Executive Leadership

Fiona Jose, Chief Executive Officer

Fiona  is an Indigenous leader dedicated to education, reform and empowering change for Indigenous Australia.

A proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Fiona’s love for her family, culture and heritage shaped her career in empowering local change in Indigenous communities.

Fiona 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’s professional career began with a traineeship at Education Queensland and during her 10 years with the department, she soon advanced to senior management positions. Here she gained a wealth of experience in leadership, management, education and government relations. Fiona also held management positions in aviation and training and employment.

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.

Fiona was a contributor on the recent book ‘So You Want To Be a Leader’ by author Philip Crisp.

Matthew Turner, General Manager – Finance

Matthew TurnerMatthew is responsible for all financial aspects of Cape York Partnership. He is a key member of the executive leadership team and engages with peers on budgets, monthly reporting and related efficiency measures. He also oversees the IT and administration functions, never losing site that his department is an enabler for other departments to carry out the primary objectives of the Partnership.


Tracey Burrell, General Manager – People

Tracey BurrellTracey has responsibility for all people based activity for Cape York Partnership, from both an operational and strategic perspective. The People team provides support to managers through the provision of policies, systems and guidance on staff management practices that aims to ensure staffing outcomes to support the achievement of the goals of the organisation.


Jimi Bostock, General Manager – Communications and Engagement

Jimi oversees communication and engagement functions across Cape York Partnership. He works closely with the executive leadership team to develop, maintain and enhance valuable relationships with government and corporate partners.  Jimi works with program managers and Cape York people to design communication and engagement practices for maximum community participation.


James Fa’Aoso, General Manager – Cape York Leaders Program

James Fa'AosoJames leads an all-Indigenous team under the Cape York Leaders Program. He is a product of the Program, being a member of the inaugural scholarship group in 2007. James has a strong affiliation to Cape York, through his mother with the communities Bamaga, Seisia and Saibai Island. He is passionate about developing Indigenous leaders who are committed to achieving their full potential, talent and confidence to reach their goals.

Sonia Minniecon, General Manager – Cape York Employment

Sonia MinnieconSonia is the General Manager of Cape York Employment, the Remote Jobs and Community Program (RJCP) service provider for Region 60 (Aurukun and Coen). Sonia leads her team in stakeholder and employer engagement, as well as in the development of a range of activities to enable job seeker engagement and participation in Aurukun and Coen.


Audrey Deemal, General Manager – Cape Operations

Audrey is a Dhirrtharr Warra woman from Hope Vale and a leader amongst her peers. She studied Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Hons) at University of Queensland in Brisbane and Applied Epidemiology at National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at Australian National University in Canberra and has extensive knowledge and experience in the Health industry having worked within Government and Community Organisations in Cape York, Cairns and Brisbane.

Audrey started with CYP in 2011 as Opportunity Hub Manager in Hope Vale where she was responsible for 10 team members. Audrey is very passionate about what Cape York Agenda is and what it’s doing to bring back community pride, community integrity and self-worth amongst her family and community members.

Prior to being appointed to her current position, Audrey was Manager of Opportunity Products.

David Stewart, Chairman – Bama Services

David StewartDavid is a civil engineer with 35 years’ experience managing operations in the construction and mining industry, throughout Australia and South East Asia. He was previously Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Leighton Holdings Limited, the parent company of one of Australia’s major project development and contracting organisations. David provides invaluable advice, guidance and contacts to Bama Services; and his experience and expertise is second to none.

Ranjan Rajagopal, General Manager – Bama Services


Ranjan is a qualified legal practitioner with extensive experience in the building and construction industry.  He has spent a number of years as a General Counsel for ASX listed companies advising them on a range of transactional, operational and litigious matters.  He is the General Manager for Cape York Enterprisess which is responsible for originating, developing and growing indigenous owned and operated enterprises of scale in order to deliver economic development and employment outcomes for the people of Cape York.

Rob de Fegely, Chairman – Cape York Timber

Rob de FegelyRob has more than 30 years’ experience in the Australian forestry industry and is the President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia and a Non-Executive Director of VicForests. In January 2014 he was appointed to the Agricultural Industry Advisory Council as a forestry representative and in March 2014 the Prime Minister announced he would co-Chair the Forestry Industry Advisory Council. Rob has a BSc (Forestry) from the Australian National University and an MSc from Aberdeen University in the UK.

Glenn Downing, General Manager – Cape York Timber

Glenn has over 20  years experience in the hardwood industry with 7 years as General Manager of a timber milling and processing operations in Central Gippsland. He also owned and operated his own businesses in the retail sector and is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that Cape York Timber presents.


Kathryn Todd, Principal – Djarragun College

Kathryn is an FNQ local, growing up in the small farming community of Garradunga, north of Innisfail, before completing her secondary education and university study in Brisbane.  Kathryn has been a teacher for over 25 years, with over 11 years experience in school leadership.

Kathryn spent the past 7 years working at Bentley Park College, a P-12 State School in the southern corridor of Cairns, the last four years as Principal of the Secondary campus.  This experience really ignited in her a passion for working with students from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Kathryn holds the fundamental belief that receiving a high quality education can be the key to overcoming adversity and be the pathway to future success for a student and for their children in generations to come.

Natalie Walker, Chair – Cape York Girl Academy

nat2Natalie is a Kuku Yalanji woman from Port Douglas in Far North Queensland and one of Australia’s most exciting young entrepreneurs, named in the top 100 Women of Influence in 2012.  She has over 16 years experience working in and with the corporate, small business, government and not-for-profit sectors on various social and economic policy.  Natalie is the founder and managing director of Inside Policy, specialising in assisting clients to understand complex policy problems, identify the core issues and design ways forward. Notable previous roles include founding CEO of Supply Nation, project manager in KPMG’s Indigenous Business Stream, advisor to the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission and various policy and program management roles in Queensland Government Department of Communities. Natalie has degrees in psychology and law, and is currently completing her Masters in Economics.