The Commission recognises we are visitors to the country we travel across and work in and that many of our Local Commissioners are Traditional Owners and Elders of their communities. The Commission acknowledges and pays our respects to the Traditional Owners, Elders and Teachers of these lands; to those of the past whose unseen hands guide the actions and decisions of the Commissioners today; to those of the present working for their communities setting the example for the next generation and to those of the future, the Elders not yet born who will inherit the legacy of our efforts.
Commissioner May Mary KEPPLE OAM (Wik-Munkan Clan) is a Justice of the Peace (Qualified). Commissioner Kepple has had a variety of positions in retail and sales and enjoys painting on canvas. As an accredited foster carer since 2007 she remains committed to the welfare of children, ensuring they receive opportunities for self-development and a bright future. From February 2014 to 2018 Commissioner Kepple worked with Cape York/Gulf Remote Area Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Child Care (RAATSICC) as a Community Recognised Entity and Advisor. On 23 December 2021 Coen Commissioner Kepple retired from the Department of Justice and Attorney-General as a Member Elder where she was responsible for providing court support to the Justice Group Coordinator and clients, and networking with other stakeholders to advocate for clients in relation to referrals, programs and activities.
On 26 January 2015 Coen Commissioner Kepple was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition of her services to the community. Commissioner Kepple spends her weekends on country with her daughter and grandchildren passing on culture and the ways of the Elders.
Commissioner Alison LIDDY (Lama Lama Clan) commenced with the Commission on 14 May 2015. Coen Commissioner Alison Liddy was born in Cairns and completed most of her schooling in North Queensland. Furthering her educational qualifications, Commissioner Alison Liddy attained a Certificate III in Indigenous Community Service and Primary Health Care. She has held many positions over the years, working in administrative roles as an Indigenous Health Worker with the Coen Primary Health Care Centre, Community Engagement Officer with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and Apunipima Cape York Health Council at the Coen Wellbeing Centre. Coen Commissioner Alison Liddy is currently employed as the Junior Ranger Coordinator and Administrator for the Yintjinnga Aboriginal Corporation and the Lama Lama Ranger Service. Working locally in Coen for many years and being involved in the community has enabled her to gain a broad understanding of the issues that affect those living in Coen. Her interest in becoming a Local Commissioner was inspired through her sister, Elaine Liddy, who has been a Coen Commissioner since the commencement of the Commission in 2008.
Commissioner Elaine Louise LIDDY OAM (Lama Lama Clan) was born in Cairns. She is a fluent Umpithamu language speaker and has contributed to the dictionary of the Umpithamu language. Coen Commissioner Elaine Liddy has been pivotal in establishing the Lama Lama Rangers who live and work on her Lama Lama homelands of Port Stewart and is now a full-time Cultural Heritage Adviser Team Leader. She is a Justice of the Peace (Qualified) and is a highly respected leader of the Lama Lama Clan. On 26 January 2015 Coen Commissioner Elaine Liddy was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition of her services to the community. Commissioner Elaine Liddy devotes her spare time to the care of her homelands, and to passing on tradition and culture to future generations.
Commissioner Maureen LIDDY (Lama Lama Clan) also commenced with the Commission on 14 May 2015. Coen Commissioner Maureen Liddy has worked extensively with families and children across Cape York. She taught at a number of schools in the far north, including Bloomfield River State School where she became the Acting Principal. She was the Coen State School Principal for some five years and then was the Hope Vale State School Principal. For four years in Hope Vale she was seconded to the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Cape York Strategy Unit as part of the Government Champions Program where she coordinated the Negotiation Tables throughout Cape York between the communities and their Government Champions. She resigned as the Principal of Hope Vale State School and took on the role of Transition Officer for the Department of Education, assisting in moving children from primary schools to secondary schooling, and even further education.
Since 2010 Coen Commissioner Maureen Liddy has held several positions including with Cape York Partnership as a manager involved with the academy schools and teachers, with the RFDS in Coen as a Community Development Officer and later Services Coordinator, with Apunipima Cape York Health Council as Team Leader, with Good to Great Schools in the role of Community Partnership Engagement Manager, and more recently as Implementation Manager with Pama Futures. Commissioner Liddy has now transitioned to the position of Opportunity Hub Leader with Cape York Partnership and has returned to live in Coen.
On 26 January 2019 Coen Commissioner Maureen Liddy was awarded the Cook Shire Citizen of the Year in recognition of her work to improve the lives of Indigenous people in the Cook Shire. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Education and is a member of the Coen Justice Group, the local Sports and Recreation Association, and the Advisory Committee to the Cook Shire Council. Commissioner Maureen Liddy’s personal interests include spending time with her family, camping, fishing, reading, four-wheel driving and meeting people.
Commissioner Ramana WALKER (Wik-Mungkan Clan) commenced with the Commission on 1 July 2023. Commissioner Ramana Walker has a deep connection to Coen, having been born and raised there. She is currently raising her two young boys in the same community and takes great pride in her role as a mother.
Commissioner Ramana Walker brings a wealth of experience in working with families in Coen, with eleven years of dedicated service at Queensland Health. Currently, she holds the position of Domestic Violence Prevention Worker at the Coen Regional Aboriginal Corporation.
Commissioner Ramana Walker is committed to continuous growth and development, actively pursuing a Certificate IV in Mental Health, and engaging in other relevant studies. These educational endeavours aim to equip her with the necessary knowledge and tools to effectively support individuals and families in her community, particularly in the area of suicide prevention.
Beyond her professional pursuits, Commissioner Ramana Walker has personal interests in music and is passionate about helping people.
Commissioner Naomi HOBSON (Southern Kaantju Clan) commenced with the Commission on 1 July 2023. She received her early education in Coen and went on to attend Mount St Bernard College and St Patrick’s College. Commissioner Naomi Hobson has an extensive educational background, including certifications in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts, Visual Arts, Business, and Community Service, as well as diplomas in Visual Arts, Graphic Design, and Counselling.
Commissioner Naomi Hobson has a wealth of knowledge working with her community. She has worked in various positions and organisations, including as the Sports and Recreation Officer in Coen, in administration at the Coen Regional Aboriginal Corporation, Project Officer at Cape York Partnerships Coen, Project Officer at the State Library of Queensland in Cairns, in multimedia for the Working on Country program at Kalan Enterprises Coen, and Project Engagement Officer at the Royal Flying Doctor Service working with families across the Cape affected by mental health.
Commissioner Naomi Hobson also holds director positions in several local and regional government organisations and not-for-profit organisations, including the Coen Regional Aboriginal Corporation, Coen Local Decision Making Group, Kalan Enterprises, Coen Justice Group, Regional Arts Services Network, Indigenous Art Code Australia, Queensland Parks and Wildlife (QPWS) Joint Management Committee, Kulla Land Trust & Oyala Thumotang Land Trust, Southern Kaantju Aboriginal Corporation Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC) and Ultaanganu Aboriginal Corporation PBC.
Throughout her career, Commissioner Naomi Hobson has achieved numerous accolades in the arts, winning multiple national and international awards and hosting solo art shows across Australia, Asia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe. In addition to her professional interests, she strongly believes in the importance of family, the preservation of cultural practices, nature therapy, and raising awareness about mental health and overall wellbeing.