- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
Karen Ervin – Canberra, ACT
Karen is part of the Booth family from Gooreng Gooreng and Punthamarra in QLD. She works for the Australian Defence Force Cadet as a Policy Officer in the Cadet Policy Branch. She describes herself as a happy, open, honest person, whose greatest achievements are her three children. Her vision is to understand and see her full potential and be the best that she can be.
Kayeleen Brown – Canberra, ACT
Kayeleen is a Yuin and Bundjalung woman. She works as a Project Officer in the Australian Public Service and sees her role as being a mentor, leader and volunteer. Her greatest achievement has been helping her community, changing the view of Indigenous people within her department and making her family proud. Her vision is to inspire and see motivated strong Indigenous youth changing and leading her community, and inspiring single young mothers to want more out of life.
Julia Smith – Canberra, ACT
Julia is a Darug woman currently living in Canberra. She works as a Human Resources Manager in the Navy System Command for the Department of Defence. Julia is a good daughter, friend and colleague. She has studied and hopes to one day run her own leadership program. Her goals are to understand the issues within her own community, to become a role model and leader, and to be confident and credible when speaking in public.
Shantay Belich – Hornsby, NSW
Shantay is a Kamilaroi and Gamilaraay woman from Horbsby, NSW. She is currently working as a Program Coordinator. One of her greatest achievements has been encouraging children to return to school to complete their education by acting as a positive role model and mentor. Her vision is to have a wellbeing centre addresssing trauma, pain and to share Aboriginal ideology and cultural context to heal mind, body and spirit.
Bec Gainford – Cessnock, NSW
Bec’s mother is a Wiradjuri woman and her father’s family is from the Torres Strait. Bec is a Senior Indigenous Customer Service Officer at Centrelink. She is also an Indigenous leader at Blackcreek Aboriginal Corporation and co-manager of Yamaa Guumarrli Dancers. Bec is a proud mother of four wonderful sons, one of which received DUX of his school for year 6. Her greatest achievement, aside from her children, is being the manager of her son’s traditional dance group. Bec believes that culture is the most important aspect of Indigenous life. Family and community come first; education and health are still lacking in communities and need more focus. Her vision is to reintroduce traditional languages into society.
Robyn Goodman – Tacoma, NSW
Robyn’s mob are the Wiradjuri people in NSW. She works as an Indigenous Service Officer. Her greatest achievements are being a mother and grandmother, and helping her friend find her mother after 33 years. Her vision is to bring back the culture and language, and to share with children and empower them.
Kathleen Lena – Tweed Heads, NSW
Kathleen is an Elder and a Bungajulung woman from Tweed Heads. Being able to write her life story for the future generation is one of her many achievements. Kathleen’s goal is to reach out to others.
Joan McDonald – Purfleet / Taree, NSW
Joan is a Biripi woman and a community member. Her vision is to make her community a safer place for children.
Melissa (Mary) O’Neill – Wagga Wagga, NSW
Melissa is a Reid (Kamiloroi woman) from Galargambane NSW. She is currently a lecturer at the Australian Catholic University in Strathfield, a Youth Officer at Juvenile Justice and an Employment Project Officer in Ashmont, Wagga Wagga. Her greatest achievements are her family and children, and completing her Bachelor of Education to become a teacher. She also considers herself to be a strong woman which is an achievement for her mother, father and family who have guided her. Melissa’s vision is to build stronger pathways for all Aboriginal people through education, strength and knowledge. She would like to see young
Sylvia Timbery – Nowra, NSW
Sylvia is a Waddi Waddi woman, who is employed as an Aboriginal Community Support Worker. Her greatest achievements are being a great mother, grandmother and seeing her children being happy and healthy. She is also proud that she has been able to give help and support to Aboriginal families with children attending preschool. Her vision is to become a confident speaker and to help support families and children in her community.
