The QCOSS Board
QCOSS Board Chair
BSocSc (Couns), M.Clin.Couns., Grad.Dip. Strategic Leadership, MAICD, FIML
Passionate about social justice, improving systems and therapeutic practice, Matt is an experienced practitioner and has held senior executive roles at some of Australia's leading not-for-profits. He currently serves as a director of several companies and governmental advisory committees. He is proud to contribute to the ongoing strength of QCOSS in its strategic objectives and to represent members across the state.
Currently, Matt’s primary role is CEO of 54 reasons (Save The Children’s Australian services division), leading a large, professional workforce across every state and territory. He has a background in relationship and trauma counselling, disability, child protection, mental health, family law mediation, violence prevention and community development. His experience has included several Social Impact Investments, including leading Australia’s first Social Impact Bond to mature, and he has negotiated several innovative Payment By Outcome (PBO), based on risk/return modelling across a range of sectors. Matt has led mergers and acquisitions in several sectors and segments and enjoys leading through cultural and business transformation.
Dip Ed, B.Ed, Grad Dip Special Ed, Grad Cert Specialised Leadership, MAICD
After serving nearly a decade in the General Manager’s role of Roseberry Qld, (Central Queensland region), Colleen is proud of the success she was able to achieve, leading the organisation to the very prominent position it holds within the social sector. Having relocated to Brisbane, Colleen is still focused on ensuring regional issues and interests are highlighted while serving on the QCOSS Board.
Colleen is currently working within the education sector, where she is able to bring her experience and perspective from the NFP and social sector. Colleen works within the curriculum area, and is passionate to ensure, best possible outcomes and potential, are achieved for our children and young people - our children need great teachers in their lives, to inspire and motivate them.
Having an array of experience on boards, Colleen is continuing to enjoy working with such a talented group of people who sit on the QCOSS Board, as well as management and staff of QCOSS.
Prof. Bronwyn Fredericks
Dip. T(Sec), B.Educ, M.Educ, M.EducStudies, PhD along with two VET qualifications (Cert IV TAE and a Cert IV in Community Culture)
Bronwyn is a Professor and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) at the University of Queensland (UQ). She was previously the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement), and before that the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) at Central Queensland University (CQU).
In 2016, Bronwyn was appointed as the Presiding Commissioner with the Queensland Productivity Commission (QPC) to lead the Inquiry into service delivery in Queensland’s remote and discrete Indigenous communities. She worked on the Inquiry into manufacturing, the Inquiry into Imprisonment and Recidivism in Queensland (2019) and the Queensland Recycling Review (2019).
Bronwyn has worked for both state and federal levels of government and has a long history of direct hands-on involvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-based organisations spanning over 30 years. She was Chairperson of the Bidgerdii Community Health Service for some 9 years, a Director of Anglicare Central Queensland, Link-Up (Qld), has assisted in the establishment of community organisations, and served on numerous community committees in Central Queensland, Ipswich, and Brisbane, and at state and national levels.
Bronwyn is a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Research Advisory Committee, the Beyond Blue National Research Advisory Committee, and on numerous other Queensland and national annual awards and policy committees, as well as being a member of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) College of Experts.
Bronwyn is noted for her community-based research and translating research outcomes along with her strong practice-based commitment to social justice, and improving Indigenous health, education, and life outcomes.
B.Com, MBA, GAICD, FCEOI
Kevin Mercer is the Chief Executive Officer of St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland. He joined in February 2019 with more than 30 years of experience in management across a range of sectors, including 10 years in the aged care, community care, disability and retirement living sectors.
Kevin also held management positions in marketing, business development and logistics in a range of industries including retail, manufacturing, consulting, telecommunications, and energy sectors.
Kevin has served as the Chief Executive Aged and Community Care of Mercy Health Australia, and as the Chief Executive Officer of Holy Spirit Care Services.
He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accountancy and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Canterbury. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the CEO Institute of Australia. Kevin has also completed Catholic Health Australia’s Ministry Leadership Program.
He has a strong sense of social justice and a life-long passion for learning to improve the lives of those experiencing disadvantage.
B. Arts, Grad Cert in Housing Management & Policy, Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management, Diploma of Management, Diploma of Quality Auditing
Linda is a regional member and has worked with and on boards within the not-for-profit sector for over 30 years. As CEO of Hinchinbrook Community Support Centre, she has grown the centre into the lead community service provider in the Hinchinbrook area.
Linda has grown the centre through her passion for empowering others. This manifests in her commitment to teaching and mentoring, having taught community services through TAFE to both senior high school students and Indigenous workers from throughout North and Far North Queensland.
