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Community Enterprise Queensland (CEQ) is a Queensland Government Statutory Body which delivers essential services into remote Indigenous communities across North Queensland.

Our organisation is overseen by a highly experienced Board that reports to the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships on an annual basis.

The CEQ Board has primary responsibility to set the strategic direction and risk appetite of the organisation, as well as to monitor business performance.

To help achieve this, the Board has the following sub-committees that report to it on a regular basis:

  • Finance, Audit, Risk and Governance Committee
  • Employment, Training and Safety Committee
  • Community, Public Relations and Marketing Committee.

The Board is committed to ethical behaviour and works within its charter, monitoring the business and reviewing policies, business plans, budgets, and capital expenditure.

The CEQ Executive Team consists of a Chief Executive Officer, General Manager Business Infrastructure & Logistics, General Manager Human Resources, General Manager Finance, General Manager Merchandise, General Manager Operations and General Manager Stakeholder Engagement.

Meet the Board

In accordance with section 60 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities (Justice, Land and Other Matters) Act 1984, the CEQ Board is comprised of at least five, but not more than 10 members appointed by the Governor in Council.

CEQ Board Chairperson

Joann Schmider

Joann Schmider is a Mamu, Dyirbal nation Aboriginal person from Queensland's Wet Tropics Rainforest Country, with a multicultural heritage.

Actively involved in regional development and social services, environment and cultural industries within community networks, organisations, government and research sectors, Joann Schmider works with many different groups to facilitate community action and involvement, building and empowering people.

Joann brings to CEQ her 40 years' experience in Government engagement, policy, programming, and service delivery across social, cultural, environmental and economic fields.

Proud to have been one of the first 20 Indigenous teachers in Queensland, and involved in the seminal national agenda, Joann’s experience includes working for the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Sectoral Engagement, and internationally with the UN.

Board Member

Dr. Mark Wenitong

Dr Mark Wenitong (Professor Adjunct, QUT) is from the Kabi Kabi tribal group of South Queensland. He has been the Public Health Medical Advisor at Apunipima Cape York Health Council since 2008, where he continues to practice clinical medicine and remote health service systems and program delivery.

Dr Wenitong is the strategic advisor for the Lowitja Institute, Research Knowledge Translation and the inaugural Co-Chair of the QH Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statewide Clinical Network. Dr Wenitong was previously appointed as the Aboriginal Public Health Medical Officer, and the Acting CEO at the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) in 2012.

Dr Wenitong was Senior Medical Officer at Wuchopperen Health Service in Cairns for nine years with his main area of clinical interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care. Dr Wenitong received the 2011 Australian Medical Association Presidents National Award for Excellence in Healthcare and the 2010 Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council Hall of Fame Award.

Dr Wenitong brings extensive experience to the CEQ Board, with past and present experience serving on a number of Boards as both member and Chair.

Board Member

Mayor Mislam Sam

Mayor Mislam Sam is the current Mayor of Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council. Mayor Sam is also the Director of Palm Island Junior Sports Aboriginal Corporation and Director of the Palm Island Community Company Board delivering human services, community capacity building and economic development programs on Palm Island.

Mayor Mislam Sam brings CEQ a wealth of community experience as a Local Government Councillor and educator, having most recently completed a four-year tenure as a Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Councillor.

Prior to his role in Council, Mayor Sam had over ten years’ experience working within State Government in the areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy, Education and Training both in Townsville and on Palm Island.

Mayor Sam also operates an accommodation facility with a commercial kitchen on Palm Island which he has progressively grown into a prosperous business over the past four years.

Board Member

Ms Claire Alexander

Ms Claire Alexander is a Non-Executive Director and Executive Manager with recognised expertise in strategic financial management and development. Ms Alexander brings more than 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, including serving hospitals, local Governments, and major infrastructure projects as an experienced Chair of Audit Risk and Finance Committees.

A Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), Ms Alexander graduated from Griffith University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Business in Accounting, then received a Masters of Business Administration from the University of New England in 2004. Ms Alexander was also awarded the Public Practice Certificate CPA Australia in 2012.

Ms Alexander brings to CEQ a great understanding of financial management in regional areas. She is currently a Board member of the Southwest Hospital & Health Service and is also contracted to Maranoa Regional Council, Mt. Isa City Council, Murweh and Torres Shire Councils as a Strategic Financial Consultant.

Board Member

Mr. Fraser Nai

Fraser Nai is an identified Traditional Owner of Masig Island, as well as a former Councillor of Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC). Fraser has been involved in numerous tourism initiatives across the Torres Strait and has a long track record of public service including as Board Member with the Queensland Health Service.

