken is excited to work alongside the other Board Members and feels that the Association can play a small part in reducing the stigma around Indigenous youth suicide.
Connor is a proud Gamilaroi man from Walgett in northern NSW.
In his senior high school years Connor, through the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation was fortunate to receive an education scholarship that he and his parents could only have dreamed of. Immensely grateful, he often reflects on the significance of ‘opportunity’ on a young person’s perception of what might be possible in life and, of the immense value of education.
Connor is a professional Rugby League player. Currently playing for the Newcastle Knights. Connor made his NRL debut in 2016 for the Sydney Roosters before relocating to Newcastle in 2018.
Connor’s experience and connection to his culture have inspired his involvement with the Cultural Choice Association.
Connor enjoys mentoring young Indigenous youth and young adults and hopes to leverage his growing profile to raise awareness and support the dream of the Cultural Choice Association; to support the prevention of Aboriginal Youth Suicide and its related causes in Australia and, through education, employment and wellbeing initiatives to provide aboriginal children and young adults the opportunity to believe in a future without limitation.
Marlee Silva is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Gamilaroi and Dunghutti tribes of NSW. She started her career in the non-profit sector, using her passion for culture and giving back to her community to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students, focused on increasing high school retention rates and university admissions.
After attaining her Bachelor of Communications (Creative Writing) from the University of Technology Sydney, Marlee moved into a consulting role specialising in media and PR support for Aboriginal communities and non-Indigenous organisations looking to partner with them, at a Sydney based communications agency.
In recent years, Marlee has transitioned into a full-time freelancing role to focus on her expanding media career which regularly sees her feature on radio and television, as well as undertaking a range of presenting and public speaking roles at various events.
She is also the best-selling author of ‘My Tidda, My Sister: Stories of strength and resilience from Australia’s first women’ and the host of ‘Always was, always will be our stories’, a podcast dedicated to showcasing Indigenous role models, from all walks of life.
Marlee is determined to utilise her storytelling skills to inspire people and create change, and uses her platform to advocate for the causes she is most passionate about, which has previously seen her named as a finalist in the Australian Human Rights Commission ‘Young People’s Human Rights Medal’ in 2019.
Marlee is also a Director on the board of ID. Know Yourself, an Aboriginal founded charity which provides support to Indigenous children living in out of home care
Fletcher is a proud Gamilaroi man from Walgett in northern NSW.
Fletcher attended St Edwards College Gosford until he was awarded an Educational Boarding Scholarship at Knox Grammar through the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation for his senior years 10-12.
After high school, Fletcher attended Screenwise Acting School and studied for a further two years to pursue his dream in Acting. After graduating from Screenwise Fletcher was accepted into the well-respected Stella Adtler Acting School in Los Angeles to attend in 2020.
Unfortunately, due to COVID 19, Fletcher was unable to pursue his dream and travel to LA, and he began working with the family at Cultural Choice Office and Work supplies.
In his free time, Fletcher has volunteered with the Cultural Choice Association for the past three years, helping with the Boots for Brighter Futures Program. Fletcher runs the artworks shops working with many of the young participating Indigenous artists.
After being taught by his father Mark he has uncovered a passion and flair for Aboriginal art, he now creates artwork alongside Mark for Cultural Choice Office and Work supplies Indigenous product range.
Contributions from this product range and Fletchers Art goes back into the Cultural Choice Association to support its programmes.
Fletcher is always keen to learn more about his culture and recently studied the Gamilario language at TAFE NSW. He is also passionate about giving back to his community and this shows through his work continued work with the Cultural Choice Association and the Boots for Brighter Futures program.
Fletchers dream is to highlight Aboriginal Cultural through film and show all the positive stories that need to be told.