Professor Kerry Arabena, a proud Meriam woman whose ancestral connection to the Torres Strait lies deep in the rich, fertile volcanic soil of Mer Island, one of the 274 beautiful islands in that incredible archipelago off the tip of Cape York.
Kerry is a compassionate leader and role model, a mother, grandmother, Aunty, and friend who is devoted to social justice, transformation, sustainability and education. Maiem (Welcome) to Ilan Style – A chance to slow down and engage with the vibrancy of nature in the tropics, 'island style'. Kerry talks to Gman on Big Brekky this morning.
When you hold our tea in your hands, you place meaningful change in ours. Our tea is symbolic of reciprocity in action.’
Kerry Arabena – Ilan Style Founder wit
h a PhD in Human Ecology, Kerry was formerly the Chair of Indigenous Health at the University of Melbourne. At Ilan Style, she is ably supported by a team that cares deeply about health – both of people and of our environment. Our talented team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous professionals is based across Australia and overseas, and includes a naturopath product developer and conservationist, marketers, operations experts, and a sustainability manager. We believe that we can all make a positive impact when we remain kind, generous in spirit and dedicated to our goals.
The Ilan Style team strives to create premium and healthy Australian native products that showcase the uniqueness of Australian Indigenous culture and produce. Our first products are a range of five indulgent native tea blends – Ilan Gratitude, Ilan Purpose, Ilan Kindness, Ilan Presence and Ilan Wonder – all of which have different wellbeing benefits and intentions. Our products are responsibly packaged with fully reusable and recyclable materials and no single-use plastics – and we have many more in the pipeline!
Every decision we make for Ilan Style has our customer’s personal wellbeing, along with cultural and environmental sustainability, at the forefront. We won't compromise because we want to ensure that our legacy is a bright, safe, equitable and prosperous future for all.' Natalie Wood – Naturopath and Product Developer
Kerry’s work has brought her to the forefront of Indigenous affairs in Australia. A former social worker with a Doctorate in Environmental Science, Kerry has worked in not for profit, community controlled and academic institutions, holding senior positions such as the inaugural Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Executive Director of Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Chair of Indigenous Health at the University of Melbourne, lead researcher of First 1000 Days Australia, CEO of the Lowitja Institute and Director of Indigenous Health Research at Monash University.
Internationally, Kerry was President of Ecohealth International, consulted for the World Health Organisation, was a Scientific Commissioner on the Lancet Pathfinder project and completed a Fellows program with the Rockefeller Foundation in Italy.
Currently, Kerry holds honorary professorial positions with the University of Melbourne and Federation University, is an Interim Director of Victoria’s Self-Determination Fund, a Trustee at Arts Centre Melbourne, manages her burgeoning consulting, publishing and coaching and education and training companies, and has several entrepreneurial programs in development including the most recent launch of her new business, Ilan Style.