First Nations Foreign Policy Fellow
Sarah Leary leads the Centre’s suite of policy advocacy, research and partnership activities focused on Western Australia’s engagement with Australia’s First Nations Foreign Policy agenda.
A proud Palawa woman, she brings to the Centre 14 years’ experience in the Australian Government working across the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Attorney-General’s Departments. Her public sector experience spans strategic policy and trade and investment facilitation to designing and implementing large-scale programs to improve private-sector development, gender equality and sports diplomacy outcomes across the Indo-Pacific.
During her diplomatic career, she served in Solomon Islands, Cambodia and Vietnam, as well as deployments to the Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York and Australian Embassy in Washington DC. As an advisor to Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Sarah supported Australia’s UN Human Rights Council campaign and represented Australia at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2012.
Sarah is a highly regarded public diplomacy practitioner and sought after public speaker, having spearheaded Australia’s largest ever public diplomacy investment – PacificAus Sports – to deepen Australia’s ties to the Pacific, culminating in the stronger inclusion of Pacific athletes in Australia’s Super Rugby Pacific franchise, and the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Originally from Tommeginne Country in North-West Tasmania, Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in International Relations from the University of Tasmania and is completing a Masters in Diplomacy and International Strategy from the London School of Economics. She speaks Indonesian and is a former journalist with Fairfax Media.