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Professor Kerry Arabena has a Doctorate in Human Ecology and an extensive background in public health, administration, community development and research. 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. Kerry is the current Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equity Council (2013 - 2014) and Director of Indigenous Community Volunteers and is a descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait.
In January 2013, Kerry was appointed Chair for Indigenous Health and Professor and Director, Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit, University of Melbourne in January 2013, and was previously Professor and Director of Indigenous Health Research in the School for Indigenous Health, Monash University.
She was inaugural Chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, a national Indigenous representative body established in 2010.
Kerry has represented Australia in international forums on HIV/AIDS, and climate change. Her 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.