The First Peoples Think Tank (FPTT) is hosted within the Office of Indigenous Engagement at CQUniversity.  It is informed by an Indigenous Reference Group who also supports the Director on the management of FPTT programs.

Henrietta Marrie

The Inaugural Director of the FPTT is Associate Professor Henrietta Marrie AM, who has been at the forefront of developing effective policies both internationally and in Australia.   She was awarded an Order of Australia for her services to Aboriginal education and culture and is a recipient of the Queensland Greats award.  She is a Co-Patron of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, a position she shares with the Governor of Queensland.  Henrietta was listed among the Westpac and Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence for 2014 for her work in public policy.


Sam Johnston

Sam Johnston - Senior Project Coordinator/ Researcher

Sam is focused on using international policy and finance to support the development of sustainable solutions to key global challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity, indigenous rights, oceans and outerspace. He is a qualified lawyer with over 30 years of international experience with a wide range of organisations.  In addition to his position with the FPTT, he is currently Programme Director for the International Savanna Fire Management Initiative; Senior Advisor to the Pollination Foundation; Senior Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Melbourne; Indigenous Peoples Consultant, Green Climate Fund; Funding Strategy Specialist, Food and Agricultural Organisation; Member of the Environmental and Social Safeguards (ESS) Experts Roster for the Green Climate Fund; Member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law, University of Melbourne; and Co-Chair of the Panel of Experts for the Benefit-sharing Fund of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Previous positions include: Head of the Traditional Knowledge Initiative and Senior Research Fellow, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, International Lead Consultant, United Nations Development Programme; Programme Officer, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Jaques & Lewis Research Associate, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, Legal Manager, Société Générale Australia Ltd; and Solicitor, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Melbourne; Expert Reviewer of the IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C and Synthesis Report (SYR) of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5); Strategic Advisor, Kimberley Land Council; a member of the International Reference Group of the World Indigenous Network; Advisory Board of the Indigenous Knowledge Forum, University of Technology, Sydney, member of the Technical Reference Group of the Equator Prize and Senior Visiting Fellow at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan.

Adrian Marrie

Adrian Marrie - Researcher

Adrian is currently Research Associate of the First Peoples Think Tank, and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research, CQUniversity.  Adrian has worked both professionally and as an academic across a range of issues relating to local, national and international Indigenous issues, including Indigenous Affairs legislation and policy analysis, protection of Indigenous intellectual and cultural property, cultural heritage legislation, museums and the repatriation of Indigenous cultural property and ancestral remains, management of traditional knowledge, and cultural and natural resource management.

Adrian is also Co-Director and Secretary of independent research company Bukal Consultancy Services, which has produced research and publications relating to institutional barriers to equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the health sector.

More recently Adrian’s focus has been on philanthropy and the Indigenous community-controlled sector, finding ways to combat institutional racism, and Indigenous arts.  As a member of the National Environmental Science Program/Reef and Rainforest Research Centre project on Indigenous Coral Reef Tourism, Adrian has also recently co-produced a report on opportunities and challenges for Traditional Owners of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and Indigenous business owners wanting to participate in tourism activities along the GBR.

Kirsty Galloway McLean

Kirsty Galloway McLean - Researcher

Kirsty Galloway McLean is the Managing Director of BioChimera, a consulting company that focuses on the intersection of the environment, culture and sustainable development. Crossing disciplines has always been one of Kirsty's passions, starting with undergraduate degrees in biotechnology, linguistics and cross-cultural communication, postgraduate in medical science, and a couple of qualifications in journalism and editing. Kirsty worked as a science communicator, laboratory researcher, senior science policy advisor, GMO regulator, and managed the cross-disciplinary research Centre of the Mind at ANU's Institute of Advanced Studies before joining the United Nations. At the UN, Kirsty established and ran the biosafety scientific and technical information program under the Convention on Biological Diversity (including developing and designing the Biosafety Clearing House), and managed the climate change and information management programs for the Traditional Knowledge Initiative at the United Nations University. Most of her recent research has been focused on climate change, access and benefit-sharing, Indigenous Peoples and tourism.