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First Nations Climate Summit

4 June, 2019

First Nations Climate Summit

The First Nations Climate Summit will highlight existing and future leadership by First Nations people in climate responses, and the importance of embedding this into public policy and community awareness. It will showcase the long history of First Nations people as knowledge holders, knowledge sharers and educators – the original climate scientists.

The forum will seek to identify a path forward that will respect and value First Nations peoples’ perspectives in climate decision-making and help future generations to continue hearing their voices.

Leadership Group

Leanne Wilson Leann Wilson
Leann is a First Nations decedent whose lineage is the Bidjara/Kara-Kara mob from Central Western Queensland, she also has South Sea Islander Heritage. Alongside her cultural obligations Leann has spent approximately 30 years working in government at both state and national levels and has also spent a number of years in the Not for Profit sector with Australian Red Cross. Leann sits on a number boards including the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation, The Aboriginal Carbon Foundation & the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Business & Innovation Panel .

In the last six years with her business partner, Leann established Regional Economic Solutions (RES) where she is the Executive Director. The RES business model is built upon the philosophy of impartiality and benefit sharing in order to create social and economic parity for First Nations People. Leann is known for her analytical and conceptual skills with experience in developing and implementing place-based strategies and initiatives. She is also recognised for her ability to effectively connect and facilitate productive working relationships with multi stakeholder groups.

Scott GorringeScott Gorringe
Scott is a Mithaka man from far western Queensland. Along with 5 other Mithaka people, Scott led the Mithaka Native Title process for 12 years to a successful Consent Determination decision in October 2015. He believes the challenge is to reconnect with self, others and environment. Scott has a Masters at The University of Queensland, studied at The University of British Columbia in Canada. He is Director of Murrimatters Consulting, Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, and Chief Investigator on Australian Research Council grant (ANU). He is passionate about bringing people together around approaches to complex challenges. The National and International experiences broadened Scott’s knowledge and understanding of other Indigenous societies which places him at the forefront of articulating Aboriginal futures.

Mayor Vonda MaloneMayor Vonda Malone
Mayor Vonda Malone created history in March 2016 being elected the first indigenous female Mayor of the Torres Shire Council, a mainstream council encompassing the Thursday Island area of the Torres Strait. Following this achievement in March 2018 Vonda was awarded the prestigious McKinnon Prize for Emerging Political Leader of the Year bestowed by the two former Prime Ministers. Mayor Malone holds a number of key positions including Chairperson of the Torres and Cape Indigenous Councils Alliance, Chairperson and Founder of Torres Health Corporation and a member of the Indigenous Reference Group to the Ministerial Forum on Northern Australia. Over her career she has also achieved unique milestones being the first Torres Strait Islander women to work internationally through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and with the United Nations Office of the Human Rights Commissioner in Geneva, Switzerland. Mayor Malone is a change maker, an accomplished role model, a strong advocate and a very community focussed leader.

Cheryl LeavyCheryl Leavy
Cheryl’s career has spanned the private sector and public sector. She has worked across state and federal governments in diverse fields including health, taxation, education and transport. Cheryl has held several senior positions in Queensland, including her current role with the Department of Environment and Science, working with First Nations people as stewards of our wildlife, treasured natural environment and deep cultural heritage.

In her previous role as Deputy Commissioner at the Queensland Family and Child Commission, Cheryl supported QFCC’s drive to improve the child protection and family support system. She sees synergies in these roles­: caring for country and caring for people.

Cheryl has also enjoyed a long career in arts administration, having served on several boards and advisory groups, including the Queensland Art Gallery Board of Trustees, ACT Cultural Council Board, the Queensland Music Festival Board and Brisbane Writers Festival.

Cheryl is a Kooma woman. Kooma country is in South West Queensland, between St George and Cunnamulla.

Cameron CostelloCameron Costello
Cameron is a Quandamooka man from Moreton Bay off the coast of Brisbane in South East Queensland. Cameron is a law graduate from the University of Queensland and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Leisure Management.

Cameron has worked previously in the legal industry and has over 15 years’ experience in local and state governments delivering First Nation policies and programs including the Backing Indigenous Arts Program and the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. Cameron is currently the CEO for the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) – the Native Title Body and Cultural Heritage Body for the native title determination over Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island).

He is on the Board of Minjerribah Camping, a 100% owned QYAC business that runs Holiday Parks and camping on Minjerribah. Currently Cameron also is an active member on a number of committees including Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Economic Transition Strategy (ETS) Committee, Koala Advisory Council, Redland City Council (RCC) Tourism Sub-Committee, EcoTourism Australia and the Senior Implementation group for the Naree Budjong Djara National Park.

Keelen MailmanKeelen Mailman
Keelen Mailman. Foster Mum, Cattle Station manager, author and Barnardos Mother of the Year.
At just 30, and as a single mother, Keelen became the first Aboriginal woman to run a commercial cattle station when she took over Mt. Tabor, which is located two hours from Augathella on the black soil plains of western Queensland. This is the heartland of Bidjara country, after all—the place her mother, grandparents, and great-grandparents had camped on and cared for, and where their ancestors left their marks on caves and rock walls more than 10,000 years ago.

Lane BrookesLane Brookes
Lane is a Mandandanji man from Roma. He is strong advocate for issues impacting Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander youth, health, mental health, education, child safety and particularly those in rural and remote locations. Lane currently works a variety of roles and sits across many committees and boards while also owning and operating a tourism based on his culture from the South West of QLD. He is also a previous participant of and now a facilitator of the Queensland Youth Indigenous Leadership Program. As well as a Democracy Champion for Museum of Australian Democracy and was a 2017 National Indigenous Youth Parliament Leader.

Sandra CreamerSandra Creamer
Sandra Creamer, an academic and legal officer, has worked in the legal arena for more than 15 years and is a member of the Queensland Indigenous Lawyers Association. Sandra first started as an Indigenous Community Liaison Officer with Legal Aid Queensland working with Indigenous women and children who were victims of crime, conducting legal information workshops and assisting in cases of racial discrimination and family law. Sandra believes that it is important to educate Indigenous peoples on their rights so that they can learn how to challenge laws and policies that are affecting their communities. Sandra also believes that it is important to translate the language of law so that Indigenous people can understand it for their benefit. Sandra is also a member of the Australia Indigenous Peoples Organisation and has attended the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Sandra has been involved with the Global Indigenous Women’s Caucus and the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI), and in 2013 attended the Global Leadership School of Indigenous Women. Sandra is currently completing a Master’s degree in Human Rights and will be admitted to practice in the Supreme Court in Queensland later this year.


4 June, 2019


Brisbane, Queensland Australia + Google Map
The Queensland Climate Change Response has produced a suite of resources to help Queenslanders understand the risks and opportunities associated with a changing climate and to make informed decisions. These resources include climate projection information, regional climate change impact summaries and information on emissions sources, and are available on the Climate change resources page.