Sharon Bailey – Cessnock, NSW
Sharon is a Darkanjung and Darug woman. She works as an Employment Consultant and ATSI Site Contact at Wesley Uniting Employment in Cessnock. Sharon has been a single mother for over 20 years and says her greatest achievement is raising two beautiful, well adjusted children. As a result of the Indigenous Women’s Leadership Program, Sharon can now acknowledge how hard it has been for her and how proud she is of her children and of herself. Her vision is to keep growing as a person and to retain the strength and confidence that she has recaptured through the program.
[ top ]
Raylene Bugden – Bowraville, NSW
Raylene comes from the Gumbayngirr clan, Bungjalung nation. She is an Elder, mother, grandmother and great grandmother within her community. Her greatest achievements have been her children, retiring, travelling her involvement with community and women’s issues. Her vision is to register a consultancy business and to get involved with youth travel overseas.
Kay Bussell – Minto, NSW
Kay is a Yorta Yorta woman. She is an ‘out of home care’ Case Manager for KARI. Her greatest achievement is being able to listen to people and reply assertively without being aggressive, and being able to speak publicly. Her vision is for the good health and wellbeing of Aboriginal families.
Christine Cole – Broken Hill, NSW
Christine is a Ngarrindjeri woman from Murray Bridge, SA. She is currently working for Centrelink as an Indigenous Service Officer. Christine’s greatest achievement has been becoming a Born Again Christian and keeping on that path with god’s strength and blessing. She believes that her god is her saviour, who is with her through all things. Her vision is for a united Australia which respects and values Indigenous and other cultures and where non-Indigenous people are truly sorry for past and present practices which had a detrimental affect on Indigenous people.
Kay Dundas – Coonabarabran, NSW
Kay is a Kamiloroi, and Gadigal woman. She works as an Aboriginal Family and Community Support Worker and is a mother, grandmother, aunty and sister. Her greatest achievement is being a mother and, most of all, becoming a grandmother of two. She is proud that she has been able to restore family networks and form partnerships. Her vision is to reconnect and rekindle the flame within families, and to support parents, youth and children.
Tanya Hyde – Tamworth, NSW
Tanya is a Kamiloroi woman. She works as a Trainer and Supervisor at Centrelink. Her greatest achievement has been becoming a mother – she believes that anyone can have children but it takes a great person to be a loving, nurturing mother. Her goal is to do the best she can in life, to lead by example and to be a good mother to her children.
Elizabeth Johns – Cessnock, NSW
Elizabeth is a Kamiloroi woman. She works as an Aboriginal Chronic Care Coordinator for Justice Health in NSW. Elizabeth’s greatest achievement is being a single mum. Her vision is to be the best person that she can be and to work within her capacity to help reduce the 17 year mortality gap for Aboriginal people.
Clare Lena – Tweed Heads, NSW
Clare is from Tweed, Manaljali and Bundjalung country. She is a community representative on various committees, a Local Aboriginal Lands Council employment member and a church leader. She is a survivor whose greatest achievement is being able to raise her children to be strong Indigenous men and women. Her vision is to help her family, community and people to become self sufficient, and to help implement self help and inspirational programs.
Cindy Lesley – Grafton, NSW
Cindy is a Yuin woman now living in Bundjalung country. She is a partner, mother (nooni), counsellor, teacher and learner. Her greatest achievement is being a nooni. Cindy’s vision is to continue to build community and individual leadership qualities and skills.
Marilyn McPherson – Helensburgh, NSW
Marilyn is a Kamilaroi and Wiradjuri woman. She is a Case Officer for the Migrations Refugee Review Tribunals in Sydney. Marilyn believes her greatest achievement is yet to come and her vision is to see cultural awareness actively implemented in every government department.
Catherine Phoenix – Newcastle, NSW
Catherine is a Wonnaruah woman from Singleton. She is currently Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students Convenor for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students Collective within the University of Newcastle Students Association, a member of the Steering Committee of the International Leadership Experience and Development (ILEAD) program, and a Support Officer in the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health within NSW Government.
Her greatest achievement is being a participant of the Indigenous Leadership Program. Her vision is to lead by example and to stand united with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at the University of Newcastle.
