Rosemary Wanganeen

Rosemary is a proud South Australian Aboriginal woman! Her traditional heritage on her paternal side is Kaurna of the Adelaide Plains and her maternal side, Koog-a-tha and Wir-rang-gu both on the west coast of SA.  Equally she has a proud English heritage.  

Founding CEO and sole operator of the Sacred Site Within Healing Centre in 1993 and in its strength, she set up the Australian Institute for Loss and Grief in 2005.  She applied her personal ‘lived experiences’ to research and developed the Seven Phases to Integrating Loss and Grief and today she a non-academic but published author of the Seven Phases.  As a Griefologist she’s an Educator, Presenter, Facilitator, Assessor, Loss&Grief Counsellor.  

Recently has been accepted into Adelaide University for her Master in Philosophy where she aspires to do her PhD on loss and grief from an Aboriginal perspective.

The Institute provides counselling and programs to all Australians because she realised loss and grief is a human experience.  Some of her proudest moments is receiving accolades throughout the 21st century have come from:

  • Presenting to Psychiatric trainees of the SA Psychiatry Board Committee in 2016 & July 2018

  • SBS Television’s Nation Indigenous TV: Our Stories Our Way (October 2017)

  • SA Health - A finalist in Mental Health Excellence Awards (2016)

  • Winner: Outstanding Health Project/Program - Aboriginal Health Council (SA) Naidoc Health Awards 2016

  • Australian Ethnic Award Nomination 2012

  • Australian Ethnic Award Nomination 2011 

  • Recipient of (Aboriginal Elder) Gladys Elphick Award 2011

  • Winner: South Australian of the Year 2009 – Community Award

  • Telstra Business Women of the Year Nomination 2000

  • Zonta Club of Adelaide – Women of Achievement Award South Australia 2000

Massimo Giliberto

Massimo Giliberto is Director of the Graduate School of Constructivist Psychotherapy of the Institute of Constructivist Psychology (ICP) in Padua (Italy). He is a practicing psychotherapist and acts as consultant and coach for private companies and organisations. 

The focus of interest in his work concerns psychotherapy, epistemology, ethics, didactic method and cross-cultural psychology.

He is a co-founder of the European Constructivist Training Network, member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Personal Construct Theory and Practice and of the Journal of Constructivist Psychology and editor of the Rivista Italiana di Costruttivismo.

Sabrina Cipolletta

Sabrina Cipolletta is a professor at the Department of General Psychology of the University of Padova, Italy. She holds a Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology and specialises in constructivist psychotherapy. She is the Director of PsyMed, a psychology laboratory, where she also conducts clinical and research activities. At the University of Padova she teaches Social Psychology of Health in the Master’s courses of Clinical Psychology and Community Psychology, and Social Psychology and Health in the International Bachelor Degree Course in Psychological Science. She is a member of the international and interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Brain, Mind and Computer Science. 

She has published more than 50 articles, 6 books and 15 book chapters.  She is a member of the editorial board of several scientific journals such as Frontiers in Psychology, the Journal of Health Psychology, and Personal Construct Theory and Practice. She has contributed to several national and international scientific congresses as speaker and organiser, and she is the National Delegate Officer of the European Health Psychology Society (EHPS). Her research interests are in the field of health psychology with a focus on caregivers, chronic illnesses, childbirth, healthcare systems, and eHealth. She tries to merge her clinical and academic practice and her passion for dance and constructivism in her studies on embodiment, health and illness.

Sharon Payne

Sharon Payne is a senior Wunnamutta woman of the Badjula, Aboriginal owners of K'gari (Fraser Island). She was the first in her family to finish high school, and attend university where she majored in Psychology and Anthropology leading to a lifelong passion to understand how and why we think/behave as we do. Sharon also has tertiary qualifications in law and neuroscience, and is currently undertaking a PhD investigating the treatment of Aboriginal people in the legal system. Professionally Sharon has had a varied career including senior public servant, CEO of legal services and circle sentencing court elder which, along with personal experiences have provided a unique insight into human behaviour. Today she continues to advocate and educate, working on projects for young people at risk, as well as programs for decision-makers to understand how their own biases highjack their thinking processes.

Daniel Hutto

Daniel D. Hutto is Senior Professor of Philosophical Psychology and Head of the School of Liberal Arts at the University of Wollongong. He has served Australian Research Council College of Experts, chairing its Humanities and Creative Arts panel in 2017, and conducts peer reviews for national grant awarding bodies worldwide such as ERC (EU); AHRC, MRC (UK); NEH; NSF (USA). He has been awarded 12 external research grants and is the author of award-winning, highly cited research, with 7 books (3 with MIT Press) and over 120 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and books chapters to his name. He is co-author of the award-winning Radicalizing Enactivism (MIT, 2013) and its sequel, Evolving Enactivism (MIT, 2017). His other recent books, include: Folk Psychological Narratives (MIT, 2008) and Wittgenstein and the End of Philosophy (Palgrave, 2006). He is editor of Narrative and Understanding Persons (CUP, 2007) and Narrative and Folk Psychology (Imprint Academic, 2009). A special yearbook, Radical Enactivism, focusing on his philosophy of intentionality, phenomenology and narrative, was published in 2006. He is regularly invited to speak internationally, not only at philosophy conferences but at expert meetings of anthropologists, clinicians, educationalists, narratologists, neuroscientists and psychologists.

