First Nations Success Strategies Committee

The First Nations Success Strategies Committee (FNSSC) oversees strategies and programs for First Nations student support, education and employment.  The FNSSC includes First Nations staff members from across the university.  The Joint Consultative Committee also contributes to the FNSSC in relation to the First Nations Workforce Strategy.



  • ensures that eligibility requirements of the Commonwealth’s Indigenous Student Assistance Grants Guidelines (2017) are met,
  • manages Indigenous Student Success Program (ISSP) funding received from the National Indigenous Australians Agency,
  • represents the Indigenous Employment Reference Group,
  • provides oversight of the First Nations Workforce Strategy with the assistance of the Joint Consultative Committee,
  • oversees the First Nations Workforce Strategy, the Jilbay RHD Academy and First Nations Cross-Cultural Competency training.

Meet our Members and Support Team

CHAIR - Professor Adrian Miller, DVP Indigenous Engagement

Professor Miller is the Deputy Vice-President Indigenous Engagement, the BHP Chair in Indigenous Engagement and Director of the Jawun Research Centre at CQUniversity.  Professor Miller has strong leadership experience and a passion for achieving positive collaborative outcomes for Indigenous communities, including his own Jirrbal people in north Queensland.

DEPUTY CHAIR – Dr Thomas Doering

Dr Thomas Doering is the Deputy Chair of the First Nations Success Strategies Committee. Outside of this role, Tom is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Course for Allied Health at CQUniversity.

Emma Cerff

Emma Cerff is the Executive Officer, Office of Indigenous Engagement, and a proud Kullilli women who resides on Taribelang country.

I have been a member of the FNSSC since 2020 I do my part in supporting Indigenous students to achieve their goals.

Lynelle Fallon

Lynelle Fallon is a proud Waanyi Woman from North West QLD. 

I am a Radiographer working as an Associate Lecturer in Medical Imaging on Yuwi Country at the CQUni Mackay Ooralea Campus. The best part about being a lecturer is helping all students enjoy Medical Imaging whilst creating a supportive and positive learning experience throughout their academic studies. I love being a part of the FNSSC Committee and CQUni community to actively support and help generate, resilient and confident First Nation Students and Staff in attaining their goals and aspirations. The whole FNSSC are a deadly mob to work with, that will continually help me grow and strive for excellence in all areas of life.

Suewellyn Kelly

CQUniversity Associate Lecturer Suewellyn Kelly is an educator and practitioner with 30 years’ experience in the health, community, and education sectors. She has worked closely with First Nations people and First Nations controlled organisations in her region for over 20 years to help support First Nations people to overcome barriers to social and economic inclusion. As representative of the Joint Consultative Committee, Suewellyn is proud to contribute to CQUniversity’ s First Nations Workforce Strategy.

Savana Little

I am CQUniversity’s Indigenous Student Engagement Officer, based in Bundaberg.  I am a proud Djakunde and Wulli Wulli descendant based on Bundaberg campus. My aim is for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students to be culturally supported whilst furthering their education

Robert Spencer

As the Director of Student Engagement at CQU I have the privilege of leading many of the teams on the frontline supporting our students. I see the tremendous impact our staff, support programs, and research have on Indigenous Student Success. As a member of the First Nations Success Strategies Committee our aim is to ensure that CQU continues to build upon this great work, and that as a committee we carry out our functions and responsibilities to the highest standard.

Leonie Taylor

Leonie Taylor is Senior Co-ordinator for Indigenous Student Engagement.  As a Social Worker, she works from a strengths-based framework.  Leonie is committed to advocating and delivering a culturally safe environment of learning for all Indigenous students.

Danessa Willie-White

Danessa Willie-White, First Nations Employment Officer, is a proud Gimuy Walubara Yidinji woman and an Australian South Sea Islander, whose service to the community includes over 30 years in State Government. Danessa has worked extensively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, mentoring and assisting them on their pathway to sustainable employment.

Sarah Arrowsmith

Sarah is Project and Committee Officer with the Office of Indigenous Engagement, and Secretary of the FNSSC.  Sarah is a non-Indigenous professional with extensive project and administrative experience in the tertiary education sector.  She has an academic and teaching background, including supporting First Nations students.  

Tansy Manning

Tansy Manning is a Management Accountant Support Officer in the Finance Directorate of the Corporate Services Division.  She assists the Committee with administering the ISSP Grant.