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Council members

Debbie Best

Queensland Heritage Council current members are:

Debbie Best, Chair

Ms Debbie Best has nearly 40 years of successful executive leadership experience in the Queensland public service in a range of portfolios including education, indigenous policy and programs, multicultural affairs, environmental planning management, water resource management and natural resource management. She has an extensive background in state education, commencing her career as a secondary teacher and progressing to an Assistant Director-General position in 2000.

Ms Best has held executive management positions in the Education Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Water and Natural Resources, and in 2012 she became the Director-General for the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs before retiring from the Queensland Public Service in July 2013.

Ms Best has an extensive background in government boards and committees, including Director and Trustee of QSuper, Chair of the Cape York Welfare Reform Committee, Griffith University Council member and Murray Darling Basin Commissioner.

George Seymour, Deputy Chair

Cr George Seymour is the Deputy Mayor of the Fraser Coast Regional Council, where he also holds the portfolio of Community, Heritage and Family Services.  He is actively involved with local historical groups and is the chairperson of several heritage related bodies, including Maryborough Open House, an annual event which celebrates the heritage architecture, archaeology and gardens of Maryborough.

Cr Seymour has published history books about the architecture and people of Central Queensland and regularly gives walking tours and public history presentations at libraries and heritage sites.

He is a volunteer solicitor with a community legal service and a member of several boards including the Queensland Board of the Medical Board of Australia.

Judy Brien

Ms Judy Brien was admitted to practice as a barrister, and commenced practice at the private Queensland Bar, in January 2003. Prior to this, she practised as a solicitor in Brisbane from the mid-1990s. Judy is a Nationally Accredited Mediator.  

Ms Brien’s current practice spans a broad range of areas including planning and environment, heritage, judicial review, mining, environmental authorities and enforcement, native title, local government, determination of compensation for land, infrastructure and general litigation.

Ms Brien has advised or acted in proceedings for a range of parties including the Commonwealth, State of Queensland, government-owned corporations, Ministers of the Crown and related entities, various local governments, indigenous representative bodies, companies and private individuals.

Kathy Davis

Ms Kathy Davis has media communication, marketing and public relations expertise and extensive board and committee advisory experience. She is the owner of a State heritage-listed house and is an advocate for heritage property owners, particularly in relation to planning regulation. 

Ms Davis has marketed the Queensland Theatre Company, managed campaigns for Queensland Transport, promoted the Queensland Community Foundation and raised major funds for many non-profits.

She has assessed arts funding programs for the Queensland Government and brokered philanthropic support for arts and cultural organisations.

Alice Hampson

Ms Alice Hampson is a registered architect, sole practitioner, writer, architectural historian—and one of only a few practising Queensland architects who is a professional installation artist.

She graduated from the University of Queensland in Design Studies and Architecture with first class honours and the Board of Architects Prizes, the RAIA Medallion and prizes for design, drawings and construction. Her design work has been published and received awards both nationally and internationally. As an historian and heritage expert, Ms Hampson specialises in mid-twentieth-century works.

She is a Fellow of the AIA and has been an assessor for cultural heritage and a speaker at professional conferences in Australia and overseas. She is currently the Australian Institute of Architects representative on the Board of Architects Queensland. She is a contributing editor of Architecture Australia, and is State Awards Director of the AIA Queensland Awards for 2017.

Katie McConnel

Working in both the university and museum sectors for almost 20 years, Ms McConnel has established a strong reputation and research background in local heritage and regional history.

She is a passionate advocate for the history and heritage sectors, and endeavours to make history engaging for the community. She is an active board member of some of Queensland’s key heritage and historical organisations.

Through her exhibitions, writing, tours and public talks, Ms McConnel aims to make Queensland history—especially the history of Old Government House and the remarkable lives of key 19th century vice-regal women—more broadly accessible and captivating for people of all ages.

Tanya Neville

Ms Neville has over 20 years’ experience in the property industry with a diverse range of roles across planning, design and construction, in both the public and private sector. Ms Neville’s passion for memorable, beautiful, safe and democratic places as part of sustainable city building is evidenced in her past work with the South Bank Corporation and Brisbane City Council’s City Centre Master Plan delivery.

Ms Neville has recently returned from Christchurch where she has been a Project Director for the New Zealand Government’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority since 2013. She is now working with Economic Development Queensland—a specialist land use planning and property development unit within the Queensland Government—where she is focusing on opportunities associated with the proposed Cross River Rail infrastructure project and the SEQ rail network.

Ms Neville is a strong advocate for great design, sustainable city building and prosperous communities. Her interest and passion for great places will continue to be driven by innovative, creative and authentic place-making initiatives for current and future generations.

Judy Peters

Cr Judy Peters has 22 years’ experience working in local government. She holds the Community and Cultural Services portfolio—a role that recognises the significance of the past and embraces cultural diversity.

Cr Peters has an Advance Diploma of Community Sector Management, a Diploma of Business, a Diploma of Local Government, and is an active member of a number of community organisations.

She has facilitated a variety of partnerships with the community and the business sector which have significantly contributed to the future growth of the Bundaberg region.

Bill Marklew

Bill Marklew

Mr Bill Marklew represents Queensland Council of Unions. He is currently the Queensland Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union, the Secretary of the Union Shopper Inc and Vice President of the Queensland Council of Unions. Mr Marklew is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Defence Credit Union; Endeavour Foundation (Townsville and Districts); Freemasons Board of Benevolence; and was President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions Queensland (Townsville and Districts). Mr Marklew served in the Australian Army from 1973 to 1997.

Valerie Dennis

Dr Valerie Dennis

Dr Valerie Dennis represents the National Trust of Australia (Queensland). A professional historian, she is the Heritage Information Officer at the National Trust. Dr Dennis has been directly involved in advocacy, heritage research and publications, and heritage education and promotion for the National Trust since 2004. She is a member of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland) and has served on the organisation’s Management Committee.

Anthony Ross

Anthony Ross

Mr Anthony Ross represents the interests of rural industries in Queensland. He has been a Director of the Queensland Canegrowers Association and Canegrowers Mackay Limited for 12 years. He was inaugural Chairman of the Mackay Regional Electricity Council and a member of the Mackay Whitsunday Natural Resource Management Group. After a successful career in investment banking in both London and Sydney, Mr Ross returned to his family’s sugarcane growing business in Mackay in 1991. Among his community service, he has served as President of the Mackay Sunrise Rotary Club.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
3 January 2018
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