CEO, Aboriginal Broadcasting Australia

Dr Donna Odegaard, is an Indigenous leader, Larrakia Elder of Darwin, Northern Territory, and a businesswoman for over 40 years. Founder, owner and Chairperson of Aboriginal Broadcasting Australia, Aboriginal TV Ch4 Australia's only 100 percent Aboriginal content television channel and numerous television and radio stations, broadcasting to 2400 Indigenous communities across Australia in numerous Indigenous languages. Dr Odegaard has 30 years’ experience in areas of Indigenous heritage, education, health, native title, land rights, community development, and business.

In 2017 Dr Odegaard was appointed as a senior Indigenous leader on the Ministerial Indigenous Reference Group for Developing Northern Australia, Prime Minister and Cabinet. Also has a numbers of board positions including the Indigenous Land Corporation which manages the Indigenous Estate on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for social and economic benefits.

Achievements include:

  • Order of Australia 2016 for significant service to Indigenous cultural heritage in roles relating to broadcast media and Reconciliation. 
  • Nominated Telstra Business Women’s Awards NT 2017
  • Naming and Commissioning Lady HMAS Larrakia 2005/6
  • Indigenous Alumni Award, 2012 University of Newcastle NSW
  • Masters degree on the topic of The Larrakia, Kenbi Land Claim Aboriginal land claims in Australia: justice in black and white
  • PhD on the topic of Treaty
  • Nominee Australian of the Year 2015 

In early 2018 Dr Odegaard was selected as part of the Indigenous Business and Trade Delegation by the Australian Government Prime Minister and Cabinet and Australian High Commission in NZ.  She later returned to New Zealand during NAIDOC Week 2018 to continue collaborations with Maori Business and Community leaders on Trans-Tasman Indigenous business, trade and economic development and the Indigenous Women’s Business Network.