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Advisory Board

Frances (Aunty Fran) Bodkin

Frances Bodkin (Aunty Fran) is a D’harawal elder of the Bitter Water Clans and knowledge holder, storyteller, and teacher of Aboriginal knowledge. She is also a botanist, and Indigenous Education Officer with Mount Annan Botanic Gardens having degrees in climatology, geomorphology and environmental science. She works tirelessly to teach traditional Indigenous ‘science’ and enable a deeper understanding of, and an ability to care for, our natural environment. Frances received her Aboriginal knowledge from her mother, who was also a storyteller, and her grandmother and great grandmother, who were medicine women. She is the author of Encyclopaedia Botanica, which has over 11,000 entries on Australian native plants. Her Western scientific training combined with her invaluable knowledge of D’harawal creation, history and law, provides Frances with a truly holistic approach to understanding our earth.


Virginia Marshall

Virginia Marshall is Wiradjuri Nyemba and is connected in kinship with Nyikina Mangala. She is a Sole Practitioner in NSW Australia (Triple BL Legal) primarily in intellectual property and commercial law. She is an active NSW Law Society committee member in the Indigenous Issues Committee (Acting Chair), Litigation Practice and Law Committee, and teaches her peers in legal practice. Virginia has practised in criminal and civil law and has an LLM at the Australian National University. Her doctoral research thesis, awarded this year at Macquarie University is on Aboriginal water property rights and interests in Australia. The thesis develops original Aboriginal frameworks such as intellectual property, reframing Indigenous research, conceptualising difference in Indigenous water values and Western legal concepts.


Patricia Adjei

Patricia is the Indigenous Communications Coordinator and Legal Officer of the Copyright Agency Limited. She is of Ghanaian and Torres Strait Islander descent. Patricia graduated from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) with Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) and Bachelor of Law degrees in 2005. She has worked as a Policy and Legal Officer in the Australian Government, as the Indigenous solicitor in the Artists in the Black Program at the Arts Law Centre of Australia and as an inhouse lawyer at the National Indigenous Television Station. Patricia participated in sessions of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore in 2007 and 2008 as an Indigenous representative from a non-governmental organisation and was the 2010 WIPO Indigenous Intellectual Property Law Fellow.


Gerry Turpin

­­Gerry Turpin holds a BSc (Botany) and is an ethnobotanist with The Australian Tropical Herbarium, Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA), and has been with the department for 25 years. Gerry is currently managing the Tropical Indigenous Ethnobotany Centre (TIEC), an Indigenous driven initiative, established to engage, support, and build capacity of Traditional Owner groups in north Queensland to record and utilise Indigenous ethno-biological and ethno-ecological knowledge for cultural use on country. Prior to this role, Gerry has carried out Regional Ecosystem Mapping and Vegetation Surveys in the Channel Country in far south-west Queensland over several years.


Henrietta Marrie

Henrietta Marrie has worked for many years as an academic with over 30 publications to her credit on issues relating to the protection of Indigenous cultural heritage, intellectual property and the bushfood industry. She took up a position in 1997 with the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), an international environmental treaty under the UN Environment Program, researching and drafting documents on issues relating to traditional knowledge, access to genetic resources and benefit sharing, protection of traditional knowledge as intellectual property, and the conservation and management of biological diversity. In 2003, Henrietta accepted a position as Program Manager for North Australian with the Christensen Fund, a California-based private philanthropic body which makes grants to Indigenous and local communities in a number of regions around the world. She has also written grants in support of local Indigenous artists and exhibitions of their work at KickArts. Henrietta is working to establish a Traditional Knowledge Research Centre, as part of the United Nations University to be based in northern Australia.


Susan Moylan-Coombs

Susan Moylan-Coombs is a proud Aboriginal woman born of Guringi heritage on her father’s side and Ngangikurrunggurr lineage from her mother. An advocate of rights and social justice for Indigenous Australians, Susan works to create a better future for young Indigenous Australians to inherit. Ms Moylan-Coombs has extensive experience working within Aboriginal Affairs both with government and nongovernment organisations including NSW State Department of Education & Training, Department of Women & Community Colleges, Department of Ageing Disability & Home Care, Department of Community Services, Manly Council’s Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Committee, the Guringai Festival, Guringai Local Aboriginal Consultative Group, Northenr Sydney Network Aboriginal Education Committee and the Northern Sydney Area Health Aboriginal Advisory Committee. In 2007 Susan was appointed as the first Aboriginal Executive Producer for the ABC’s Indigenous Programs Unit, which currently produces the award wining program ‘Message Stick’.


Jakelin Troy

Jakelin Troy is a Ngarigu woman whose country is the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales. Jakelin is Director of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Research, Indigenous Social and Cultural Wellbeing. Her academic research is diverse but has a focus on languages and linguistics, anthropology and visual arts. She is particularly interested in Australian languages of New South Wales and ‘contact languages’. Since 2001 Jakelin has been developing curriculum for Australian schools with a focus on Australian language programs. Her most recent project is to co-write the National Languages Curriculum framework document for ACARA. She previously worked on major government initiatives in Indigenous affairs including developing and writing the Native Title Act, managing Commonwealth land rights legislation, and, managing national languages and broadcasting programs.


Omar Khan

Omar joined Medicines Australia in December 2007 and in July 2013 he was appointed Industry Policy Manager, responsible for advising industry leaders on a wide range of issues, including the Australian Government’s policies on trade, business taxation, medical research and intellectual property protection. Omar was one of the principal authors of Medicines Australia’s submissions to the Pharmaceutical Patents Review, the Senate’s inquiry into gene patents, the ACIP’s review of patentable subject matter and the Productivity Commission’s review of compulsory licensing and Crown-use provisions. Omar graduated from Duke University in 2004 with an A.B. in (Molecular) Biology, an A.B. in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and minors in Political Science and Religion. He then attended Yale University, studying health policy, epidemiology and Church history and graduating with a Master’s degree in 2007.


Gail Pearson

Gail Pearson is a leading legal academic in credit and financial services law and has written leading works in these areas as well as in general commercial and consumer law. She is currently working on a large project which involves nineteenth century origins of statutory commercial law in the laws of India. Professor Pearson is a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is a Member of the Consumer Protection Committee of the International Law Association and Vice President of the International Association of Consumer Law.


Steven Bailie

Steven Bailie works in IP Australia’s International Policy and Cooperation Section. IP Australia’s roles are to (i) administer the patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder’s rights regulations, (ii) conduct IP public education and awareness activities and (iii) provide advice to government on IP issues. Much of Steven’s IP policy work involves biodiversity and Indigenous peoples’ knowledge. Steven is currently engaging with domestic stakeholders on these issues and has represented the Australian government at international meetings, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Prior to his current role, Steven worked in a university technology transfer office and has done both laboratory research and patent examination in biochemistry. 

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