Director of Research, Harvest Alliance School of Indigenous Health, Monash University
A descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait, Professor Kerry Arabena's years of work have brought her to the forefront of indigenous affairs in Australia. She was the inaugural chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, a national indigenous representative body established in 2010.
A former social worker with a doctorate in human ecology, Professor Arabena has an extensive background in public health, administration, community development and research working in senior roles in indigenous policy and sexual health. Her work has made significant contributions across many states and territories, in areas such as gender issues, social justice, human rights, access and equity, service provision, harm minimisation, and citizenship rights and responsibilities.
She has also represented Australia in international forums on HIV/AIDS, and climate change. Professor Arabena's professional experience has seen her recognised as an Australian of the Year Finalist in 2010, recipient of the prestigious JG Crawford Prize for Academic Excellence at Australian National University in 2011, and a nomination in The Bulletin magazine's 'Smart 100 Australians' - Health and Medical Research Category, in 2004.