Neil Willmett.

Neil Willmett

Chief Executive Officer

Neil is a Waanyi and Kuku Yalanji man, and a national leader in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing, health and economic development. He has an unrivalled understanding of how the public, private and not-for-profit sectors intersect and can work together to achieve the best outcomes in the Queensland and national interest.

He has a successful track record at the SES (Senior Executive Service) level and equivalent Principal Executive Officer level, leading the development of complex and sensitive economic, social and housing and health policy, projects and initiatives as well as structural, capability and cultural change reforms.

Neil was recruited in December 2020 to be the Chief Executive Officer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Queensland and to formally establish the organisation. As the CEO, he is responsible for implementing the strategic vision of the organisation and overall management of the organisation. He is committed to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing organisations and Indigenous Councils continue to be a driving force in social and affordable housing and housing solutions.

Throughout his career, Neil has led and supported multiple peak body organisations and is the former CEO of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC). While the CEO of QAIHC between 2017 and 2020, Neil developed the organisation to become the largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak body in Australia with over 50 employees and oversaw an incredible 30% growth in its revenue. Under his leadership, QAIHC built member sustainability, partnerships and advocated for Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heath Sector which saw its combined annual revenue increase from 350 million in 2017 to over 450 million in 2020.

He is very experienced with the challenges of peak organisations, member issues and also actively advocating with all levels of Government. He is an executive who is focused on outcomes and the creation of the best possible business environment for members.

Neil is responsible for guiding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Queensland though a significant period of change which will see the establishment of the organisation, its Constitution, the development of its first strategic plan, growth in its membership, the formation of formal partnerships, and media exposure.

With national and international experience in business strategy and change leadership within dynamic business environments, Neil has a proven track record in achievement. This has been forged while in leadership roles in Australia, government, the private sector and whilst a (Winston) Churchill Leadership Fellow in the USA, Canada and New Zealand.

He brings to the CEO role deep experience and knowledge in executive management, housing and homelessness, professional membership organisations and peak body operations gained from his previous leadership roles as the:

  • Chief Operating Officer, Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives / CATSINaM (2020)
  • Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council / QAIHC (2017 - 2020)
  • Executive Director, Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works (2016 - 2017)
  • Executive Leadership Team (ELT), Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works (2016 - 2017)

In addition to his leadership and work experience, Neil has a public health degree from the University of Queensland. He is also a published business author.

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