Leah, a Torres Strait Islander, is a senior professional with over 25 year’s business and not for profit experience. Leah is the Managing Director of First Australians Capital. In this role Leah is leading First Australians Capital in innovating how Indigenous entrepreneurs access support. This includes an ambitious Indigenous-led and administered perpetual legacy investment fund which will grow a stable pipeline of Indigenous businesses that are investment-ready. In addition, Leah holds a role as Director of Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation at the University of Newcastle, Australia where she is responsible for advancing reconciliation planning and activity across the University and with engagement with the Indigenous community.
Leah has a strong demonstrated track record in achieving organisational results through the creation and maintenance of strong networks and stakeholder relationships and by working collaboratively with governments, community and the private sector and past senior roles include Director of Wollotuka Institute at the University of Newcastle (2017 – 2019), CEO of Reconciliation Australia (2010-2014) and co-founder/Managing Director of Yarnteen Ltd (1992-2009) — a successful Indigenous enterprise operating several commercial and social ventures.
Leah currently serves on several Boards including CSIRO Strategic Indigenous Advisory Group, Ex-officio member of the BCA Indigenous Taskforce and Board Member of Foundations for Young Australians. She held previous Board positions as a member of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, a Fellow of the University of Sydney Senate, Chairperson of Supply Nation, Chairperson of Aboriginal Housing Office NSW, Indigenous Business Australia, Chair of Indigenous Business Policy Advisory Group and Career Trackers.
Leah has undertaken MicroMaster programs in the Leaders in Global Development, The Science of Sustainable Development and Adaptive Leadership. In 2009, The Australian Financial Review Boss Magazine recognised Leah as a “True Leader” and in 2012 Leah was recognised in the inaugural 2012 Australian Financial Review/Westpac 100 Influential Women Awards.
Leah lives in Newcastle, Australia.