Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel

The Advisory Panel comprises eight independent members who provide expert advice to QSAC as it works to understand and address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland’s criminal justice system.

The Advisory Panel is designed to give a stronger voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, a better sense of how Queensland communities are affected by current sentencing, and insight into what changes might be made to improve outcomes.

The Panel was launched in November 2018 and will meet bi-monthly.


Panel membership

Bevan Costello

Chair Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel

Bevan is a Waka Waka man and inspirational figure within the Cherbourg community. He is a teacher at Cherbourg State School, Chair of the Barambah Justice Group, a member of the Cherbourg Community Council and committee member of the Ration Shed Museum, which depicts the history and vibrancy of the Cherbourg Aboriginal community. In his earlier life he played rugby league at professional level, representing Queensland. He studied teaching at Griffith University.


Laurie Bateman

Laurie Bateman

Laurie is a police officer serving in Townsville, having graduated from the Townsville Police Academy through the Indigenous Recruit Police Program (IRPP). Previously he was a Police Liaison Officer for the Queensland Police Service (QPS) in Cunnamulla.

His first job was as a sheep shearer, and he later worked as a shearing teacher and mentor for disengaged Indigenous youth at Merriman Station at Brewarinna, NSW. Laurie’s family are Kamilaroi People, from northern New South Wales, but he grew up in the heart of Kooma, in south west Queensland.


Dr Janet Hammill

Dr Janet Hammill

Janet established and coordinates the Collaboration for Alcohol Related Developmental Disorders (CARDD) within the Perinatal Research Group at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, and is a Senior Researcher at Synapse.

She was a nurse for more than 30 years before gaining a Masters in Tropical Health, followed by a PhD carried out using a much acclaimed participatory action research model. Now well known as a medical ethnographer, Janet weaves narratives of family history of health and life experiences into a biological framework to illustrate the epigenetic and developmental burden placed on families.

Janet is a Trindall from the Pilliga Scrub of Northwestern NSW, granddaughter of Nellie Reid, a Gomeroi woman of the area.


Raymond Harrison

Raymond Harrison

Raymond is an Environmental Technician working in the resources sector and is based in Brisbane. Previously he delivered cultural programs for young men and boys who are affected by the criminal justice system.

Through his mother he has connections with Gureng-Gureng, outside Bundaberg, and the Gungahlu tribe from outside Theodore in central Queensland.

Through his father’s tribal heritage he has connections to the Torres Strait Island of Mabiaug, and also the Wiri tribe, Mackay, and the Githabul tribe from the northern NSW area of Muli-Muli.


Boneta-Marie Mabo

Boneta-Marie Mabo

Boneta-Marie Mabo is an award-winning visual artist and a Youth Programs Manager at Sisters Inside, where she leads the Young Indigenous Art Program.

She has collaborated with the Royal Australian Mint to design a commemorative 50c coin; was inaugural artist-in-residence for the State Library of Queensland’s kuril dhagun Indigenous centre; and won the 2014 People’s Choice Award in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Telstra Art Award.

Boneta is a Piadram, Munbarra and South Sea Islander woman. Piadram is her Mer Island clan in the Torres Straits through her grandfather Eddie Koiki Mabo and she is Munbarra – the traditional lands of what is known as Palm Island – through her grandmother Bonita Mabo. She is also a descendant of stolen sugar slaves from Tanna Island.


Rebecca McKenzie

Rebecca McKenzie

Rebecca is an Indigenous Justice Officer within the Department of Justice and Attorney-General. She works closely with several Community Justice Groups and across the 14 Murri Courts in Queensland.   She was previously the Coordinator of the Brisbane Murri Elders Community Justice Group and the Brisbane Murri Court. Rebecca has also worked as a support person in the mainstream Magistrates Courts.  She has a strong commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are before the criminal justice system and enjoys regularly working with Elders and Respected Persons.

Rebecca is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Quandamooka people of the Noonuccal Tribe of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), and is a direct descendant of Juno Gonzales.


Stephen Tillett

Stephen Tillett

Stephen is the Executive Manager of the Indigenous Justice Program (Projects) in the Courts Innovation Program, Court Services Queensland. Previously he was the Acting Senior Sergeant, Project Manager for Cairns Safer Streets, improving community safety and well-being through community and whole-of-government partnerships. Stephen had been a police officer with QPS for 20 years, working throughout far north Queensland, including Cape York and the Torres Strait.

Stephen also volunteers as a Director for the Northern Pride Rugby League Football Club, and as a member of the Queensland Rugby League Indigenous Advisory Committee.

Stephen is a Torres Strait Islander; his mother is from St Paul’s on Moa Island.


Graham White

Graham White

Graham is Director of Sector Engagement and Communications at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, Brisbane. He has worked in government for more than 15 years, in roles that have involved policy development, program management, human resources and service delivery. He has also been involved with community sporting groups as a player, manager and in coaching positions all of his life.

Graham is an Iman man through his grandmother’s connection to the Taroom Mission; she was later relocated to Woorabinda.