- New South Wales
- Australian Capital Territory
- Northern Territory
- Western Australia
- South Australia
Jimmy Ellis – Coffs Harbour, NSW
Jimmy is originally from Lismore and now resides in Coffs Harbour. Jimmy’s biggest achievement is completing Year 12 and his vision for the future is for all Australians to be equal.
Noni Ross – St Clair, NSW
Noni is from Birri Gubba tribe in Queensland but now lives in Western Sydney. She works for the Office of Fair Trading NSW, as the Aboriginal Customer Service Officer. Noni’s main focus is community education, outreach services and networking with Aboriginal communities in Western Sydney. Noni’s vision for the future is to own her own business and employ Aboriginal youth.
Arlene McInherny – Port Macquarie, NSW
Arlene is a Biripi woman. She works at Macquarie University in the Indigenous Unit (Wara Wara), which has given her the opportunity to become a NAIDOC working committee member and more involved with the university’s NAIDOC events and activities. Arlene’s vision is to help young people in her community achieve their goals by making them aware of the opportunities outside their community.
Katina Parsons – Buronga, NSW
Katina is a Murrawari woman from Brewarrina living in Buronga, NSW. She currently works for the Aboriginal Medical Service Centre in Dareton. Katina’s vision for the future involves learning more about her heritage and furthering her academic career.
Penina Welch – Lismore, NSW
Penina lives in Lismore and comes from the Widjabul and Yaegl tribal group. Penina's biggest achievement is graduating with a Diploma in Development Studies: Aboriginal Communities from Tranby. She now works at Rekindling The Spirit, an Aboriginal counselling organisation. Penina is best described as an independent, strong woman with a passion to help Indigenous people. Her vision for the future is to contribute to a better place for all Indigenous Australians.
Vivienne Roberts – Lismore, NSW
Vivienne is Bundjalung and Widjabul woman from Lismore. Vivienne currently works at the Southern Cross University and her biggest achievement was in 2005 when she attended the World Indigenous People’s Conference on Education in New Zealand. Vivienne vision is to be BIGGER and BRIGHTER for herself and for her community.
Kelly Aiken – Taree, NSW
Kelly lives in Taree, NSW and is a Bundjalung woman. She is currently working for the Purfleet Taree Local Aboriginal Land Council. Kelly’s vision is to improve health and wellbeing in her community and other Indigenous communities across Australia.
Darryl Gardiner – Shell Cove, NSW
Darryl is a Wiradjuri man residing in Shell Cove, NSW. His biggest passion in life is his two children. Darryl works in the Fitness Industry in his community and is also a keen athlete. Darryl’s vision for the future is to provide for his sons and continue to be pro-active in the empowerment of fellow Indigenous Australians.
Allira Chatfield – Dubbo, NSW
Allira is Wiradjuri/ Gamilaroi woman and lives in Dubbo. Allira works as a Heritage Information Officer at the Department of Environment and Climate Change and her greatest achievement was completing a fence on her grandmother’s country with family members. Her vision is to assist her younger cousins to reach their full potential.
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Melinda Ingram – Canberra, ACT
Melinda is from Canberra. Her father is a Wiradjuri man from Condobolin and her mother is a Yirra woman from Nowra. Her passion for community involvement in Canberra has resulted in Melinda competing in touch football at the elite level and she would like to help young Indigenous people reach their full potential by opening their eyes to opportunities.
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Colin Atkinson – Healesville, VIC
Colin is a Wolithika man who also comes from the Yorta Yorta Nation. He currently resides in Healesville in the Yarra Valley. Colin’s grandfather has been his biggest inspiration in life. Colin enjoys being a fire fighter, loves caring about people and being a leader in his community. His vision for the future is to create a better place for Indigenous people.
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Camille Marshall – Darwin, NT
Camille is a Larrakia woman from Darwin works at the Charles Darwin University as the Coordinator of Indigenous Apprenticeships involving education and employment. Camille was proud to be selected for the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group (NIYLG 2005/06) which was empowering and taught her more about her culture. Camille’s vision for the future is for her family to be powerful leaders, utilising their personal motivation and inspirations in achieving their goals and dreams.
Deanna Kennedy – Beswick, NT
Deanna comes from a small community called Beswick in the Northern Territory. Deanna works as a supervisor in the community and is supportive of her staff and the community. Deanna is a good communicator and listener, and in her spare time she loves to go fishing, hunting, swimming and enjoys hanging out with her brothers, cousins and friends.
Ernest (Tommy) Stafford – Darwin, NT
Tommy currently lives in Darwin and is a Yarragi and Bardi man. Tommy works as a Youth Service Volunteer in his community and his greatest achievement has been overcoming fear. Tommy’s vision for the future is to go back to his community and share all the knowledge he has gained as a participant on the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Program.
