Sonia Smallacombe is a Maramanindji woman from the Daly River area of the Northern Territory. She is the second eldest of 11 siblings and lived her early years on cattle stations in the Top End where her father, of the Kalkadoon peoples, worked as a stockman. Sonia completed a Bachelor of Arts (1991), a Graduate Diploma in Education (1992) at Monash University and a Master of Arts (1999) at Melbourne University. She has worked with a number of Indigenous peoples’ NGOs as well as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC). Sonia was Head of Indigenous Studies and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems at Charles Darwin University in Darwin, 2002-2005. In late 2005, she moved to New York to join the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues where she worked for 11 years as a Social Affairs Officer, focusing on indigenous peoples’ issues and the environment.