Henrietta Marrie

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Henrietta Marrie
Associate Professor Henrietta Marrie AM, Gimuy Walubara Yidinji elder, and academic at Central Queensland University.jpg
Henrietta Fourmile

Other namesBukal
EducationDiploma Teaching, Graduate Diploma Teaching, Masters in Environmental and Local Government Law
OccupationAssociate Professor, Central Queensland University
EmployerCentral Queensland University
Known forPromoting and advocating indigenous cultural rights
Spouse(s)Adrian Marrie

Henrietta Marrie (née Fourmile) (born 1954) is an Australian indigenous rights activist. She is an Aboriginal Australian from the Yidinji tribe, directly descended from Ye-i-nie, an Aboriginal leader in the Cairns region. In 1905, the Queensland Government awarded Ye-i-nie with a king plate in recognition of his local status as a significant Walubara Yidinji leader.[1][2]

She is an advocate for the rights of her own Gimuy Walubarra Yidinji families, as well as for the cultural rights of indigenous peoples nationally and internationally.

The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia identifies Marrie as a notable Aboriginal Australian in an entry that includes:[3]

Fourmile has been involved in extensive research in the areas of Aboriginal cultural heritage and museums, the politics of Aboriginal heritage and the arts and recently the area of Aborigines and cultural tourism.

She has been a senior fellow at the United Nations University and an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at the University of Queensland.[4] She is currently Associate Professor, Office of Indigenous Engagement at the Cairns campus of the Central Queensland University.[5]

In 2018, she was named as one of the Queensland Greats by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in a ceremony at the Queensland Art Gallery on 8 June 2018.[6]


Marrie's country within local Aboriginal tradition,[7] to which she holds some property rights under Native Title law, is that country that was once wholly possessed, occupied, used and enjoyed by "King" Ye-i-nie and the Walubarra Yidinji families generally:

The area of the foreshore of the City of Cairns was traditionally known as Gimuy – after the Slippery Blue Fig Tree. The traditional lands of the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji People extend south of the Barron River to Wrights Creek (south of Edmonton), west into the ranges behind Cairns, and east into Trinity Inlet, including Admiralty Island, to the adjacent waters of the outer Great Barrier Reef. The lands in the Cairns suburb of Woree, close to Admiralty Island and Trinity Inlet, were the principal traditional camping grounds of the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji people.[8]

Biographical details[edit]

Ye-i-nie, King of Cairns Photo: A Atkinson 1905

Marrie was born and raised in Yarrabah, Queensland (an Aboriginal community approx 7 km south-east of Cairns[3]), the eldest daughter of Henry Fourmile (aka Queballum – cyclone),[9] grandson to the Yidinji warrior Ye-i-nie (Aboriginal Peace Maker and "King" of Cairns).[10]

She went to school in Yarrabah, and later studied teaching at the South Australian College of Advanced Education, where she first obtained a Diploma in Teaching.[3] Later, after the College had been transformed into the University of South Australia, she obtained a Graduate Diploma of Arts (Indigenous Studies).[7]

By 1988 Marrie was lecturing at Griffith University, Brisbane, and in 1991 had managed to return to Cairns (Gimuy) region, where she first assisted co-ordinate the Cairns College of Technical and Further Education's Aboriginal ranger training program, then by 1994, had become the Cairns Coordinator of a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Participation, Research and Development Centre in James Cook University.[3]

From Cairns, Marrie undertook a Masters in Environmental and Local Government Law (through Macquarie University). Her interests and concerns moved to biocultural diversity, indigenous intellectual property, and traditional ecological knowledge,[11] and as such, by 1997, she had moved on and taken up a position with the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity, where she was the first Aboriginal Australian to be appointed to a full-time professional position in a United Nations agency.[11]

Since 2003, Marrie moved her focus back towards Cairns, first working as the Christensenfund's North Australian Program Officer assisting that philanthropic organisation distribute grants and funds to help promote, sustain, and encourage indigenous biocultural diversity across Australia's north (including the Cairns region),[11] and now working as an associate professor at the Central Queensland University's Cairns campus.

