Dr. Chris Sarra

Dr. Chris Sarra
  • Role: Honorary Fellow
  • Organisation: Centre for Ethical Leadership

Dr Chris Sarra an internationally recognised Indigenous education specialist and is the founder and Chairman of the Stronger Smarter Institute. 

Chris grew up in Bundaberg in Queensland and is the youngest of ten children. He experienced first-hand many of the issues faced by Indigenous students throughout their schooling. Encouraged and supported by some teachers and mentors, Chris successfully completed a Diploma of Teaching, a Bachelor of Education and Master of Education at QUT and a PhD in Psychology with Murdoch University. His thesis has been published in a book released in 2011, titled Strong and Smart - Towards a Pedagogy for Emancipation Education for First Peoples

In the 1990s, Chris took on the challenges of Indigenous education as Principal of Cherbourg State School in South East Queensland. Under Chris' leadership, the school became nationally acclaimed for its pursuit of the Stronger Smarter Philosophy which significantly improved the educational and life outcomes of students. In 2011, Chris was Queensland’s Australian of the Year finalist.

Dr Sarra is passionate about effecting sustainable change through positive leadership and mentoring with high expectations for a strong and smart Indigenous population. He embraces a proud cultural identity and a holistic sense of what it means to be Aboriginal in contemporary Australian society. In 2012, Chris published the story of his life working for a stronger, smarter future for Indigenous children as his biography, Good Morning, Mr Sarra. By sharing his own journey and through his work with the Stronger Smarter Institute, Chris encourages other leaders to embrace the Stronger Smarter challenge of high expectations relationships. Chris' leading advocacy of the Stronger Smarter approach has inspired transformation in schools across Australia.