Board Members

Danny Gilbert, Co-Chair

Danny Gilbert AM is co-founder and Managing Partner of Gilbert + Tobin.

Danny currently holds and has held a number of directorships including Non-Executive Director of National Australia Bank Limited 2004-2016, Co-Chair of Cape York Partnership Group Ltd, Chairman of University of Western Sydney Foundation and Former Chairman of National Museum of Australia.

Danny is also a trustee of several private charitable trusts. Gilbert + Tobin is a major national corporate law firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Richie Ah Mat, Co-Chair

Richie Ah Mat

Richard (Richie) Ah Mat was born on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. His parents are descendants from the east and west coasts of Cape York. Richie’s mother is a Wuthathi woman whose traditional lands cover the ‘white sand’ area around Shelburne Bay on eastern Cape York, while his father was a Yupungathi man whose traditional country can be found on the western side of Cape York between Weipa and Mapoon.

Richie worked for Comalco for 27 years and was the first Aboriginal man to hold the position of President of a Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union Lodge.

Richie was elected as Chairperson of the Cape York Land Council in 1997. After serving his fourth term he moved into the position of Executive Director of Cape York Land Council in 2001 and held this position until 2005, before returning as Chairperson in late 2009. Richie is a non-executive director of the Cape York Group and a member of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council.

Noel Pearson, Founder

Noel PearsonNoel Pearson is one of Australia’s leading thinkers. He comes from the Guugu Yimidhirr community of Hope Vale on south eastern Cape York Peninsula, and is the primary architect of the Cape York Agenda.

Noel is a history and law graduate from the University of Sydney. In 1990, Noel co-founded the Cape York Land Council. Three years later, following the Mabo decision of the High Court of Australia, he played a key part in negotiating the Native Title Act 1993 with the Federal Government.

Noel was pivotal in helping establish sister organisations Apunipima Health Council, Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation, Indigenous Enterprise Partnerships, the Cape York Institute, and Cape York Partnerships.

Noel’s goal is to enable Cape York’s Indigenous people to have the capacity to choose the life they have reason to value by reinstating the rights of Aboriginal people to take responsibility for their lives. Noel is a sought-after speaker, influences public policy debate and Government deliberations, and has dedicated his life to the cause of Indigenous empowerment.

Wayne Butcher, Non-Executive Director

WayneBWayne was born and bred in Lockhart River. Wayne has been the Mayor of Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council since 2012.

Cr Butcher is focused on improving the educational and employment opportunities for the Lockhart community as he sees both as being integral to the continued development and long term success of the community as a whole.

His qualifications and experience in the field of community development, make him well placed to work with the community to develop and implement new ideas and strategies to continue to strengthen the people and the shire so close to his heart.

Wayne is also an advocate for the continuity of Lockhart Language and Culture; he continues to thrive through the support of his Elders teaching the survival of Lockhart traditions to the younger people. Education is a key priority and Wayne is committed to developing young leaders of the future.

Dion Creek, Non-Executive Director

Dion Creek has been an influential leader on Cape York for the past 10 years. In 2009 he co-founded Kalan Enterprises, a business focused on the provision of land management services and economic development in Coen. Currently appointed as the Operational Director of the largest employer in central Cape York, Dion is driving Kalan towards private enterprise opportunities in the area of raw materials supplies for large infrastructure projects on Cape York Peninsula.

Notable achievements include his significant involvement and influence in securing over 700,000ha of Aboriginal Freehold lands as part of the KULLA Land Trust in East-Central Cape York, which incorporated the establishment of the first Joint Management arrangement with the Queensland Government for a National Park and the creation of Toolka Land Trust. Dion has been instrumental in driving Indigenous led environmental research on his country. 

Dion currently serves on the Board of the Cape York Land Council (2010 to present) and Kalan Enterprises Aboriginal Corporation (2009 to present). He is the Chair of Toolka Land Trust and a Director on the KULLA Land Trust (2011 to present). Dion also serves on the Cape York Turtle and Dugong Taskforce, a leadership group that negotiates traditional hunting rights and future marine resource management framework for Cape York traditional owners..

Dr Ken Henry AC, Non-Executive Director

KenHKen has been Chairman of NAB since December 2015 and a Non-Executive Director since December 2011.

He served as the Secretary of the Department of the Treasury from 2001 to 2011 until November 2012, he was special advisor to the Prime Minister with responsibility for leading the development of the White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century.

He is a former member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Board of Taxation, the Council of Financial Regulators, the Council of Infrastructure Australia and was Chair of both the Howard Government’s Taxation Taskforce (‘A New Tax System’, 1997-1998) and the Review into Australia’s Future Tax System (the ‘Henry Tax Review’) commissioned by the Rudd Government (2008-09).

He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2007 and received the Centenary Medal in 2001.

David Jones, Non-Executive Director

davidJonesDavid is Executive Chairman of VGI Partners, a global listed equities absolute return fund. David spent seventeen years in private equity (1994-2011), as Managing Director at CHAMP Private Equity; Executive Director and Country Head of UBS Capital and a Division Director at Macquarie Direct Investment.

David studied Mechanical Engineering (University of Melbourne, First Class Honours) and an MBA (Harvard Business School).

David is Chairman of Kudos Energy, the National Museum of Australia and Derwent Executive, and a Non-Executive Director of EMR Capital, Global Sources Limited, and EC English.

Duncan Murray, Non-Executive Director

Duncan Murray

Duncan Murray was the CEO of the Cape York Partnership until December, 2017.

