Dr Chris Sarra is the Director-General, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. He is an internationally recognised Indigenous education specialist and is the founder and Chairman of the Stronger Smarter Institute.
Dr Sarra became the first Aboriginal principal at Cherbourg State School 1998 - 2005, holds a Diploma of Teaching, a Bachelor of Education, a Master of Education, and an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the Australia New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). He has a PhD in Psychology at Murdoch University, with his PhD thesis “Strong and smart – towards a pedagogy for emancipation: education for first peoples”, developed into a book and published in 2011. Dr Sarra is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and an Honorary Fellow of the School of Ethical Leadership at the Melbourne Business School. In 2006, with the support of the Queensland Government, he established the Indigenous Education Leadership Institute, the forerunner to the Stronger Smarter Institute.
Dr Sarra is passionate about effecting sustainable change through positive leadership and mentoring with high expectations for a strong and smart Indigenous population.
Dr Sarra is Co-Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Council to the Prime Minister and Minister for Indigenous Affairs. He is also a Commissioner on the Australian Rugby League Commission, since 2012, and is a Professor of Education at the University of Canberra, teaching and researching on school leadership, Indigenous education and educational equity. In 2004, Dr Sarra was named Queenslander of the Year, a finalist for Australian of the Year for Queensland 2005, and in 2010 was named Queensland Australian of the Year.