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Community Advisory Committee

LEB Community Advisory Committee members, 2014. Photo: M Turner

The Community Advisory Committee provides advice to Government on water and related natural resource issues in the Lake Eyre Basin, and members are appointed by the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum as its main link with the people, communities, industries and interest groups in the Basin.

The role of the Committee is to maintain close contact with communities and groups in the Basin and to provide community advice, representation and feedback to the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum on matters relevant to the management of water and related natural resources in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement area.

Membership of the Committee represents the following groups:

  • Aboriginal interests
  • pastoral interests
  • agricultural interests
  • mining interests
  • petroleum interests
  • conservation interests
  • tourism interests
  • regional NRM interests

The Committee meets face-to-face at least once a year. The Committee also contributes to achieving the objectives of the Ministerial Forum, such as convening the biennial Lake Eyre Basin Conferences and Aboriginal Forums, the development of policies and strategies under the Agreement, and the review of the implementation of the Agreement.

Committee members

The Committee consists of seventeen members representing community stakeholders in the Lake Eyre Basin. Members are appointed by the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum. The current members of the Committee are:

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Andrew Drysdale

Independent Chair

Andrew Drysdale

Andrew was born and raised in South West Queensland in the Charleville/Augathella district. He gained a degree in Applied Science (Rural Technology) from the then Queensland Agriculture College at Gatton. Later, Andrew completed a Graduate Diploma in Property Studies.
With his brother, Andrew purchased a mulga property outside of Charleville which he owned and operated for 16 years.
Throughout the eighties and early nineties Andrew was involved in local, state and national primary industry peak bodies. In the 1990’s he worked for the Department of Primary Industries in Cunnamulla and Charleville as well as owning a small business in Charleville. In 2000 Andrew became the Executive Officer for the Queensland Murray Darling Committee and in 2006 took up the role of CEO to the Queensland Regional NRM Groups Collective.

Along with being the CEO of the Queensland Regional NRM Groups Collective, Andrew Chairs the Rangelands NRM Groups Alliance and the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum Community Advisory Committee.

Brenda Shields

Brenda represents Indigenous interests in the NT part of the Basin.

Brenda Shields

Brenda is from Wangkangurru and Lower Southern Arrente country and has strong cultural heritage from her mother's and father's parents. She travels out bush with her husband to visit family whenever she gets the opportunity. Brenda is interested in both water and land management issuesand outcomes to keep the Lake Eyre Basin clean and healthy for our children and future generations. She has three children and three grand-daughters. Brenda has represented her family on a Native Title Management Committee, served on the Board of Management for Witjira National Park as Chairperson and member and has been a volunteer member for Irrwanyere Aboriginal Corporation.

George Cooley

George represents Indigenous interests in the SA part of the Basin.

George Cooley

George Cooley is a senior member of the Indigenous Community and is widely known throughout South Australia as an Indigenous representative, leader, visionary and strategist. He has served over the last 35 years on many Indigenous Councils, Boards and Community groups. George is currently employed as the Housing Manager for Umoona Community Council and is also an elected member of the Umoona Community Council Inc. in Coober Pedy.

George brings a wide range of Indigenous knowledge, expertise and experience and has a keen interest in Indigenous water, land management, environmental, and Indigenous cultural heritage issues. He lives in Coober Pedy and represents the interests of Indigenous stakeholders from the South Australian portion of the Basin.

Peter Douglas

Peter represents pastoral/agricultural interests in Qld.

Peter Douglas

Peter was born and educated in Melbourne, working life spent in pastoral areas of Queensland, Northern Territory, New South Wales and Victoria.

He has travelled the road from farm hand to cattle camps to group station manager to property owner western Queensland (this in partnership with his wife Myra.)

Interested in sustainable, viable production from country from the outset.

Peter was involved in local government for 17 years until 2000 including 8 as Mayor of Barcoo Shire.

Following this was inaugural Chair of Desert Channels Queensland Natural Resource Management group for 10 years until 2012.

Joc Schmiechen

Joc represents tourism interests in the Basin.

Joc Schmiechen

Joc has had a long involvement in tourism at many different levels and in 2003 completed three years as the Hertiage Tourism Coordinator for the Lake Eyre Basin. He has a non-sectional interest in tourism and an in-depth knowledge and association with all parts of the Lake Eyre Basin as well as a wide-ranging network of contacts throughout the rest of Australia. From 2004-08 he was Senior Research Fellow Indigenous Tourism based in Alice Springs and working with the Sustainable Tourism, Tropical Savannas and Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centres. He has long standing experience and involvement in a range of Aboriginal issues.