[ top ]
Tanya Simon – Forster, NSW
Tanya is a Biripi and Warrigirri woman, working as an Indigenous Employment Consultant. Aside from buying a house, Tanya believes her greatest achievements are her job and being nominated to attend the Indigenous Leadership Program.
Norma Jean Turner – Shoalhaven, NSW
Norma is a Walbunga woman. Her role is to provide and coordinate programs for people who live with a chronic illness. Her greatest achievements have been becoming a grandmother, getting her community to allow her to work with them and earning their respect. Her vision is to see her community gain knowledge about good health and for them to be able to manage their chronic illnesses better.
Tareka Whaleboat – Newcastle, NSW
Tareka is originally from Townsville, QLD but lives in Newcastle. She is proud to be both TSi & Aboriginal. She works in an Aboriginal college in Newcastle as a Programs Manager. She says her greatest achievement has been attending the Indigenous Leadership Program where she feels she has learnt a lot about herself and grown both personally and professionally. Her vision is for her community to work together and move forward for the better of her people.
Renee Wood – Queanbeyan, NSW
Renee is a Mamu woman from Innisfail QLD. She is a Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) Contract Manager within the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Her greatest achievements have been starting out at Bunnings as a check out chick and getting promoted after three months to Supervisor, moving to Canberra for a better lifestyle and career through the Indigenous Australian Contract Management Diploma Program (IACMDP). Her vision is to have a successful, well paid career, to own a house and continue to have a strong, close relationship with her son.
Rhonda French – Tumut / Brungle, NSW
Rhonda is a Wiradjuri woman who is happily enjoying life in her 40’s. Her work involves liaising with the community. She describes herself as being reliable, honest and fun. Her vision is to use her skills and knowledge to support her community.
Samara-Li Gray – Tweed Heads, NSW
Samara-Li’s mother is a Manaljali woman. She is a Christian woman who leads Indigenous youth within and outside of the church. Her greatest achievement is becoming a Christian and realising that her identity lies in Christ. Her goal is to do her best, always growing and learning so that she has something to offer people. Samar-Li’s vision is to see something better for her people and most importantly, for value to be placed on women’s lives.
Joy Hodgson – Penrith, NSW
Joy has lived in Darug, Country all her life, but her family is from NT. Her grandfather is from Borroloola and her grandmother is from the Mara people, who are now spread throughout the NT. Joy works as an Indigenous Network Service Manager, and is proud that she has been a part of her Indigenous network for three years. Her greatest achievement, outside of work, is her loving marriage of almost 15 years. Her vision is to continue to have a strong, growing network and to bring child support services to more Indigenous people.
Sharon Lambert – Coffs Harbour, NSW
Sharon is a team leader within her workplace. Her greatest achievements are her children and she has also opened up a new business. Sharon’s dream is to live a happy and healthy life with lots of grandchildren.
Denise Merritt – Tamworth, NSW
Denise is a Trindalls woman from Wee Waa. She is an Indigenous Service Officer currently working for Centrelink in Tamworth. Her greatest achievement has been raising her son to be a lovely, honest, caring man. Her vision is to help others by being a positive role model.
Karlene Middleton – Dubbo, NSW
Karlene is a Wangkumurra woman. She works for Centrelink as an Indigenous Customer Service Officer. Her greatest achievements are her journey to the Northern Territory and her work in communities. Her dream is to live a happy life.
[ top ]
Toni Penn – Glen Innes, NSW
Toni is a Yuin woman from Wallaga Lake. She is an Aboriginal Case Worker in Child Protection. She likes to share her knowledge to help educate others. Toni describes herself as honest, reliable, a hard worker and resilient. Her vision is to empower and educate her family and community to learn how to protect children to help break the cycle and show others how they can make a difference.
Margaret Ridgeway – Kempsey, NSW
Margaret is a Dunghetti woman and an Elder in her community. She describes herself as a supportive person whose vision is to be heard in her role as an Elder.
