An outcome from the 2017 Indigenous Tourism Forum was the recognition and industry request for an Indigenous Tourism Strategy to guide the development and growth of Indigenous tourism across Queensland. 

The purpose of the strategy is to intensify the relationship between the functional and strategic cooperation which should be achieved. This involves identifying stakeholders, relationships, and priority items to drive the industry toward a common goal. Indigenous tourism experiences are a point of differentiation for Australia in a highly competitive global market and have been identified as an important value-add alongside Australia's core strengths of aquatic and coastal, food and wine, and nature and wildlife activities.

The Strategic Advancement Group are a committee of eight members who provide insight and strategy to government and governmental organisations in regard to tourism development opportunities for the Indigenous Tourism sector.
 

Committee Members

Cameron Costello – CEO, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation
Cameron is a Quandamooka man from Moreton Bay off the coast of Brisbane in South East Queensland. Cameron is a law graduate from the University of Queensland and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Leisure Management.

He has worked previously in the legal industry and for more than 15 years in local and state governments delivering Indigenous policies and programs including the Backing Indigenous Arts Program and the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. Cameron is currently the CEO for the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation – the Native Title Body and cultural heritage body for Moreton Bay including Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) that jointly manages the Naree Budjong Djarra (My Mother Earth) National Park, runs Quandamooka Coast Tourism experiences and the Quandamooka Festival.

He is on the Board of Minjerribah Camping, and a representative on the QTIC Indigenous Champions Network, Redland City Councils Tourism Sub Committee, North Stradbroke Island Economic Transition Strategy Committee, Queensland Koala Advisory Council and Moreton Bay Foundation Board.

Chern'ee Sutton – Contemporary Indigenous Artist, Chern’ee Sutton Art 

Chern’ee is a proud contemporary Indigenous artist from the Kalkadoon people from Mt Isa. She started painting at the age of thirteen and is very passionate about sharing stories of her families’ culture and history with the rest of the world.

Chern’ee has been fortunate enough to work with various departments and organisations including The Queensland Government, THE NRL, Tennis Australia and the Commonwealth Games. The Games saw her artwork on the mascot Borobi’s paws, feet, surfboard, name and advertising signage.

She has also had the pleasure to meet with Their Royal Highnesses and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their Royal visit to Australia. One of her Reconciliation paintings, depicting a united Australia now resides in the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace. Chern’ee is a member of the QTIC Indigenous Champions Network and continues to play a vital role of connecting the Indigenous culture to the rest of the world. 


Dalassa Yorkston  – CEO, Torres Shire Council

Dalassa Yorkston is a Torres Strait Islander woman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Torres Shire Council.

She is the first Indigenous local woman to hold this position and is a strong professional with an Associate degree focused on Community Management and Development from Curtin University. She is currently undertaking a Masters of Business Administration at Deakin University. 

Ms. Yorkston has more than twenty (20) years’ experience in local government and has been a member of the Executive Management Team within Council since 2008. From 2012, she has been CEO and was previously CEO of Bamaga Island Council. Ms. Yorkston was a member of the Referendum Council on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and participated in the National Constitutional Convention, which resulted in the consensus at Uluru and the creation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. 


David Hudson – Managing Director, Didgeralia
David Hudson descends from the Ewamian (oo-rah-min) / Western Yalanji of Queensland (people of the north east coast of Australia). He has a diverse career and is internationally renowned as a musician, artist, entertainer and presenter.

His work is considered traditional/contemporary yet has a very definite traditional influence. David has travelled extensively throughout Australia and the World as a solo artist and he promotes cultural awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditions wherever he travels. He promotes awareness of Aboriginal culture and tradition where he travels. A member of the QTIC Indigenous Champions Network, David is a passionate advocate for the industry. David welcomes inquiries to deliver and facilitate Cultural Capability workshops and training. 

