Elected Council

Councillor Portfolios

Cr. Robbie Sands


Mayor Robbie Sands brings several years of experience working within the Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council, under the Elders who guided it through its infancy.

Employed by the Council in a number of roles since 1992, Mayor Sands worked his way up to the position of Deputy Chief Executive Officer, which he held for seven years.

He continues to represent the community through a number of committees and clubs, including the Sports and Recreation Association and the Kowanyama Rodeo committee.

Mayor Sands says he has learnt a great deal from working with these groups and that their guidance, support and philosophies provide the basis for his objectives and goals.

Cr. Cameron Josiah

Deputy Mayor

Deputy Mayor Cameron Josiah brings a wealth of experience, guidance, and drive to his current role in Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council.   Born in Cairns and growing up in Kowanyama, Cameron finished high school in 2005 and landed a coveted role as an AFL development officer, a position which took him throughout the Cape York region and to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

It was his early passion for team sports that saw Cameron excel in providing much-needed leadership and support for young players and their respective careers. Cameron also led a number of AusKick programs throughout the Cape York and Cairns region, encouraging the youth to pursue their passions and dreams.

Deputy Mayor Cameron Josiah comes from a long lineage of members of Council, with his father and grandparents serving as chairpersons in Kowanyama.

His partner Territa Dick was also a Deputy Mayor for Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council.

After working as Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council’s Sports and Recreation Officer for a number of years, he decided to run as Councillor in 2019 and was elected as Deputy Mayor in 2020.

He is incredibly passionate about education opportunities for the young people of Kowanyama, placing a strong emphasis on the completion of school studies or providing traineeships or apprenticeships for students.

Deputy Mayor Cameron Josiah also wants to further educate parents on the 

different career pathways available to their children.

He says he looks forward to a big change in governance across Kowanyama and hopes his strategic goals and vision can be met with a positive reception from the local community.   “I have a passion and drive to see many positive changes happen in our community and am enthusiastic to help overcome the issues we face,” Mr Josiah says.

“We are looking to make things work where they haven’t before and I want to continue implementing programs that allow all of our residents to have various opportunities and live happy and healthy lives.”

Cr. Elroy Josiah


Cr Josiah was born in Kowanyama and started out his career in Council in infrastructure and main roads, contributing to much of the transportation and road network throughout the local region. Many of the roads you see travelling into and through Kowanyama were helped built by Cr Josiah, and his experience took him all the way to Hughenden in outback Queensland, where he worked for Flinders Regional Council.

Cr Josiah also worked at the Sports and Recreations Association), where he cemented strong mentoring relationships with families in the area. It was here being a well-known and much-loved member of the community that many suggested he should run for Council.

He is particularly passionate about assisting in the development of the Cattle Company enterprise (which is soon to come back to Council).  Cr Josiah holds a Cert.4 in stockyard and cattle work and is keen on supporting local jobs for young people and launching programs to give those a leg up in securing ongoing employment and experience.

With his goals firmly rooted in helping young people achieve their aspirations through employment initiatives, social activities and job opportunities, he also has objectives to renovate and expand his local church, improving roads and creating equal opportunity for the residents of Kowanyama.

“I was fortunate enough to be able to explore new places outside of Kowanyama and through work experience and a variety of roles, I was gifted a unique and broad-ranging skillset. I’d like to think I’m an important role model for my community and strive to give people the tools to succeed in their chosen field.”

Cr. Teddy Bernard


Councillor Teddy Bernard is a Kunjen/Kokoberra/Kokomenjen man from Kowanyama and the proud father of two.

He grew up in Kowanyama, where he attended the State School from pre-school to year 10, before completing years 11-12 at Atherton State High School.


In his youth, Councillor Bernard represented Australia in track and field as part of the 1996 Los Angeles Indigenous Athletics Elite (IAE) program.

A graduate of the Cape York Leaders program between 2009 and 2011, Councillor Bernard has been a highly active advocate for Native Title programs for the past 18 years and is a member of the Board of Directors at the Abm Elgoring Ambung Aboriginal Corporation (Kowanyama PBC). The PBC acts as an agent for the Native Title rights and interests of the Kowanyama People in south-west Cape York.

Cr Bernard also participated in the Diplomacy Training Program through the University of NSW. This led to engagements in an Oxfam Australia youth delegation with the United Nations to East Timor in 2011.


Previously a Councillor from 2012-2016, Councillor Bernard returns to Council with years of experience behind him. His goals for his present term in office include education, training and culture.

Cr. David Jack


Councillor David Jack has resided in Kowanyama for almost 25 years. Cr. Jack has contributed much to the community during with 22-year tenure as Post Office Master, and after a lengthy career as an employee at Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council, has been elected to the Councillor role for Kowanyama where he continues to work tirelessly for the Kowanyama Community. 

Cr. Jack brings a wealth of community knowledge and experience to the Council and is responsible for the Housing & Health portfolio with a particular focus on Aged Care, Sports & Recreation, Social Housing and healthy living. Cr. Jack is a much-valued Community Member and brings experience and expertise to the functions and departments within his portfolio.