Renae Roach – Broken Hill, NSW
Renae works as an Administration Assistant for Moarima Health and is a first point of contact for her community. Her greatest achievement was applying for and getting a good, stable job that she loves. Her vision is to help and support young people to be more confident and not to be scared to take up further education, as it is never too late.
Karen Smith – Wagga Wagga, NSW
Karen is a Wiradjuri woman. She works as an Indigenous Service Officer for Centrelink in Wagga, and describes herself as being friendly, understanding and a family person. Her greatest achievements are her jewellery making and obtaining her Certificate IV in Business Administration. Karen’s dream is to live a happy life and watch her grandchildren grow up.
Kim Thompson – Liverpool, NSW
Kim is a Kamiloroi woman from near Coonabarabran. She works as an Indigenous Relations Officer for the Child Support Agency. Her greatest achievements are her children and reconnecting with her mother after a family breakdown. Her vision is for Indigenous Australians to access services which are available to all Australians, to improve health and seize opportunities.
Patricia Wallace – Coffs Harbour, NSW
Patricia is a Darug woman now living in Coffs Harbour. She works as an Indigenous Service Officer for Centrelink and describes herself as being out going, compassionate, loyal and trustworthy. Her greatest achievements are raising three children to adulthood and completing a university degree while working full time. Patricia would like to see more Aboriginal people with an active role in consultation processes and legislation.
[ top ]
Airalee Barry – Taree, NSW
Airalee’s role is to help youth and women reach their goals. She is a TAFE Aid and describes her job as “doing a bit of everything.” Her greatest achievements are her children and her education. Airalee enjoys taking life as it comes.
Raelene Dennis – Coonabarabran NSW
Raelene is a Gamileroi woman. She works as an Indigenous Services Officer for Centrelink. Her greatest achievement is giving birth to three beautiful children and bringing them up as a single mother. Her vision is leadership, promoting projects to ensure communities are culturally aware/sensitive and encouraging youth to aspire to be what they are passionate about.
Ruth Dunn – Nulla Creek, Aboriginal community Bellbrook, NSW
Ruth is a Thungutti woman from the upper Macleay River area. She sees her role as being a mother, grandmother, team leader, youth worker and horse whisperer. Her greatest achievement is being a woman, loving who she is, what she stands for and her Aboriginality. Ruth’s goal is to set up her own successful business and work with troubled kids.
Christine Franks – Widjabul, NSW
Christine is a Wonrrura woman. She is a facilitator for the Aboriginal Talking Circle which is part of the Aboriginal Women Parent Mentoring Program. Her greatest achievements are understanding suffering, trauma and pain in Aboriginal communities, and education and growth which has enabled her to understand her people and who she is.
Monique McEwan – Warren, NSW
Monique is a Wiradjuri woman. She works in Aboriginal Health as a Harm Minimisation Project Officer. She believes that life itself is our greatest achievement and she is still travelling along its path. Her vision is to have a happy and healthy life..
Kylie Benge – Moree, NSW
Kylie is a Kamiloroi woman. She describes her role as being a loving partner, mother to four beautiful children, daughter to inspirational parents, sister to four admirable siblings, a proud Aboriginal woman who is committed to her community as well as working at Centrelink. Aside from her family, her greatest achievements include organising community events for NAIDOC week, awards nights and events around Closing the Gap, while ensuring that all members of her vast community are catered for. Kylie strives to provide for her family financially, culturally and spiritually to ensure that her children’s future is secure in every aspect. She believes that it is up to this generation to continue the hard work her ancestors have done to get her people where they are today.
Donna Briggs – Moree, NSW
Donna is a Kamilaroi woman. She is a Librarian, community member and a support person for her family and friends. Her greatest achievements have been becoming a role model for her children and organising community projects such as an awards night. Donna’s vision is to build her confidence and leadership skills to help herself, her family and her community to achieve dreams, and to partake in further education. She believes that education is the key to success for her people.
