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.



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 Marie Dennis

Training and Development Officer  

Marie is a Birri Gubba woman from Ayr, North Queensland.

Marie has extensive experience working with Federal Government and Not for Profit community organisations.

Marie has previously worked with Department of Human Services for 17 years, then worked in a number of Not for Profit Organisations, Training along with her own Personal consultancy.

Leading up to her move to AIGI, Marie was employed in a various number of training and program development positions including work increasing the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, supporting them to strengthen their skills to bring about change.

A current member of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation Alumni, Marie is in the final years of completing her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Community Servicing, Sociology and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Mr Adam Vai Delaney

 Project Officer 

Adam Vai Delaney joined the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute as a Project Officer in March 2019 after a brief, casual stint with the National Centre for Indigenous Studies (NCIS) at the ANU. He is a part-time PhD Scholar with NCIS. His experience includes serving as a Diplomat, based in New York; Senior Adviser to political leaders in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Australia and at the Pacific Islands Forum (based in Fiji). He was the first Pacific Islander to be elected as Vice-Chairman/Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development; Lead Negotiator/Coordinator for the Group of 77 and China (Developing countries) and Lead Negotiator/Coordinator for the Alliance of the Small Island States at the UN. He has performed management roles with Federal Government (Torres Strait Regional Authority); Queensland State Parliament’s Electoral Office in North QLD; Kleinhardt Pty Ltd (Business consultancy); Indigenous Tourism enterprise (Bamaga Bubu Ngadimunku Inc); and PNG’s National Research Institute. His maternal heritage is Motu, the Indigenous Landowners of the land in which Port Moresby capital city is established in PNG.

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 and a certificate 4 in Indigenous Leadership in 2018 with Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC). Shikierra has worked in the Event industry as well gaining experience in managing programs for 5 years. Shikierra is currently working as the Executive Assistant to Michelle Deshong and is the Office manager for the AIGI office.


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