Board of Directors
One of the greatest strengths of UMI Arts is its all-Indigenous Board of Directors. Each of the Directors has participated in an intensive governance training program and each actively participates in their respective communities, whether as a cultural practitioner, in the social justice system, local government, or as a Traditional Owner.
Each Director brings to the Board a wealth of cultural knowledge and a shared commitment to supporting the staff in the delivery of UMI Arts annual program of activities.
(L-R): Leo B. Akee, Noel Zaro OAM, Roy McIvor, Priscilla Major, Lisa Michl, Larissa Simpson, Robert Tommy Pau
Leo B Akee - Chairperson
Leo (Beizam - Shark) is a proud Meriam of the Geuram tribe, one of the Eight Tribes of Mer. His totems include Beizam (Shark), Tabor (Snake), Bid (Dolphin), Waumer (Frigate bird), Deumer (Torres Strait Pigeon) and Galbol (Whale). Leo is currently the District Manager of Education Queensland/DETA, and has been a Councillor of the Torres Shire Council (1997-2000) and Deputy Mayor of the Torres Strait (2000-2004). Leo has sat on many national committees and Boards, including the Australia Counci's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board, Grants Assessment Committee and the National Indigenous Advisory Reference Group, Australian Indigenous Training Advisory Council, Regional Employment Taskforce, James Cook University Vice Chancellor's Indigenous Advisory Council, Torres Strait Regional Managers Forum and TAFE Interim State Advisory and College Council. Leo is a composer and entertainer, cultural and music festival co-ordinator, cultural dancer, musician, artist and wood carver with 30 years experience in the arts.
Noel Zaro OAM - Deputy- Chairperson
Noel is a descendant of the Dowareb tribe, part of the Murray Island group. His tribal totems are Nam (Green sea turtle), the Womer (Man-of-war hawk), and Argi Dabor (Deep Sea Mackeral). His Mother’s tribe is Meriam Samsep of Mer, with totems Beizam (Shark), Deumer (Torres Strait Pigeon), and Deger (Dugong). His language is Meriam Mir, the Murray Island language that is spoken in the eastern Torres Strait. Noel is a teacher and performer of traditional Murray Island dances, and has performed both nationally and internationally.
Roy McIvor - Director
Roy McIvor is from the Guugu Yimithirr tribe, and was born at Cape Bedford Mission. He grew up in Woorabinda after his family was forcibly removed from the mission. Roy moved back to Hope Vale in 1950 and has been an active artist in his community ever since.
Priscilla Major - Director
Ma Cheltrulalie Priscilla Major is a Traditional woman from the Kokoberra peoples on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula. The Kokoberra are the Traditional Owners for the Mitchell River area including the Aboriginal community of Kowanyama.
Lisa Michl- Director, Company Secretary
Lisa Michl is a Kokoberrin woman, from Inkerman country, Cape York Peninsula, and descends from a strong line of Aboriginal women. Lisa's bush name Komangge`n was passed on to her by her great grandfather, a senior Kokoberrin man. Lisa is a professional artist and exhibits nationally and internationally.
Larissa Simpson- Director
Descending from traditionalist ancestors from Erub, Ugar and the Birri-Gubba Nation, Larissa was born and raised in Cairns with the support of a strong extensive family network throughout the far north. Larissa is a proud mother of three young children who through encouragement, guidance and participation, strives to help them achieve the best education possible and explore their rich cultural heritage. Larissa has always been surrounded by long-time political, social, economic, educational and cultural campaigners and has held positions herself with Child Safety and the Families Responsibilities Commission.
Robert Tommy Pau- Director
Roberts heritage is of Eastern Torres Strait Islands, Australian Aboriginal, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islander and Asian. His two languages are Torres Strait Creole and Australian English. Roberts involvement in the arts and culture is a lifelong experience as his father coached them in cultural practices and created avenues and means to keep culture strong. Roberts believes in the old ways but does realise that modern globalisation is inevitable and culture must remain true to the past and move with time to exist in the future.
335 SHERIDAN ST
NORTH CAIRNS QLD 4870
PO BOX 1100
NORTH CAIRNS QLD 4870
PHONE: 07 4041 6152
FAX: 07 4041 6542
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