First Nations voices heard

Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships The Honourable Craig Crawford

First Nations voices heard

The Palaszczuk Government has taken a historic step towards Indigenous Voice where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a greater say in decisions about their lives, communities and future.

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford to mark NAIDOC Week today announced the appointment of Queensland’s eight-member First Nations Consultative Committee (FNCC).

“The FNCC will help inform the state’s input to the national Indigenous Voice process,” Minister Crawford said.

“They will help design a Queensland Indigenous Voice model that best meets the needs and priorities of First Nations peoples and reflects the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities in Queensland.

“This is about giving voice to the people. It involves them working with and listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the state.

“We also need to make sure non-Indigenous Queenslanders are part of this incredible momentum we have across Australia as we work towards: Voice, Treaty and Truth.”

Mr Crawford said the independent committee – drawn from every region in the state – will be in place for 12 months.

“After a state-wide expression of interest, members have been appointed based on their connection to their region, expertise and experience,” he said.

“Each member demonstrated they had community support and proven ability to advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders of all ages, abilities, genders, and locations.

“The FNCC will use their connection to the region, experience, culture and community to lead the co-design process and consider a range of Indigenous Voice options including the establishment of a state-based Voice structure.”

Committee members are:

Mrs Patricia (Pattie) Lees AM (Gulf and West Queensland region): Chief Executive Officer Injilinji Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Children and Youth Services, and subject to Government removal and separation from family of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (also known as the Stolen Generation).

Mr Terry O’Shane (Far North Queensland region): Western Yalanji Elder, former Commissioner of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, and Chairman and Director of North Queensland Land Council.

Ms Karen Dini-Paul (Cape York Peninsula region): Descendant of the Arrente People of Alice Springs with strong community connections through the region as well as to the Cape York region through previous roles held, including that of board member of the Torres and Cape Health and Hospital Board.

Mr Edward Smallwood (North Queensland region): Bindal Traditional Owner and Elder of the Townsville-Burdekin Region and Chief Executive Officer of the Gudjuda Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation.

Mr Joshua Gorringe (Central Queensland region): Mithaka Traditional Owner and General Manager of the Mithaka Aboriginal Corporation.

Ms Kerry Crumblin (Southwest Queensland region): Maradigan Traditional Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health

Mr Cameron Costello (Southeast Queensland region): Quandamooka man, former Chief Executive Officer of the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, current Deputy Chair of Queensland Tourism Industry Council, UQ Law Advisory Board member, Healthy Land and Water Director, and Director of Costello Consultancy.

Ms Talei Elu (Torres Strait region): Saibai Koedal woman, former participant at the Young Pacific Leaders Conference (2020) and current Communications and Public Relations Officer with 33 Creative.

The First Nations Consultative Committee’s report detailing the Committee’s advice to government will be completed in 2023.

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