A proud Bundjalung woman, Erin Lang has worked in Aboriginal communities for over ten years, building respect, gaining trust and demonstrating fairness and sincerity along the way.
Erin brings energy and enthusiasm to Reconciliation Queensland, where she plans to continue building and maintaining strong relationships at all levels of the community to achieve the organisation’s vision of an equitable and informed Queensland, which recognises a shared past and respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first Australians.
She has worked in a diverse range of community-based organisations including Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, Anglicare North Queensland, Queensland South Native Title Services, and Cape York/Gulf Remote Area Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Care.
Given her aptitude for innovation and collaboration, coupled with formal qualifications in Leadership and Management and extensive professional experience, Erin Lang is an asset to not only First Nation communities but the Queensland community as a whole.
Danielle Ah Boo is a Financial Accountant at Arrow Energy and Co-Chair (Indigenous) of Reconciliation Queensland. Danielle is a proud Torres Strait Islander woman, born and raised on Thursday Island. She is driven by her unmatched passion for empowering Indigenous peoples and communities and credits her strong cultural connections to her love for family and growing up in the Torres Strait.
Inspired by her dream of contributing to the positive imagery of Indigenous people, Danielle graduated from the Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Creative Industries and began working at 100% Indigenous-owned media agency, Carbon Creative. Here she was fortunate to travel across the country and work on projects which contributed to social change for Indigenous people. Always up for a challenge, after a few years Danielle decided it was time for a career change and undertook a Master of Business (Professional Accounting) which led to work at Ernst and Young. Working at one of the Big 4 accountancy and advisory firms gave her valuable experience and an insight into corporate Australia. To develop her financial accounting skills, Danielle moved to Arrow Energy where she is now undertaking the Chartered Accountants Program.
Despite the benefits of diversity in senior leadership and Boards being well known, women and Indigenous people remain underrepresented in these roles. Danielle believes that breaking the glass ceiling begins with representation and a comprehensive understanding of the foundations of corporate structures and governance. Through her studies and work experience, Danielle has gained the knowledge to empower herself to move into these areas and contribute to spaces where voices such as hers are necessary and needed. Danielle is determined to navigate any barriers in her own journey, to show others the way and help remove these barriers for future generations.
As the Co-Chair (Indigenous) of Reconciliation Queensland, a position she holds with much honour and gratitude, Danielle aspires to create generational change by raising more awareness to the reconciliation movement. With the younger ones back home front-of-mind, Danielle is particularly focused on developing opportunities for youth. She hopes to build a safer and more supportive Queensland for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by working with the broader community to address both conscious and unconscious bias towards her people. She feels a strong connection to her homelands and returns whenever possible to see her family and community.
Alex Hanlon co-founded Engine No. 2 after returning from New Zealand where she led the $1.2bn post-earthquake recovery program for the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. Alex brings over 20 years of experience in IT, property, finance and strategic business management, organisational transformation and culture change. She is motivated by supporting the recovery of people and organisations in extreme and challenging circumstances.
A voracious “people person” and a keen student of humanity, Alex has a degree in Political Science from the University of New South Wales. She is a board member of the New Zealand Child Cancer Foundation and has previously served on the Boards of NZ Green Building Council and the Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association.
Alex is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, New Zealand Institute of Company Directors, the Australian Institute of Digital Health and is a Resolution Institute accredited mediator. A seasoned speaker and advocate, Alex talks about digital disruption, crisis and recovery, women’s leadership, workplace culture and reconciliation.
Aunty Denise Proud has been acknowledged as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of The University of Queensland and is an internationally renowned presenter, educator, author and artist. Aunty Denise is a proud Aboriginal woman who was born and raised in Cherbourg. She delivers cultural and educational workshops across a range of sectors and industries to better support organisations in engaging and collaborating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.
Aunty Denise has been instrumental in raising awareness of the importance of early childhood education and the benefits to parents during the early years of her career and as the Teacher in Charge at the first Kindergarten in Cherbourg. She has a long and diverse professional career, including working for over twenty years in various prisons where she delivered cultural and educational programs for prisoners.
Aunty Denise is Co-Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education sub-committee at the University of the Sunshine Coast and a board member at Nungeena Aboriginal Corporation for Women’s Business.
