Dennis has a background in catchment management, fisheries, aquaculture and Aboriginal labour market, education and training. Dennis is a Wanjuru Traditional Owner of the Russell River catchment that is part of the Yidinjii nation.
Dennis holds several official roles on Reef water quality, including: Reef Advisory Committee; Traditional Owner Technical Water Quality Working Group under the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan; Wet Tropics Wetland Alliance; and, Australian Coastal Restoration Network. Dennis previously represented the Australian Government in international forums, including: Network of Aquaculture Centers in the Asia-Pacific (Agricultural and Food Organisation, United Nations); Arafura and Timor Seas Experts Forum; and, Aboriginal Labour Markets and Government Policy (International Conference on Local Employment Initiatives).
Dennis has extensive background in Aboriginal labour market and education policy and program development and delivery. Working as Senior Researcher on the Secretariat of the Committee of Review of Aboriginal Employment and Training Programs (Miller Report), Dennis conducted research and analysis of economic and social policy with regards to Aboriginal education, employment and training programs (Miller Report, 1985) and, subsequently, co-drafted the Cabinet Submissions and the Aboriginal Employment Development Policy that came into effect in 1986 (Commonwealth). As National Director of Aboriginal Post Schooling Strategies, Dennis drafted the Cabinet Submissions and National Aboriginal Education Policy (AEP) and negotiated 5-year strategic plans with Territory and State Governments and Aboriginal student support arrangements with the post-schooling institutions (TAFE, universities and other training providers).