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First Nations Arts and Cultures Panel

About the Panel

The First Nations Arts and Cultures Panel (the Panel) has been established to amplify the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the future of arts, culture and creativity in Queensland, with a focus on meaningful representation and engagement. 

The Panel will play a significant role in advising Arts Queensland on the necessary actions to realise these priorities by: 

  • informing the development of programs and strategies, and identify opportunities that build sustainable and ethical Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts industries
  • reviewing data to evaluate the success of programs and policies 
  • providing appropriate cultural advice on recommendations for Arts Queensland initiatives
  • developing and providing feedback on existing arts and cultural strategies and programs that support or include First Nations activities; including the appropriateness of Arts Queensland investment systems and processes 
  • supporting and informing the assessment of dedicate First Nations funding programs where required
  • reviewing current First Nations arts funding programs particularly assessing cultural appropriateness.

The Panel is a key action of Sustain 2020-2022, the first action plan of Creative Together 2020-2030: A 10-Year Roadmap for arts, culture and creativity in Queensland.


Terms of Reference

The Panel's Terms of Reference (PDF) (239.36 KB)  outlines the roles, responsibilities, composition and operating guidelines of the the Panel in accordance with the requirements of Arts Queensland.



A communique of the Panel’s meeting will be published after each meeting.

17 March 2021 communique (PDF) (767.19 KB) text only (DOCX) (96.03 KB)

16 April 2021 communique  (PDF) (777.57 KB) text only (DOCX) (96.4 KB)

28 May 2021 communique (PDF) (786.65 KB) text only (DOCX) (431.44 KB)

18 June 2021 communique (PDF) (714.79 KB) text only (DOCX) (439.54 KB)

6 August 2021 communique (PDF) (772.22 KB) text only (DOCX) (438.5 KB)

17 September 2021 communique (PDF) (774.71 KB) text only (DOCX) (440.38 KB)

22 October 2021 communique (PDF) (772.95 KB) text only (DOCX) (96.97 KB)




Should you have any questions regarding the Panel or would like to contact the Panel, please contact the Panel Secretariat, Arts Queensland at


Panel Members

The Panel comprises ten members, including the Chair, who hold decades of collective knowledge and experience as practicing artists, programmers, educators and academics, and as leaders in small business, entrepreneurship, governance, community, heritage, education, tourism, creative business and government across Queensland.


Georgina RichtersChair: Georgina Richters - Luritja

Ms Richters has extensive and diverse experience in the corporate world with a focus on performing arts, governance, government and business. As a current Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) board member and advisor to the Tourism and Events Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee, Ms Richters brings first-hand professional experience. 

Ms Richters is a former board member for Bravehearts; the Qld State Lead for PwC’s Indigenous Consulting, the Principal of Environment Land Heritage; and the CEO of the Western Cape Communities Trust. She has worked in leadership roles within the public, private and not-for-profit sector and has more than 25 years’ experience working in Indigenous affairs at national, state, local and community levels involving strategic planning, developing business improvements and in implementing strategic direction in organisations. Ms Richters is passionate about delivering innovative community-based and led solutions that protect, restore and build the positive lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.


Dr Bianca BeetsonDr Bianca Beetson – Kabi Kabi, Waradjuri

Dr Beetson has diverse professional and community and extensive leadership experience, and has held several leadership positions within the arts sector, including Director of Indigenous Research unit with Griffith University. She is a member of Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art’s board of trustees and their Indigenous Advisory panel and a member of Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art’s artist advisory group.

Dr Beetson is a visual artist who works in a broad range of media in addition to curation and community engaged arts practice. She was the program leader of the Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art degree at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. As a former member of the seminal Aboriginal artists collectives Campfire Group and Proppanow, she has been involved in projects focuses on cultural collaboration.  She is skilled in curatorial projects, photography, Aboriginal affairs, lecturing and fine arts.


Yolande BrownYolande Brown – Bidjara

Yolande Brown is a proud descendent of the Bidjara Clan and has strong connections to the Wangurri Clan of the Yolngu People (North East Arnhem Land).

Yolande Brown is a former Senior Dance Artist with Bangarra Dance Theatre (1999 – 2015) and has collaborated with Australia’s creative leaders across fields including music, theatre and dance. From 2015 – 2020, Ms Brown coordinated the build and curation of Bangarra’s award-winning digital site Knowledge Ground (launched in 2019), which showcases Bangarra’s repertoire and increases access to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture for all Australians. She has worked closely with Cultural Consultants on numerous creative projects. Ms Brown has choreographed for Bangarra – Dark Emu (2018) and Imprint (2013) – and has Associate Directed productions for the Sydney Festival – I Am Eora (2012) and Black Cockatoo (2020). She currently delivers the teacher’s professional development course Winhanga’rra, which explores processes and practices for engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, in an educational context. Ms Brown continues to learn about the rich First Nations cultures in Australia and aims to inspire the next generation of storytellers. 