Pele is a descendent of the Mualgal People of Zenadth Kes (Torres Straits), She is a dedicated member of the region’s First Nations community of Meeanjin, being born and raised in Brisbane. Pele is governance qualified through Australian Institute of Company Directors with an additional qualification in Health Science, as well as higher learning in Primary Health Care, Assessment & Training, Leadership and Business Administration. Pele is a true advocate for Reconciliation and sets high professional standards for advancing a fair and just economic and societal upscale for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Peter has been an active member of the Samford Reconciliation Group and Reconciliation Queensland since 1995 and served 15 years as Co-Chair for Reconciliation Queensland, stepping down at the 2021 AGM. 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 relationships with Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples in a large number of remote, rural and urban communities.
Peter is committed towards social justice for all people and fully supports the principles of reconciliation. On a personal level, Peter and his wife enjoy all the benefits of having a very diverse and extended multicultural family.
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 Treasurer for Reconciliation Queensland from 2017 until 2019. He is a military veteran; 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 took on an influencer engagement role with RSL Queensland in September 2021 and, for the previous 12 years, had worked for the primary healthcare organisation Brisbane North PHN where he was a strong advocate for reconciliation, a founding member of its reconciliation committee (formed in 2010) and 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 served nine years in the Australian Regular Army, worked as a civilian for a further six years with the Department of Defence, and has extensive experience in federal, state and local politics.
Heather is a Director of Organisational Business Services with Cook Council who has also acted as their Chief Executive Officer, with responsibility for developing, implementing and promoting a culture of good governance and exceptional business and advisory services across Council. Heather has a Masters of Business Administration, is governance qualified through the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has additional qualifications in human resources, leadership, engagement, project management, and psychology. Heather has a strong track record in community project management and early professional history in youth work. She reflects a strong commitment to Reconciliation personally and professionally in the choices she makes every day and in the practical manner in which Heather can contribute to the reform agenda in her different work and life spheres.
Katie Stride is a qualified legal practitioner and mediator who has worked in private, public and NGO sectors for the past 25 years in the areas of First Nations land rights, services and related policy. She holds a Masters Of Public Administration and is currently studying towards a Masters of Law (Sustainable Development). Katie is currently the National Judicial Registrar (Native Title) in the Federal Court. She works closely with native title groups, government and others to develop land use agreements that underpin consensual native title determinations. Katie is also an experienced board director, serving Aboriginal Carbon Foundation, with a focus on First Nations capacity building to benefit traditional owners in this sector. Katie has three daughters and a granddaughter of Tongan heritage and has been involved with the broader Pacific Islander community since attending International House at the University of Queensland in the early 1990’s. She is excited about contributing to Reconciliation Queensland as part of a long and dedicated commitment to First Nations advancement and helping to create a respectful, safe, multicultural Australia.
Nathan Appo, a Mamu man from Innisfail with connections to Goreng Goreng and Bundjalung Country, works for the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health where he coordinates the national expansion of the Deadly Choices program. Deadly Choices aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members by making health choices focusing on key issues like eating healthy food, exercising daily, giving up the smokes and attending your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health service to complete your 715 Health Check. The program has markedly increased the number of routine health checks undertaken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; a critical factor in preventative health measures.
Nathan’s passion for bringing awareness to mental health and anxiety issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men led him to become an Ambassador for the Movember fundraising cause. In 2020, Nathan represented Australia at the London Movember campaign event and shared his experience on ABC Breakfast News.
Nathan joined Reconciliation Queensland in 2021 where he plans to build on the achievements of leaders who went before him, taking Reconciliation Queensland to the next level. He believes in the value of First Nations Peoples and non-Indigenous Australians creating and maintaining respectful and honest partnerships. He is particularly interested in leveraging social media to broaden engagement and share knowledge and history with the diverse community that makes up Australia, especially young people.
Julie Ballangarry is a proud Gumbaynggirr/ Dunghutti women, who has 10+ years working in the education sector. She is currently a PhD candidate at Griffith Universities School of Government and International Relations researching policy-making processes in Indigenous education. Prior to her commencement at Griffith University, Julie was a primary school teacher and had worked in several remote and low SES Indigenous community schools. Julie is passionate about Indigenous education for improving outcomes for Indigenous students, pathways for Indigenous students, and teaching about Indigenous histories. Her passion for education is evident through her day-to-day interactions and current PhD research. Julie’s current and previous work aligns with her core beliefs around a creating a fair and just future for Indigenous peoples.