Grace Sarra

Associate Professor Grace Sarra is an academic and a researcher within the Education Faculty and the YuMi Deadly Centre at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She is of Aboriginal heritage from Bindal and Birri clan groups of the Birrigubba nation and Torres Strait Islander heritage of Mauar, Stephen and Murray Islands. Associate Professor Sarra has experience in teaching and leadership roles in schools and universities for almost 30 years. 


Her research work utilizes Indigenous knowledges and frameworks with theoretical frameworks to contest prevailing assumptions and stereotypes that contribute to the lack of success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in schools and juvenile detention Centres.  A/Professor Sarra’s work focuses in the area of Indigenous education on pedagogy and community engagement, school change and leadership, social justice and inclusive education. She has been a member on a number of boards including a Ministerial Appointment to the State Library of Queensland and a Ministerial Appointment to the Queensland State Archives Public Records Review Committee.

Dr Marnee Shay

Dr Shay is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Policy Futures at the University of Queensland. Marnee is from Wagiman country through her Mother and Grandmother and is of English and Scottish ancestry through her Father. Marnee has a diverse professional background, with over 15 years’ experience in human services and teaching (secondary schools, TAFE and universities). 


Marnee has received CRC and ARC funding to undertake research in the fields of Indigenous health and education. Marnee is experienced in working with diverse community and school settings and has a strong interest in community driven research and applied strengths-based research. Marnee works primarily with Indigenous research theories and methodologies that aim to privilege the lived experiences and voices of Indigenous peoples. 

Jo Tanginoa

Jo is a proud Aboriginal woman with connections to Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory. Her traditional heritage on her paternal side is Gooreng Gooreng of Queensland and her maternal side the Wiradjuri people of Central Western NSW, having been born on Arrernte Country in the Northern Territory. Equally, she has an English and Irish Ancestry and is married to a Tongan man from Vava’u so has an affinity with the Friendly Islands.

Currently working as an Aboriginal Education Teacher within the Independent Catholic School system, she is a strong advocate for the young women she works with and educates students and colleagues about Aboriginal issues and provides cultural awareness training and support to her school. Jo is also a teacher of Aboriginal Studies, HSIE, English and has a Masters in Indigenous Language Education (MILE) and uses Aboriginal ways of learning in all her interactions both inside and outside of the classroom. 

Having worked in the Education field for over 10 years, Jo has worked for the Department of Education both in mainstream and Schools for Special Purposes (SSPs), working with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young people and supporting them to achieve academic, social, emotional and cultural learning. 

Jo also has an extensive background working in the welfare system in Aboriginal identified and non-identified positions; including providing case management support to youth and women at risk; with many experiencing significant trauma. 

Darren Garvey

Darren was born and raised in Cairns, North Queensland and his heritage extends to, and reflects the diversity of the Torres Strait region of Australia. Darren has a degree in Psychology from the James Cook University of North Queensland, and postgraduate qualifications in Health Promotion and Tertiary Education from Curtin University of Technology in Perth. In 2015, Darren completed a PhD through the School of Psychology at Curtin University titled: ‘A causal layered analysis of movement, paralysis and liminality in the contested arena of Indigenous mental health’. The findings showed that service provider and recipient constructions of Indigenous mental health helped underpin and account for their complex movements towards, within and away from the arena.


Darren has spoken domestically and internationally about the need to consider the mental health of Indigenous health workers, the role of psychology with Indigenous Australian people, ethics in psychological research, and meanings of cultural appropriateness. In 2000 he co-edited the landmark ‘Handbook for Psychologists Working with Indigenous Australians’. In 2007,  his book ‘Indigenous identity in contemporary psychology: Dilemmas, developments, directions’ was shortlisted for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies’ Stanner Award. Darren is currently a Senior Lecturer at Kurongkurl Katitjin, Edith Cowan University’s Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research. 

Michael McLeod

Michael McLeod has been described by a senior Federal politician as one of Australia’s most valuable sons. Michael and his family are part of Australia’s stolen generations. At the age of two, Michael and his siblings were taken from their parents – never to be reunited as a family. Michael grew up on his own in State ward homes and foster homes. He first met his mother at his father’s funeral. By his mid-twenties, he was a chronic alcoholic and heroin addict. By his early thirties Michael was homeless and living on the streets of Sydney. A successful rehabilitation program has seen Michael clean and sober for fifteen years. Michael didn’t want to be the typical Aboriginal man, dependent on Government social handouts or welfare. He refused employment benefits and Aboriginal housing benefits and chose to do it the hard way – he started his own niche telecommunications business. Today Message Stick is a growing multimillion dollar business and has no debt. The business paid back the initial start-up capital in its third year.


Message Stick is a unique business in that it is owned by Aboriginal Australians. The company was started in 2003 to show that Aboriginal Australians can own and manage a services business that engages with large corporations and Government agencies. The business does not seek any sponsorship, donations or social grants whatsoever. They seek only the opportunity to prove themselves and to be treated as worthy business partners.

The principals of Message Stick believe that business ownership, asset ownership, wealth creation and personal accountability are the key features for ending poverty and welfare dependency of Indigenous Australians. Most Indigenous Australians who have a dream to own their own business would not have the confidence to approach corporate Australia and ask for business opportunities. Michael McLeod and his Message Stick business model are trying to show that corporate Australia will give Aboriginal business a fair hearing.

Message Stick is also working closely with the Federal Government, the Chamber and the Business Council of Australia to change Government policy approach to Indigenous Australians – with significant success. The Government is now shifting from a complete welfare and subsidy based focus to developing policies around supporting real economic development, including business ownership and entrepreneurialism.