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Independent Interim Body

The Independent Interim Body (IIB) are a short-term interim body, to continue the momentum while the First Nations Treaty Institute (the Institute) and Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry (the Inquiry) are established.

The IIB will:

  • design and deliver local truth telling activities about Queensland’s history with support from Queensland public institutions including art galleries, museums, libraries and archives
  • co-design the Institute and the Inquiry with the Queensland Government
  • facilitate research with First Nations peoples to explore community treaty readiness and priorities.

Local truth telling

Local truth telling plays a fundamental role in the treaty journey.

Truth telling is a way for all Queenslanders to understand how past laws, policies and practices have, and continue to, impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The IIB will work alongside local communities to start this conversation.

Meet the panel members

Ms Cheryl Buchanan (co-chair)Ms Cheryl Buchanan (Co-Chair)

Cheryl Buchanan is a proud Guwamu woman from southwest Queensland. She is a renowned publisher, playwright, author, speaker, director, teacher, lecturer and traditional dancer.

Spanning more than five decades, Cheryl has played an integral role in driving social change for her people—both at state and national levels. To this day, she remains a vocal political activist and passionate advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

She has extensive experience in cultural advocacy and is a founder of well-known community organisations including the Aboriginal Legal, Medical Services and Childcare Centre in Brisbane, Black Community School, and Black Resource Centre, as well as being the first Aboriginal publisher (Murrie Coo-ee).

She has also served as the first Aboriginal Commissioner with Queensland Corrective Services, and as Chair of the Queensland and National Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committees. As a founding member of the Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations, Cheryl is currently a Director, and is also a Director of Queensland Murray-Darling Catchments Limited. Cheryl is currently a member of the State Library Board and an executive member of the Indigenous Peoples Organisation and has been selected to attend COP27 in Egypt later this year.

Cheryl was a former Treaty Working Group member that led the initial conversations around the State on Queensland’s Path to Treaty, in 2020.

Dr Sallyanne Atkinson AO (Co-Chair)Dr Sallyanne Atkinson AO (Co-Chair)

Dr Sallyanne Atkinson was the first female Lord Mayor of Brisbane, and the only woman to have held the position.

Sallyanne is the Chairman of the Museum of Brisbane, has been President of the Council of The Women's College at the University of Queensland and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland.

Sallyanne was a member of the Treaty Advancement Committee, responsible for the report to government.

Dr Bianca BeetsonDr Bianca Beetson

Dr Bianca Beetson is a Kabi Kabi and Wiradjuri woman and has been a practising artist for over 29 years.

In 2018, Bianca was awarded a Doctor of Visual Art from the QLD College of Art, Griffith University.

Her current board and advisory group memberships include the board of trustees of the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art and its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory panel. She is also a NAVA board member on the board for Digi Youth Arts and a member of the Queensland First Nations Arts and Cultures Advisory panel.

Ms Seleena BlackleyMs Seleena Blackley

Seleena Blackley is a young Kalkutungu and Moa Island woman.

Seleena currently works as a Youth Specialist for 54 Reasons in Mount Isa.

Seleena is a senior cultural facilitator for her family’s Kalkutungu cultural business, Malkarri Cultural Centre. She is also a member of the Aboriginal & Islander Development Recreational Women's Association, which advocates for the rights of women and their families.

Mr Aaron Fa’AosoMr Aaron Fa’Aoso

Aaron Fa’Aoso is a descendant of the Samu and Koedal clans of Saibai Island in the Torres Strait.

Aaron is the Managing Director of his production company, Lone Star. He has led an illustrious career as a screenwriter, director and producer, which has resulted in many awards and nominations including the Cannes Film Festival and the Sheffield Film Festival.

He is passionate and strongly committed to bringing the stories of the Torres Strait and Cape York communities to a wider audience and to creating better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Mr Mick GoodaMr Mick Gooda

Mick’s people are the Ghungalu from the Dawson Valley in Central Queensland. He has spent the last 30 years advocating for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

He held positions as the Commissioner at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice, Co-Commissioner on the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. He has also held positions as CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health, Native Title Consultant with the Western Australian Aboriginal Legal Service, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, ATSIC.

More recently, he has been appointed to the Queensland First Children and Families Board, and as First Nations Housing Advisor to the Queensland Government.

Mick was also the Co-Chair of the Treaty Working Group in 2019 and the Treaty Advancement Committee in 2021.

Emeritus Professor The Hon Michael Lavarch AOEmeritus Professor The Hon Michael Lavarch AO

Michael Lavarch is a proud Queenslander, who has spent his life serving his community.

He completed his Law degree in 1984, before being elected to the House of Representatives as the member for Fisher in 1987, and for Dickson in 1993.

In his role as the Attorney-General in the Keating Government from 1993 to 1996, Michael worked to establish the National Native Title Tribunal and conducted negotiations with State and Territory governments for the implementation of the Native Title Act. He also initiated a wide range of law reform, including the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families.

Ms Marg O’Donnell AOMs Marg O’Donnell AO

Marg O’Donnell is a proud Queenslander with extensive board and public service experience.

Marg was the Director-General of three state government departments in Queensland: Aboriginal Affairs, Equity and Fair Trading, and the Arts.

She is currently a mentor to senior executives and a member of the Advisory Board to Professor Wesley Enoch, Indigenous Chair in the Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology.

Mr Ray Rosendale CSMMr Ray Rosendale CSM

Ray Rosendale is a Kuku Yalanji man of the Western Sunset People. He is also proud of his Danish and English heritage.

Ray has enjoyed a long and decorated career in the military and has worked as a case manager at Anglicare and currently works as a Community Services Officer with the Cairns Regional Council.

He strives to support others and make First Peoples advancement a priority for the region. He works closely with the community to resolve concerns, issues, and problems they may be experiencing in the region. Ray has a degree in human services and honours degree in social work.

Ms Natalie Siegel-BrownMs Natalie Siegel-Brown

Natalie Siegel-Brown is the Commissioner specialising in Social Policy at the Australian Productivity Commission, currently leading major reviews of Australia's educational reforms, and the progress Australia has made under the national Closing the Gap agreement.

Her diverse background has been singularly driven by a passion to make the world a better place. Natalie began life as a lawyer where she worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in domestic and family violence, and crime prevention. This subsequently led to a career at the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and the Australian Human Rights Commission.