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 a Djungan and Yalanji man of Far North Queensland. He is also 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 and other strategic planning framework that contributes to the wellbeing of his people. Ross also: sits on the Far North Queensland Regional Organisations of Council (FNQROC); is a director of the Wugu Nyambil Board; is Chairperson of the Yarrabah Leaders Forum, which set the strategic direction of Yarrabah; and is a passionate volunteer at the Yarrabah Seahawks Sports Club. He also possesses a business degree majoring in Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Management.

Mundanara Bayles, The BlackCard Pty Ltd

Mundanara’s cultural heritage is connected to the Wonnarua and Bunjalung people on her mother’s side and the Birri-Gubba and Gungalu on her father’s side. Mundanara grew up in Redfern NSW with her 8 sisters and moved to her father’s country in the early 90’s. Coming from a family that has been active in the Aboriginal movement since the 60s and 70s she continues to follow their example. As a proud advocate for her people, she follows in her father’s footsteps and aims to make a positive contribution.

She has more than 18 years’ experience, working for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations in NSW and QLD, including but not limited to, the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the Salvation Army Employment Plus, Busy at Work, the Child SupportnAgency, the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), and Brisbane Indigenous Media Association.

She is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), and has formal qualifications in the disciplines of media, business, assessment and training. Mundanara is on several committees and boards, including but not limited to, the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Committee (committee reports to the Minister for Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development); The Aboriginal & Islander Independent Community School also known as The Murri School; Queensland Tourism Industry Council Indigenous Employment Champions Network; and QUT’s Indigenous Education, Research and Employment Committee (IEREC).

Mundanara is the Managing Director and co-founder of The Australian BlackCard Pty Ltd (BlackCard), which is a 100% Aboriginal owned and operated business certified with Supply Nation. Mundanara co-founded BlackCard with Dr Lilla Watson, who is a respected Aboriginal Elder, artist, educator and long-time course developer. BlackCard is a specialist consultancy providing cultural capability training and consultancy services to enable people and organisations to work effectively with members of the Aboriginal community. BlackCard’s purpose is working with people, not for people, with the genius of Aboriginal Knowledge. Mundanara’s work is agile, partnership-based, and crosses multiple organisational borders. She brings people along with her through her inclusive and collaborative approach.

Leah Cameron, Marrawah Law Pty Ltd

Leah is a Palawa/Trawooloway woman from Lutrawita (Tasmania) and the principal solicitor/owner of Marrawah Law. Marrawah Law is a wholly Indigenous owned legal practice and employs over 70% Indigenous staff. Leah was the recipient of the Queensland Law Society’s First Nations Lawyer of the Year Award in 2018 and the Attorney-General’s Indigenous Legal Practitioner of the Year Award in 2017. Leah’s primary areas of practice are commercial and Indigenous land law. Doyle’s Guide has recognised both Leah and the firm as leaders in native title for 2019. The firm was also awarded AON Indigenous Business Excellence Award Winner for 2019 by the Cairns Chamber of Commerce. Leah is a regular contributor to the National Talk Black radio program presenting on topical legal issues. Her greatest honour was being asked to negotiate and repatriate her ancestors’ remains from the British Museum in London on behalf of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.

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 construction, 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, Tagai Management Consultants

Julie-ann Lambourne, is a Torres Strait Islander woman of Mabuiag and Darnley Island descent. She is a Senior Consultant with Tagai Management Consultants (TMC).  TMC is a management consultancy specialising in procurement, supply chain, stakeholder engagement, business advisory and innovation and technology.

She was a founding member and CEO of enVizion, an Indigenous owned and operated charitable organisation, which has been assisting disadvantaged people see beyond limitations to reach their full potential since 2013.

She is passionate about utilising cutting-edge technologies to complement traditional practices to deliver meaningful and creative solutions; including the development of Indigenous business and leaders, Julie-ann has a wealth of experience across sectors including education, including vocational education, workforce development, social services,  community development and innovation and advanced technology

She is a member of the Queensland Small Business Advisory Council, is an Advance Queensland Community Digital Champion and has a Masters of Business Administration.

Noel Niddrie, Winangali & Winangali Logistics

Noel is a Dharug and Kamilaroi 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 the 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.

Steve Noy, Biodiversity Australia and Noy Industries

Steve is the founder and Managing Director of Biodiversity Australia and Noy Industries. With more than 25 years of experience in wildlife management, bush regeneration, and fauna research, Steve has a wealth of operational and practical knowledge and expertise in environmental management and is a regular author of and contributor to scientific papers. Steve is from the Ualarai people (otherwise spelt Yuwaalaraay). The Ualarai people were on the Narran River and lived from the Narran Wetlands (Terewah) through to Angledool near the Queensland border. Steve is committed to the importance of providing employment opportunities to Traditional Owner groups. He enthusiastically promotes the use of other Indigenous businesses and strives to develop and create opportunities for both employing and engaging with the local Indigenous community.

Colin Saltmere, The Myuma Group & Rainbow Gateway Ltd

Colin is the Managing Director of the Myuma Group of non-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.

Karen Seage, Snap Industries

Karen is a Noonuccal woman from Minjerribah, North Stradbroke Island, and also the Franchise owner of Snap Underwood. Snap Underwood is a wholly-owned Indigenous business specialising in the production of digital, large format, promotional products and offset printing. I have worked in the industry for 32 years. I completed my degree as a graphic designer in 1998 and have worked in many areas of the print and design industry. I purchased Snap Underwood in 2013 and currently employ and train Indigenous women in all aspects of print and design.

Kantesha Takai, Strait Removals

Kantesha is the owner of Strait Removals, a 100% Indigenous owned and operated removals and relocations business based in the Torres Strait. As a proud Torres Strait Islander woman, Kantesha is passionate about encouraging and supporting her people to start and operate their own businesses. Kantesha holds a Bachelor Mass Communications from Queensland University of Technology and she offers her marketing services and support to local Indigenous businesses and NGOs in the Torres Strait. Kantesha has worked in marketing across a range of industries from real estate to tourism and this experience has equipped her with a range of knowledge and skills.

Leesa Watego, Iscariot Media

Leesa is the owner of Iscariot Media Pty Ltd, an Aboriginal owned business specialising 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 six and a half years old, Leann (Bidjara/Kara-Kara and South Sea descendent) 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 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rugby League advisory council. Leann has spent approximately thirty years as a public servant with the Queensland and Federal Government.


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