The success of Intract Australia is underpinned by the leadership of our General Managers, John Briggs and Michael Rotumah, with a combined 40 years of experience and demonstrated track records of delivering real outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Based in Adelaide, John is the General Manager Southern Region covering business development and operations across South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. In Darwin, Michael is the General Manager Northern Region operating in the same role for clients and projects in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland and the Torres Strait.
Together, John and Michael are focused on helping Indigenous Australian people achieve sustainable employment to provide for their immediate and extended families and ultimately the greater community.
This helps to build their own confidence and to have their own feelings of self-worth through their continuous job employment. John and Michael achieve this by providing operational, business development and financial leadership for Intract, and ultimately creating a commercially successful civil and building construction and maintenance business.
John and Michael’s combined primary responsibilities include business and commercial management, operational management, project planning and management, work health and safety leadership, Indigenous engagement and mentoring, training and assessment, contract negotiation, obtaining approvals, project risk assessment, and quality and environmental management.
John and Michael are supported by businessman and former Australian Football League (AFL) player, Andrew McLeod, who provides guidance and business acumen support in his roles as a board member and shareholder in Intract Australia.
Andrew is a leader within Australia’s Indigenous community and has a strong focus on the development of Indigenous youth. Andrew runs a number of Indigenous programs with the Adelaide Football Club that provides a unique approach to education and pathways to employment.
General Manager, Southern Region
John is a proud Yorta Yorta man from Cummrugunja (Our Home), part of the Barmah Forest on the Murray River border region between Victoria and New South Wales.
John brings passion, extensive industry experience and a true understanding of the Aboriginal culture to Intract and plays an instrumental role in supporting and mentoring Intract personnel. He has devoted a significant portion of his working life sharing his experiences and working with Aboriginal people both in his local community and across all states and territories of Australia.
For over 15 years, John worked in the mines in Western Australia, nine of those years with Rio Tinto and six years as a supervisor trainer with Aboriginal Training and Liaison (ATAL). John was responsible for heritage clearance, Native Title Land Use Agreements, education and training for employees both within the boundaries of the mine leases and on associated external road, rail, power, water, exploration and rehabilitation sites.
During his time with ATAL, John passionately trained locals to be “Mine Ready” focusing on the areas of operating dozers, graders, trucks and loaders, and in obtaining heavy vehicle licenses. John’s mechanical background allowed him to educate trainees in servicing equipment as well as performing minor repairs and welding. All trainees were sourced from local communities in keeping with the Land Use Agreements and many of his students gained lasting employment with either Rio Tinto or through their various supply contractors. John and his team maintained a strong focus on safety which resulted in three years Lost Time Injury free.
John adopted a mentoring relationship with many of the trainees and was exposed to all aspects of tribal life, gaining an intimate knowledge of the Aboriginal culture. John was faced with many cultural issues during his time with ATAL, including lore time, different skin groups, family relationships, elders, and funerals. At the same time, he gained deep appreciation of Indigenous health, housekeeping, budget control, basic education, language and local authorities.
General Manager, Northern Region
Michael is a well-respected Iwaidja man and Traditional Owner of Wauk (Murgenella) in Western Arnhem Land. A former Australian Football League draftee and player with the Brisbane Bears (1991 to 1992), Michael’s career was cut short due to injuries and thus he entered the Australian Public Service in 1995.
For 18 years, Michael project and program managed national housing and infrastructure projects for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) and subsequently for the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). ATSIC National Programs included various housing infrastructure priority projects, the Remote Areas Essential Services Program and the National Aboriginal Health Strategy. The latter project aimed to improve environmental health issues through the construction of new housing, and upgrading power, water, sewage and drainage systems in remote Indigenous communities.
Michael spent three years as an Australian Government Director on the Board of the Territory Alliance consortium that consisted of Sitzler Pty, Laing O’Rourke and McMahon Services Australia Pty Ltd for the 10 year $1.7 billion Northern Territory National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing. Michael was directly involved in program managing six works packages that consisted of 518 new houses, over 700 refurbishments and construction of new subdivision infrastructure for the Maningrida, Gunbalanya, Alice Springs, Tiwi Islands and Groote Eylandt communities.
Michael brings an extensive knowledge of Australian and Northern Territory Government policies, processes and expectations. He drives new opportunities for Intract to deliver social and economic development outcomes to Close the Gap on Indigenous disadvantage across the Northern Territory.
Andrew McLeod is a proud descendant of Wardaman, Wagadagam, Scottish and Australian heritage.
A former professional Australian rules footballer for the Adelaide Football Club, he holds the game record for Adelaide having played 340 games. Andrew won two premierships for the Adelaide Football Club in 1997 and 1998 and was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for best on ground in both Grand Finals.
He is considered one of the greatest Indigenous footballers of all time, one of the greatest of the modern era, and one of the greatest players of the Adelaide Football Club. Andrew also has strong connections with the Northern Territory Football Club, the NT Thunder, as a past player.
Post his football career, Andrew is still involved with the Adelaide Football Club and has developed the clubs Indigenous Programs, creating a strategy that engages students from year 8 through to employment and adopting a holistic approach to learning. He also mentors Indigenous youth for many remote Indigenous communities across Australia.