Ivan was born in Sydney and was raised at La Perouse. He is one of 12 children of whom 4 are deceased, along with his mother and father. His mother and her people belong to the Yuin Nation located on the Far South Coast of NSW and she was born at Milton and was raised at Tilba Tilba and Wallaga Lake. His father belongs to the Worimi people on the Mid North Coast of NSW and he was born and raised on the Aboriginal Village at Foster.
Ivan was educated at La Perouse Public School and Matraville High School having achieved the Intermediate Certificate in Third Form, as it was known then. Ivan worked in the NSW and Australian Public Service from 1980 to mid-2013 where he decided to take a significant and important new employment direction desiring to work specifically with Aboriginal communities and community organisations.
Ivan has been specifically involved and provided leadership at all levels with policy development, program planning and implementation and capacity building within government and community. He is involved with many organisations and initiatives, particularly with the Kirinari Student Hostels as the President of the Aboriginal Children’s Advancement Society (ACAS). His involvement with ACAS commenced around 1990 and has continued since then.
Ivan is committed to improving the living circumstances and general well-being of his people.