Sandra Phillips, Chair
Sandra is a fulltime academic in the Creative Industries Faculty of QUT, lecturing in editing and publishing studies. Also Chair of the First Nations Australia Writers’ Network Inc. (FNAWN) and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Indigenous Story, Sandra’s research interests are in Indigenous Story and communities of practice through literature and digital platforms. Sandra’s First Nations Australia status is Wakka Wakka and Gooreng Gooreng. Sandra has also held leadership and representation roles in writing and arts and culture more broadly, and was former manager of Aboriginal Studies Press (Canberra) after working in-house as an editor with Magabala Books (Broome) and University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia).
For more than three decades Brisbane architect, artist and designer Paul Fairweather has applied his high level of creativity and strategic knowledge to achieve outstanding and enduring architecture, art, and design. He was the Managing Director of Fairweather Proberts Architects for 20 years until June 2009. Since 2010 Paul had established a small architectural and design practice based in New Farm. Paul’s focus is around sustainability, innovation, idea generation, and the empowerment of creative thinking. He is a great collaborator and communicator, and is a connecter between the creative and practical elements of creative business. Paul has been responsible for numerous chair designs, including the iconic Mr. Curly Top. He is a high-profile artist who regularly exhibits around Brisbane and in 2001 was an Archibald Prize finalist. Paul was licensee of TEDxBrisbane from 2010 until 2016, and presented a three minute talk on the main stage at TED in 2010. Paul was once described by a colleague as equal parts zen and espresso.
Amanda is Manager of khuril dhagan at State Library of Queensland. She is also a co-owner of BlakLash Collective a consultancy that provides innovative curatorial approaches and meaningful community engagement with exhibitions involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and artwork. Amanda is Wakka Wakka and Kalkadoon.
Cheryl Leavy is the Deputy Commissioner and joined the Commission in June 2017. She is passionate about promoting and advocating for safe, caring and connected communities and reducing the over-representation of First Australian Children in the child protection system. Cheryl has enjoyed a notable career working with both the private sector and across state and federal governments in the health, taxation, education and transport portfolios. She has served on several boards including as a representative of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Cheryl has deep experience and expertise engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations. A Kooma Traditional Owner, Cheryl’s country is in southern inland Queensland between Cunnamulla and St George.
Fiona has worked in policy and equity within the Queensland Government and held numerous volunteer roles in women’s, school and aid organisations. She is currently studying philosophy and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies at the University of Queensland and is excited to be collaborating with the rest of the Panel to deliver this important installation in this commemorative year.