Ron is ready to take on top job
IT hasn’t been a smooth road for indigenous bureaucrat Ron Weatherall.
The Rockhampton man came from a poor family and saw the challenges of high unemployment, poor housing and the poor education indigenous people faced in making their way through life.
Now he is about to head the Queensland Government’s push to close the gap of disadvantage between indigenous people and the wider community.
On Tuesday, Mr Weatherall was appointed as Queensland’s Deputy Director-General of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services.
The father of five, who has lived in Rockhampton for the past 20 years, said that despite the tough times growing up, he was lucky to have supportive and caring parents who instilled the importance of working hard and acquiring an education.
Mr Weatherall lived in Toowoomba from 1970, where he completed senior schooling at Toowoomba State High School before going on to study at university.
“I completed a degree in Business, majoring in Accounting, at Toowoomba,” Mr Weatherall said.
He moved to Rockhampton in the late 1980s to become the area director of the former Commonwealth Employment Services.
It was in Rockhampton that he met his future wife, Monica Williams, who was born and raised in Rockhampton, and they had five children together.
Mr Weatherall was the regional director of employment and indigenous initiatives for Central Queensland and the Wide Bay and is a member of the Queensland Indigenous Education Consultative Committee, the Kamilaroi Traditional Owner Group and founding chairman of Healum Yumba – the Central Queensland Domestic Violence Service in Rockhampton.
Mr Weatherall will move to Brisbane to take up his new role on January 28.
He said he was excited about his new chapter and the challenges ahead.
“It’s a challenging time for the State Government to address the disadvantages indigenous people face in health, education, housing and employment,” Mr Weatherall said.
“It’s only early days, but I’m looking forward to achieving positive outcomes for indigenous people in Queensland.”
His role will be to provide strategic leadership and direction across the governments dealing with indigenous agendas under closing the gap.
Mr Weatherall, who is a keen fisherman and describes himself as a “quiet achiever”, said it would be sad to say goodbye to what had become his family’s home of the past 20 years.
“I will miss the lifestyle of Rocky and what it has to offer families growing up in the rural scene.”
Indigenous Partnerships Minister Desley Boyle said Mr Weatherall, a Kamilaroi man, would lead work in major policy areas.
“As an indigenous man with broad experience in a range of senior executive roles in government, Mr Weatherall is well placed to take Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Services forward,” Ms Boyle said.RON WEATHERALL
New role: Queensland’s Deputy Director-General of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services
Positions held: Regional director of employment and indigenous initiatives for Central Queensland and the Wide Bay and a member of the Queensland Indigenous Education Consultative Committee, the Kamilaroi Traditional Owner Group and founding chairman of Healum Yumba – the Central Queensland Domestic Violence Service in Rockhampton.