Patricia Ryan - MC

Patricia Ryan will MC our Amazing Greys lunch event. Patricia owns and runs the Communication Skills Consultancy; where she trains individuals and organisations in Public Speaking, Presentations, Interpersonal and People skills. She is a published author; her books Top Tips for Public Speaking and Top Tips for Interpersonal Communication have recently be joined with Top Tips for Interpersonal Communication in Business and Top Tips for Meetings. Patricia will have books available at the lunch.


Jenuarrie is a Koinjmal woman from central QLD who also embraces her Lapita or South Sea Islander heritage. Embarking on a career as an artist at 40, she soon set about restoring lost Lapita pottery methods in a successful business. Her exhibition work, acquired by major art galleries throughout Australia and in private collections around the globe, saw her representing Australia’s Indigenous Artists for the Australia Council for the Arts in New Zealand, Indonesia, Canada, Germany, Denmark, and England. She visited New Caledonia and Samoa for Arts Queensland, and was invited to India by Dr Kevin Murray, currently Australia’s representative on the Worlds Craft Council. As a recognised leader, Jenuarrie shared all aspects of her knowledge with other artists and arts centres for 14 years when travelling throughout FNQ, the Gulf and Torres Straits as Arts Queensland’s Industry Development Officer for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art. She has been appointed to several high-level arts and craft industry panels at both state and national level, and is the current president of Arts Nexus. In 2017 -2018, her artwork was projected onto the sails of Sydney Opera House nightly, and in 2018, she published her own book of works and stories, Gift of Knowledge; the selected works of Jenuarrie. ‘Koinjmal Woman’. Her books will be at the Amazing Greys lunch.

Val Schier

Val Schier was the first Mayor of the newly formed Cairns Regional Council from 2008-2012, and the only female Mayor in the Council’s history. She was born in rural Tasmania and moved to Cairns in 1982. Val holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Diploma of Education and a Graduate Diploma of Business Management, and has held various senior managerial positions in State Government and the private sector over many years. In addition, Val has additionally run her own successful management, training and consultancy business. Hear Val reflect on her life, and what has happened since leaving politics.

Ray Elias

Ray Elias, musician and event manager, convened People Advocating Live Music or PALM in Cairns in 2008. In 2009 he co-founded Entertainment Cairns as a portal for bringing together musicians, venues and gigs, which is still going strong. For over 11 years he also ran the Tanks Unplugged Showcase program to emerging and original musicians at the Tanks Arts Centre. Before all that Ray was a school teacher, and he still regards himself as an educator.

Olive Tau Davis

Olive Tau Davis trained as a journalist in PNG before marrying and coming to Australia in 1977. She has since added qualifications in leadership, multicultural arts, community development and welfare services, cross-cultural awareness and a Bachelor of Social Science. Olive chaired the Pacific Island Advisory Group for the Victorian Museum and several other groups before arriving in Cairns in 1999, then worked extensively for Centacare’s Migrant Settlement Services with refugees, new arrivals, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) citizens, and those with a disability. She was a founder of the Cairns and Region Multicultural Association (CARMA), and has run many multicultural events, including the early Moomba Festivals in Melbourne, and successiveTropical Waves Multicultural Festivals in Cairns since 2005.

Barbara Hannay

Barbara Hannay is a former high school English teacher who was first published in 1999. Since then she has written over forty books for Harlequin and has, more recently, published seven novels with Penguin Australia, all set in North Queensland with contemporary and historical threads intertwined. Her last book, Summer of Secrets, was launched at Cairns Tropical Writers Festival in 2018, and her next book, Meet Me in Venice (Penguin) is due out this month, with a local launch planned. With more than twelve millions copies sold worldwide, her novels have earned her five RITA nominations from Romance Writers of America and she won a RITA award in 2007. She is also the recipient of two Romantic Book of the Year awards in Australia. Barbara lives with her writer husband Elliot on a misty hillside on the Atherton Tablelands.

Elliot Hannay

Elliot Hannay is a veteran journalist and author. In 2018 he launched his book, Conversations with Katter … Politics, Life and What Matters, which attracted national media interest. His journalistic career started aged 16 – in newspapers including AAP, ABC radio and television, media consultancy and the public service. One highlight as editor of the Townsville Bulletin was when Eddie Kornhauser served him with a writ for three million dollars in damages because didn’t like what had been written about him and his underworld mate from King’s Cross, Abe Saffron. Another was being selected by the Australia China Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs as one of six Australian journalists to tour the People’s Republic of China. This was China’s first exchange of journalists with any western nation. He worked on committees with Indigenous leaders, Eddie Mabo, Charles Perkins and Chicka Dixon and was probably the only editor in Australia to receive a delegation from a local branch of the Ku Klux Klan, the subject of his memoir, The Colt with No Regrets, which is due out in September.