Cameron CostelloCameron Costello – Quandamooka

Cameron is a Quandamooka man from Moreton Bay, Brisbane in Queensland. He is a law graduate from the University of Queensland and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Leisure Management from Griffith University. Cameron has worked previously in the legal industry and has over 15 years’ experience delivering First Nation policies and programs including the establishment of the Queensland Government’s Backing Indigenous Arts Program and the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, and the Black Diamonds Program for Brisbane City Council.

Cameron recently completed 7 years as the CEO for the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) ‐ the Native Title Body and Cultural Heritage Body for the native title determination over Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). In this role he was on the Board of Minjerribah Camping, a 100% owned QYAC tourism business that runs Holiday Parks and camping on Minjerribah. Cameron has been an active member on committees including the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Queensland Koala Advisory Council, Redland City Council (RCC) Tourism Sub-Committee, EcoTourism Australia and the Senior Implementation Working Group for the Naree Budjong Djara National Park. As QYAC CEO Cameron developed the Quandamooka Festival, was a key negotiator for the 2019 Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) Native Title Determination, and particularly focused on promoting and facilitating QYAC’s vision for a Gudjundabu Marumba Gubiyiyanya (Tourism for a Glad Tomorrow) and Mara Millen Yagabili (many hands create) arts and cultural strategy.

Prior to QYAC Cameron undertook various arts strategy and development projects including co-facilitating a Strategic Planning Workshop for key funded organisations under the National Indigenous Arts Infrastructure Program (NIAIP) in November 2012, undertaking a peer strategic review of BlakDance Australia in February 2013 and sole facilitation of the Making Solid Ground Forum for key organisations in the NIAIP in May 2013. In 2020, Cameron received both the Griffith University Outstanding First Nation Peoples Alumnus Award and the University of Queensland Indigenous Community Impact Award.


Dr Fiona FoleyDr Fiona Foley – Badtjala

In 2020 Dr Foley was awarded The Inaugural Monica Clare Research Fellowship from the State Library of Queensland towards a publication. In addition, Fiona Foley has been awarded a grant from the newly established Cherish Fund, Australia Council for the Arts to create a new photographic series on her traditional country. 

Dr Foley is the recipient of the highly prestigious, Capstone Editing Early Career Academic Research Grant for Women, 2020. Her publication Biting the Clouds: A Badtjala perspective on The Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act, 1897 (UQP) is receiving national media attention and is the subject of many reviews in print and radio broadcasts. 

Dr Foley has exhibited for the past 35 years taking part in her first exhibition, Koori Art 84 at Art Space, Sydney. She exhibits regularly in Australia and internationally (including 49 solo exhibitions and 171 group exhibitions). Her recent solo exhibitions were held at Andrew Baker Art Dealer, Brisbane 2017, Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2019 and the National Art School, Sydney, in 2020. In 2014 she was the recipient of an Australia Council Visual Arts Award. She is a regular keynote speaker at conferences and symposia all over the world. Most recently she convened Courting Blakness: Recalibrating Knowledge in the Sandstone University (2014) at the University of Queensland, where she was an Adjunct Professor (2011-2017).


Julie-Ann LambourneJulie-Ann Lambourne – Torres Strait Islander

Julie-Ann Lambourne (Torres Strait Islander – Mabuiag and Erub) is one of Tagai Management Consultant Senior Consultants with a Master’s in business administration.  Julie-Ann has been with TMC since 2019, specialising in innovation, workforce development, business strategy and community development.

Julie-Ann was the co-founded and CEO of Indigenous Charity Registered entity enVizion Group Inc which project managed and launched the world first virtual reality experience bus.  

She is passionate about utilising cutting-edge technologies to complement traditional practices to deliver meaningful and creative solutions, including the development of Indigenous business and leaders. Julie-ann has a wealth of experience across sectors including small business, education, including vocational education, workforce development, social services, community development and innovation and advanced technology.

Julie-Ann is a member of the Queensland Small Business Advisory Council, Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business and Innovation Reference Groups and is an Advance Community Digital Champion.


Emma LobanEmma Loban – Kulkalgal, Meriam and Wuthathi

Emma Loban is a curator, researcher, writer and consultant currently based in Gimuy (Cairns). Her strong family and cultural connections extend from Eastern Cape York Peninsula to Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait) in Far North Queensland.  