Rod Whitehead – Robinson River, NT
Rod comes from Robinson River and is a Garrawa man. Rod works on night patrols in his community and loves playing Australian Rules. Rod is proud of catching the biggest Barramundi he has ever seen and his vision for the future is to become a successful diamond miner.
Deon Djawulu Mununggurr – Yirrkala, NT
Deon lives in Yirrkala and is a Gupa Djapi man. He is a Ranger for Dhimurru Land Management and he encourages the community to go to work and kids to attend school. Deon is proud of giving a lecture at the Hobart University in Tasmania. His vision for the future is to be his own boss working as a Land Management Ranger and to work with the community so they can stay strong with the land.
Malati (Oscar) Marawili – Baniyala, NT
Oscar lives in the Baniyala Community, and is a Yolngu man from north-east Arnhem land. Oscar aims to be a community leader and his greatest achievement is attending the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Program. Oscar’s vision for the future is to be a good leader for his family and community.
Yimakan (Chris) Marawili – Baniyala, NT
Chris lives in Baniyala Community and is from the Yolngu clan in North East Arnhem land. He currently works in his community and his vision is to be a good leader.
Djarr (Jamie) Gumana – Yirrkala, NT
Jamie lives in Yirrkala and is a Community Environmental worker with CDEP. Jamie loves Australian Rules football and is a very good fisherman, recently winning a competition. His vision for the future is for Indigenous culture to be strong.
Robert Charles – Ti Tree, NT
No biography provided.
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Sandy Ivinson – Capalaba, QLD
Sandy is from Darwin and is heavily involved in sports. She feels that she represents a leadership role within the sporting community. Sandy believes that she is good at influencing and encouraging others and believes she has effective communication skills. Sandy’s greatest achievement is winning a Youth Citizenship. Her vision is to be the best at what she does and have no regrets.
Katina Leedie – Brisbane, QLD
Katina is originally from Cherbourg mission but moved to Brisbane. Katina is a Wakka Wakka woman, working for a private residential youth agency funded by the Department of Child Safety. Katina’s role in the community is to encourage and influence other community members to be the best they can be. Katina’s vision for the future is to be a positive role model and leader for her people and her family.
Esther Sabatino – Cairns, QLD
Esther lives in Cairns and is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman with a German background. Esther has recently completed her studies to be a qualified Health Worker and is looking forward to furthering her studies at university. Esther hopes to use the skills that she has learnt to make a difference in health for Indigenous people.
Jade Appo – Bundaberg, QLD
Jade comes from the Bundaberg and is a Gooreng Gooreng woman. Jade has been involved in the Sunshine Coast community since relocating there in 1999 and has chaired the Walpara Indigenous Youth Leadership Group for three years. She recently won a scholarship berth on the Young Endeavour funded by FaHCSIA. Jade has completed a Diploma in Business (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies) and will commence a Bachelor of Human Services.
Sonya Shanks – Toowoomba, QLD
Sonya comes from Toowoomba in Queensland and is also a descendant from the Kanaka’s South Sea Islanders clan. Her goal is to purchase a house in the near future. Sonya’s vision includes encouraging more support for Indigenous youth in the community and to see a society where Indigenous people are treated equally and respected for their knowledge.
Nicole Wone– Bundaberg, QLD
Nicole lives in Bundaberg and is a Gooreng-Gooreng (Bundaberg) and Yidinji (Atherton Tablelands) woman. Nicole plays a leadership role in the community by promoting self-esteem to the local youth and is actively involved in NAIDOC week activities. Nicole’s dream is to be a successful artist, developing her own unique style. Her vision is to be spiritual, physically healthy, a successful artist and to raise a beautiful family with lots of fun and laughter.
Luana Wymarra – Injinoo, QLD
Luana lives in Injinoo via Bamaga in far north Queensland. Luana’s clans are Gudang on her father’s side and Komet, Torres Strait Islander on her mother’s side. Luana works at the local supermarket in Alau and has completed her secondary studies. Luana wants to be the best in what she does and to see positive changes in her community.
Stephanie King – Mount Isa, QLD
Stephanie lives in Mount Isa in far north-west Queensland. Stephanie is a Waiwii and Garawa woman from the Gulf area. Stephanie works at James Cook University and the Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health as an Administrator/Student Placement Officer. She is also an active committee member for the Mount Isa Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service, as well as a member of the Mount Isa “Youth Voice Group”. Stephanie’s major achievement was in 2007 when she successfully completed an Associate Degree in Indigenous Community Management and Development at Curtin University of Technology in Perth.
