NATSIHA Welcomes Inaugural CEO and COO. Acknowledges Uncle Ivan Simon outgoing Interim CEO

17/08/2023 and Uncle Tom Slockee, Chair, NATSIHA Email:

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Association (NATSIHA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Rob Macfarlane as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective from 24 August 2023. Rob is a proud Wiradjuri man raised in Western Sydney, with deep connections to Darlington Point in NSW. With an extensive background in executive leadership, Aboriginal Housing, Aboriginal Employment and Training and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and Land Management, Rob brings a wealth of experience to NATSIHA.

Rob Macfarlane’s distinguished background in executive leadership, coupled with his expertise in Aboriginal Housing, Employment and Training, and Cultural Heritage and Land Management, uniquely positions him to guide NATSIHA toward further achievements. Having held key positions within various commercial and state government organisations, including his most recent role as Chief Operations Officer for NATSIHA, Rob is primed to lead the organisation in its ongoing pursuit of equitable, culturally appropriate housing solutions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities nationwide.

Uncle Tom Slockee, Chair of the NATSIHA Board of Directors, expressed his confidence in Rob’s ability to drive positive change, stating, “With Rob at the helm, we are confident that we will continue to make strides towards achieving our vision and ensuring that community voice is present and heard in all local, state and national decision making and that equitable access to safe, affordable and culturally appropriate housing needs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the country are met.”

In this new role, Rob will lead strategic initiatives aimed at enhancing community engagement, advocating for policy changes, and fostering collaborations with government agencies, non-profit organisations, corporate and other stakeholders. We also take this opportunity to extend its gratitude to our Inaugural and former Chair and outgoing Interim CEO Uncle Ivan Simon, who played a pivotal role in both the establishment of NATSIHA and strengthening the association’s relationships with our jurisdictional partners, the private sector and Commonwealth and State/Territory governments. Uncle Ivan’s dedication to addressing the housing and homelessness crisis among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has left an indelible mark on the organisation’s journey. Uncle Ivan’s contributions, including his role in the establishment NSW Aboriginal Housing Office in 1998, will be remembered with deep appreciation.

Uncle Ivan will continue to be involved in NATSIHA into the future and has expressed his joy at this milestone stating, “The journey for NATSIHA has been a long one going back decades and gained momentum and traction in 2016, many Elders such as myself have fought for this platform and now its time to hand the baton to the next group of leaders.”

Moreover, NATSIHA is pleased to introduce Mr. Zachariah Matysek as its incoming Chief Operations Officer, commencing on 4 September 2023. A proud Meriam man hailing from the Torres Strait, Zachariah brings over a decade of senior leadership experience across various government sectors and the non-profit realm. His commitment to driving transformational change and delivering culturally appropriate programs and services aligns perfectly with NATSIHA’s mission.

As NATSIHA continues its journey to ensure safe, affordable, and culturally appropriate housing solutions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the collective dedication of the team and community-controlled stakeholders will remain a cornerstone of the organisation’s work.