Shannon Ruska –  Managing Director, Welcome to Country 

Shannon Ruska descends from the Yuggera, Nunukul and Yugambeh people of the Brisbane and Gold Coast regions. He has been working on reviving and maintaining Indigenous culture through arts and entertainment for more than 23 years. In his career he has educated over 15 million people globally via live stage performances, Welcome to Country speeches and TV appearances across the globe.

From the big stages to schools, Shannon has taught over 2000 Indigenous children from the South East Queensland corner through Aboriginal song, dance and culture. Shannon has been an Advisor and Cultural Consultant for major companies such as Brisbane City Council, Qantas Airlines, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and many others in Tourism, Mining, Education, Arts and Construction. He is also a member of the QTIC Indigenous Champions Network and continues to share stories of the Aboriginal culture to bring these stories to life.

Willie Enoch-Tranby – Sales Executive and Cultural Development Officer, CaPTA Group 
Willie Enoch – Tranby has been involved in local Indigenous tourism since a very young age. With a career spanning over two decades, he is well known in Tropical North Queensland for his success and innovation with Indigenous culture in the tourism industry. 

He began his tourism career at the age of thirteen as a Pamagirri dancer at Rainforestation Nature Park in Kuranda and after graduating high school, Willie pursued a career in professional Rugby League and Rugby Union. In 2011 Willie ceased his professional sporting career due to injuries and started his career in tourism with the CaPTA Group. Willie has been fortunate enough to develop his skills whilst at the CaPTA Group, completing a number of traineeships over the years and was recently promoted to Cultural Development Officer, to develop and make improvements to cultural aspects of the CaPTA Group. He has also created and developed Pamagirri Cultural Gallery Shop, which sells artefacts by Indigenous artists.

​​​​​​​Willie was recently selected for the 2017 Young Tourism Leaders Program. He is the first Indigenous individual to be selected for this program and uses this platform to inspire and educate young peoples from ethnic backgrounds to pursue a career in tourism. In addition, Willie also won the Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Young Achiever Excellence Award in 2017. This award recognises an individual under 35 who has made a significant contribution to the TNQ Tourism Industry and to the development of their community. Willie is and continues to be a strong leader for the Indigenous community in the Far North. 

John Anderson’– Executive Officer, Pi-CaTS Pty Ltd

John D Anderson is a Traditional Owner from the Nywaigi People around Ingham and Mamu People around Innisfail in North Queensland with traditional owner connections to the Central West and Central Highlands regions of Central Queensland.

John has over 40 years of Government, corporate and community sector experience both domestically and internationally, where he’s earned a well-respected reputation for cultural and moral integrity – a sought-after quality in establishing Queensland as the premier Australian destination for authentic First Peoples cultural tourism experiences and services.
He is an active domestic and international traveller with professional and customer experience with First Peoples’ cultural tourism products and services and with tourism focusing on health and wellbeing, music and cultural festivals.

Key Attributes and Roles:

  • Represented Indigenous worker rights including keynote addresses to international forums in Yokohama, Japan; Ottawa, Canada; and in Perth, Cairns, Brisbane, Toowoomba and Melbourne, Australia.
  • Highly skilled cross-cultural corporate governance specialist including Trustee, Chair and Director roles of numerous Indigenous economic, social, cultural and native title organisations plus a term as a Council Member of Central Queensland University - Queensland’s first dual-sector University.
  • Various appointments including to the Queensland Government Stolen Wages Reparations Taskforce 2015-2018; one of two community representatives to the Crime Reference Committee of Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission in July 2018, and to the Queensland Tourism Industry Council to help lead the development of an Indigenous Tourism Strategy for Queensland.
  • Holds Social Science, Civil Engineering Design, Communications and Journalism tertiary qualifications and is a member of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Grants Management.
  • Currently providing advocacy services to ChangeFest in growing a National Network of Communities who actively model the transformative social principles of community-led decision-making and place-based development consistent with the elements of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.