Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Group

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Group brings together an outstanding group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs, business leaders and researchers to provide strategic advice on matters that impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The Business and Innovation Reference Group aims to help increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs and innovators, and support the development of existing businesses across Queensland.

Members represent an enormous breadth of knowledge and experience.

The Business and Innovation Reference Group is an important step in achieving better social and economic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and we thank this dedicated group of advocates for their time and dedication to this initiative.

To be considered for appointment to the Business and Innovation Reference Group you need to join the Queensland Register of Nominees to Government Boards.

For more information please contact the Secretariat via email referencegroupsec@ditid.qld.gov.au.

Meet the Business and Innovation Reference Group

Cr Ross Andrews, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council

Ross is the Mayor of Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council, managing portfolios across all areas. He helps coordinate the Council’s focus on using resources to build digital skills in young people and engaging them in the community. He was involved in the development of the Yarrabah Town Planning Scheme, enabling good decision-making regarding future land use in Yarrabah.

Mundanara Bayles, The BlackCard Pty Ltd

Mundanara is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of The Australian BlackCard Pty Ltd, a 100% Aboriginal owned and operated business. Mundanara has cultural heritage connected to the Wonnarua, Bunjalung, Birri-Gubba and Gungalu people. She is a proud advocate for her people, with experience working for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations in Queensland including QUT, the Salvation Army Employment Plus, Bust at Work, the Child Support Agency, the Intitute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), and Brisbane Indigenous Media Association. She is an associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and is on several committees and boards including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Group (BIRG), The Murri School, Queensland Tourism Industry Council Indigenous Employment Champions Network, and QUT’s Indigenous Education, Research and Employment Committee (IEREC).

Michelle Deshong, Michelle Deshong & Associates Consulting

Michelle is from Townsville and connects to Kuku Yulanji nation. She is currently the CEO of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute. She has completed a BA with First Class Honours in Political Science and Indigenous studies and is working on her PhD (on the participation of Aboriginal women in public and political life) at James Cook University. She is a human rights advocate and has a strong background in gender equality, working towards ensuring the voices of Indigenous women are represented at all levels. Michelle holds a number of directorship roles in the not-for-profit sector, including the Supply Nation Board, Thirrili and the OXFAM Indigenous Advisory Council.  In 2013 Michelle was named in the Australian Financial Review/Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. She received a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2017 and focused research on Indigenous governance and leadership models in the James Love Churchill Fellowship in 2018. She was also awarded 2015 National NAIDOC Scholar of the Year.

Donisha Duff, Deadly Choices

Donisha is the General Manager of Deadly Choices at the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health. She possesses over 20 years of experience in government and the not-for-profit sector in health policy, planning and management with a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Ms Duff is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait.  She has familial links with Moa and Badu Islands (Torres Strait) and is a Yadhaigana/ Wuthathi Aboriginal traditional owner (Cape York).

Wanita Gosbee, Successful Entrepreneur

Wanita took her experience as a qualified hairdresser to her home town of Mount Isa and became the proud owner of Dye with Style hair salon. The business experienced fast growth and Wanita began to employ other Indigenous women from her community and training apprentices. Dye with Style won the Indigenous Business Australia Indigenous Business of the Year Award in 2009, and was runner up in 2010. Wanita is also an Ambassador for Indigenous Education. She hopes to bring hair and beauty courses to the remote communities of the North West.

Charlie Jia, South East Queensland Indigenous Chamber of Commerce

Charlie is a proud Yindinji man and Torres Strait Islander. He has been actively involved in the Indigenous business sector for over 2 decades. Charlie is the co-founder of CJ’s Island Pizza on Stradbroke Island and business consultancy firm, Karma Lifestyles. He works with the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health in Men’s Mental Health. He was the founding president of the SEQICC in 2006 and is now the Secretary.

Shane Kennelly, Kennelly Constructions

Shane is a proud Bundjalung man who has demonstrated success and experience in leading and building sustainable growth for businesses across the telecommunications, civil, mining, and Oil and Gas sectors. Managing Director of Kennelly Constructions and Director at First People Recruitment Solutions. Kennelly Constructions supports young Indigenous achievers in Queensland through acknowledgement with the Aboriginal Achievement Award in the Queensland Young Achiever Awards.

