Board of Directors

QSNTS’ 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 QSNTS' legal and contractual obligations.

Pele Bennet (Chair) - Pele is a descendant of St Paul’s Village on Moa Island in the Torres Straits. Mother of four, Pele was born and raised in Brisbane and is a proud member of the region’s Indigenous community. Currently employed as a Manager in the Department of Youth Justice with an extensive career in the Health Sector, Pele commenced her career as a trainee health worker and has worked in government and non-government sectors for over 20 years. Previously employed at Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council as Manager of Health Programs, and former Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service, Pele holds several qualifications, including a Bachelor of Health Science and certificates in leadership, training/education and coaching/mentoring. Pele has a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organisation management industry and is skilled in Coaching, Epidemiology, Prevention, Facilitation, and Health Promotion. Strong, professional and passionate, Pele is enthusiastic about a fair and just societal economic upscale for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Craig North (Deputy Chair) - A proud descendent of the Bidjara People, Craig has enjoyed an extensive senior executive career in both government and commercial sectors for the past 15 years, primarily in Indigenous Economic Development. Craig was the first Indigenous Chief Executive Officer of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation's commercial (ILSC) agribusiness. In this role, Craig led a significant restructure of the ILSC's commercial agribusiness portfolio and the execution of a new agribusiness diversification strategy. Whilst at the ILSC, Craig also held other senior executive positions, including Executive Director of Program Delivery where he was responsible for a national portfolio of investments to purchase and return Country to Indigenous groups across Australia. Responsibilities also included oversight for new investments and projects focussed on improving, developing and caring for Country to provide sustainable cultural, environmental, social and economic benefits for Indigenous Australians. A key highlight in Craig's career is the full development of the Indigenous award-winning tourism business, the Mossman Gorge Centre, in North Queensland. Craig is also the founder of Indigenous Impact Pty Ltd, a company established in 2020 to continue the work of creating and executing impact investment opportunities for Indigenous Australians, and he also holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Environmental Management) at Deakin University. Craig is also undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Business at the University of New England, and is also member of Australia Institute of Company Directors.

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.

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 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) - A Solicitor of the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of Queensland, Glenn is the Managing Director for FC Lawyers and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Glenn has served as President of LAWASIA, the Law Council of Australia and the Queensland Law Society, and is a 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. In 2004, the Queensland Premier selected Glenn to Chair Smart Exports Queensland. In 2010, he was appointed by the Prime Minister to the Expert Panel considering 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. Glenn has for over ten years chaired the Law Council of Australia’s indigenous legal issues committee, and 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) - Wayne holds a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology, Psychology, Political Geography) from Central Queensland University and a Master of Business Administration (Corporate Governance, Strategy, Entrepreneurship) from the Queensland University of Technology. In 2006, Wayne, a proud Birri Gubba man, left a successful career working on landmark government policies in native title and land rights with the Federal Government to form creative agency Carbon Creative. Through Carbon Creative, Wayne aimed to give Indigenous Australians a positive voice, and has done so for over a decade, providing creative communication services in both children's television and in the corporate arena. From his position as Managing Director, 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 Government's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Group.