Queensland First Children and Families Board

About the Board

The Queensland First Children and Families Board was established to guide and oversee the Our Way strategy: A generational strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families 2017-2037 (PDF) (Our Way) and all associated action plans including Changing Tracks: An Action Plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families 2017-2019 (PDF).

The Board is a key action within the Changing Tracks action plan and is another fundamental step the Queensland Government has taken towards achieving the Our Way vision and eliminating the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system.

The Board is co-chaired by Mick Gooda and Professor Boni Robertson and will meet four times per year.

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Terms of Reference

The Board’s Terms of Reference (PDF, 493 KB) Terms of Reference (DOCX, 199 KB) has more information regarding the Board including key responsibilities, accountability and reporting. The Terms of Reference will be reviewed on an annual basis.

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Board members

The Queensland First Children and Families Board comprises of 11 members (including three standing office-holder appointments). It is co-chaired by Aboriginal leaders Mick Gooda and Professor Boni Robertson and includes prominent leaders from diverse geographical locations across Queensland, who have a vast range of expertise including a strong cultural perspective.

Board members are appointed by the Premier and together with the Directors-General of Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women and Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, the Board will champion the strategy and work to create shared responsibility and accountability for achieving the Our Way vision “that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Queensland grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture”. Recruitment for two new board members will commence shortly.

Professor Boni Robertson (Co-chair)

Professor Boni Robertson

Prof Robertson is the Professor of Indigenous Community Engagement,  Policy and Practice at Griffith University. Professor Robertson has extensive experience in influencing through government boards (both state and Commonwealth). She brings significant experience in Indigenous tertiary education and social policy and has a background in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, children and young people. Her skills and experience includes Aboriginal cultural practice, child protection, community development, education, family support, law, social innovation and community engagement.

Mick Gooda (Co-chair)

Mick Gooda

Mick Gooda’s people are the Ghungalu from the Dawson Valley in Central Queensland. He has spent the last 30 years advocating for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. He was appointed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner in February 2010 and held that position until September 2016 when he was appointed Co-Commissioner on the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

He has undertaken a wide range of roles such as the CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health, Native Title Consultant with the Western Australian Aboriginal Legal Service and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, ATSIC.

He chaired the Queensland Stolen Wages Reparation Taskforce and the National Centre of Indigenous Genomics and has been a member of the Expert Panel and the Referendum Council which were convened to advise the Federal Government on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Australian constitution.

Rachel Atkinson

Rachel Atkinson

Rachel Atkinson is a proud Yorta Yorta woman and is the Co-Chair of Family Matters Queensland and Board Executive of SNAICC. Ms Atkinson has extensive expertise in health, family support, child protection and youth justice. She has significant leadership skills and experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisations, influencing and advocacy through boards and peak bodies; and the establishment of social enterprise and new programs and projects in remote Indigenous communities. Ms Atkinson has long-term experience working with remote and discrete Aboriginal communities in the North Queensland region and in managing and developing Indigenous organisations. Her identified skills and experience include: Aboriginal cultural practice, child protection, child rearing, community development, education, family support, health, law and social innovation.

Clinton Schultz

Clinton Schultz

Clinton Schultz is a registered Psychologist; Senior Teaching Fellow (Bond University Medical School); Director Marumali Consultations; and Queensland Child Death Case Review Panel member. Mr Schultz has extensive experience in health with a focus on social and emotional wellbeing and mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Mr Schultz has experience in the development and implementation of programs providing cultural advice. He has experience and skills in Aboriginal cultural practice, child protection, community development, education, health, psychology and social innovation. Clinton is a Gamilaroi man, descending from the people of Gunnedah/Manilla NSW. 

Ada Woolla

Ada Woolla

Ada Woolla is Commissioner of the Family Responsibilities Commission; Councillor of Aurukun Shire Council; and former Domestic and Family Violence Taskforce member. Ms Woolla has significant leadership experience in working with Aboriginal families and supporting children; and leadership in Aboriginal communities and at a local government level. Ms Woolla has experience in establishing and developing programs, services and organisations and is a registered foster and kinship carer. She has skills and experience in Aboriginal cultural practice, domestic and family violence, child protection and community development.

Latoya Nakata

Latoya Nakata

Latoya Nakata is Manager of Mura Kosker Sorority Incorporated, a not-for- profit women’s advocacy group that works toward uniting women of all ages in the Torres Strait, and taking steps to meet the social, emotional, education, economical, health, cultural, spiritual and welfare needs of women and their children. Ms Nakata is a strong advocate for Torres Strait Islander women. She brings significant knowledge and experience in early childhood development, domestic and family violence counselling, community and family support services.

Nyoka Fetoa’i

Nyoka Fetoa’i

Nyoka Fetoa’i is a proud Darumbal woman from Central Queensland. She is the Chief Executive Officer of Darumbal Community Youth Services Inc and Board Director of Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service. Ms Fetoa’i has considerable experience in youth work with a focus on young people at risk (homelessness, drug and alcohol, education and other supports). She is experienced in managing Indigenous organisations and supporting families experiencing domestic violence. Ms Fetoa’i has experience and skills in Aboriginal cultural practice, youth support, child protection, child rearing, community development, domestic and family violence and family support.

Deidre Mulkerin

Deidre Mulkerin was appointed as Director-General for the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women in February 2020. Prior to this, Deidre worked in frontline roles in child protection and juvenile justice, managed regional operations across human services, and led statewide reform initiatives for the Queensland and New South Wales governments.

Since 2004, she has held numerous executive roles responsible for statutory child protection, juvenile justice, housing, homelessness and domestic and family violence, including Deputy Secretary, Commissioning for the human service government agency, Family and Community Services in New South Wales. In this role, Deidre was responsible for ensuring decisions about how services are delivered, monitored and improved were driven by client outcomes and the use of robust evidence and data.

Deidre has provided evidence at several Commissions of Inquiry, including the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. She has demonstrated her strengths in policy development and delivery implementation through her leadership of the New South Wales Premier's Priorities, Protecting Our Kids and Reducing Youth Homelessness. In July 2019, Deidre took up the role of Deputy Secretary, People and Culture, Department of Education, New South Wales, responsible for driving workforce reform, workplace safety and leadership. As an inaugural participant in the New South Wales Public Service Commission’s Leadership Academy, Deidre has been recognised as an outstanding public sector leader.

Dr Chris Sarra

chris-sarra

Chris Sarra founded the Stronger Smarter Institute in 2005, which works with schools and community leaders across Australia to deliver the stronger smarter approach to Indigenous students. In 2016, Dr Sarra was named the NAIDOC Person of the Year in recognition of his efforts to improve Aboriginal educational outcomes throughout Australia. He received the Anthony Mundine Award for Courage at the National Indigenous Human Rights Awards in 2017. In August 2018, Dr Sarra commenced as the Director-General, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. Dr Sarra holds a PhD in Psychology with his thesis Strong and Smart — Towards a Pedagogy for Emancipation: Education for First Peoples published by Routledge in 2012. He was named Queenslander of the Year in 2004, and was Queensland’s Australian of the Year in 2010. He was also an Australian Rugby League commissioner from 2012–2018. Dr Sarra is Taribelang/Gurang Gurang Aboriginal man from Bundaberg.

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Communique

A communique of the Board's key priorities and achievements will be published after each Board meeting.

Read the communique from the Board meeting held on the following date:

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Media Statements

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