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Northern Australia advisory groups

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Two key advisory groups advise the government about northern Australia matters. Their advice helps shape the implementation of the northern Australia agenda

Northern Australia Indigenous Reference Group

Established in December 2017, the Indigenous Reference Group comprises senior Indigenous leaders from the three northern jurisdictions. The group ensures that the northern Australia agenda benefits local Indigenous land owners, communities and businesses.

The group supports and advises the Ministerial Forum on Northern Development and has met on:

  • 17 April 2018 in Kununurra, Western Australia
  • 10 December 2017 in Darwin, Northern Territory
  • 1 September 2017 in Darwin, Northern Territory

Members are selected for their high-level of expertise and experience across a range of industries, sectors and regions. They don’t represent specific organisations or communities.

Members

Mr Peter Yu

Mr Yu is a Yawuru Man from Broome.
State: Western Australia

Expertise:

  • Board member of North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance.
  • CEO of the Nyamba Buru Yawuru Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate.

Mr Lawford Benning

Mr Benning is from Kununurra.
State: Western Australia

Expertise:

  • Chair of MG Corporation which represents the interests of Miriuwung and Gajerrong native title holders.
  • CEO of the Gelganyem Trust for the traditional owners of the Argyle Participation Agreement.
  • Board member of Binarri-binyja Yarrawoo Aboriginal Corporation (Empowered Communities, East Kimberley).

Mr Joe Morrison

Mr Morrison was born and raised in Katherine and has Dagoman and Torres Strait Islander heritage.
State: Northern Territory

Expertise:

  • CEO of the Northern Land Council since 2014.
  • Founding CEO of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance.

Dr Donna Odegaard AM

Dr Odegaard is a Larrakia woman
State: Northern Territory

Expertise:

  • CEO of Aboriginal Broadcasting Australia, Australia’s largest 100 per cent Indigenous owned television, radio and production network.
  • In 2016, she was awarded an Order of Australia for her contribution to protecting and preserving Indigenous cultural heritage, reconciliation and Indigenous broadcasting and media.

Mr Nigel Browne

Mr Browne is a Larrakia and Wulna man.
State: Northern Australia

Expertise:

  • CEO of the Darwin-based Larrakia Development Corporation, where he has served as chair or board member for over a decade.
  • He has a Bachelor of Laws and his former roles include Crown Prosecutor in the NT’s Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, working on Aboriginal Lands for the Solicitor for the NT, and as a Policy Advisor in the NT Chief Minister’s Office. He has held board positions with the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, Law Society (NT) and Australia Day Council (NT), was National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year in 2011 and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr Colin Saltmere

Associate Professor Saltmere is an Indjalandji-Dhidhanu man
State: Queensland 

Expertise:

  • Associate Professor at the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre at the University of Queensland.
  • He is managing director of the Indjalandji-Dhidhanu Aboriginal Corporation, and the Myuma and Rainbow Gateway companies.

Ms Vonda Malone, Queensland

Ms Malone is Torres Strait Islander woman.
State: Queensland 

Expertise:

  • Councillor Malone created history in 2016 by becoming the first Indigenous female Mayor of the Torres Shire Council.
  • She was awarded the prestigious McKinnon Prize for Emerging Political Leader of the Year in 2018.
  • She was the first Torres Strait Islander woman to work internationally with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and with the UN Office of the Human Rights Commissioner in Geneva.
  • She established the first community controlled primary health care service in the Torres Strait and is now its chair.
  • Councillor Malone has a Graduate Certificate in Australian Rural Leadership and Public Sector Management.
  • She was a recipient of the 2001 Centenary Medal.

Ms Fiona Jose, Queensland

Ms Jose is a Kuku Yalanji and Torres Strait Islander woman.
State: Queensland 

Expertise:

  • Executive General Manager of Cape Operations, Cape York Partnership.
  • She is a leader of the Cape York Partnerships Empowered Communities initiative, a board member of Bama Services and chair of the Jawun Advisory Group.
  • She holds a range of directorships including Non-Executive Director of Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation, Djarragun College, and Cape York Girl Academy and is on the council of the National Museum of Australia.
  • Ms Jose won the 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Award, Queensland and the Australian Institute of Management named her Queensland Not-for-profit Manager of the Year in 2012.

Northern Australia Advisory Council  

The council advises the Minister on a range of northern Australia issues, including industry development, Indigenous employment, infrastructure and long-term planning.

The council provides a direct link between the Minister and key northern Australia sectors including Indigenous affairs, local government, small business and resources, tourism and agricultural industries.

The council has met on:

  • 17 April 2018 in Kununurra, Western Australia
  • 20 July 2017 in Townsville, Queensland

Members

Nicole Roocke

State: Western Australia

Expertise:

  • Deputy Chief Executive of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia, she has responsibility for all of the chamber’s policy portfolios including the regions of the Kimberley, north-west, mid-west and south-west.
  • She has been with the Chamber of Minerals and Energy for eleven years where she has been responsible for coordinating industry input on a variety of government regulatory and policy issues and facilitating communication within the minerals and resources sector.
  • She has a Masters of Science in Industrial and Organisational Psychology from the University of Western Australia and a Masters in Risk Management from the University of New South Wales.

