Current board

The Board 2020 – 2021

(as at the Annual General Meeting held on the 31 August 2020)

Woman with blonde hair wearing a watch and white shire

Julia Leu – President

2020 – current

Julia Leu is a local council veteran with over 26 years’ experience and was Mayor of the Douglas Shire Council from 2014 until March 2020, following 6 years as an independent Councillor with Cairns Regional Council. During that time she was involved with numerous innovative and creative local arts and cultural projects. Julia has been involved in Arts Nexus since its inception, as a founding member and encouraged Douglas to be the first Council to officially sign up. As a Community Development Officer, she was involved in establishing the Mossman Douglas Arts Base and was the Regional Arts Development Fund Liaison Officer. Julia also has over 10 years’ experience working in the federal public sector, across diverse communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait, including senior roles in community services and Indigenous education. A passionate advocate for regional communities, Indigenous enterprise, environmental, cultural and social sustainability, Julia values cultural diversity, heritage and inclusiveness.

Julia holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diplomas in Education and Communication (Film & TV Production).  Currently State Library Board of Queensland member and the Chair of the Public Library Advisory Group and a former director of the Australian Coastal Councils Association, Wet Tropics Management Authority, Regional Development Australia, Far North Queensland and Torres Strait Inc, Terrain NRM and the Northern Alliance of Councils Inc.


Jenny Brown – Secretary

October 2018 – current

Jenny’s career in education involving school teaching, adult education, vocational training, and community education and the various principal structures within the employing organisations, has given her multi-layered experience in governance and strategic planning.

As an avid lover of tropical living, Jenny has worked in local schools, businesses and organisations such as The Learning Workshop, Lifeline, Gill Corporation, Frog-friendly Gardening and more recently, Tenants Queensland. Jenny is passionate in presenting informative, interactive workshops that help people redesign their lives to be more productive according to their purpose. Jenny has developed her own set of design skills through the application of her qualifications in Education, Sustainability and Permaculture.

Jenny knows a diverse range of local artists and relishes the creative talent in FNQ. She was there to support arts workers in the early days of FNCIA and looks to continue strengthening her network connections for the progress of Arts Nexus. On any given day you may find her tucked away in her shed, the creative epicentre of her recycled timber projects, coffee in hand, enjoying the moment.


Diane Forsyth – Vice President

2012 – current

Diane Forsyth has a background in the Community Sector as a Psychotherapist. Diane has vast experiences working with at risk and disadvantaged people, owned and managed her own business and recently as an elected representative in Local Government Cairns Regional Council (2008-12) where she was able to influence and support new and innovative creative projects representing $150 million cultural entertainment precinct.

Diane is active on many Boards and Councils of non-Government organisations and a board member on the Cairns Regional Art Gallery for many years. Diane remains committed to the principles of the organisation and supporting sustainable environments and appropriate tropical development with a vibrant and creative arts cultural heart in Cairns.

Suzanne (Sue) Shannon

February 2018 – current

Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Arts from Sydney University, N.S.W ; a Bachelor of Social Administration (Social Work) from Flinders University, S.A and a Diploma of Fine Art from the North Adelaide School of Art, S.A. Before retiring as a social worker she worked in mental health in S.A, N.S.W and Qld. – most recently for the Innisfail Community Mental Health Service.

She has lived in FNQ since 1995, first in Cairns and then in the Cassowary Coast Region, living in Mission Beach and farming at Bilyana since 1998. Suzanne is a practicing visual artist in the mediums of acrylic painting and textiles. She was a founding member of the Mission Beach Artists and Craftworkers Association Inc. (MBACA) in 1998.

The MBACA was formed to link and support local artists in Mission Beach and surrounding areas and to provide a sales outlet for their work.  The Mission Beach Community Arts Centre Inc. (Mission Arts) succeeded MBACA opening in 2011. Suzanne was successful with two others in applying to the Gillard Government, under their Stimulus Package, for funding to design and build Mission Arts at MARCS Park, Mission Beach, and to Blueprint for the Bush for funding to equip the new not for profit community arts centre. She was on the executives of MBCAC and Mission Arts from 1999 to 2018, acting as Secretary for most of these terms, also on exhibition committees, planning the annual calendar of exhibitions, as a curator of several exhibitions and writing funding applications.  Sue continues to be passionate about the role of the arts in regional communities.


Dylan Carey

July 2019 – current

Dylan holds a Bachelor of Laws from James Cook University and is a partner at local law firm O’Connor Law.  A Cairns local having lived in Cairns since 1995, completing both his schooling and university in Cairns. Dylan is an active member of a number of community based organisations and boards including:

  • President of the Far North Queensland law Association;
  • Committee member of the North Queensland law Association;
  • Committee member of the Queensland Law Society Early Career Lawyers;
  • Honorary solicitor of the University of the Third Age; and
  • Member of the Far North Queensland Youth Assistance Fund.

Dylan enjoys live music and considers watching touring artists at the Tanks is always a terrific experience.  A regular goer to movie events that groups like End Credits Film Club host and visiting the various exhibitions at the Tanks and the Cairns Gallery.

“I buy a lot of art and read a lot of books so I guess you could say I am a consumer as well. My most recent purchase was a set by Mark Daniel which I want to hang in our new office when we get over there!”  Dylan is passionate about the development of the arts in FNQ and believes that the local economy can be enhanced by a sustainable, productive, and focused arts industry.


Jerry Tucker

July 2019  – current

Jerry is an Associate at Bottoms English Lawyers, with a strong interest and engagement in the local music and art scene.  In her work as a lawyer, she is predominantly involved in public interest class action litigation.  She recently ran a successful representative complaint for racial discrimination, and the well known Stolen Wages class action in Queensland.  Jerry studied at JCU Cairns and completed part of her law degree at the University of New Brunswick, Canada.

Jerry has a keen interest in the arts, with a small visual art collection herself (though nothing on her uncle Brian Tucker’s, boasting Queensland’s largest private collection). She enjoys creating jewellery through silversmithing and supporting local makers. In her role on the board of Arts Nexus, Jerry is looking forward to finding ways to support the development of the sector and emerging artists in the region.


Crag Carttling

March 2020 – current

Crag Carttling has a diverse practical and academic background. He has worked across not for profit, government and private sectors. Crag is passionate about work which brings together community groups with the three sectors to create value in innovative ways.

Crag has a long history of working on community projects in the arts, community development, environmental management and economic development. Crag is currently completing a double Masters in Business Administration/ Innovation and Entrepreneurship to further his ability to drive outcomes in such projects. Crag is particularly focused on sustainable enterprise development as a means to tackle wicked problems.

Milly Darby

August 2020 – current

Milly is business development, partnerships and account director with over twenty years’ experience in creating and executing fully integrated solutions for clients, stakeholders and the community. A resident of Far North Queensland region for over 15 years. She has worked in the Arts/Creative industry for most of her careers and see and support the value of arts and culture in delivering social, economic and cultural benefits.

Milly was the Business Development Manager at JUTE Theatre Company for three years providing high level leadership in planning, directing and evaluating all aspects of the role including fundraising, corporate and philanthropic partnerships in line with JUTE’s financial goals and played an integral role with the implementation of innovative business, marketing and communication strategies.

Milly has been a member of the Interim, Reconciliation Work Group (IRWF), Queensland State Emergency Service and is a current member of the FNQ Regional Community Forum.

Milly remains passionate about empowering communities through education and the arts in Far North Qld and hopes to achieve this by joining the board of Arts Nexus.