Tessa is originally from a small coastal town on the midnorth coast of NSW. She completed a combined law and communications degree at the University of Newcastle. After graduating, Tessa worked in North-east Arnhem Land as solicitor with the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, before moving to Broome in 2012 to work for an Indigenous corporation, and later EK. Initially, Tessa assisted EK with engagement, community projects, events, fundraising and organisational capacity. She now provides strategic, organisational governance and project support services to groups within the Kimberley.