Rebekah Glynatsis – Berkley Vale, NSW
Rebekah’s mobs are the Eora people from Sydney and the Gungarri people from north QLD. She works as a National Aboriginal Liaison Officer and a Senior Disability Employment Consultant. Her greatest achievement was being able to broadcast the Apology and host a morning tea for her community – the local paper and radio station listed her event. Her vision is to become a good leader and assist her community to move forward together.
Lisa Murphy – Sydney, NSW
Lisa was born in Port Hedland. Her mobs are Nimumburr Arrente, Jaru and Kitjat. She is currently employed as a temporary Assistant Policy Officer with the NSW Office of Fair Trading, but her permanent role is as an Aboriginal Customer Service Officer. Her vision is to obtain a Bachelor of Commerce, Masters in Business Administration and eventually a Doctrine in Business Administration, and to become a manager or Senior Executive for a Government agency to make a difference and set an example. She would also like to support her family and husband to achieve their goals and eventually teach all that she has learnt.
Natalie Bolt – Forster, NSW
Natalie is a strong community member and Deputy Chairperson. She works as an Indigenous Employment Consultant and is a volunteer worker for Youth Services. Her greatest achievements are her four beautiful daughters and buying her own property. Natalie would like to see more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in mainstream employment within her community so that everyone can be treated equally or as one. Her vision is to be a good role model for her family and community.
[ top ]
Alison Quin – Parkes, NSW
Alison is a stolen generation descendant living in Mareeba. Her role is to support people to achieve their individual goals and their community vision. Her greatest achievements have been raising her brother and standing on her own two feet. She would like to see each person reaching for the stars.
Alana Roberts – Kempsey, NSW
Alana’s role involves reaching out to families in crisis. Her greatest achievement has been reaching a goal that is positive and being able to communicate with people effectively. Her vision is to see people change to achieve a better future in life.
Jennifer Rosser – Macksville, NSW
Jennifer works as an Administrator for the New Careers for Aboriginal People program. Within this role she assists people with training, employment and resume writing. She also works as an Assistant Teacher for North Coast Computer Project, TAFE. Her greatest achievement is her own personal growth; she is positive, strong and confident, which benefits her family, community and the nation of Australia. Jennifer’s vision is to start her own Aboriginal cultural tourism business in her community.
Sandra Sand – Nambucca Heads, NSW
Sandra’s role at work is to support management to provide excellent customer service and uphold government policy. As a parent, she is a positive role model, influencing and supporting her four children and partner. Her greatest achievements include being selected to be part of the intervention to support her people with the changes, staying strong, starting a new relationship with a fantastic man and allowing herself to be happy and content. Sandra’s visions are to learn and grow, support fellow Indigenous staff in her workplace and to provide her children with happiness, health, wellbeing, guidance and the ability to be self sufficient.
Faith Gardner – Alice Springs, NT
Faith identifies with the Walpiri mob. She grew up in Alice Springs, disconnected from her family. Her grandmother’s family is originally from Yarrabah, then Blackall. Faith is employed as a Project Officer for Jobfind and organised the first ever white balloon day in Alice Springs. One of her greatest achievements has been raising her daughter to have confidence and courage. Faith has overcome many of life’s challenges and is proud that she has been able to step up, create new opportunities and create her life in a place where she can be true to herself, her people and be the person she longed to find when she was growing up.
Sarah Peris – Darwin, NT
Sarah’s is a Gidja woman from the Kimberly’s in WA. She currently works as a Project Officer for Centrelink. Sarah’s greatest achievement is her children. She continues to support and guide them to be healthy and educated in both culture and mainstream society. She is also buying her own home.
Anne Hanning – Santa Teresa, Alice Springs, NT
Anne is an Eastern Arrernte and Wagiman woman. She is a Senior Research Officer, working with urban and remote communities across the Northern Territory, and has established an Aboriginal Art and Design business. Anne is also a mother and a role model for her children. She sees herself as an artist, protecting and securing her culture, country and family. Her greatest achievements include her two children and completing her Honours Degree in Indigenous Community Management and Development. Her vision is to be a strong role model, leader for her people and family, and to be actively involved in an art and design business on a national and international scale.
