The Steering Committee is designed to support effective oversight of the project, by providing advice to guide and monitor the project, both to the project team and to the funding body, the BHP Billiton Foundation. This will help to ensure that KPIs are delivered, that key governance arrangements are appropriate, and that strategic intent, partnerships and sustainability goals are met.

Steering Committee members meet twice a year, in approximately April and October.

The current Steering Committee members bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the governance of the project.

Dr Cass Hunter

Dr Cass Hunter is an Indigenous Social-ecological researcher for the Costal Development and Management program in CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere business unit. She received a 2016 Advance Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Fellowship from the Queensland Government to bring Torres Strait data into an integrated platform and to help communities and management agencies prioritise their activities. She is an Indigenous woman with connections to Far North Queensland. Her grandfather is a Kuku Yalanji man and her grandmother is a Torres Strait Islander woman.

Professor Jill Milroy

Professor Jill Milroy is from the Palyku people in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Professor Milroy is Pro Vice Chancellor, Indigenous Education, the Dean of the School of Indigenous Studies and Executive Director of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Western Australia. She has more than 30 years experience in Indigenous higher education developing university pathways, programs and support services for Indigenous students as well as a range of Indigenous curriculum and research initiatives. She has served on a number of national policy advisory bodies including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Advisory Council. Her key research interest is in Aboriginal knowledge, story systems and the rights of Aboriginal children to be born into stories. In 2011 Professor Milroy was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her services to Indigenous education.

Professor Martin Nakata

Professor Martin Nakata is Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education & Strategy at James Cook University, and Head of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre there. He is a leading Indigenous scholar in Australia, continues to undertake research, and publishes widely in areas of Indigenous higher education, Indigenous knowledge systems, and Indigenous Studies.

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson is BHP Billiton’s Manager Community and Social Investment and represents the BHP Billiton Foundation, which funds the program in entirety. The BHP Billiton Foundation aims to make a distinctive contribution to the unprecedented sustainable development challenges facing our generation. The Foundation’s innovative partnerships across Australia under its Education Equity Global Signature Program aim to improve educational opportunities and outcomes in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for under-represented groups including girls and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Dr Dan Walker

Dr Daniel Walker is research director for ‘Agriculture and Global Change’ in CSIRO Agriculture. His research focusses on systems-oriented integration of environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainable production in agricultural, forestry and rangelands landscapes in Australia and in a number of developing countries.

Dr Marcus Zipper

Dr Marcus Zipper has had senior leadership, commercial, business development and marketing roles primarily in scientific research organisations for more than 17 years, including more than 12 years in CSIRO. He has contributed to more than 30 publications including national and international journals, conference abstracts and written chapters for books on materials science and engineering. Currently, Dr Zipper leads the CSIRO Services business unit which comprises CSIRO Education & Outreach, CSIRO Publishing, Infrastructure Technologies, SME Connect and CSIRO Futures.

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