Uncle David ‘Tarnda’ Copley

Uncle David is an Aboriginal man of Kaurna and Peramangk descent and is a recognised Elder of the Kaurna / Peramangk Nations. He works as the Indigenous Academic Advisor at La Trobe University’s Rural Health School as well as an Indigenous Consultant of Social & Emotional Wellbeing, Cultural Competency in Clinical Practice and Indigenous Tobacco Treatment. He is Chairperson of the Reconciliation Plan Committee of the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (SA), Chairperson of the Indigenous Reference Group, Menzies School of Health Research (CDU), Member of the Council of Aboriginal Elders of South Australia, and Chairperson of the CATSINaM Elder’s Advisory Council.
David was the first Aboriginal person to obtain a Diploma of Applied Science (Developmental Disabilities) (FU), the third Aboriginal man in South Australia to graduate with a Bachelor of Nursing (FU) and is the only male Aboriginal Registered Nurse in South Australia with postgraduate qualifications in Mental Health Nursing (FU). David is the only Aboriginal person in South Australia to hold all three qualifications.
David’s key areas of practice & research are around Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Cancer Awareness Programs, Mental Health, Substance Misuse (including smoking cessation) and the Social Determinants that impact on these health areas. David was Co-Chair of the Flinders Closing the Gap Program (Chronic Condition Management Advisory Group), Member of the No Smokes Advisory Board (MSHR), Advisory Board Member of Australia’s First Centre of Research Excellence in Cancer & Indigenous People (MSHR), developer of Quitskills, a nationally recognised smoking cessation training program, and an Expert Panel Member for the Project “Investigating the Symptoms of Lung Cancer: a guide for GP’s” (Cancer Australia). David is also a survivor of stage 3 colon cancer.

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