Ngaree Ah Kit – Darwin, NT
Ngaree’s is a Waanyi woman, (QLD) Arabana, (SA) and Warramungu, (NT). She is a public servant by day and community volunteer by night. Her greatest achievement has been continuing on her leadership journey despite facing setbacks, and encouraging others to get involved and make a difference. Her vision is for each Indigenous Australian to have opportunities available to them to improve their life and the lives of those around them.
Coralie James – Tennant Creek, NT
Coralie is still trying to find her family’s country, but she has a very strong connection to her husband’s family the Waramunga people. She is employed by Centrelink where she works as a Customer Service Officer. Her greatest achievement has been dealing with the hurdles of having a special needs child, whilst remaining a stable mother and supporting her other children and husband. Her vision is to bring back traditional teachings to youth and to become a leader in her community with help of her Elders.
Jessica Phillips – Maningrida, NT
Jessica is a Burara woman from Maningrida, but is currently living in Batchelor for her work in Student Services Accounts at the Batchelor Institute. Her greatest achievement has been becoming a leader in her family and looking after the next generation of children. She aspires to become a strong leader and voice for her community.
Charmaine Ada Tambling – Palmerston Indigenous Village, Darwin, NT
Charmaine is a leader in her community who works with the younger generation, keeping them strong and healthy. Her vision is for her people to be strong in her community and say no to drugs and alcohol.
Sharon Wallace – Nhulunbuy, NT
Sharon’s mother is Wangkumara from Charleville, QLD and her father is Kamilaroi from Gunnedah, NSW. She is an Aboriginal Health Worker, lecturer and mentor. Her greatest achievement is raising her daughter and having her family, nieces and nephews knowing without a doubt that she is always there for them. Sharon’s vision is to be a positive role model for her daughter and family, and one day hold the position of Senior Lecturer. She would also like to run her own business.
[ top ]
Kerry Wunungmurra – Yirrkala, NT
Kerry is an Aboriginal Mental Health Worker. She works with other mental health workers, visiting clients in her community and flying to different communities in east Arnhem Land. Her vision is to continue to work within her community to improve her life and grow in confidence. She would also like to study and develop her leadership skills to ensure a good future for herself, her son, her family and community.
Christine Farrar – Minyerri, NT
Christine is a Alawa woman. She sees her role as being a loving mother to her children. Christine’s ambition is to become a community leader. Her greatest achievement is her children’s education – they go to school everyday. Christine would like to teach her kids about her life so that they can follow in her footsteps and have goals of their own.
Leanora Laughton – Alice Springs, NT
Leanora is an Arrente woman. She describes her role as being part of a team that brings people together for education. She is also learning about her place and her country from her grandmother and aunties. Her greatest achievement has been completing year 12 and gaining employment. Her vision is to educate, inspire and learn.
Benita Martin – Bulman, NT
Benita is a Kriol woman who works as a Family Service Officer. She would like to become a better leader within her community
Lirrina (Shandi) Mununggurr – Yirrkala, NT
Shandi’s is a Yolngu and Djapu woman. She works as an Assistant Manager and Administration worker for Youth Services in Yirrkala. Her greatest achievements are her two beautiful children, obtaining a certificate for personal computer skills and the strong, powerful support her family provides her. Her vision is to become a manager, CEO or a chairperson and to see her young ones happy, healthy and active.
Rosemary Baird – Darwin, NT
Rosie is a Tiwi Island and Croker Island woman on her father’s side. She works as a Community Development Officer. Her greatest achievement has been balancing a career, education and family dynamics for the past four years and becoming stronger within herself. Her vision is for everyone to learn how to support each other so they can achieve their best.
Lorna Cubillo – Darwin, NT
Lorna’s is a Warramunga and Walpiri woman from the Barkly region in NT. She is part of the stolen generation and was brought up in the Retta Dixon Home in Darwin. Lorna is an Elder and leader in her community. She describes her role as bringing old friends together, rather than meeting to farewell old friends at funerals.
