Henrietta Marrie (Masters in Environmental and Local Government Law; Dip. T; Grad. Dip. of Arts [Indigenous Studies]) is an Elder of the Gimuy Walubara clan of the Yidinji people and Traditional Owner of the land on which the City of Cairns and southern suburbs are now located. She is an indigenous rights activist whose research and advocacy around Aboriginal cultural heritage and the arts is internationally recognised.
Henrietta grew up in in an isolated community southeast of Cairns. It was when her father became a member of the state public service, one of only six Aboriginal men to be liaison officers at the time, that she began to learn about injustice for her people.
During this time she gained a strong interest in politics and indigenous rights, which motivated her University education.
She has wide experience in Indigenous cultural and natural resource management and impact assessment, intellectual and cultural property law, heritage legislation and philanthropy. As an academic, she has had published over 50 papers in books and journals.
Henrietta served for six years with the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal, before becoming the Program Officer/Manager for North Australia with The Christensen Fund, where she was responsible for the management of $30 million in grants to promote and encourage Indigenous biological and cultural diversity.
Henrietta is Associate Professor (Indigenous Engagement) with Central Queensland University, working from the Cairns campus. She is a member of the Indigenous Reference Group to the Board of the National Museum of Australia, and was recently appointed by the Minister for the Arts to the National Cultural Heritage Committee.
Currently she is also Visiting Fellow with the United Nations University, working on the Institute’s Traditional Knowledge Initiative. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Centre for Sustainable Resource Management with the Sustainable Mining Institute Queensland University. She is also Co-Patron of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, a position she shares with the Governor of Queensland.
Henrietta is co-founder of Women Indigenous Network (WIN) Henrietta is listed among the Westpac and Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence for 2014 for her work in public policy. She is a highly regarded mentor and often tells her mentees not to be like her, but be better than her!