Cheryl Leavy is the Executive Director of the Partnerships Branch of the Queensland Department of Environment and Science. This role has a strong focus on working with the department and in genuine partnership with First Nations people to co-steward Queensland’s unique natural environment, and protect the rights and interests of First Nations peoples, including the deep value of cultural heritage. Cheryl is responsible for the Cape York Tenure Resolution Program, World Heritage oversight, the Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program, and policy and strategy, including Native Title and Cultural Heritage.
Cheryl led the development of the department’s Gurra Gurra Framework 2020-2026 and is working closely with the senior executive to embed its principles and implement integrated strategies to reform the department’s relationships with First Nations people. Cheryl is also the Department’s Cultural Agency Leader.
Cheryl has also worked in the private sector, and state and federal governments in diverse fields including health, taxation, education and transport. In her previous role as Deputy Commissioner at the Queensland Family and Child Commission, Cheryl supported QFCC’s drive to oversight improvement and reform of Queensland’s child protection and family support system.
Cheryl has also enjoyed a long career in arts administration, serving on several boards including the Queensland Art Gallery, Canberra Museum and Gallery, ACT Cultural Council, the Queensland Music Festival, and currently the Brisbane Writers Festival and the Institute of Modern Art.
Cheryl is a Kooma Traditional Owner. Kooma Country is South West Queensland, between St George and Cunnamulla. Cheryl is passionate about language revitalisation and is working on her own language.