Meet the Board

The Palm Island Community Company (PICC) is now a community-controlled organisation. We have registered a new company that only has Palm Islanders as members.

On 30 September 2021, all of PICC’s services, workforce and assets were transferred to the New Company so services will continue to operate and all staff will keep the same jobs.

The New Company has kept the name of Palm Island Community Company (PICC). 

We will continue to provide information about the new company, and how you can become involved, on this website.

Luella Bligh


Harriet Hulthen

Harriet was born and raised on Palm Island, and attended the local Palm Island State School. Harriet has worked as a Field Officer with the Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Legal Service, and was later promoted to Manager of Field Operations. During this time, Harriet was also appointed the Official Visitor to the Stuart Creek Correctional Facility, which she has held for 12 years. Harriet has also sat on selection panels for the Queensland Police Service. She was on the Board of the Townsville and District Aboriginal and Islander Justice Group, and later became the chairperson. Harriet has worked at the Reverend Charles Harris Diversionary Centre for the homeless, and has been on the boards of radio station 4K1G and the Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service. One of her proudest achievements was at the Wiri Yuwiburra Community Trust, where she was a board member and later the chairperson. Most recently Harriet has been on the board of the Palm Island Community Company, a pursuit she finds worthwhile as she can directly help her own people.


Allan Palm Island

My name is Allan Palm Island and I am fifty years old. I began to learn about my culture from as young as eight years, and this started with my father.

He would, over the years, teach me first about the stories of the Nanggarra Wanggarra people and my connection to country (Manbarra).

My art depicts the land and animal and sea life and within the art is the spiritual connection to our ancestors which includes my father and my mother’s country and they carrying on of knowledge through these artworks.

I completed formal training through Cairns College of TAFE in Arts and Craft. I continued to learn more through Casuarina University in the Northern Territory and later I completed my master of Fine Arts at RMIY University Melbourne in 1999.

I am a member of the Palm Island Community Company Board holding the inaugural position of Traditional Owner Director for the Manbarra people.

Rhonda Phillips

Rhonda has been a PICC director since the establishment of the Company in 2007. She has over 40 years’ experience across community, public and academic sectors in public administration, social policy, program management, social research and human services delivery. Her areas of particular interest and expertise include indigenous governance, policy implementation and service integration.

Rhonda has contributed to strong governance through her participation on the boards and committees of a diverse range of government and not-for-profit organisations where she has been a key driver of innovation and quality improvement. During her time on the PICC board, Rhonda has chaired the Governance and the Finance and Risk Committees and has led priority projects including the PICC Impact Evaluation.

Ian Jessup

Company Secretary and Chair of the Finance Committee

Ian is a qualified accountant (FCPA), with considerable commercial and public accountancy experience. He recently retired from public practice, where he was a Partner specialising in Auditing, Business Valuations and Forensic Accounting.

While in public practice, Ian held the positions of Deputy Chancellor and Chair of the Finance Committee for James Cook University and Director and Chair of the Audit Committee for Port of Townsville Limited. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by James Cook University for his services to that institution.

He is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

On retirement from public accounting, Ian works primarily in governance, and holds a number directorships and committee memberships. He is also commercial advisor to the Kaurareg Aboriginal Land Trust.

Cassie Lang

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