Meet our staff

Our staff are dedicated to providing a safe space for QUT’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to share and discuss ideas, resources, challenges and experiences.

Our Director

Julie Cook

Julie Cook is a proud Nunukal woman; her traditional country is Minjerribah-North Stradbroke Island.

Within Ms Cooks role as the Director of the Oodgeroo Unit, she manages and leads the university’s Oodgeroo Unit and oversees the successful development and implementation of recruitment, support, and retention programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Guiding the Oodgeroo Unit to provide leadership, expertise and advice in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student matters to all parts of the university.

Developing and reviewing policies, objectives and strategies relevant to the Oodgeroo Unit ensuring alignment with the university’s priorities and strategic direction.

To help address all aspects of student success, including career development and employment, retention and case management, support for learning and student partnership and leadership development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Julie’s passion is to ensure services are culturally safe, inclusive and responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


Alisha Britten

Alisha Britten is a proud Yorta Yorta women, traditional lands lay on both sides of the Murray River, and with connections to the Ngarrindjeri Nation in South Australia. As the Manager of the Oodgeroo Unit, Alisha oversees the operations of the Unit across both campuses to ensure the effective recruitment, engagement and learning success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander QUT students.

Performance team

We are your first point of contact for office inquiries. The Performance team provides high-quality operational and administrative support to students and staff of the Oodgeroo Unit.

Senior Performance Coordinator

Deb Palmer

Deb is a proud Ngarrindjeri woman from the Coorong in South Australia. Deb has a passion for employment, education and learning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples along with a general interest in Indigenous Affairs.

As Senior Performance Coordinator, Deb is responsible for the management of the Performance Team and oversees business process implementation and reporting of the Oodgeroo Unit.

Performance Support Assistant, Gardens Point campus

Parina Wasaga-Soki

Parina Wasaga-Soki is a Kaurareg and Mualgal / Italgal woman. Parina is the first point of contact for the Gardens Point Oodgeroo Unit and responsible for support the day to day activities of the Oodgeroo Unit.

Performance Support Assistant, Kelvin Grove campus

Desirai Saunders

Desirai is the first point of contact for the Kelvin Grove Oodgeroo Unit and is responsible for administrative duties and assisting and supporting the day to day activities of the Oodgeroo Unit.

Learning Success team

The Learning Success team is focused on supporting and engaging current Oodgeroo Unit undergraduate and postgraduate (coursework) students across all QUT campuses and those undertaking external study. We are committed to providing academic and cultural support and delivering the Keystones of Success: Supporting Our Future Leaders Program to students.

Senior Student Success Coordinator

Kathryn Martin-Anderson

Kathryn Martin is a proud Torres Strait Islander woman, descendant of the Umu Mere and Umai Lag peoples. As the Acting Manager of the Oodgeroo Unit, Kathryn directs the operations across Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove campuses to ensure successful student and community engagement; recruitment of staff and prospective students; and the learning support of QUT's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Indigenous Career Counsellor

Barry Ryan

Learning Success Officer, Gardens Point campus

Kate Leitch

Kate is a Woppaburra woman from the Keppel Islands with cultural connections to Kalkadoon country in Mt Isa and Pentecost Island in the South Sea.

Her role as a Learning Success Officer is to provide advice and feedback to the Manager and the Senior Learning Success Coordinator on initiatives, strategies, and practices aimed at assisting Oodgeroo students to achieve academically and personally.

Learning Success Officer, Kelvin Grove campus

Jhalli Pleasant

Jhalli Pleasant is a proud Munanjhalli (Beaudesert) and Gooreng Gooreng (Gladstone) woman with South Sea Islander background and African American heritage. She was born in Brisbane but spent her childhood living between Los Angeles, California and Queensland.

Jhalli is experienced with tertiary education and providing a positive student experience with a background in the higher education sector working in student and academic administration and Indigenous engagement.

Jhalli has credited her aspiration to pursue further education to her positive experience at QUT. She is passionate about international relations with aspirations to become a confident leader. She is looking forward to building stronger relationships with the mob at QUT.

Learning Success Officer, Kelvin Grove campus

Nathias Warkill

Nathias Warkill was born and raised in Rockhampton with cultural connections to Birri-Gubba (Burdekin) and Australian South Sea Islander heritage (Ambrym, Tanna ,Pentecost and Santo in Vanuatu).

Nathias is passionate about education and has experience in tertiary and vocational education involving university outreach to secondary schools and Indigenous student support.

In his role as Learning Success Officer, he hopes to assist students in navigating through their academic and personal university experiences. He aims to assist in creating streamlined processes that allow our mob positive career trajectories and assist the Oodgeroo Unit in recruitment, retention, and completion of First Nations students at QUT.

Learning Support Officer, Gardens Point campus

Annie Tyhuis

Annie Tyhuis is a Seisarem woman of Erub (Darnley Island) in the Torres Strait. Based at Gardens Point campus, Annie is the first point of contact for students studying within the Faculty of Business & Law and Faculty of Science and Faculty of Engineering.

Recruitment and Community Engagement team

Our Recruitment and Community Engagement team is focused on the recruitment of prospective Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. We actively promote the Oodgeroo Unit and QUT to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities locally and nationally.

We are the first point of contact for:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people wishing to study at QUT
  • schools requiring information or presentations
  • the public and private sectors offering opportunities to partner with the Oodgeroo Unit.

Senior Recruitment and Community Engagement Coordinator

Katalin Csatlos

Katalin Csatlos is a descendant of the Budjiti mob and has connections to the Kunja mob traditional lands situated in South West Queensland. As thethe Senior Recruitment and Community Engagement Coordinator, Katalin oversees the Oodgeroo Unit recruitment and Widening Participation activities, on-campus events, and community engagement activities.

Recruitment and Community Engagement Officer

Amy Jomanday

Amy Jomanday is a proud Aboriginal and South Sea Islander woman, Amy is a descendant of the Gubbi Gubbi people of the Sunshine Coast and of the people of Ambrym Island in Vanuatu. As the Recruitment and Engagement Officer Amy is responsible for developing partnerships for improving community engagement and facilitating a range of initiatives aimed at increasing student access and recruitment to university.

Engagement Support Officer

Leilani Munns

Leilani Munns is a proud Gunggari and Gureng Gureng women, with connections to Kuku Yalanji mob. As the Engagement Support Officer, Leilani is responsible for organising and facilitating the Oodgeroo Unit’s admission pathway program, Centralised Assessment and Selection Program (CASP) and supporting Oodgeroo Unit events.

Get in touch

Get in touch if you have any questions about the Oodgeroo Unit or study options.