The Board 2022 – 2023
(as at the Annual General Meeting held on the 13 July 2022)
Diane Forsyth – President / Secretary
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.
Crag Carttling – Treasurer
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.
August 2021 – current
Ian Kuch began working as a secondary social science teacher and worked in Indigenous Communities at Mornington Island, Aurukun, Yarrabah. His work moved on to management positions with Aboriginal owned and controlled organisations in commercial and government services including CEO at EmployNet (an Aboriginal owned Job Network provider), Cairns Regional CDEP, Djumbunji Rangers, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council, former Director of the National Native Title Council and Business Development Manager for Northern Project Contracting. During his tenure at North Qld Land Council as CEO, they achieved over 35 Native Title determinations by consent. Since 2015 Ian has been semi-retired and continues work as a consultant to Indigenous Community Organisations.
With a strong interest and long involvement in the arts sector, Ian has managed the Gunggandji Dancers, a traditional Aboriginal Dance Troupe touring widely in Australia and Internationally (Christmas Island Casino opening and Mt Hagen Sing Sing, PNG), produced and curated art exhibitions such as ‘From Within’ which showcased Aboriginal art and traditional dance from the Wet Tropics at the Pacific Hotel, Cairns in 1995. As the EO at Bama Ngappi Ngappi Aboriginal Corporation in Yarrabah in the 1990s, Ian established an arts production and commercial pottery facility, opening ‘Bama Arts & Craft’, the only Aboriginal-owned arts retail outlet in Cairns at that time.
When Governance Change Manager for the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council in 2008, Ian sourced State Government funding to stage three highly successful Alcohol Free Community Concerts in Yarrabah, featuring Shane Howard (Goanna), Neil Murray (Warrumpi Band), Joe Geia, Zennith, Black Image and local Yarrabah performers and strongly believes that an active arts program contributes greatly to the community’s social fabric and cohesiveness.
Married to Julie Haysom, an artist and illustrator, with four wonderful adult children. Julie’s grandfather, Melville Haysom, was a well-known Brisbane artist, critic and teacher who is represented in many public and private collections including the Qld Art Gallery. Ian strongly believes that accountability both to funding agencies, organisation’s members and the general community is the cornerstone of any organisation’s success.
March 2022 (coopted) – Current
Errol Neal has worked in many sectors throughout his working life. From Labourer, Baker to Dance Troupe Leader, to Mayor of Yarrabah. As the Cultural Coordinator at Bama Ngappi Ngappi Aboriginal Corporation (1996 – 2006) Errol had various positions including Performing artist, Visual artist, Dance manager and then Marketing manager. He went on to be Employment Mentor at Signature Staff (2006 – 2007), mentoring 36 Indigenous workers to support their progression to full time work through individualized pathway plans. As the Cultural Officer Menmuny Museum and Boardwalk (2008 – 2012), Errol curated exhibitions, managing cultural tours and entertained, educated and guiding visitors and school groups with cultural performances and activities. A significant moment in Errol’s career was when he became Mayor of the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council (2012 – 2016) and advocated for the initiative of a working pier in the community, that has finally come about in 2022. As a long-term active member of the North Queensland Land Council Native Title representative body, he has sat as Board member (2000 – 2011), Chairperson (2011 – 2015) and currently a Director since 2015. He was a Director of the National Native Title Council (2011 – 2015) and currently works with the national Black Arm Band Incorporated as a Cultural advisor (2014 – current). Errol’s project the “Whale Song Line Festival” initiative was funded by Arts Qld First Nations Commissioning Fund and auspiced through Arts Nexus since 2020. With a long association with the team, Errol was invited to coopt onto the board to continue to advocate for the creative, cultural community of Yarrabah.
NOTE: more committee members to announce soon