Ms Rachel Atkinson
As an Aboriginal, Yorta Yorta woman, Rachel Atkinson has dedicated her whole working life to improving the lives of her people. She has extensive lived experience working in rural, remote and urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and is determined to support the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationally.
Rachel has over 20 years’ experience as a CEO of non-government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, including her current position as CEO of the Palm Island Community Company. She has presented at numerous local, interstate and international conferences and forums on topics including the over-representation of Indigenous Australian children in the child protection system. As a current member of the SNAICC National Executive, Rachel has also been pivotal in highlighting issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families through media and parliamentary representation.
In addition to her role as Chair of QATSICPP, Rachel is also the Co-Chair of Family Matters Queensland and was previously a representative of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Reform Committee. She has also been a past President of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council and former chair of the Partnership for Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak.
Mr Lane Brookes
Lane is a 23-year-old Mandandanji man hailing from the South West Queensland town of Roma. A born and bred local, Lane is passionate about bringing change to his community as well as his state and country.
Since completing his schooling in 2012, Lane has held a variety of roles within the community. He initially became actively involved in youth and community programs when he worked at his local state school as an Indigenous Teacher Aide for two years. During that time, he completed his Diploma in Education through the Rural Area Teaching Education Program available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland. Through this experience, he took on more roles to benefit his community while learning how to teach primary school children in Far North Queensland, Cape York Peninsula and the South West Region.
In his spare time Lane mentors students with their homework, sport and extracurricular activities as well as introducing and maintaining cultural elements in their lives.
Ms Trudy Tronc
Director, North Queensland Region
Trudy is an experienced program manager dedicated to building and strengthening partnerships in communities. She is committed to bringing her extensive experience to QATSICPP, as well as her commitment to continuity of care, which she believes best meets the needs of children and families.
Trudy currently works at the Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service. She aims to use her local experience to add value to the North Queensland region and the State.
Ms Vanessa Summers
Director, South East Queensland Region
Ms Vanessa Summers is an Aboriginal woman, descending from the Butchulla people of Fraser Island. She has dual South Sea Islander heritage through her paternal lineage. Vanessa has been involved with QATSICPP for over ten years and is passionate about ensuring that all children and young people are safe and have the chance to embrace life’s opportunities.
Vanessa has a long history of involvement with the Gold Coast Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, first working for the sector in administration roles in the 1990s. Over 13 years ago, Vanessa commenced her first role on the frontline in the child protection field as a Child Protection Worker for the Recognised Entity. From there, she went on to attain formal qualifications in child protection, business management, governance, counselling and a Graduate Certificate in Human Services.
As the General Manager of the Kalwun Child and Family Support Service, Vanessa now oversees a team of more than 30 human services professionals. The team operates across two sites in South East Queensland and delivers family participation programs, family wellbeing, foster/kinship care and early education services for local communities.
Ms Jody Currie
Director, South West Queensland Region
With an extensive career in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander human service delivery, Jody Currie is an advocate for improving service accessibility.
Queensland born, Jody is a Yugambeh person with traditional ties to the country between the Logan and Tweed Rivers. Since attaining her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Gender Studies in her twenties, Jody embarked on her career in human service delivery.
Jody has a particular focus in child protection and health working in number of senior positions in both the community and government sector. She has worked for the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, Apunipima Cape York Health Council and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.
Jody believes strongly in the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to develop determine and manage their own service and their right to exist and grow as service providers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Jody is currently the Chief Executive Officer at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service Brisbane (ATSICHS Brisbane). ATSICHS Brisbane is a large diverse health, early childhood education, child protection, housing/homelessness and human service provider to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in the Brisbane and Logan region.
Director, Cape and Torres Strait
Marcella is from the Kaanju clan in Cape York, with connections to Waanyi on her mother’s side. On her father’s side she is from the Wakaid tribe from Badu, and Zagareb tribe from Mer in the Torres Strait Islands. Marcella lived and attended primary and secondary school most of her life in Cairns. However, her early years of living and schooling were on Thursday Island.
Marcella is currently the Vice President of RAATSICC and has been involved with the RAATSICC Management Committee since February 2019. Prior to that, she worked in collaboration with RAATSICC in the Cape York communities.
Marcella currently works for Gur A Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council (GBK) in the Meriba Ged Ngalpun Mab (MGNM) program area as a Community Partnerships and Capacity Building Manager. She is dedicated to working in the remote communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands.
Marcella has also spent time living and working in the Townsville region as a project officer facilitating state government funded employment and training projects with mainstream and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations She has also worked in government and non government positions in the Cairns area and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Far North Queensland in health, employment and training; and government coordination.
She is grateful to be able to work with organisations such as RAATSICC and GBK where she can help to advise and inform service delivery at grass roots level to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Cape York and the Torres Strait Island communities. Marcella is a strong advocate for the remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Cape York and Torres Strait Island regions, and believes in, and understands the importance of empowering people in these communities to inform and drive the agenda to improve service delivery and accessibility to improve outcomes.
With her extensive community non-government and government experience, and her BA in Adult Education and Community Management (UTS), Marcella brings a well informed and experienced skill set and knowledge to the Cape York and Torres Strait Director role on the QATSICCP Board and she looks forward to working with the other Directors on the QATSICCP Board.