Awards and honours[edit]


  • Fourmile, Henrietta (1987). Racism in legislation : the bill for the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Act 1987.
  • Fourmile, Henrietta (1987), "Aborigines and Museums: A Case Study in Scientific Colonialism", Praxis (17): 7–11
  • Fourmile, Henrietta (1989), "Aboriginal Heritage legislation and Self-Determination", Australian-Canadian Studies, 7 (1–2)
  • Fourmile, Henrietta (1989), "Who Owns the Past?: Aborigines as Captives of the Archives", Aboriginal History, 13: 1–8
  • Fourmile, Henrietta (1989), "Aboriginal arts in relation to multiculturalism", in Cramer, Sue (ed.), Postmodernism : a consideration of the appropriation of Aboriginal imagery : forum papers, Brisbane: Institute of Modern Art
  • Fourmile, Henrietta (1990), "Possession is nine-tenths of the law: And don't Aboriginal people know it", Bulletin of the Conference of Museum Anthropologists
  • Fourmile, Henrietta (1990), "The Case for Independent but Complementary Aboriginal Cultural Institutions", Extending Parameters: Galleries and Communities
  • Hall, Doug; Fourmile, Henrietta, eds. (1990), Trevor Nickolls : gondola dreaming and other dreams, Queensland College of Art Gallery
  • Fourmile, Henrietta (1993), "Cultural management & tourism", in Testa, Joe (ed.), [Video Recording], Lismore, NSW: Gungil Jindibah Centre, Southern Cross University
  • Fourmile, Henrietta (1993). "Cultural Survival vs Cultural Prostitution". Cultural Tourism Awareness Workshop on Indigenous Cultural Tourism in Far North Queensland.
  • Fourmile, Henrietta (1993). "Representing Kunggandji/Yidinji". Julayinbul Conference on Intellectual and Cultural Property.
  • Henrietta, Fourmile, Submission : inquiry into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture and Heritage, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.


  1. ^ "Welcome – 2007 Native Title Conference". AIATSIS. 2007. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
  2. ^ "Red Box Lecture, State Library of Queensland". Brisbane Festival 2009. Archived from the original on 14 October 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d Bancroft, R (1994) "Fourmile, H" in Horton (General Editor) The Encyclopedia of Aboriginal Australia: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History, Society, and Culture Aboriginal Studies Press. Canberra. ISBN 0-85575-234-3
  4. ^ Morrell, James. "Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining". www.csrm.uq.edu.au. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  5. ^ "CBWC Henrietta Fourmile Marrie". CairnsLife. August 2015. Archived from the original on 19 April 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Congratulations to the 2018 Queensland Greats". Queensland Greats Awards. Queensland Government. 20 July 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b GEDO EcoDesign Webpage '2006 Global EcoDesign Dialogues Speaker Profiles' Accessed 21 October 2008
  8. ^ AIATSIS(2007) "Welcome – 2007 Native Title Conference" Archived 11 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 19 October 2008
  9. ^ Wilson, Bill (2005) "Our Vision and Our Journey – Sharing a Learning Culture" in Australian National Training Authority's Learning Culture – The Way Forward Archived 28 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 20 October 2008
  10. ^ South Australian Museum on-line Exhibition Kong Ye-i-nie photo and caption Archived 29 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 19 October 2008
  11. ^ a b c Christensfund's Program Officer Biographies page Archived 25 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 6 December 2008
  12. ^ Nally, Alicia (2018) "CQU lecturer, Cairns woman, Yidinji elder Henrietta Marrie receives Order of Australia" in Cairns Post 26 January 2018
  13. ^ Central Queensland University (2018) "CQ UNIVERSITY ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OFFICIALLY PRESENTED WITH ORDER OF AUSTRALIA (AM) Central Queensland University Media 2 May 2018

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