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 working within Arts and Cultural organisations such as the Queensland Performing Arts Center to develop their First Nation Cultural Council along with an Engagement Strategy to assist in engaging with and further development of a First Nation's performing arts industry.  This includes the protection of the Rights of Indigneous Peoples intellectual property as well as their ability to develop new work based on Truth Telling. Colleen continues to work with the Clancestry Festival for Queensland Performing Arts Centre as well as developing programs based on Aboriginal Grandmother's Law for delivery within the Child Protection area for children in and out of home care to ensure they keep connected to their cutlural knowledge while away from their families and country.  

Bernie Yates (Deputy Chairperson) - 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.

Julie Finlayson (Director) - Dr Julie Finlayson is a social anthropologist by training with a varied career history in anthropology. She is currently Research Fellow managing the Centre for Native Title Anthropology (CNTA) at the ANU. She is a member of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies’ (NCIS) Panel of Research Experts at the ANU. Her original doctoral research concerned welfare-dependent Aboriginal households near Kuranda in north Queensland, which has informed much of her research and interest in rural and remote Indigenous communities. She was a lecturer at La Trobe University, and then a researcher at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at the ANU. She was also an independent consultant, including in native title, before working in various Federal bureaucracies on matters relating to Indigenous affairs. More recently, before taking up her position at CNTA, Julie worked for an Aboriginal-owned organisation in central-western NSW on an innovative housing project in Bourke, and managed an Aboriginal-controlled radio station in Wilcannia for a year, bringing to it a focus on community development and inclusiveness.

Margaret Stephenson (Director) -  Margaret Stephenson held the position of Associate Professor at Law at the TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland being a member of Faculty 1983-2017. Currently, Margaret is Visiting Associate-Professor, Sustainable Minerals Institute, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, University of Queensland. Prior to commencing an academic career Margaret practised as a solicitor in Property Law in Brisbane. During her academic career, Margaret championed the development of courses in Property Law, Native Title Law and International and Comparative Indigenous Rights. In 2010 she received a national Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in the Australian Awards for University Teaching and in 2009 she was awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Internationalisation Award for leadership in internationalising the curriculum. Margaret has published extensively in Property Law, Native Title Law and Comparative Indigenous Rights and speaks frequently at international and national conferences on these topics. Her first book, Mabo: A Judicial Revolution remains a seminal work on the Mabo decision. She has also compiled and edited Mabo: The Native Title Legislation and Australia: Republic or Monarchy, and is co-author of Land Law. In addition to serving on numerous University Committees, Margaret was the UQ co-ordinator of the Aurora Project (Native Title Representative Bodies Australian Student Internships). 

Glenn Ferguson (Director) is Managing Director of FC Lawyers. He is a Solicitor of the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of Queensland. He is a Past President of        LAWASIA, the Law Council of Australia and the Queensland Law Society. He an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of the Sunshine Coast and sought after advisor in governance, risk and compliance with a particular interest in cyber security and risk. He is a Founding  Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fellow of the College of Law and a Fellow of the Australia and New Zealand College of Notaries. Glenn has also held or continues to hold a number of board positions, including as the Chair, in both the public and private sector in aviation, charity, education, information technology, insurance, security, superannuation and workers compensation. He has been appointed by both Federal and State Governments to various advisory boards and task forces in the business, legal and migration sectors. The Queensland Premier selected him in 2004 to Chair Smart Exports Queensland. In 2010 he was appointed by the Prime Minister to the Expert Panel to consider the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the Constitution. The report was delivered in January 2012 and he continues the push for constitutional recognition. He has for over ten years chaired the Law Council of Australia’s indigenous legal issues committee. In the 2015 Australia Day Honours, Glenn was made a Member of the Order of Australia “For significant service to the law and to the legal profession, both nationally and in the Asia-Pacific region, and to the community”.

Wayne Denning (Director) holds a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology, Psychology, Political Geography) Central Queensland University and a Master of Business Administration (Corporate Governance, Strategy, Entrepreneurship) Queensland University of Technology. In 2006 Wayne Denning, Managing Director and proud Birri Gubba man left a successful career in Federal Government to form Carbon Creative, a full service creative agency with a difference. Determined to give a positive voice to Indigenous Australians, Wayne set about creating innovative engaging design, content and strategy for children’s television and within the corporate arena and hasn’t looked back. Over a decade on, Carbon Creative has evolved. Today and every day Carbon helps shape and share stories and ideas, not only for our First Australians but for a diverse audience from the mainstream to the marginalised. Carbon takes great pride in our authentic, creative and strategic approach to whatever the challenge. Beyond the creative agency, Wayne (and his team) ethos remains anchored in social change, steering him to seek out the ordinary in the extraordinary, attempting and being brave enough to tip things on their head. From this position, Wayne made a commitment to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, like their forebearers are inspired and motivated to be part of and explore continued learning and innovation. Wayne embraces his role as the Deputy Chair of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, and as a board member of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME). He has also recently been a member of the Queensland Theatre Board, a Digital Ambassador for the Queensland Government and a member of the Queensland Governments Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Group.