Deba has been with Hoops 4 Health since 2002. Ironically, he was a program participant and
now is a full-time coach of Hoops 4 Health. Hailing from Erub Island in the Torres Straits,
Deba brings a wealth of coaching experience and has delivered many programs in remote
Northern Australia. Known as the Dunk Machine, Deba is a former National Basketball
League Player and cites his time in and experiences in remote communities as his personal favourite as getting to far-reaching places and communities and giving back aligns with his personal values.
Hailing from Bamaga in Far North Queensland and The Torres Straits, and the first
Indigenous Australian to play in the National Basketball Association, Nathan stands 6ft 11
and a pound of muscle at 130 kgs. His presence brings excitement and curiosity from
participants. This is truly evident in him leading our Hoops 4 Wealth Program in two
correctional facilities in the Northern Territory. Nathan also brings a wealth of life
experience to H4H Programs. Nate is also a member of the National Basketball League's Reconciliation Action Group.
Matthew “Jangala” Bonson is a Gurindji, Jawoyn and Torres Strait Islander Man born on Larrakia Country. Mr Bonson is a former local solicitor in the NT. Matthew leads our client rehabilitation programs both from a policy perspective and through grass roots trauma and culturally informed program delivery. A former Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Northern Territory, where he was the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Senior and Young Territorians. Matthew also possesses a Graduate Diploma in Health Promotion.
Jamie-Lee leads our female engagement in the juvenile detention facilities and runs Darwin community programs and a coach in the new facility. A vibrant Pitjantjatjara and Kija woman who was raised on Larrakia Country, she brings her experience from working with young Indigenous females in the local high schools in the Northern Territory.
Melissa is a Kukatj, Kokobera and Western Kuku Yalanji Woman. She leads our administration and community engagement services. Alongside her
engagement skills Melissa has extensive experience working with inmates of the Darwin
Correctional Facility and has delivered many community programs engaging Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander communities in the Top End.
A Kaurna/ Narungga Man with connections to the Daly River Region in the NT, Nathan
is a qualified teacher and has contributed immensely to the Hoops 4 Health model since 2019. Nathan currently delivers our remote youth programs that also includes holiday programs. He also represents Hoops 4 Health on the Australian Sports Commission’s Intersectionality Working Group advocating with and for vulnerable peoples.
Meet Our Mentors
Don and Bernie lead our Elders programs and provide sound advice to ensuring programs are conducting using our culturally safe and trauma informed approach. Don is a Nykinya Man with his years of cultural and working knowledge and lived experiences both our staff and participants are re- assured of participating in safe environments. Don also runs programs in the youth detention centre here in Darwin.
Bernie is a Larrakia man with years of experience working and living in the Northern Territory. He supports us on rural community trips and the relationship and trust we have for Bernie is a key priority and having him on board is a big part of our program and its success.
Patrick is our strength and conditioning advisor and has been involved with the Hoops 4 Health Organisation for over ten years. A sports scientist with a background in policy, program design and extensive experience as the manager of an Aboriginal Registered Training Organisation, Paddy is crucial to the set-up and constant designing of the Hoops 4
Health Model. Paddy is a proud South Sea Islander Man from an Aboriginal family in Darwin.