At a strategic level, she has contributed to the development of the sector training, the recognition of Queensland neighbourhood centres through regional and state neighbourhood centres networks, and the needs of the housing sector through the Townsville Housing & Homelessness Network.
B.Arts, B.Business (Mgmt) (Hons), Graduate Certificate in Management
Lee-Anne is currently a Regional Manager with Carers Queensland delivering Local Area Coordination Services for the National Disability Insurance Scheme across Central Queensland, Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Cooloola and Moreton Bay regions.
Lee-Anne has held several senior management positions across a range of community service organisations and developed partnerships and networks with a diverse range of stakeholders to deliver collaborative projects. She has worked in both service delivery and policy development across a range of project streams including, child protection, domestic and family violence services, family and relationship services and disability services.
Throughout Lee-Anne’s 25-year history working in the community services sector, she remains committed to championing equitable access to services in regional, remote, and rural communities and advocating for community organisations to receive the funding and support they need to deliver them.
Faiza El-Higzi OAM
BSc (Hons), Grad.Dip Pjt Mgt, MAppSc, MEd. PhD JP(Qual)
Faiza brings over 20 years’ experience in the community sector as a board member, manager, and volunteer, focusing on issues of equity, inclusion, and social change.
She is a recipient of the Order of Australia Medal (2020) and Queensland Government Multicultural Award for Outstanding Individual (2018). Faiza is a member of the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council, the Queensland Multicultural Advisory Committee and Metro South Health Consumer Advisory Committee. She is the Chair of the Ethnic Broadcasting Association Queensland.
Faiza worked in strategic policy at both state and federal government. Her experience in the NGO sector includes community development, refugee settlement and youth engagement. Faiza has several qualifications in Architecture, Project Management, International Business and Education and gender studies. Currently Faiza is an academic with University of Queensland.
Board member (Appointed 10 November 2022)
B.Applied Health Science (Indigenous Health), Advanced Dipl. Management, and a Cert IV in Youth Work, Indigenous Primary Health Care, Assessment and Training and Mental Health
Alvin is the General Manager of Mithangkaya Nguli Young People Ahead Youth and Community Services Indigenous Corporation, based on Kalkadoon Nation in the mining city of Mount Isa, and has been in this role for more than 12 years.
Alvin has a career spanning over 30 years working in the social health and community services sector, with a passion for working with First Nation children, youth and their families to address underlying social determinants to health and wellbeing.
Alvin was previously a Board Director at several Queensland peak bodies, namely the Workforce Health and Community Council, the Youth Affairs Network of Queensland, and more recently with the Queensland Youth Housing Coalition. Alvin is committed to ensuring children and young people’s voices are heard, and that true commitments to have them involved in important decision making are adhered to and valued, as they are the future leaders of Australia.
Annette holds the role of Company Secretary. Annette is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds qualifications in Human Resources, Community Service Management, Community Development and Project Management, coupled with more than 25 years’ experience in management and leadership positions, strategy and operations, governance, and service management gained in local government and the not-for-profit sectors.
Chief Executive Officer
B.Laws, B.Communications, Post Grad Dip in Legal Practice, Master International and Public Law, GAICD
Aimee is QCOSS’ Chief Executive Officer, and a strong advocate for equality, opportunity and wellbeing for all Queenslanders. As a lawyer and human rights advocate, Aimee led the successful campaign for a Human Rights Act for Queensland and was a founding director of Disability Law Queensland.
Prior to joining QCOSS, Aimee worked in various senior and advisory roles, including at the Disability Royal Commission and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Legal and Advocacy Service.
Aimee has been engaged by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples as a gender advisor and has worked with a number of non-profit organisations in Queensland, including during the Child Abuse Royal Commission. Aimee was also a state finalist for the 2017 Australian of the Year Awards, and a finalist for the 2019 Australian Human Rights Commission Human Rights Medal.
Board member (Resigned 10 November 2022)
B.Psychology, M.Suicidology, Master of Health Promotion
Rachelle is the Chief Executive Officer with Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland Limited. She believes that every person has the right to be safe, heard and thriving.
Rachelle has held several executive and frontline positions across out-of-home care, mental health, suicidology, criminology and human services. She has worked in urban, regional and remote settings across Queensland, NSW, ACT and Western Australia.
Rachelle’s work across rural and remote Australia has taught her that best practice and evidence-based models are not always a good fit for their intended populations. Rachelle is passionate about getting service providers and funding bodies to develop and deliver responsive programs and models that respond to the needs of the community and the individual.
Board and committee meetings
The Board met nine times during the financial year and made two decisions out of session.
The finance and audit committee met five times and the governance committee met four times.