Robyn Ober – Darwin, NT
Robyn is a Djirribal woman who works as an Indigenous Researcher. In 2007, she completed her Masters of Applied Linguistics, and won an Excellence in Academic award from the Batchelor Institute in 2008. Robyn’s vision is to see children achieving their dreams and goals with confidence, resilience and integrity.
Jacqueline Phillips – Djebena, Arnhem Land, NT
Jacqueline’s is a Barra woman, fluent in the Burarra language. She is a Community Service Officer for the Warruwi community on Goulburn Island. She acts as a mentor, tutor and interpreter for legal and health matters. She has completed her Diploma of Business Community Management and is starting a degree in business. Her vision is to become a strong leader for her people and to keep her culture strong by maintaining and sustaining it. She also strives to influence Indigenous people to be able to lead and manage their homelands.
[ top ]
Sonya Seubert – Darwin, NT
Sonya’s main role in life is to make sure her grandparents and children are looked after. Her greatest achievement so far is owning her own home and being on the right track for a healthy body after losing weight and still counting. Sonya’s vision is to have a happy, healthy family, secure job and to be healthy in mind and body.
Kerry Weatherall – Darwin, NT
Kerry’s role includes working with her family and extended family. She says she is always helping everyone and would like to continue to do so. Her greatest achievement has been learning to put herself first a lot more, while still being a strong mother and role model for her children. Kerry’s vision is to become stronger in her leadership role and accept how others see her. She would also like to continue working at the school on her leadership activity with the girls to make them stronger and ready for the future.
Sharon Ah Chee – Darwin, NT
Sharon is the Senior Faculty Administrator at the Batchelor Institute School of Health, Business and Science. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Business and believes her greatest achievement has been receiving recognition for her role at work. Her goal is to gain more confidence in public speaking and self esteem, and to step outside of her comfort zone to get things done.
Leeanne Millen – Darwin, NT
Leeanne is a Community Development Officer in the Remote Housing Unit of Territory Housing with the Northern Territory Government. Her greatest achievement is being the first in her family to gain a Bachelor of Science in Indigenous Community Management and Development from Curtin University. Her vision is to be recognised for her skills and achievements, to establish a family business and for her community to be safe, forward thinking and for it to continue to develop and grow.
Malissa Hodgson – Stuart Park, NT
Malissa is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. She is Arrernte and Pitjantjarra from Alice Springs and Arabuna from SA. Her mother is a Murray Islander. As a young woman and an older sister to three siblings, Malissa wants to take on a positive leadership role within her community. Her vision is for all youth to be supported, hope, belief and empowerment from their friends, family and community.
Rachel Shields – Alice Springs, NT
Rachel is a Gamillaroi and Wailwan woman. She is a song woman and a teacher, whose role is to aid people in understanding and development. Her greatest achievements are the acceptance of her culture and identity and her ability to believe in and trust herself. Her vision is to share stories with young children to guide and nurture their dreaming, and to be the best representative she can be as an Indigenous woman, a leader and a human being. She would like to guide people in healing and reconnecting with themselves and country, and help people shine by sharing and showing them the steps to freeing themselves.
Leah Narul (Holt) – Goulbourn Island, NT
No Bio provided
Robyn Bellafquih – Townsville, QLD
Robyn’s clan are the Jalunwarra people from Kubin on Moa Island in Eastern Kuku Yalanji and the Torres Straits. She works as a consultant on various Indigenous projects and part-time as a Health Worker so that she can stay involved with her community. Her greatest achievement has been receiving the Vice Chancellors Award for a Bachelor of Applied Science in Indigenous Community Management and Development. Her vision is to lead her clan by passing on knowledge and empowering the younger generations so they can have confidence and pride in their identity.
