Kerry Sculthorpe-Randriamahefa grew up on a farm at Nicholls Rivulet near Oyster Cove in southern Tasmania. After leaving school at 16 and working at a number of jobs, including secretarial work, waitressing and labouring, she travelled overseas. She received a Diploma in Natural Healing in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1972, and completed bilingual studies in Business and Commercial Practice in 1975. She lived in France and Madagascar before returning to Tasmania in 1977.
In 1981 she received her Bachelor of Arts (Social Work) degree from the University of Tasmania, and in 1987 completed a Graduate Diploma in Public Policy at the Australian National University in Canberra. She worked at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies in the research and administration sections before joining the Australian Public Service in 1987. Since 1990 she has been the manager of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in Tasmania. She has participated in national forums on indigenous education, health, land rights and legislation, and published a number of papers and reports on Aboriginal issues.
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