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.