Emma works alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on collaborative projects that support the maintenance, revitalisation, presentation and promotion of First Peoples arts and cultures. She champions First Peoples’ inherent cultural rights, and is passionate about supporting Indigenous agency within cultural institutions. Emma draws upon her extensive networks, knowledge, experience and skill base to guide organisations in meaningful and effective engagement with First Peoples to achieve mutually agreed benefits and outcomes. 

Emma has worked across a broad range of cultural institutions and arts organisations over the past twelve years including the Indigenous Art Centre Alliance, NorthSite Contemporary Arts and the Cairns Art Gallery. She is the former Operations and Exhibitions Manager at the Gab Titui Torres Strait Cultural Centre on Waiben (Thursday Island) where she worked for over six years. In this role Emma successfully led strategic development and implementation of the centre’s operations, exhibitions and public programs through enhanced community engagement.  

Over the past decade, Emma has conducted extensive research into Torres Strait cultural heritage material and ancestral human remains held in major public collections across the UK including the British Museum, Cambridge University Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, Oxford University Pitt Rivers Museum and the National Museum of Scotland. In 2011, Emma was awarded six-month Fellowship with the London Natural History Museum where she assisted in the repatriation of her family and community’s ancestral remains from the museum to Australia. Emma has delivered presentations, lectures and participated in panel discussions on a broad range of topics at places such as the National Museum of Australia, Cambridge University and the David Attenborough Studio.  

Emma is a recipient of the British Council ACCELERATE Award (2015) and National Gallery of Australia’s Wesfarmers Indigenous Arts Leadership Award (2010). In 2012, Emma was named Torres Shire Young Citizen of the Year for her leadership and work in Torres Strait Culture, Arts and Heritage. Emma is completing a MA in Cultural Heritage and holds a Graduate Certificate of Museum Studies from Deakin University. 


Robert McLellanRobert McLellan – Gooreng Gooreng

Robert McLellan is a proud Gooreng Gooreng man of the Wide Bay region, QLD. He is an experienced corporate board member supporting companies’ and organisations’ strategic direction particularly focusing on not-for-profit governance principles. Robert’s professional experience also extends to cultural studies with a focus on Indigenous languages, sociology, arts and communications. He is a strong advocate for truth telling and speaking up for Aboriginal people’s rights and justice, economic advancement, arts and culture and ensuring Aboriginal people’s representation and voice are authentically valued and embraced across all levels of society.  

He serves as Chair of the Board for Living Languages – Melbourne, supporting Indigenous peoples’ ownership of their language documentation and revitalisation nation-wide. He is the Treasurer for Stepping Black Indigenous Corporation Australia and Chair of the Board for Stepping Black ARTS – Wide Bay. Robert is a Member of the Wide Bay Regional Engagement Committee – CQ University and the previous Chair of Bundaberg & District NAIDOC. He is also the producer of Bundaberg’s MILBI Festival, an arts and cultural festival developed in 2019 to celebrate the identity, spirit and liveability of the region.


Stephanie ParkinStephanie Parkin – Quandamooka of Minjerribah

After practicing as an intellectual property lawyer at McCullough Robertson, Stephanie went on to complete a Masters' of Philosophy at the Queensland University of Technology in 2020. The Masters' thesis addresses the drivers and impacts of fake Aboriginal art in the souvenir market, and in doing so, gives priority to the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

In the various roles Stephanie undertakes, her work focuses on promoting and addressing Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights and ethical and transparent trading between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and those who wish to sell or licence their work. 

Ms Parkin is the current Chairperson of the Indigenous Art Code Ltd and is employed by the Copyright Agency as the Indigenous Engagement Manager.


Yvette WalkerYvette Walker – descendent of the Waanyi people of the Gulf of Carpentaria

Ms Walker is the Founder and Artistic Director of BlackBleep Productions and is an independent producer, director and actor. She has strong experience in writing, theatre and production as well as a focus on cultural safety and protocols in the performing arts and First Nations storytelling.

Ms Walker is one of the Founding Members of the Queensland Independent Artists Alliance working in the area of advocacy with a focus on equity, inclusion and safety in creative industries. A descendent of the Waanyi people of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Ms Walker's community connections stem beyond Queensland borders.





In November 2020, Arts Queensland called for Expressions of Interest (DOCX) (261.85 KB) from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals living in all parts of Queensland, who have connection to and knowledge of First Nations arts and cultures, and creative industries to form a First Nations Arts and Cultures Panel.

Ten panellists have been selected by an independent procurement panel, comprising three First Nations representatives, from a pool of 18 applications received through the EOI process.

The Panel members have been appointed for an initial 12 month period, with additional members able to be added as required. Panel members were selected to ensure a breadth and depth of experience across art form, geographic location and age and gender diversity where possible.