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CHAIR - Jesse King

Jesse is a Waanyi man from North-western Queensland, driven by a passion for education and its potential for creating opportunities. With a background in classroom teaching, coaching, school leadership, curriculum development, and Indigenous Knowledges in STEM, Jesse has a range of experiences across the field. Throughout his career, Jesse has undertaken various research activities, including longitudinal studies, co-design projects, stakeholder consultations, and desktop studies. He has held executive positions at Indigenous-led charities the Stronger Smarter Institute and the Aurora Education Foundation. Additionally, Jesse has contributed to the National Indigenous STEM project at CSIRO, designing and delivering culturally responsive STEM teaching programs for middle years education. Jesse has a range of experience within advisory bodies and has been a member of such groups with ACARA, The Smith Family and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network.



Professor Mark Rose is an Aboriginal man traditionally linked to the Gunditjmara Nation of western Victoria. With a forty-year career in education, Mark has contributed to a broad range of educational settings within the state as well as nationally and internationally. At a state and national level and with community endorsement Mark has served on five ministerial advisory committees.

In 2003-2005, Mark co-chaired the Victorian Implementation Review of Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. In the last fifteen years Mark has held senior academic potions and in 2020 he became the inaugural Pro-Vice Chancellor at Deakin University. Mark’s commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education is seen in his role in community groups such as the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc (VAEAI) and the raft of statutory bodies he sits on. Mark is often drawn upon for keynotes and media.



Jessica is the Manager of Indigenous Procurement at BHP. She has spent the last 20 years in a mix of community, government and business roles in Indigenous affairs. She was most recently leading Partnerships and Stakeholder Relations at the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) which she joined after five years at the Business Council of Australia (BCA) where she led increases in Indigenous employment and procurement among large Australian corporations. Jessica also spent five years at Reconciliation Australia as a part of the team that developed the Reconciliation Action Plan program. Jessica has lived and worked in remote Aboriginal communities and across corporate, not-for-profit and government sectors to support Indigenous-led enterprise and opportunity. Jessica lives on Kaurna country with her family and camp dog.


Gail Barrow is a Nyungar woman with family links to the lands of the Koreng and Wudjari people of the south coast of Western Australia. Both her parents were teachers, with Gail’s father being the first Aboriginal teacher, and Principal, in Western Australia. Gail, her sister and one of their brothers followed their parents into teaching. Gail began teaching in the 1970s and has taught pre-primary and primary school aged students in the southwest, the Goldfields, the Kimberley and the metropolitan areas of Western Australia. Since leaving the classroom, Gail has: - supported the work of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff of the WA Department of Education (DoE) through staff training and professional learning programs - chaired the Course Advisory Committee for the Aboriginal and Intercultural Studies course (School Curriculum and Standards Authority of WA) - been a member of the academic staff at UWA and ECU, and - participated as a member of the Aboriginal Reference Group for the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) Gail retired from the public service in 2018 but continues to assist schools to: - develop partnerships with Aboriginal families and the community, - create inclusive learning environments for Aboriginal students, - develop understandings of Aboriginal cultures, histories and perspectives in contemporary society, through cultural competency workshops, and - appreciate the role schools can play in addressing racism in ways which build the abilities of all students to challenge racism and racist practices. ​


Renee is a Saibai woman from Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait) and a Daru-Kerema woman from Papua New Guinea. She is a trained Science and Maths high school teacher, a co-founding member, and Director of Learning and Programs at the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition (NIYEC). Renee is currently teaching at an independent Indigenous school in Far North Queensland and was previously a Primary Educator and Community Development Officer at Children's Ground on Arrernte country, and an educator on Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country. She currently sits on the Advisory Committee for the Teacher of STEM Initiative led by Stronger Smarter Institute.