Working for a better future and outcomes for our children
Ms Rachel Atkinson
As an Aboriginal, Yorta Yorta woman, I have dedicated my whole working life to improving the lives of my people. I have extensive lived- experience in working in rural, remote and urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. I have a strong commitment to self –determination and supporting the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationally.
I have over 20 years’ experience as a CEO of non-government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, including my current position as CEO of the Palm Island Community Company. I have presented at numerous local, interstate and international conferences and forums on topics including the over-representation of Indigenous children in the child protection system. As a current member of the SNAICC National Executive, I have been pivotal in highlighting issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families through media and parliamentary representation.
I am currently the Chair of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak and Co-Chair of Family Matters Queensland and was previously a representative of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Reform Committee. I have 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.
Dr Gerald Featherstone
Director - South West Queensland Region
Gerald is a Bundjalung man and proud father of 1 and has been a Director of QATSICPP since 2017. Dr Gerald Featherstone is the State Co-chair for Family Matters Queensland, he is a Director for multiple Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled NGO’s and is the CEO for Kummara Association.
Dr Featherstone has clinical experiencing in working with Queensland Health and Education Queensland and with Kummara Association family support and early learning services. His interest in Aboriginal parenting led him to complete his PHD in 2017. His thesis centred on understandings of ‘What makes well-functioning families in Brisbane’.
Dr Featherstone has extensive experience in advocating for families and children and providing therapeutic services as well as service development and research in the human services field. Dr Featherstone is passionate about the use of evidence in guiding service responses and education and is currently a member of UQ’s Social Work and Community Industry Advisory Committee.
Mr Lane Brookes
Lane is a 23-year-old Mandandanji man hailing from the South West QLD town of Roma, he is a born and bred local and passionate about bringing change to his community, state and country. Since completion of his schooling in 2012, he has had a variety of roles within the community.
His first being actively involved in youth and community programs where he worked at the local state school as an Indigenous Teacher Aide for 2 years after leaving school, during that time he successfully completed his Diploma in Education through the Rural Area Teaching Education Program which is for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people in QLD.
There he acquired more roles to benefit his community while learning how to teach primary school children in Far North QLD, Cape York Peninsula and the South West Region. In his spare time of the role he would mentor students with the homework, sport and extra curricular activities as well as introducing and maintaining cultural elements in their lives.
To read more about Lane, please click here
Ms Vanessa Summers
Director - South East Queensland Region
Ms Vanessa Summers is an Aboriginal woman, descendant from the Butchulla people of Fraser Island and has dual South Sea Islander heritage through her paternal lineage. Vanessa is the General Manager of Kalwun Child & Family Support Service, a business unit of Kalwun Development Corporation Ltd.
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 1990’s. Thirteen (13) years ago Vanessa commenced on the frontline in the child protection field as Child Protection Worker for the Recognised Entity and has gone on to attain formal qualifications in child protection, business management, governance, counselling and Graduate Certificate in Human Services.
Vanessa now oversees a team of more than 30 human services professionals which operate across two sites in South East Queensland delivering the Family Participation Program, Family wellbeing, Foster/Kinship care and Early Education services for the local communities. Vanessa has been involved with QATSICPP over the past 10 years. Vanessa is passionate about ensuring that all children and young people are safe and have the chance to embrace any opportunities which are available to them.
Ms Tamara Creamer
Director - Central Queensland Region
Tamara is a strong Kalkadoon/Waanyi woman who hails from North West Queensland. She currently works at Central Queensland Indigenous Development Ltd. (CQID) as the Executive/Manager of the Family Participation Program in the Central Queensland and Fraser Coast regions.
Tamara has a teaching background and has worked in the Child Protection Sector for over the last 6 years across the Recognised Entity and Family Wellbeing spaces. She is passionate about being at the forefront of change and empowerment for indigenous families involved in Child Protection.
Ms Yolonda Adams
Director – Moreton Region
Yolonda is a Larrakia woman, born and raised in Darwin. Yolonda is a registered psychologist and is currently the Director of Human Services for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service in Brisbane. This role oversees a number of child protection and child and family services programs. She has extensive experience working with Aboriginal people from urban, rural and remote communities. Yolonda has worked predominantly in the areas of justice, child protection and mental health prior to progressing to senior leadership positions.
Yolonda is in her final year of completing her doctoral dissertation at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University.
Ms Trudy Tronc
Director – North Queensland Region
Trudy is an experienced program manager working for Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service where she builds and strengthens partnerships whilst supporting continuity of care with a view to meeting the needs of children and families.
Trudy is committed to bringing her extensive experience to QATSICPP to add value to the North Queensland Region and greater state.