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Inaugural CEO appointed to lead the Queensland Indigenous Business Network

Giovanni Torre -

Queensland Indigenous Business Network announced the appointment of Donisha Duff OAM as its first chief executive on Monday, marking what it calls a "significant milestone" in the support and growth of First Nations-owned small businesses in Queensland.

Ms Duff is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait woman from Thursday Island with family links to Badu, Moa and Mabuiag Island's and Traditional Owners (Wuthathi people) of eastern Cape York.

She brings more than 25 years of experience within the Indigenous health and community sectors, including more than 15 years in the community-controlled sector.

Queensland Indigenous Business Network (QIBN) noted in a statement that her previous role as Chief Operating Officer at the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health has "positioned her as a leader in the community", further solidified by her recent recognition with a Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2024 Australia Day honours list for her exceptional community service.

QIBN, a newly established and independent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation, is designed to serve as a "powerful and united voice" for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses across Queensland.

Under Ms Duff's leadership, QIBN said it will focus on "promoting the interests of Indigenous entrepreneurs, driving economic development, fostering strategic partnerships and advocating for critical support and resources".

QIBN's co-chair Shane Kennelly said Ms Duff's appointment as CEO, effective from 21 February, signalled a "pivotal step" for QIBN and Indigenous business prosperity in Queensland.

"Donisha is an outstanding choice to lead QIBN, bringing a proven track record in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisational management, leadership, policy and stakeholder engagement," he said.

"We are thrilled to welcome a CEO of Donisha's calibre and experience to navigate QIBN through this exciting new chapter."

Ms Duff said she was looking forward to collaborating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses in Queensland and beyond.

"My goal is to elevate the presence of Indigenous businesses not just locally, but on a global stage," she said.

"This is about making a real and tangible step forward for us in the business community. I truly want to build a strong and inclusive community of First Nations business owners who can collaborate, partner and learn from each other moving forward."

QIBN said it aims to "empower Indigenous businesses through the development of services such as regional hubs and business mentoring, facilitating access to procurement markets and advocating for their needs at various industry and government levels".

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