• Members of the Council are highly respected in their chosen fields and will ensure the Council is able to provide the Government with a range of expert advice (NITV News)Source: NITV News
Get to know the six newly appointed highly respected Aboriginal members of the Indigenous advisory council.
9 Feb 2017 - 1:39 PM  UPDATED 9 Feb 2017 - 3:28 PM

Malcolm Turnbull has overhauled the prime minister's Indigenous advisory council appointing six highly respected Aboriginal members.

Education guru Chris Sarra from the Stronger Smarter Institute, one of the first Aboriginal doctors in Australia Professor Ngiare Brown, and the Northern Territory's Australian of the Year finalist Andrea Mason. Traditional owner Djambawa Marawilli, community development worker Susan Murphy and Roy Ah See from the NSW Aboriginal Land Council round out the six.

Mr Turnbull is set make further appointments after consulting the new councilmembers. Former prime minister Tony Abbott appointed the original council which was chaired by Indigenous leader Warren Mundine.

"The refreshed council reflects the government's deep commitment to doing things with Indigenous Australians in a genuine partnership," Mr Turnbull said in a statement.

The council will continue to focus on education, community safety and justice, and employment.

COMMENT: Take me to your Aboriginal leader?
As we wait for the Prime Minister to announce the new line up of the next incarnation of the Indigenous Advisory Council, it is a good time to reflect on the term 'Aboriginal Leader', and whether that label does more harm than good.

Professor Ngiare Brown, Professor of Indigenous health and education

Area of expertise: Health and Wellbeing

Professor Ngiare Brown is a Yuin nation woman from the South Coast of NSW. She is a senior Aboriginal medical practitioner with qualifications in medicine, public health and primary care, and has studied bioethics, medical law and human rights. She was the first identified Aboriginal medical graduate from NSW, and is one of the first Aboriginal doctors in Australia. Professor Brown is a founding member and was Foundation CEO of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association.


Professor Chris Sarra, Founder and Chairman, Stronger Smarter Institute

Area of expertise: Education 

Professor Sarra became the first Aboriginal principal at Cherbourg State School in 1998, holds a Diploma of Teaching, a Bachelor of Education, a Master of Education, an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the Australia New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), and a PhD in Psychology at Murdoch University. Professor Sarra is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and an Honorary Fellow of the School of Ethical Leadership at the Melbourne Business School. In 2006, he established the Indigenous Education Leadership Institute, the forerunner to the Stronger Smarter Institute. In 2016, Professor Sarra was awarded NAIDOC Person of the Year, and has previously been a finalist for Australian of the Year in 2004 and 2010.


Ms Andrea Mason, Chief Executive Officer, NPY Women's Council

Area of expertise: Community safety

Ms Andrea Mason is the current Northern Territory Australian of the Year and was awarded the Australian Businesswomen of the Year in 2016. Ms Mason is CEO of the NPY Women’s Council – an organisation committed to delivering youth and wellbeing programmes and addressing domestic and family violence.


Ms Susan Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation

Area of expertise: Employment


Ms Susan Murphy is the CEO of Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation, the largest community development provider for remote Aboriginal communities in the West Kimberley. Ms Murphy has previously held positions in a number of government organisations and has extensive experience working within Aboriginal health, child care and justice.


Mr Roy Ah-See, Chairperson of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council

Area of Expertise: Economic Development, Land and Sea

Mr Roy Ah-See is a Wiradjuri man born and bred on Nanima Reserve near Wellington. He is a member of the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council and is Chairperson of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council. 

Mr Ah-See has also held other roles at the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, NSW Aboriginal Housing Office and various government departments working in policy.


Mr Djambawa Marawili AM, Traditional Owner From Baniyala

Area of expertise: Culture, Community safety

Mr Marawili is Djirrikay or senior ceremonial leader for the Blue Mud Bay region of North East Arnhem Land and coordinated the sea rights claim in 2002 which eventuated in the High Court’s determination in the 2008 Blue Mud Bay Case. He is the leader of the Yolngu Madarppa clan and the Baniyala/ Yilpara homeland. Mr Marawili is Chairman of the Association of Northern Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists. Mr Marawili is a senior artist, painter and sculptor and received an Order of Australia (AM) in 2010 for services to arts administration.

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