Acknowledged by TSIRC as an Emerging Leader in 2018, Fraser then also received the ‘Councillor of the Year’ award in 2019 for his ability to influence change through leadership and deliver on the Council’s vision for the region.

Fraser has an extensive tourism network in Queensland, including as a committee member on the First Nations Tourism Working Group for the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC).

Fraser brings to CEQ his experience in strategic leadership, communications, facilitation and negotiation.

Board Member

Ms Leah Cameron

Ms Leah Cameron is a Trawlwoolway (Palawa) woman from Tasmania. Ms Cameron is highly effective in commercial legal practice and influential across Government and corporate Australia in advocating for social change.

Ms Cameron is Principal and Managing Director of the indigenous law firm Marrawah Law who provides native title and cultural heritage law services for Government, corporates and Indigenous businesses across the country.

Recently recognised as one of the Top 20 Under 40 business entrepreneurs in Australia, Indigenous Legal Practitioner of the Year in Queensland and Australia and received the Supply Nation Awards 2021 Certified Indigenous Business of the Year and Businesswoman of the Year.

Ms Cameron was also recently appointed as one of the independent experts on the esteemed Australian Heritage Council.

Ms Cameron is a passionate advocate for the growth of the Indigenous-owned business sector, women in business and a collaborative form of commercial legal practice that establishes win-win outcomes for all stakeholders.

Board Member

Mr Chris Edwards

Christopher Edwards is a capital delivery specialist working as Managing Director with Mace Group APAC supporting the end-to-end strategy, design, contracting, procurement and construction of capital and infrastructure projects across industries.

He currently serves on the regulatory Boards of the Professional Engineers of Queensland where he is also the Chair of the Risk and Audit Committee, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission where he is a member of Finance, Audit and Risk Committee and of the Insurance Committee. He also serves on the board of Aviation Australia and Racing Queensland.

He is a Committee Member of the Queensland Government’s Ministerial Construction Council Committee.

A graduate of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), the Project Management Institute (PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI-PBA), and Queensland University of Technology Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Christopher has been a member of AICD since 2008 and in 2010 he was awarded the status of Fellow of AICD as recognition of his prior commitment to non-executive directorships.

With more than 25 years of capital project leadership Christopher brings to Community Enterprise Queensland strong governance, project, and program leadership from both an operational and transformation perspective on large complex programs of work. He has worked on major capital and infrastructure programs in North Queensland and the Torres Straits for well over 20 years.

Board Member

Ms Tracey Groves

Ms Tracey Groves is a Non- Executive Director and Executive General Manager with an extensive and diverse career spanning over three decades in corporate and board governance.

Tracey brings a blend of strategic acumen, cultural diversity and a collaborative mindset offering valuable insights and driving positive change allowing her to navigate the complexities of a complex business landscape and seize emerging opportunities.

Tracey holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms Groves brings to CEQ a deep experience in infrastructure, logistics and retail across diverse and remote footprints with recent experience in Remote Northern Australia.

Board Member

Ms Carrie Starkings

Carrie is a FMCG business consultant with experience across Australia, Europe, Africa, South America & Asia.

Having extensive professional experience in commercial strategy, marketing, stakeholder management, complex supply chains, negotiation, and retail insight. Carrie has a passion for supporting the community, charitable organisations, and food trends.

Carrie has a BSc (Winemaking & Viticulture) from the University of Western Sydney.

Board Member

Ms Clara Tamu

Clara is an Indigenous woman from Warraber (Sue) Island in the Torres Strait. Clara’s professional career has spanned many different areas, from her first job at 16 years old with IBIS retail stores, to the Department of Aboriginal & Islanders Affairs, Department of Community, the Waibene Hospital Board and Queensland Health.

Clara has worked in health for over 20 years and during this time also joined the Army Reserve 51st Battalion C Coy as a Medic. Clara was elected to the Torres Strait Island Regional Council and served for 11 years under the Community Services Act and served 1 term of Council under the Local Government Act from 2016 – 2020.
Clara has also undertaken volunteer work for Mura Kosker supporting women in Domestic Violence & Child Safety and supported community with social security matters (Centrelink).

Clara has also held positions with unemployment agency My Pathways as a Cluster Manager, Housing Manager, and worked for Warraber Island Community Council Managing CDEP, Capital Works and Housing for her community.
Clara has been appointed to the CEQ Board as a community representative of our Torres Strait locations.