Julie-ann Lambourne, enVizion Group Inc

Julie-Ann Lambourne, is a Torres Strait Island woman of Mabuiag and Darnley Island descent, and founding member and CEO of enVizion, an Indigenous-owned and operated charitable organisation that has assisted disadvantaged people see beyond limitations to reach their full potential since 2013. She is passionate about utilises cutting-edge technologies to complement traditional practices that deliver meaningful and creative solutions including the development of Indigenous business and leaders, and working with disadvantaged people to overcome adversities. Julie-ann has a wealth of experience across sectors including education, employment and training, social services, youth, management and community development. She was recognised as an Advance Queensland Community Digital Champion in 2016 and achieved a Masters of Business Administration in 2018.

Noel Niddrie, Winangali & Winangali Logistics

Noel is a Dharug & Kamillaroi man and one of Australia’s leading Indigenous communications and research practitioners. He is the founder and Managing Director of Winangali, a multi award-winning Indigenous communications and research consultancy specialising in engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander markets. He is also Director of Winangali Logistics, an Indigenous-owned freight management and warehousing company. Noel has worked in the Indigenous engagement space for over 25 years and as a consultant for almost 20 years. Winangali was awarded the 2012 Telstra Queensland Business of the Year and 2012 Telstra Queensland Micro-Business of the Year. 

Colin Saltmere, The Myuma Group & Rainbow Gateway Ltd

Colin is the Managing Director of the Myuma Group of not-for-profit corporations, owned and managed by Camooweal’s Indjalandji-Dhidhanu traditional owners for the benefit of the region’s predominantly Aboriginal communities. The Myuma Group manages the ongoing development and expansion of Indigenous civil construction, hospitality, catering, labour hire and business training.

Cr Desmond Tayley, Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council

Desmond is a traditional owner of Yalanji (Dawnvale and Wujal Wujal) and is the Mayor of Wujal-Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council. He works to enhance the wellbeing of individuals through improvements to the community as a whole. Desmond is a member of the Far Noth Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils, Far North Queensland Regional Transport Group, and the Internal Audit Committee. He is on the Board of the Remote Job and Communities Program and is also on the all-indigenous UMI Arts Board of Directors, which develops arts programmes for Indigenous communities.

Terri Waller, SevGen Indigenous Corporation

Terri is the Managing Director and Founder of SevGen Indigenous Corporation, a registered non-for-profit charity providing assistance in enterprise, education and entrepreneurship sectors. It has been described as an authentic Australian pedagogy through it’s 3E model for sustainable educational practice. Terri works to honour the full true and creative self of students, and celebrate, validate and reinvigorate Indigenous ways of being for the collective benefit of all. She is also a Senior Partner and Trainer with Edgeware Indigenous which supports the growth of cultural and creative businesses through mentoring and education.

Leesa Watego, Iscariot Media

Leesa is the owner of Isacariot Media Pty Ltd, an Aboriginal owned business specialises in creative and digital solutions that make an impact. She is also the founder of Deadly Bloggers, Australia’s first online directory of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bloggers. Leesa has been involved in South East Queensland community organisations and in micro-business since the mid-1990s. Her experience has equipped her with range of knowledge and skills from many areas including academia, education and social media. Leesa was recognised as an Advance Queensland Community Digital Champion in 2016.

Leann Wilson, Regional Economic Solutions

As the Managing Director of Regional Economic Solutions now 6 years old, Leann strives to bring about real economic and social parity for Indigenous Australians. Regional Economic Solutions partners with Australian company Ausenco for national and international reach. She is active on a range of boards including the Queensland Divisional Advisory Board Australian Red Cross (ARC), the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation, and GIVIT. Leann has spent approximately thirty years as a public servant with the Queensland and Federal Government and also with the global organisation Australian Red Cross.

Last updated 17 Dec, 2018
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0) ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/au/ )
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