Kimberley Go Sam – Atherton, QLD
Kimberley is an Ngadjan/Jirrbal women living in Atherton. Her tribal communities include areas of Herberton, Ravenshoe, Mount Garnet and around Dingo and Tiger Mountain. Kimberley does language work in her community and hopes to achieve her ultimate goal of studying a degree in Language and Linguistics at university and eventually getting a PhD. One of Kimberley’s achievements is assisting in coordinating the second National Indigenous Land and Sea Management Conference and Cultural Festival. Her vision is to see Indigenous culture and heritage fully restored. Kimberley believes that Indigenous language is very important as it identifies who we are and where we come from.
Natasha Accoom – Lockhart River, QLD
Natasha lives in the Lockhart River Aboriginal Community which is situated in the Cape York Peninsula, far north Queensland. She is a Kanthanumpoo and Umpila woman and is a single mother of one. Natasha likes to go fishing, swimming, camping and enjoys working with children. Natasha loves playing softball and her greatest achievement was graduating from Year 12. Her vision is be the best mum she can be and help the children, youth and Elders in her community.
Ryan McLean – Brisbane, QLD
Ryan is a Birri Gubba man from Brisbane. Ryan’s role in his community is to support other leaders. Ryan has travelled overseas many times to perform Aboriginal dance, and his vision for the future includes the provision of better health and education for Indigenous people.
Keilen Lennane – Rockhampton, QLD
Keilen is from Rockhampton and Port Hedland in WA, where he is the Chair of the Hedland Youth Leadership Council. He is proud of being able to deal effectively with past experiences and his vision for the future is to improve the health and education of Indigenous people within 20 years.
David Gela – Rockhampton, QLD
David is a Torres Strait Island man who lives in Rockhampton. His role in his community is to create and enhance lifestyles and opportunities for Aboriginal and Islander people in the central Queensland region. He is currently trying to start an athletics program for Indigenous youth, and is also trying to gain as much knowledge as possible to take back to his parents and community organisations. David’s vision for the future is to create an athletics track for Indigenous youth and to influence governments in regard to appropriate Indigenous protocol.
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Samuel Pilot – Perth, WA
Samuel is a Nyungah/Torres Strait Islander living in Perth. He comes from the Baladong Piblemen and Mooro clans. Samuel is a supervisor for the Aboriginal Urban Services where his role is to visit schools and teach language, culture and history programs. Samuel is a member of the Indigenous Arts Panel, and also a member of the young people’s arts panel in WA. Sam’s biggest achievement is being chosen to go to Spain to perform at the World Expo. His goal for the future is to prove to others that you can achieve your dreams no matter where you come from.
George Brown – South Hedland, WA
George lives in South Hedland and is an Ngarla and Nyamal man. His role in the community is working for Main Roads as a Road Networks Officer. George can be described as easy going and one of his achievements has been gaining respect throughout his community. George’s vision for the future is to be a good role model for the youth of his community.
Brooke-Louise O’Donnell-McAullay – Perth, WA
Brooke is a Palaku/Yamatji woman. She is employed in the Tax Office as an Indigenous Ambassador and is a representative for the Indigenous Employment Strategy. Brooke has completed a degree in Indigenous Australian Cultural Studies. Brooke’s greatest achievements include receiving the 2007 site award for Innovation and Excellence for her work as a Wellbeing Representative at the Tax Office. Brooke plans to become a financial educator to help communities make smart choices in building success. Brooke’s vision for the future is to ensure all Indigenous Australian’s are adequately provided for.
Chellsey Morrison – Mandurah, WA
Chellsey lives in Mandurah and is a Yorga woman from the Bibulman nation. She hopes that in the future she can become a positive leader that everyone can look up to and to be a young Indigenous doctor. Chellsey has received various art awards and is proud of going to Adelaide for the 2003 Health Workers Conference with the Bingee Busters Women’s Group. Chellsey’s vision for the future is to become a registered nurse and then hopefully a neurosurgeon. Chellsey would like to own her own home and car and look after her parents when they get older.
Dianna Wright – Perth, WA
Dianna is a Karrajarri woman from the Bidyadangol community. Dianna is proud of being a finalist in the environment category of the WA Youth Awards and of being offered an internship before she even finished school. Dianna’s vision is for the world to be a better place for her future children to grow up in.
Jennifer Wilson – Kununurra, WA
Jennifer is a Mulgan woman who lives in Kununurra. Jennifer is a Youth Counsellor in her region and is qualified in industrial skills and welding. Jennifer is now working towards getting her counselling certification and her vision for the future is to buy her own home and travel overseas to learn more about the differences in culture and employment.
Jillian Councillor – Derby, WA
Jillian comes from Derby in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and currently lives in Perth. Jillian is employed as an Administration Officer with the Aboriginal Healing Project based at King Edward Memorial. Jillian’s vision for the future is for Indigenous people to be recognised and valued as the original and true owners of Australia, and for a better future for younger generations
Louise Ockerby – Broome, WA
Louise is Bard on her father’s side from the Dampier Peninsula and Nyungah on her mother’s side from the south. Louise can be described as willing and always there to help out in her community. Louise enjoys helping other people and is proud of being on the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Program. Her vision for the future is to be part of changing the cycle in family domestic violence, reducing youth suicide and being a strong voice for Indigenous youth.