Duncan Murray is a former investment banker and lawyer, but for the majority of his career has been a CEO and COO lead operator in the public and private sectors, as well as the private equity and not-for-profit industry. He has occupied senior executive roles for more than a decade. He started his career in 1994 with Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks (now Allens) before joining Centaurus Corporate Finance (subsequently Merrill Lynch) in 1996. He has held various senior executive roles, including CEO and COO with EyeCorp, Platinum Media, Belong and Photon Group, Full Circle Holdings and Otway Partners and Otway Logistics.

Duncan was the inaugural Chairman of the Amy Gillett Foundation (2006-2013), and recently retired as a Director. He is the Deputy Chairman of Cycling Australia.

Jon Nicholson, Non-Executive Director

Jon NicholsonJon Nicholson has had a long corporate career. He was the Chief Strategy Officer at Westpac Banking Corporation and, before that, a Senior Vice-President with the Boston Consulting Group. Earlier in his career he was Senior Private Secretary to the Prime Minister of Australia (Bob Hawke). Jon has a deep expertise and experience in business strategy, business management and corporate governance.

He is Chair of the Westpac Foundation, a non-Executive Director of the IAG, and holds various other Board appointments. Jon is a graduate of the Australian National University.




 Ann Sherry, Non-Executive Director

Ann Sherry

Ann is Executive Chairman of Carnival Australia, the largest cruise ship operator in Australasia and a division of Carnival Corporation & Plc. Carnival is the world’s largest cruise ship business and owner of 10 iconic brands including P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Aida, Cunard, Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line and Seabourn. She joined in 2007 as CEO and has transformed the industry and growth has been double digit each year since 2007.

Prior to this, Ann held many roles with Westpac over 12 years including Chief Executive Officer, Westpac New Zealand and Pacific, CEO of the Bank of Melbourne and Group Executive, People & Performance. Before joining Westpac, Ann was First Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Status of Women in Canberra, advising the Prime Minister on policies and programmes to improve the status of women and was Australia’s representative to the United Nations forums on human rights and women’s rights.

In addition to her executive role, Ann holds a number of non-executive roles including Sydney Airport, ING Direct (Australia), The Palladium Group, Australian Rugby Union and Cape York Partnership.

In 2001, Ann was awarded a Centenary Medal. In 2004, Ann was awarded an Order of Australia. In 2011, Ann was listed in the FTSE 100 Global Women in Leadership. In 2013, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Macquarie University for her contribution to business and civil society and in 2014, an Honorary Doctorate of Business by University of Queensland.

In 2015, Ann was named as the overall winner of the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Award.

 Gabrielle Trainor, Non-Executive Director

Gabrielle Trainor

Gabrielle Trainor is a non-executive director and advisor whose experience covers over twenty years on boards in the public and private sectors ranging from infrastructure, urban development, public transport, tourism, construction and mining contracting, hospitality, to sports, arts and culture and indigenous advancement and welfare.

She is a member of the board of Infrastructure Australia, OnePath Life Insurance and OnePath General Insurance (ANZ Group subsidiary boards), Clarius Group and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority. She is a member of the Advisory Board of Wattle Hill RHC Fund1, an Australia to China PE fund. Her other current appointments include as a member of the Central Sydney Planning Committee and of the Board of Trustees of Western Sydney University, a trustee of the Charlie Perkins Education Trust, and a director of Business Events Sydney and agenda-setting indigenous organisation, Cape York Partnership. She is a Commissioner of the AFL.

Gabrielle is Chair of the National Film and Sound Archive,Temple Executive Search  and Barnardo’s Australia.

Her background is as a lawyer, newspaper journalist, public sector executive and for more than 25 years a consultant in issues management, public policy and corporate affairs, primarily to top 20 ASX listed entities

She is a former Churchill Fellow, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Honorary Associate in the Graduate School of Government at the University of Sydney.

Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung – Non-Executive Director

A graduate of James Cook University (B Ed), NAISDA Dance College (Diploma of Dance), Sydney and Queensland University of Technology (Master in Education, Major in School Guidance and Counselling)

Fiona Wirrer-George is a freelance performer, educator, writer and choreographer. Descending from the Mbaiwum/Trotj and Alngith/Liningithi Wikway Nations of Western Cape York Fiona also has

strong traditional ties to the Wik of Cape York through her maternal great-grandmother, pre-dominantly Wik Apalich. Fiona has also completed a Graduate Certificate in Research Methodology and is casual on-line lecturer of post-graduate students at James Cook University, Cairns Campus. Fiona is currently in her second year of PhD studies.

She has authored five books and three stage plays and her works have been show-cased both national and international.

She has been choreographer of the CIAF fashion show since 2015 and is currently contracted as choreographer for the 2018 Commonwealth Games Indigenous Fashion Show.

Fiona Jose, Group CEO and Executive Director

FJ_CYI PhotoFiona first joined the Cape York Institute in 2010 and, prior to her appointment as CEO, held a number of executive positions as Director of Leadership for the Cape York Leaders Program, Chief Executive Officer of Cape York Institute, General Manager of Cape York Partnership, and Chief Executive Officer of Cape York Partnership.

Fiona is also hands-on in a number of Indigenous-led organisations. She is a Leader of Empowered Communities, Board Member of Bama Services and Djarragun College, and Chairperson of Jawun Advisory Group.

She also holds a range of directorships including Non-Executive Director of Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation, Djarragun College, and Cape York Girl Academy.  Fiona is also on the Council of the National Museum of Australia.

Fiona was the winner of the 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Award – Queensland for Purpose and Social Enterprise. She was also a State Finalist in the 2012 Telstra Business Women’s Awards. Fiona’s enthusiasm, dedication and expertise were also recognised when the Australian Institute of Management named her Queensland Not-for-profit Manager of the Year in 2012.