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Northern Institute

Northern Institute Governance


Northern Institute Advisory Committee 

The Northern Institute Advisory Committee (NIAC) assists the Northern Institute’s mission to undertake significant and high-quality interdisciplinary research, encourage and support local, national and international partnerships, enable public intellectual commentary, expand regional capacity that leads research of significance and realise the region's potential.

The Northern Institute Advisory Committee provides overarching advice to the Director regarding the Northern Institute’s strategic research directions and connections. This advice informs the Northern Institute’s research planning and development activities, which the Advisory Committee monitors.

NIAC members

The current members are:

The Honourable Sally Thomas AC
The Honourable Sally Thomas AC

Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas AC first came to the Northern Territory in 1978 to take up an appointment as Stipendiary Magistrate. Her Honour served as Magistrate and then Chief Magistrate of the Northern Territory from 1986 to 1992. Her Honour was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory from 1992 to 2009; the first female Judge in the Northern Territory. 

Her Honour has a strong interest in the tertiary education of Territorians and was a Deputy Chairman of the Northern Territory College of Queensland University and then a Member of the Northern Territory University Council from 1989 to 2003. In 2003, Her Honour was appointed to the Council of Charles Darwin University and elected Deputy Chancellor. Successively in 2010, Her Honour was appointed Chancellor of the University, a position she held until 2016.

In October 2011, Her Honour was sworn in as the 20th and first female Administrator of the Northern Territory. Her term concluded in October 2014.

In January 2014, Her honour was named a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the people of the Northern Territory, particularly to the judiciary and social justice, to the advancement of women in the legal profession, to youth, and to the promotion and development of tertiary education.

Professor Peter Sköld
Professor Peter Sköld
Umeå University

Peter Sköld is a professor in history, Sami culture and society development at Umeå University, Sweden. He is the director of the Centre for Arctic Research, and senior researcher at Vaartoe – Centre for Sami Research.

Sköld’s research profile includes historical demography, population statistics, indigenous health transitions and northern cultures. He has an extensive list of publications, and is the editor of fifteen books and author of five monographies. He was one of the authors of Arctic Human Development Report II and this year he was co-author of an article on indigenous health that was published in The Lancet. Peter Sköld has an active engagement in Arctic research planning, in stakeholder cooperation, and international collaboration.

He has been responsible for organizing 60 conferences and workshops and is a promotor of popular science. He has appeared more than 100 times in radio and television. Sköld is president of International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA), vice chair for WG Human and Social Sciences in the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and member of the Borad of Governors of the University of the Arctic. He is also a member of the Arctic Council Culture, Economy and Geography Expert Group.

In 2015 Peter Sköld was appointed Honorary Consul of Västerbotten to Latvia and this year he became official Climate Ambassador of Västerbotten. He is also 2014-2018 Sköld is co-scientific leader of the 4,5 million Euro project New Governance for Sustainable Development in the European Arctic, involving 35 researchers.

Professor Lenore Manderson
Professor Lenore Manderson

Lenore Manderson is Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Medical Anthropology in the School of Public Health, The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. She also holds an appointment as Visiting Professor at Brown University, Providence, USA; is an honorary professor at Khon Kaen University, Thailand; and adjunct professor in both the School of Social Sciences and the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University.

Prior to moving to South Africa and the USA, she held senior appointments in Australia, including Professor of Tropical Health, The University of Queensland, 1988-98; Professor of Women’s Health, The University of Melbourne, 1999-2005; and Professor of Medical Anthropology, Monash University, 2006-2013.  She has trained to graduation over 150 higher degree students and mentored dozens of other young scholars.

Her research focuses on infectious diseases of poverty, chronic conditions and disability, and on questions of inequality, marginalization and suffering in Australia - with immigrants and refugees, indigenous and other Australian-born populations - in Southeast and East Asia (including Malaysia, China, Thailand, the Philippines and Japan), Solomon Islands, Ghana, and South Africa.

She is the author, editor and co-author of nearly 600 books, articles, book chapters and reports, including Sickness and the State (1996), Surface Tensions: Surgery, Bodily Boundaries and the Social Self (2011) and Disclosure in Health and Illness (ed. with Mark Davis, 2014) and, with Elizabeth Cartwright and Anita Hardon, of the Routledge Handbook of Medical Anthropology (2016). She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, 1995; World Academy of Art and Science, 2004; and Academy of Science of South Africa, 2016.

Petrarca C. Karetji
Petrarca C. Karetji

Petrarca has worked in a range of senior management positions and enjoys challenging project management work, project development and design work, and troubleshooting social development projects.

He has worked in national and international organisations, including eight years as Director of PT Austraining Nusantara, four years with the World Bank in Indonesia, and was appointed as the first locally employed director level executive for AusAID in 2010.

At AusAID, he managed a portfolio of over $500 million worth of grant funds covering rural development, decentralisation, bureaucratic reform, community development, social protection and women’s leadership. He has also written for a number of international publications and compiled diagnostics for projects in Indonesia.

Petraca’s expertise includes program management, interpersonal and organizational networks development and building, knowledge exchange, project management troubleshooting, institutional analysis, project design and management

Lenore Dembski
Lenore Dembski

Lenore Dembski Paperbark Woman was born in Darwin, and with the exception of about four years in the early eighties, has lived in Darwin all her life. Lenore is a contemporary Aboriginal fashion designer. Her designs feature textiles designed and produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and reflect her cultural heritage and contemporary focus.

To many locals, Lenore is known for her public service work in the Aboriginal employment and training area and her involvement with Aboriginal organisations. Lenore also held a number of other positions. She was the Manager, Staff Development and Training of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in Darwin and was appointed member of the Australia Council's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Arts Board.

In 2001, Lenore was awarded Darwin NAIDOC Artist of the Year, NT Chief Minister’s Women’s Achievement Award, and Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Community and Business Partnerships – Northern Territory Winner – Small Business Category. 

In 2009, Lenore was awarded Chief Minister’s Award for Excellence in the Public Service, Engagement with the Community Category, a team award for CDEP Transition Programme Team with 47 remote schools.

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