Advisory Board (Interim)

Professor Marcia Langton AM

Professor Langton is an anthropologist and geographer, and since 2000 has held the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. She has produced a large body of knowledge in the areas of political and legal anthropology, Indigenous agreements and engagement with the minerals industry, and Indigenous culture and art.

Her role in the Prime Minister and Cabinet sponsored Empowered Communities project, as member of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians is a recent demonstration of Professor Langton’s academic reputation, policy commitment and impact, alongside her role as a prominent public intellectual (e.g. her 2012 Boyer lectures titled ‘The Quiet Revolution: Indigenous People and the Resources Boom’), and her influence and reputation in government and private sector circles.

In the private sector Professor Langton serves on a number of boards, including as Chairperson of Guma ICRG JV Pty Ltd, as a Director of Indigenous Construction Resource Group Pty Ltd.

Awarded B.A. (Hons) from the Australian National University and a PhD from Macquarie University. She is a Fellow of Trinity College, Melbourne, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia, and a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Professor Dennis Foley

Professor Foley is a Research Academic at the University of Newcastle.
He is of Aboriginal descent (Gai-mariagal/Wiradjuri), researching primarily in the fields of Aboriginal entrepreneurship – enterprise, history and education. A Fulbright Scholar and twice an Endeavour Fellow he leads research in the space of Indigenous entrepreneurship and enterprise development in Australia. He is on the Editorial Board of the American Indian Quarterly; the Journal of Small Enterprise Research and the Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues and a Founding Director of the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce. He has also successfully owned and operated several small businesses, held positions at middle to senior management for over a decade in the banking sector and been employed in the higher education sector for over 25 years.

Heath Nelson

Heath graduated from The University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Economics Degree and a Bachelor of Science Degree (major Computer Science) in 1993. Following his tertiary studies Heath started work with the Aboriginal Economic Development Office within the Department of Commerce and Trade. In 2004, Heath moved into the tertiary sector with Edith Cowan University (Director of Education Faculty’s Business Centre) and The University of Western Australia in 2007 as the Business Manager for the Centre of Exploration Targeting, Centre of Petroleum Geoscience Carbon Sequestration and Centre of Marine Futures.

Heath joined Fortescue Metals Group in 2011 to increase the engagement and participation of Aboriginal businesses, in particular the communities that Fortescue works with. Today, over $1.8 billion in contracts has been awarded to Aboriginal businesses and 1,000 Aboriginal work on Fortescue operations representing 13% of the total workforce. Heath has recently taken up the Community development portfolio, managing Fortescue’s relationships with the relevant Towns/Shires and industry stakeholder groups; and continues to work closely with the 40 Aboriginal businesses within Fortescue’s supply chain.

Josephine Cashman

Josephine is a Worimi entrepeneur from New South Wales. She is a lawyer, business woman and social entrepreneur with more than 17 years of experience working to create rapid business, social and economic growth for Indigenous communities around Australia.

In 2013, Josephine was appointed by the Prime Minister to the Indigenous Advisory Council and serves as Chair of its Safe Communities Committee. She also sits on the Board of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. As a lawyer with a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, and a Bachelor of Laws and Communications (Journalism) from UTS, Josephine worked for more than nine years in the Australian courts, and has worked in consultancy and voluntary roles for a variety of private, public and non-profit sector organisations.

As founder of Riverview Global Partners, Josephine identifies and nurtures key relationships that attract and drive economic opportunities into Indigenous communities as a means of creating a better Australia for all. Josephine is a lateral thinker. She is an innovator who focusses her expertise in business, negotiation and engagement on real outcomes that meet the diverse practical needs of Indigenous communities. She is passionate about encouraging the Indigenous youth of Australia to become future leaders.