Tess has a varied career in social justice campaigning, education support and community development in an Aboriginal community, and support for families at risk of entering into the child protection system.
- 2016 Masters of Social Work (Professional Qualifying), James Cook University
- 2005 Bachelor of Arts (International Studies), RMIT University
- 2016-present: Social Worker, Burnet Institute, Daru, PNG
- 2015: Engagement and Referral Practitioner, Act for Kids
- 2011-2015: Admin Co-ordinator and Education Support, Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy
- 2008-2011: Social Justice Officer, Uniting Church Vic/Tas Synod
- 2006-2008: Nutrition Co-ordinator and Teacher Aide, Aurukun State School