RQI Management Committee 2020/21
Leon Filewood – Co-Chair (Indigenous)
Leon was born and raised on Waiben (Thursday Island), Kaurareg Country, in the Torres Strait. He is a descendent of the Ugar Umle, Moalgal/Italgal peoples in the Torres Strait. His Aboriginal heritage stems from the Yalanji, Koko Mini and Girrimay people of Far North Queensland.
Leon has a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the Queensland University of Technology. He has served as a member of the Treaty Working Group on Queensland’s Path to Treaty, tasked with providing a report to the Queensland Government (published Feb 2020) outlining levels of support and next steps for a treaty process.
After working as a solicitor in private practice, Leon changed his career path and became in-house counsel and divisional manager at a local Aboriginal Land Council in Western Sydney, responsible for the health, housing, education and training portfolios.
Leon now lives in Brisbane where he continues to serve the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, as a community development coordinator in local government.
Peter Jackson – Co-Chair (Non-Indigenous)
Peter has been an active member of the Samford Reconciliation Group and RQI since 1995 and is currently in his twelfth year as Co-Chair for Reconciliation Queensland Inc.
In his professional capacity prior to his retirement, Peter held the position of Project Manager for Statewide Professional Development in the Department of Education Training and the Arts. Before joining the Queensland Government he worked for many years in the television broadcasting industry as an employee of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and in earlier years for a national commercial network.
Throughout his career Peter has had the opportunity to liaise, consult and develop mutually respectful and rewarding personal and professional relationship with Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples in a large number of remote, rural and urban communities in every Australian State and Territory.
Peter is committed towards social justice for all people and fully supports the principles of Reconciliation. On a personal basis Peter and his wife enjoy all the benefits of having a very diverse and extended multicultural family.
Linda Harnett – Secretary
Linda Harnett MA, BCW, Dip Bus, Dip HR, ADRC has worked in the Community Services sector since 1977 as both professional and volunteer.
She played a leadership role in the establishment of a Domestic Violence Service and Women’s Refuge, and a Community Legal Service. She worked with homeless persons and as a Youth Worker with children placed into the Care of the Children’s Services Department. She has worked as a Coordinator in Disability Services and as the Manager of a Family Day Care Service.
Linda’s leadership and commitment to the principles of reconciliation led Bayside Family Day Care to become the first Australian early childhood education service to develop and implement a Reconciliation Action Plan. In May 2003, Linda was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal by the Commonwealth Government for ‘Distinguished Services to Early Childhood Education.
She currently works with Reconciliation Queensland as the Regional Engagement Coordinator Qld within the education sector.
Robert Plummer – Treasurer
Robert is an experienced senior executive working in the water industry for a multi national company called Wood, which launched its second RAP in 2018. Robert is responsible for Wood’s RAP activities in Queensland. For the past ten years he has chaired RAP committees for his organisation and has been privileged to be on the RAP committee for the principle Water Utility for Western Australia. Aboriginal employment opportunities has been a focus for Robert’s activities and he has linked with Clontarf Foundation and Yokai committee in WA to achieve this.
Robert also has been involved with supporting Wongatha CAPs (Boarding School providing quality residential eduction for Aboriginal students ) and Kaata Tidje (providing cultural awareness training) in Esperance. He also supported Reconciliation WA through members and various activities and programs.
Robert brings an employer’s view to providing opportunities for Aboriginal men and women in industry and looks to partner with RQI to achieve this as well as be an advocate. He has an electrical trade , Diploma in electrical engineering (QUT), Bachelor of Commerce with honour in Accounting (Griffith Uni) and a Masters of Business Administration (QUT). He is also a fellow of Leadership WA and a Justice of the Peace (Qual) in Queensland.
Robert has held significant positions as Chair of industry associations, not for profit groups and has been a lecturer at Curtin Business School. His work experience began in Queensland and has taken him to New Zealand, PRC, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and now back in Queensland. He is keen to promote the reconciliation movement and promote the need to change the constitution to acknowledge Aboriginal peoples as the first peoples of the land we inhabit.
Aunty Heather Castledine – Committee Member
Aunty Heather is a proud Murri (Aboriginal) woman. Born into Hooper Family at St George & raised in Charleville on the bank of the Warrego River. Aunty Heather’s family (Kent) moved from her tribal country to follow work for her father (Joe Kent). As a younger person, Aunty Heather worked in the outback for 27 years on cattle and sheep stations, shearing sheds and earth moving camps at the back of Bourke. While studying at University for her Bachelor degree she was carer for her ex-husband for number of years who had a mental health disorder/disability, which gave her experience of the other side of mental disorders. More recently, Aunty Heather has worked for Queensland Health with Child and Youth Mental Health Service as an Indigenous Cultural Consultant to team of 35 clinicians.