Peter Long

State: Western Australia

Expertise:

  • Mayor of Karratha since 2014, where he has lived since 1985. In 2011, he served as a councillor and Deputy President of the Shire of Roebourne; became Shire President in 2013; and when the sire became a city was elected mayor.
  • Councillor Long has worked and travelled in Europe, Asia, South Africa and the USA.
  • A professional engineer and environmental scientist, he founded the Astron Group of Companies in Karratha in 1985 and was the company’s Managing Director.
  • He and his business partners grew the Astron group to a staffing of nearly 100 and a turnover of $14m per annum. Astron is still represented in Karratha and now has offices in Perth and Margaret River.
  • Councillor Long has worked extensively across the Pilbara and the islands of the north-west shelf on major projects such as the Harriet Oil and Gas Field Developments, the Goldfields Gas Transmission Pipeline, the Mount Newman Iron Ore Beneficiation Project, the Griffin Gas Project, the Gorgon, Wheatstone and Pluto LNG Projects, plus projects for Rio Tinto, BHP, Dampier Salt, Robe River Iron, Dampier Port Authority, Chevron, Western Mining and Woodside.

Nigel Browne

State: Northern Territory

Expertise:

  • CEO of the Darwin-based Larrakia Development Corporation, where he has served as chair or board member for over a decade.
  • He has a Bachelor of Laws and his former roles include Crown Prosecutor in the NT’s Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, working on Aboriginal Lands for the Solicitor for the NT, and as a Policy Advisor in the NT Chief Minister’s Office. He has held board positions with the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, Law Society (NT) and Australia Day Council (NT), was National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year in 2011 and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Colleen Costello

State: Northern Territory

Expertise:

  • A pastoralist from the Northern Territory, she and her husband own four properties, which cover approximately 27,000 square kilometres in the south-east of the Northern Territory.
  • In 2009, Mrs Costello and her husband took over Andado Station, the largest privately held station in Australia, after selling Mount Ebenezer Station. The Costellos also acquired New Crown and Lilla Creek Stations which together occupy an area of 22,000 square kilometres. Colleen lives on New Crown Station.
  • She has lived in the Northern Territory her whole life and is passionate about ensuring a sustainable pastoral industry that can be passed onto future generations. She is strongly engaged in her local community and has a strong interest in ensuring services and conditions are the best they can be for northern communities.
  • She was a member of the Northern Territory Pastoral Land Board for nine years (2009–2017) and is on the Centralian Land Management Association which is the pastoral industry’s Landcare group in central Australia.
  • She was a Regional Winner (Alice Springs, Northern Territory) of the ABC Rural Woman of the Year Award in 1996.

Jane McNamara

State: Queensland

Expertise:

  • Jane McNamara has a “passion for the north” and was elected as Mayor of the Flinders Shire in 2016.
  • She was born in Hughenden in Far North Queensland, and from 1976 to 1983 ran three northern properties with her mother. She now lives with her husband on the 35,000 acres Abbotsford Station property which has been in the family since 1912, primarily producing merino wool and beef.
  • She understands the north’s potential and is open to new ideas and different projects to support the north.
  • She is Deputy Chair-Elect of Inland Queensland Roads Action Plan, Deputy Chair of North West Regional Organisation of Councils, a representative on the Mt Isa Townsville Economic Zone Board and since 2017 has been a National Australia Day Council board member.
  • Her community service roles include: serving as Secretary of Stamford Race Club since 1977, being head coach for Hughenden gymnastics club since 1994, and a member of the Hughenden show society and Wool Steward since 2000.  She is chair of the Community Advisory Network for the Hughenden multi-purpose health service (hospital) and a Lions club member.

Kathy Holmes

State: Queensland

Expertise:

  • Kathy Holmes is a Rockhampton-based, Senior Partner with Morgans Financial Limited, a retail stockbroking and wealth management firm.
  • She was born in Rockhampton and her family has been living in Central Queensland for three generations. She graduated from the Range College in Rockhampton in 1978 and undertook further professional development with the Securities Institute of Australia and the Australian Stock Exchange.
  • She spent two years working in London before returning to her roots where she has built a high-profile career providing financial services and advice to clients from Central Queensland, throughout Australia and internationally for more than 30 years. She was the first female to be appointed as Manager of an Australian branch of Morgans Financial Services.
  • Ms Holmes is a great networker and has contributed generously to her community, co-founding several not-for-profit and holding management, CEO and leadership roles. She has served as president of the Rotary Club of Rockhampton.

Col McKenzie

State: Queensland

Expertise:

  • Col McKenzie is CEO of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators and sits on a total of 38 industry boards concerned with the management of the Great Barrier Reef, environmental conservation, training and marine safety.
  • He plays a pivotal role in the development of legislation which effects business operations within Queensland’s parks both land and sea based.
  • He has been a member of the marine tourism industry for 32 years. He has owned his own scuba diving business, was instrumental in bringing Scuba Schools International to Australia and South East Asia, has started successful businesses in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines and now owns a marine tourism consulting company.
  • he has been active in the two main industry associations for many years. He was Executive Director of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators for more than 10 years and represents the marine tourism industry on 38 different boards, forums and committees. He previously was the President of Dive Queensland for three years and its Treasurer for four years.
  • He is a qualified fire engineer, medic first aid trainer, industry trainer and assessor and holds a Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety.

Last updated: 8 June 2018

Content ID: 42981