Melanie Shanks – Perth, WA
Melanie is a Kanaeng and Munich woman from Nyungah community. Melanie can be best described as a strong willed and level headed young female role model. Melanie is proud of the courage it takes just to be herself. Her vision for the future is for equal opportunity and to live in a community where a complete state of social justice exists.
Merindah Bairnsfather-Scott – Perth, WA
Merindah is a Nyoongar woman and lives in Perth. She can be best described in her community as leading by example. Merindah is passionate about cultural awareness and heritage protection and she is proud of working for the Department of Indigenous Affairs.
Michaela Malay – Halls Creek, WA
Michaela is a Kija woman and lives in Halls Creek. She works for Centrelink and has plans to become a Youth Worker in the future. Michaela is a positive thinker and is supportive of the people around her while being a proud mum. Her vision for the future is to buy Bedford Downs Station and watch her children and grandchildren grow up there.
Michelle Councillor – Perth, WA
Michelle comes from Derby and now lives in Perth. She is working in the government sector and studying Youth Work. Michelle is proud of who she is and where she comes from, of getting a good job and learning something new every day. Her vision for the future is to become a primary school teacher and teach in her community.
Nathalia Imberlong – Kununurra, WA
Nathalia is a Jaru and Mirrawong woman living in Kununurra. Nathalia is proud of having travelled overseas with Rotary Youth Exchange and living in Denmark for one year. Her vision for the future is to see positive change within Aboriginal communities.
Rebecca Drage – Geraldton, WA
Rebecca is a Nhanda woman and lives in Geraldton. She is a trainee Broadcaster for the local Indigenous radio station, Radio Mama. Rebecca is proud of achieving employment and her vision for the future is to get further education to help her town come together and support each other as a group.
Renae Simpson – Port Hedland, WA
Renae lives in Port Hedland and is proud of being a Yamtji girl. She works with the community at the local Youth Centre. Renae is the first person in her family to graduate year 12 and also the first to complete university.
Samara Boyd – Geraldton, WA
Samara was born in Port Hedland and currently resides in Geraldton. Samara is proud of moving away from her small town to make something more achievable with her life. Samara’s vision for the future is to better the lives and visions of Indigenous people.
Tonia Sambo – Esperance, WA
Tonia lives in Esperance and is a positive role model to her peers. Tonia accepts people for who they are and is willing to go out of her way to support people. Tonia is proud of being part of the Indigenous Youth Leadership Program and looks forward to being able to take all the skills she has gained back to her family and community. Tonia’s vision for the future is for all Indigenous people to work as one and reach a high level.
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Nyanigu Thomas – North Brighton, SA
Nyani is a Kookatha man who is working towards completing a traineeship in the public service. Nyani can be described as hard working and dedicated. His proudest achievement was when he secured his first job. Nyani’s vision is to develop into an effective and strong leader.
Duncan Langford Glass – Port Adelaide, SA
Duncan is a Koori man living in Port Adelaide. Duncan is a youth worker, leader and role model in the community and enjoys working with young people. Duncan loves looking after his friends and family and helping others. His proudest achievement so far is completing his high school certificate and studying youth work at the local TAFE. Duncan’s vision for the future involves a world where everyone can understand each other.
Rebecca Richards – Finders Ranges, SA
Rebecca is from the Flinders Ranges and her community is the Adnyamathana Nepabunna homeland. Rebecca can be best described as organised and her greatest achievement includes organising and co-hosting the SACE Achievers Award celebrations. Rebecca’s vision for the future includes expanding the Peer Support Mentors Program with MIFSA, completing her internship with the National Museum of Australia and completing her degree at Adelaide University.
Jerome Edward Cubillo – Manningham, SA
Jerome is a Larrakia/ Wadgikan man. Jerome is a youth worker and role model within his community. Jerome can be best described as caring and a hard worker, having previously won an award from the Order of Australia committee for youth issues. Jerome’s vision for the future is to work with Aboriginal people in remote communities across Australia in closing the gap by promoting the health and greater life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Stacey-Lee Sparrow – Adelaide, SA
Stacey is an Ngarrindjeri woman and currently lives in Adelaide. Stacey is a senior Administration Officer within the Department of Immigration. Stacey’s proudest achievements include gaining an acting promotion within government and winning Port Adelaide/Enfield’s most inspirational person 2006. She also strives to succeed and values her family to the full extent. Stacey’s vision for the future includes the establishment of a support group for youth dealing with substance abuse in the home environment.