Chief Executive OfficerFiona 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 to the recent book ‘So You Want To Be a Leader’ by author Philip Crisp.
General Manager – Cape Operations
Audrey is a Dhirrtharr Warra woman from Hope Vale and a leader amongst her peers. 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.
General Manager – Cape York Leaders ProgramJames 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.
General Manager – Cape York EmploymentSonia 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.
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 Bama Services, a wholly Indigenous-owned and majority Indigenous-employed civil engineering, building, landscape construction and facilities maintenance company operating in Cairns and throughout Cape York.
General Manager – Cape York TimberGlenn 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.
Principal – Djarragun CollegeKathryn has been a teacher for over 25 years, with over 11 years experience in school leadership. Kathryn spent 7 years working at Bentley Park College, the last four years as Principal of the Secondary campus. 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.
General Manager – Pama Language CentreKarin is committed to working with the people of Cape York Peninsula to revitalise and maintain our rich cultural heritage and the 159 endangered Paman language varieties of our region. As General Manager of Pama Language Centre, Karin designs and coordinates the delivery of innovative language programs and workshops, the creation of high quality teaching materials and resources, and the recording of Cape York’s precious languages.
Chief Operating OfficerSimon’s professional career has spanned more than thirty years. He has a background in accounting, legal and contractual procurement; taxation and tax management as well as economic forecasting and a highly regarded business owner, industry and economic leader and philanthropist.
Simon has owned and operated family businesses in Papua New Guinea and Australia and lead teams of 600+ personnel in PNG and 250+ personnel in his Australian based enterprises.
General Manager – FinanceMatthew 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.
Fundraising and Development ManagerPaul has extensive experience in philanthropic fundraising and business development, specialising in social impact and social entrepreneurship. Paul has worked across Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region with organisations including Levis, United Way and Caritas.
Principal – Cape York Girl AcademyShoba is the Principal of Cape York Girl Academy, relocating from Sydney where she has been involved in education for over 25 years– as a secondary English teacher, teacher mentor, Aboriginal Educational facilitator, Learning Support Lecturer and Head of English. Most of her work has been in and around Western Sydney, with students who range from highly motivated in their education to those who have been disengaged. For the past six years, Shoba has been more directly involved in working with Aboriginal students and staff – learning more from them about their experiences of education. Shoba spent a year working as a Teacher Mentor at Yipirinya School, Alice Springs, and then as a HOC in Aurukun. These transformational experiences motivated her to learn more about the Aboriginal Experience in this country and enrol in a Masters of Indigenous Education through Macquarie University, which she completed in 2017. Since then, Shoba has attempted to engage with systems of education and how these can better embed Aboriginal voices and experiences into curriculums so that students feel like they are ‘seen’ and ‘heard’. Shoba strongly feels that this is for the benefit of all Australians. As the principal at Cape York Girl Academy, Shoba and the staff attempt to create this culture so that the students engage with their learning and understand they have choices for their future beyond school, and can contribute positively to their communities and a broader Australia.