Board of directors
Pele
Chair
Pele Ware
Chair
About
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
Deputy Chair
Craig North
Deputy Chair
About
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.
Julie
Director
Julie Finlayson
Director
About
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
Director
Margaret Stephenson
Director
About
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
Director
Glenn Ferguson
Director
About
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'.
Bradley
Director
Bradley Saunders
Director
About
A proud Gunggari (goon-gar-ee) Aboriginal Traditional Owner from the Maranoa River region of Western Queensland who brings personal knowledge about Aboriginal customs and protocols, along with extensive experience negotiating with and for Aboriginal groups and leading Aboriginal organisations. He is a leader in the Gunggari Aboriginal community and was a member of the Gunggari native title claimant group for over six years as they successfully prosecuted their three native title claims. Bradley is currently the Chairperson of the Gunggari Aboriginal Property Association and Gunggari Aboriginal Land Trust. He has written a number of essays on Aboriginal cultural ways. Bradley’s last two essays were “Aboriginal culture – can it be practically defined?” and “Native title – Is recognition enough?”. Bradley is currently working on a number of children’s books to teach the Gunggari language. Bradley has recently retired from the Queensland Public Service where he served as a senior officer for 20 years gaining significant experience leading complex organisations that initiated and led programs addressing human rights for Indigenous peoples in the areas of employment, education and training, child safety and housing in remote and rural Queensland. Before retiring, Bradley was the Regional Director for South West Queensland Region, Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships; a position he held for the past 18 years.
Executive Team
Kevin
Chief Executive Officer
Kevin Smith
Chief Executive Officer
About
Kevin holds traditional connections to Ugar (Stephen Island) and Erub (Darnley Island) in the Torres Strait, and has over 28 years of professional experience in Indigenous affairs. He has held senior positions with the National Secretariat of Torres Strait Islander Organisations, the Brisbane Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, the National Native Title Tribunal, Aboriginal Hostels Limited and the National Native Title Council. Kevin has filled the role of Chief Executive Officer of QSNTS since 2008. He holds qualifications in both law and business management from the University of Queensland, and was admitted as a solicitor in 1994.
Tim
Principal Legal Officer
Tim Wishart
Principal Legal Officer
About
Tim joined QSNTS in August 2010 as a senior legal officer and has filled the role of Principal Legal Officer of QSNTS since 1 September 2011. He was admitted to practice in 1991. While his pre-QSNTS work was primarily in litigation and commercial law, Tim has been recognised as a leading native title practitioner by Doyle’s Guide, and is a nationally accredited mediator. Tim regularly presents papers on native title topics at specialist forums.
Paul
Chief Financial Officer
Paul Davies
Chief Financial Officer
About
Paul was admitted as a Certified Practicing Accountant in 2003 after completing his studies at Queensland University of Technology. Paul has acquired a range of experience in the public and not-for-profit sectors, both in Australia and overseas. With over 13 years’ experience in native title, working for both representative bodies and service providers in Queensland, Paul has the skills required to assist Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs) to develop their corporate structures.
Michelle
Chief Capability Officer
Michelle McCann
Chief Capability Officer
About
Michelle has over 16 years' experience delivering holistic, integrated business solutions by aligning Systems, Processes, and People aimed at building capability and organisational efficiencies. Joining QSNTS in 2010, Michelle has held various roles designed at supporting the achievement of QSNTS strategic objectives. Successfully completing Chartered Secretaries Australia's (CSA) Certificate for Not-for-Profits, Michelle has over 10 years' experience as QSNTS Company Secretary with strong understanding of best practice governance. Michelle's currently undertaking a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Business Administration and Management & Leadership at University of Southern Queensland.