George Gorringe

George represents Indigenous interests in the Queensland part of the Basin

George Gorringe

George was born at Innamincka and lived at Planet Downs, part of Arrabury Station, until his family moved to Windorah in 1950. After school George worked as a stockman, head stockman and manager for 19 years at stations around the district including Nockatunga, Naryilco, Durrie, Orient and Kihee. Later George worked for various mining companies as a truck driver and machine operator before taking on the role as a supervisor in Road Construction and Maintenance for Barcoo Shire Council in Jundah.

George was elected in 1996 as the Aboriginal representative for the Cooper Creek Catchment Committee and remained on the Committee for 6 years. George retired in 2014 and is currently a director with the Lake Eyre Basin Rangers in Longreach and is a member of the Weed and Pest Management Committee and Tourism Committee for Barcoo Shire Council. George is also 1st officer in the Rural Fire Brigade, Group Leader in the SES and volunteer Ambulance driver. Over many years, George has been an active member of the community and has been committed to providing a voice for his people and the land as well as being open to discussion with land owners and mining companies.

Sharon Oldfield

Sharon represents pastoral/agricultural interests in SA.

Sharon Oldfield

Sharon Oldfield is a pastoralist from Cowarie Station on the Birdsville Track. She produces organic beef accredited through the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA). She has been actively involved in Natural Resource & Water Management for the past 15 years. She is a past member of the SA Soil Conservation Council, the SA Arid Areas Water Catchment Management Board and the Georgina Diamantina Catchment Committee. Sharon holds a Post Grad Certificate in Rangeland Management. She is interested in the ongoing sustainable management of our natural resources while maintaining viable pastoral interests. Sharon is currently a member of the Rabbit Free Australia Committee, and the SA Cattle Advisory Committee.

Judith Harrison

Judith represents Indigenous interests in the Qld part of the Basin.

Judith Harrison

Judith Harrison lives in Far North Queensland near Cairns and maintains a strong connection to country through her grandmother, a Maiawali traditional owner. Judith is a land owner who has one daughter. Judith is committed to giving a voice to Aboriginal people in the Queensland portion of the Lake Eyre Basin and, in her various roles, works to improve engagement and participation of Aboriginal people in water and land management decisions and actions. She is a Director on the Georgina Diamantina Cooper Aboriginal Group and was a Director on the Desert Channels Queensland Board for 3 years. She has been a Director with the Georgina Diamantina Catchment Committee, a member of Cooper Creek Water Resource Plan Community Reference Panel and was a Director on the Gurang Land Council Board for 3 1/2 year. Judith is also the owner and Managing Director of her own Corporation.

David Dolman

David represents Indigenous interests in the NT part of the Basin.

David Dolman
David pengarte Dolman is an eastern Arrernte / Alyawarra man belonging to Akerte country around the Arltarlpilta Ranges, SE Northern Territory. Dave lives in Alice Springs with his family, and has extensive family, cultural and professional relationships throughout regional and remote Australia.

David has 20+ years experience working for Australian and state governments, community organisations and as a self employed consultant, throughout regional NT, SA and WA. His background has been in advocating and promoting Indigenous Peoples relationship to country and facilitating working relationships between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous agencies in the arenas of health, justice, governance and land management.

David has a particular interest in advocating and supporting the recognition and utilising of Indigenous knowledge in managing country, in partnership with all land users. He looks forward to the social, environmental, economic and healing benefits to all Australians when Indigenous knowledge finds it rightful place in Australian and international arenas.

Leonie Nunn

Leonie represents grazing and regional NRM interests in the Qld part of the Basin.

Leonie Nunn

Originally from the outback regions of South Australia, Leonie and her husband run a grazing property in the Stonehenge area. Leonie is a teacher by profession and has always been actively involved in community organisations.

In 2007, Leonie was elected chair of the Cooper's Creek Catchment Committee, a position she held for 3 years. In that same year, Leonie became a board member of Desert Channels Queensland, only resigning in February 2016. Leonie successfully ran for a councillor position on the Longreach Regional Council in March 2016, and is currently deputy mayor.

Clare Martin


Clare Martin

Clare has a background in politics and journalism – thirteen years in the Northern Territory parliament, six of those as the first Labor Chief Minister, and nearly two decades with ABC TV and radio in Sydney, Canberra and Darwin.

After politics, she headed up the Australian Council for Social Service and was a Professorial Fellow at Charles Darwin University.

Clare has lived in Darwin for more than thirty years and is currently Chair of Territory Natural Resource Management and Chair of the NT/Kimberley Defence Reserves Support Council. 

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