Aunty Heather has a Bachelor of Social Work, Certificate IV in Indigenous Leadership, Certificate of Attendance to Attachment Theory & Practice Relevance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Peoples, Statement of Completion A&TSI Cultural Awareness Facilitator Training, Outstanding Achievement for Reconciliation Learning Circle Kit, Certificate of Participation in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills & Statement of Attainment Senior First Aid. She also attends a women’s Workshop on grief and loss.
Aunty Heather has always worked with the belief of bridging the gap, understanding with Reconciliation in her heart, and growing as equals together as one. She believes in reconciliation and considers that we need to develop an understanding of all cultures that make up the island we call our country of Australia, that we love and want to share with the world not just one culture but many. She says we must remember that the first settlers to come to this land were the stolen generations of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, removed because of criminal offences to their culture. They were sent here for life, not only their lives but for their descents, in country so alien to their home land and placed with culture so different from their own culture/society. Aunty Heather says we need to join together and take time to respect and understand who we are and where to from here.
Simon Brooks – Committee Member / Webmaster
Simon Brooks is a public relations and communications professional, with more than two decades experience in the government and non-profit sectors and the entertainment industry. Simon served as RQI Treasurer from 2017 until 2019. He is a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia; the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance; and is a ‘Writer – Full Member’ of the Australian Performing Right Association.
Simon works for leading, non-profit health organisation Brisbane North PHN, where he has been a strong advocate for reconciliation and was a founding member of its reconciliation committee (formed in 2010). Simon takes pride in supporting efforts to close the gap in health outcomes between Australia’s First Nations peoples and its non-Indigenous inhabitants, and has on numerous occasions secured media coverage of Indigenous success stories in national newspapers.
Prior to arriving in Queensland in 2008, Simon had been employed as a communications officer with the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing in Sydney, where he worked closely with the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.
Simon immigrated to Australia from England as a child and, as the son of an RAAF serviceman, he had the opportunity to spend several years growing up in Malaysia and Papua New Guinea, where he first gained his appreciation of cultural diversity. He has served in the Australian Regular Army, has worked as a civilian for the Department of Defence, and has extensive experience in federal, state and local politics.
Libby Ferrari – Committee Member
Libby Ferrari is Head of Indigenous Affairs at BHP – Australia. Libby joined BHP in 2001 and has worked across the company’s Coal and Iron Ore assets in New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland. She has a background and qualifications in Environmental Science and a Masters in Business Administration. She has worked in senior roles with BHP across a variety of functional areas including Environment, Business Improvement and Corporate Affairs. Libby has been involved in Indigenous engagement for the majority of her career and is passionate about reconciliation and understanding the role of large corporations in advocating for and making a positive difference to Indigenous issues in Australia.
Mark Baumgart – Committee Member
Mark has been involved in the Indigenous community most of his life, having served several years as a Queensland Reconciliation Consultant and held executive roles on the Governing Committee of Link-Up Queensland.
Mark works as a Senior Advisor with Main Roads specialising on managing Indigenous programs/events including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education toward Employment Scholarship Scheme. He also holds the current Indigenous Co-Chair position with the Queensland Sorry Day Journey of Healing Network (QSDJoHN) QSDJoHN is the Queensland affiliated body to the National Sorry Day Committee. This Network has a long history of assisting with the organising of annual National Sorry Day events held in Brisbane. The purpose and objectives of this Network is to progress the unfinished Sorry Day business and commemorative events with the view of assisting with bringing together ‘Stolen Generations’, their families and the general community across Queensland.
Mark has recently found out who his people are and where his homelands are. He is proud to now acknowledge his Cultural Heritage and Traditional Homelands: Woolwonga, North East of Katherine, up to Pine Creek, as far as the Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory. Mark’s personal drive and passion is to assist with the reconnection of families because for a long period of his young life he grew up without family. Mark’s personal motivation also comes from the memories of some of his aunties and uncles from Darwin who were members of the Stolen Generations.
Rosali Raciti – Committee Member
Rosalie’s initial involvement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families was in 1972 when she was teacher in charge at the newly established kindergarten at Palm Island. Her commitment to Indigenous issues continued through a career in education, with responsibilities for Early Childhood, Arts and Reconciliation, until her retirement in 2005.
