Arts graduate Charlee-Sue Frail is a Ngemba woman and the first person in her family to graduate from university. She completed her studies in 2014, attaining a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science and Anthropology.
During her degree, Charlee-Sue worked at Recognise, the educational campaign for constitutional recognition of first Australians. She went on to become their Manager of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement.
“It [was] not only a job but something I am really passionate about. I want to see change in the constitution to reflect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and remove race clauses,” she said of that time.
Charlee-Sue grew up in Armidale and then moved to Wollongong to complete her schooling. Her family originates from Brewarrina, a rural and remote community in Northern New South Wales. Her extended family from rural and remote Australia came to ANU to be at her graduation.
“I could have studied in Wollongong, but I wanted to come to Canberra and study political science and be involved in the space,” she said.
"At ANU I was lucky enough to be taught by some of the best academics in the country and there was a lot of flexibility within my degree to do more research based projects which enabled me to focus on what I wanted to learn.”
Charlee-Sue describes herself as being deeply committed to social change, with a strong interest in political advocacy, decision-making and policy. Her professional endeavours have borne this out.
Since 2016, she has been working in Sydney as the Indigenous Programs Manager for AFL NSW/ACT. Charlee-Sue is also currently an Advisor to Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar’s “Wiyi Yani U Thangani” project; a national conversation that is hearing from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women and Girls from across the country about the strengths and challenges they face in their everyday lives.
Charlee-Sue is the Co-Chair of Lendlease’s Reconciliation Action Plans Advisory Group and a member of both the Sydney Swans’ and Giants’ Reconciliation Action Plan committees. Additionally, Charlee-Sue is a Co-Founder of the Brewarrina Mission Working Group, an annual event that reconnects community to the Brewarrina Mission and discusses the significant cleaning and restoration work needed on this important historical site.
When Charlee-Sue graduated from ANU in 2014, she vowed that it wouldn’t be the last of studying for her. She has returned to university to do a Master of Public Policy and Governance at UNSW.