Board of Directors

QSNTS’s governance and operations are overseen by an independent Board of Directors. The members of the company set the authority, responsibilities and membership the Board. The Board has adopted and is guided by principles of good corporate governance and practice that accord with applicable laws. The Board’s role is to set the strategic direction for QSNTS and its operations, oversee its efficient functioning and to ensure compliance with QSNT'S legal and contractual obligations.

Colleen Wall (Chairperson) - Colleen is the daughter of Herb and Alfa Geiszler (nee Beezley), granddaughter of Bert and Mary Beezley (nee Minniecon), and a Senior Dauwa Kabi Woman from the Mary tributaries. Colleen is knowledgeable in Aboriginal Land Law and cultural balance in healing through Ancestors, recognizing the important responsibility that Grandmothers hold in maintaining this practice. She recognizes that importance of acknowledging Mother Earth and respective Murang (Totems) as significant beings in maintaining balance in spiritual, physical and mental health, as well as the value of teaching children’s Lore Stories in developing healthy cultural growth in our youth. Colleen is currently a Member of Family Law Council Australia and has presented an Aboriginal Child Rearing Practice paper to them.  She works to deliver cultural programs to companies like Black History Month for Brisbane City Council and Clancestry Festival for Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Currently, Colleen is working on a Project documenting Aboriginal Grandmother’s Law for use in areas such as Child Protection and Family Law as well as developing an A&TSI Engagement Policy for Brisbane Power House.

Bradley Saunders (Deputy Chairperson) - A Regional Director of the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs (DATSIMA), Bradley boasts significant experience leading complex organisations to implement and manage successful programs addressing human rights for Indigenous peoples in the areas of employment, education and training, child safety and housing in remote and rural Queensland. Bradley is a Gunggari (goon-gar-ee) Aboriginal traditional owner from the Maranoa River region of Western Queensland who brings personal knowledge about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customs and protocols, along with extensive experience negotiating with and for Aboriginal groups and leading Aboriginal organisations.

Michael Cawthorn (Director) - Michael is from Melbourne and has lived in Alice Springs for the past twelve years. His professional experience includes working in museums and with Aboriginal Land Councils, specialising in native title research, cultural heritage management and protection under various heritage legislation regimes, negotiation and land access agreement making and advice in relation to repatriation programs. Having served previously as Deputy Director of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and the Strehlow Research Centre, as well as Vice President of Museums Australia (Northern Territory), Michael now works as an independent consultant anthropologist.

Bernie Yates (Director) - Born and raised in Broken Hill, Western New South Wales, Bernie is a father of four and grandfather of five who now hails from Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. He currently works part-time as a volunteer and a consultant, with a focus on improving the capacity of both Indigenous organisations and government agencies to strengthen their working relationships and ability to achieve positive outcomes. Prior to retiring from the Australian Public Service, Bernie worked in policy and service delivery areas for various Federal Government agencies, including Treasury and Employment and Industrial Relations. Bernie moved into Indigenous affairs in the early 2000s, first with ATSIC and the then the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). Before retiring, Bernie was involved in developing the Council of Australian Governments' Closing the Gap Strategy and represented the Australian Government at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Affairs. He is also an independent director of an Aboriginal Medical Service in the Top End.

Pele Bennet (Director) - Pele is a descendent of the Waggadaggam People from St Paul’s Village on Moa Island in the Torres Straits - Totemic association: Kadal (Saltwater Crocodile) & Baidham (Tiger Shark). Mother of four, Born and raised in Brisbane and is a proud member of the region’s Indigenous community, Pele currently works as A/Manager in the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services with an extensive career in the Health Sector. Pele commenced her career as a trainee health worker and built her career in the areas of Preventative health. Pele continued to work within government and the non-government sector for over 18 years. Previously employed at Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council as General Manager in Capacity and Development and Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service. Pele holds qualifications in a number of fields, including a Bachelor of Health Science – Aboriginal Community Development from the University of Sydney, and certificates as a trainer/educator and mentor. Pele joined the QSNTS Board in 2015.

Selwyn Button (Director) - Selwyn is a Gunggari man raised in Cherbourg, South West Queensland. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Director-General, Indigenous Education – State Schools in August 2014, Selwyn held the position of CEO to the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) and was the Chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Community Health Service Brisbane Limited. A former teacher and police officer with the Queensland Police Service for approximately six years, Selwyn has also served as Director, Indigenous Health Policy Branch with Queensland Health and worked within the Department of Education and Training. Selwyn is also a Director of The Lowitja Institute, Oxfam Australia and has served on a variety of councils and committees, including the Queensland Indigenous Education Consultative Committee, Queensland Council of Social Services and the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Human Services Coalition. Selwyn joined the QSNTS Board of Directors on 10 July 2015.