Rosalie’s committee involvement has included the following organisations: SE Qld NAIDOC, Under Eights’ Week, Qld Children’s Week, Australian Early Childhood Association, Australian Association of Early Childhood Educators, Save the Children, Qld Women in the Public Service, Reconciliation Queensland and Diversity in Child Care Qld. She has been actively involved in the planning of Cultural Sharing Days for the early childhood sector for many years. Cultural activities and experiences are offered to young children within a culturally inclusive environment.
Rosalie is keen to see the membership base of RQI expand to include a greater number of Local Reconciliation Groups throughout Queensland. Her interest in the visual and performing arts sees an opportunity for Reconciliation to take place through these media and she has worked to create an active partnership between RQI and Indigenous arts organisations in Qld. Rosalie sees Reading for Reconciliation programs as another pathway towards Reconciliation and has been involved with a Reconciliation Reading Group for two years.
She believes that active networking and partnerships with other organisations and businesses is essential for the future growth and development of RQI.
Uncle Bill Buchanan – Committee Member
Uncle Bill Buchanan is a descendant of the Kooma/Gwamu First Nation Peoples of SW Qld, a former Aboriginal Co-Chair and State Coordinator (Constitutional Recognition Coalition) at Reconciliation Queensland (RQI). Uncle Bill is a serving Aboriginal Elder/Respected Person of the Murri Courts in Queensland and an Ambassador of the National Indigenous Cancer Network (NICaN).
Uncle Bill is also acknowledged as a strategic and conceptual thinker with keen interests in the application of corporate social responsibility investment strategies to achieve reconciliation and equity. He is keen to see all levels of business and government adopt the key recommendations of the recent ‘State of Reconciliation in Australia’ report into their corporate programs and practise.
As a community elder Uncle Bill acknowledges the great potential of the World Indigenous Nations University (WINU) developed in 2013 under the Charter of the United Nations can also have in progressing reconciliation priorities for our First Nation Peoples. With the WINU now establishing its presence here in Australia, it is an important time to coordinate investment and to accelerate the revitalisation and restoration of the academy of Australia’s many First Nation Peoples particularly in the key areas of traditional knowledges, cultural governance and languages.
Uncle Bill is a long serving member of RQI and has significant experience in developing and integrating Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) as well as implementing the “Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning” programs for Queensland schools and early learning institutions. He has also significant experience working in the community, government and private sectors as an Indigenous business facilitator, strategic policy advisor, program manager, cultural competence/cultural safety trainer and complexity management practitioner.
Maurice Serico – Committee Member
Maurice is an Aboriginal man of Gubbi Gubbi, Jiman and UK Australian heritage. He completed his BA in philosophy and English literature at University of Queensland in 1979. Since 1980 he has worked in Aboriginal Affairs including in the office of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and a variety of positions in Aboriginal health, eduction and TAFE and human resources in both the public and community sectors. Maurice combines his roles on the RQI management committee and as Chair of Balaangala Community Group (The Gap), while managing a chronic kidney condition. Maurice participates in supporting the kidney health community.
Clint Grossmann – Committee Member (Cairns)
Clint was first introduced to reconciliation sometime around 2009, through his work as a supplier to BHP and Rio Tinto. Later, as a contract manager with Chubb Fire and Security, he had been responsible for developing a number of indigenous engagement plans, but he felt progress under these plans was limited and they provided insufficient scope for follow up. He chose a different path when tendering for a very large contract in 2016 and, after enlisting the support of his senior leadership team, he commenced formulating his first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
Within two years, Clint’s team had launched their Innovate RAP. He says the most challenging aspect of their journey was gaining approval from his UK-based head office to publish the RAP and this drove his resolve to ensure ‘reconciliation’ became part of his company’s accepted cultural norm. In 2019, Chubb delivered online cultural awareness training for over 2,000 people nationally under the RAP.
As part of Chubb’s first Cultural Awareness Workshop, Uncle Bill Buchanan and Aunty Heather Castledine presented to Chubb’s Senior Leadership Team and Reconciliation Work Group in Brisbane, which Clint says helped to build belief among his colleagues in their RAP journey. He says it was also an opportunity to see first-hand how the work of RQI was making a difference, so it was a natural progression for him to get involved with establishing a Cairns based Local Reconciliation Group.
Other Committee Members include:
Aunty Denise Proud – Committee Member
Colin Neville – Committee Member