I have always had an interest and empathy for the plight of Indigenous Australians, further enhancing my knowledge while serving in the position of Minister for Indigenous Affairs in the Western Australian Parliament. As a General Practitioner in various practices from 1980, I was also involved in Aboriginal heritage medicine and established a consultancy group which provided Aboriginal heritage management services to Government and the private sector.
I am a Nyoongar man from Wagyl Kaip, the South West region of Western Australia. I am the Principal of Extent Legal a boutique legal practice based in Perth, advising on energy, resources and regulatory matters. My experience in indigenous affairs and engagement has given me a comprehensive understanding of native title and Aboriginal heritage matters.
After graduating from Teachers College, I taught for three years at Lake Grace and later at Wangkatjungka Remote Community School, south of Fitzroy Crossing. Thus began a life-long love of the Kimberley region. The successful achievement by Indigenous students that I have witnessed throughout my 35 year teaching career, has invariably occurred due to strong support from family, teachers and mentors.
I am a Chartered Accountant with a diverse background in commerce, public practice and the not for profit sector. As an experienced Non-executive Director, I currently sit on the Board of Stellar Housing Limited and Wintawari Guruma Aboriginal Corporation. I am also the Company Secretary for an ASX listed coal mining company.
I started my career as a professional footballer and then went on to study law. As a lawyer I took on the role of Executive Director of the Yamatji Land and Sea Council native title body and later became Chairperson of the Western Australian Aboriginal Lands Trust. I am now a full time business executive who works for and advisers Aboriginal groups and mining companies.
I am a strong supporter of ‘Closing the Gap’ initiatives, and am focused on achieving positive results in this area. I worked briefly as a manager with Telstra before becoming the Indigenous Engagement Manager at Brierty Limited. I helped developed trusting relationships with indigenous communities in WA and the NT and formed partnerships with like-minded organisations seeking to assist indigenous people back into the workforce.
Council (KLC), Chair of Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation,Chair of the Expert Indigenous Working Group for the COAG Investigation into Indigenous Land Administration and Use, and the CEO of KRED Enterprises, an Aboriginal charitable foundation.
In his role as CEO of KRED Enterprises, Bergmann is driving social change in the Kimberley by creating employment and training opportunities that affirm Aboriginal cultural and social values. KRED is currently spearheading the Kimberley Agriculture and Pastoral Company, a project that could have implications for business development across northern Australia. His vision is for long-term economic independence for Aboriginal people.
In his role as CEO of the KLC, one of the largest organisations dealing with Aboriginal land rights and resource issues in Australia, was the lead negotiator and strategist in the Kimberley LNG negotiations which lead to the James Price Point $1.5 billion benefits package. Bergmann was also responsible for implementing land and sea management activities across the region, including the Kimberley Ranger Network, which employs over 80 full-time rangers.
Bergmann has been advocating for Indigenous rights and self-determination in the Kimberley for more than 24 years.