Ms Dale Sutherland

Research and Engagement Officer 

Dip.Teach; BA – Double Major; Masters of Social Science

Dale Sutherland is a member of the Nganduwal  / Minjungbal people of the Bundjalung nation which centres around the Tweed Valley and coast of far northern NSW.

Dale originally moved to Canberra to participate in the Australian Government’s Graduate Administrative Assistant Program (GAA) in the Department of Health, Housing and Community Services, prior to moving to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

Dale spent over ten years working in the research section of the AIATSIS in the area of education and contemporary issues, working on a range of research projects including the Concept Study for the establishment of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre.  Whilst at AIATSIS Dale completed both a Bachelor of Arts through the University of New England; and a Masters of Social Science research degree which examined Aboriginal leadership and how it manifests in an urban Aboriginal community, through the University of Newcastle. Prior to moving the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) at ANU, where she undertook further research on education and training.

Dale has extensive experience working in both the Commonwealth and State/Territory public sector, developing and implementing high level Indigenous education policy and development.

Just prior to moving to AIGI, Dale was part of the small AIATSIS team responsible for delivering the Referendum Council’s constitutional reform consultation and engagement process.  This comprised the organisation a number of key Leaders’ meetings; 12 First Nations Regional Dialogues across Australia; and the National Constitutional Convention convened at Uluru.

Ms Alice Wighton

Research and Program Officer 

Alice Wighton joined AIGI in July 2017 through the Aurora Internship Program. This internship involved conducting a preliminary audit of the kinds of governance education and training available to Indigenous nations and communities in Australia, focusing on the Indigenous, organisational, tertiary, government and non-government sectors.

Alice’s Honours thesis (Australian Indigenous Studies) from the University of Melbourne problematised and stimulated new ways of thinking about the widespread and largely uncritical use of liberal political reason in Australian Indigenous Affairs discourse. Alice maintains her interest in discourse analysis and research beyond a critique of the Australian State’s governmentality of Indigenous Affairs.

As a Settler Australian woman, Alice’s current role as Research Officer is informed by her belief in culturally legitimate governance as a pathway to the defence of Indigenous rights.


Mr Bhiamie Williamson

Research and Program Officer 

Bhiamie is a Euahlayi Man from north-west New South Wales with family ties to north-west Queensland.

In 2014, Bhiamie graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours from the Fenner School of Environment and Society. In 2017, Bhiamie graduated from the Masters of Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. In 2018, Bhiamie completed a Professional Studies Certificate in Indigenous Governance from the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona in the United States.

Bhiamie is a member of the ACT Bushfire Council and alumni of the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship Program. He was a recipient of the ANU Reconciliation Award as well as the Charles D Jubb prize for excellence in environmental research.

Bhiamie’s key research areas include:

  • Indigenous Governance
  • Indigenous Cultural and Natural Resource Management
  • Indigenous Research Methodologies
  • Cultural Resurgence

Miss Shikierra Thorne

Executive Assistant/ Office Manager 

Shikierra Thorne is a member of the Kuku-yulinji and Kamilaroi tribes. Born in Canberra and finished her schooling in Townsville. She has worked in Hospitality for over 7 years and has completed a certificate 3 in business with the Townsville City Council CityLibraries department in 2015. Shikierra has worked in the Event industry as well gaining experience in managing programs. Shikierra is currently working as the Executive Assistant to Michelle Deshong and is the Office manager for the AIGI office.

Comments are closed.

Copyright © 2013-2016 Australian Indigenous Governance Institute I ABN 87 158 627 386