Leanne Daley – Beenleigh, QLD
Leanne is a Wiradjuri woman, who is employed as a Social Worker. Her greatest achievements are her children and her university degree. Her vision is to see more inclusive consulation with Indigenous people in her area and to see more services become available for Indigenous peoples.
Shirley Simpson (O’Chin) – Ipswich, QLD
Shirley was born in Cherbourg and is a Wakka wakka woman. She works as a Child Safety Support Officer for the Department of Child Safety in QLD. Her greatest achievements have been raising her two girls into sensible young women while she was a single mother and being ’Nan’ to her five grandchildren. Her vision is for a safer, stronger united Indigenous community.
[ top ]
Sherlene (Kitty) Mari – Cairns, QLD
Sherlene is from Warraber Island in the Torres Straits. She is currently studying at TAFE to obtain a Certificate III in Business Administration. Her greatest achievement has been her involvement in the Indigenous Leadership Program, as well as mentoring youth that are at risk by helping them pull through their alcoholic problems. Sherlene describes herself as a very quiet person, who enjoys learning about her culture and is proud of where she comes from. Her goal is to inspire others with her and her people’s visions.
Che’ Stow – Cairns, QLD
Che’ is from the Wakaid Clan on Badu Island in the Torres Strait. She is a Healing Worker for the Remote Area Child and Youth Mental Health Service. Her greatest achievement is being independent and moving away from the community in order to gain more experience, knowledge and wisdom to better herself, family, community and the world. Her vision is for people within communities to find ways to reconnect and rebuild valuable ways of working.
Andrea Moyle – Stradbroke Island, QLD
Andrea is a Nughie woman. She is a Foundation member and Volunteer Coordinator of the North Stradbroke Island Youth Advisory Group. Her greatest achievement is travelling the world, returning to her community to live and work, and being actively involved in the development of her community. Her vision is for a community where people live in harmony, support and respect one another, and where the next generation rises to challenges with the passion and enthusiasm of their elders.
Lillian Simpson – Cairns, QLD
Lillian’s fathers family are the Waka Waka people and her mother’s people are from just over the border of QLD near Lake Nash, NT. She is a CEO for Child Maintenance and the Women’s Centre in Cairns. Her role is to service the Cape York, Gulf and Torres Strait Islander communities supporting pregnant women, their children and women’s health in general. The greatest achievements in her life are her children and the passion she has for her people. She says that she has worked tirelessly since turning 18 and she will continue on. Her vision is to see a new purpose built building for Mookai Rose that will service 24 -36 beds for pregnant women, their children and women’s health from remote communities of Cape York.
Ann-Marie Tyrie – Oakey, QLD
Ann-Marie is a Gai bal and Jarowair woman, now living on Bundjalung county. She works as an Indigenous Teacher’s Aide is a mother of four and a grandmother of two. She is also working towards getting her teaching degree. Ann-Marie’s vision is to improve education and therefore improve life opportunities for her people.
Gina Adams – Brisbane, QLD
Gina is a Wardaman, Wootathi Yadhigana woman for NT and Cape York. She also has Torres Strait Islander family connections. She works as a Senior Indigenous Training and Staff Support Officer for the Department of Child Safety. Her greatest achievement has been finding spiritual peace. Gina’s vision is to make a positive difference in life.
Babinda (Lency) Adidi – Weipa South (Napranum), QLD
Lency is from the Sui – Baidam clan from the Torres Strait Islands. She works as a Coordinator for the Napranum Cape York Digital Network. Her vision is to be a good role model and leader in her community.
Lenora Aldridge – Townsville, QLD
Lenora is a Bindal and Kanju woman. She is an Intensive Family Support Worker. Her greatest achievement is her family. Lenora’s vision is to empower people to keep their family together.
Jasmin Phillips – Townsville, QLD
Jasmin is a Ngaro woman from the Whitsundays in QLD. Her work revolves around consultations with Government Departments, private companies and Indigenous community groups. She was involved in securing Indigenous staff support meetings in her workplace, which have been running for over seven years, as the retention of Indigenous staff was an issue. Jasmin’s vision is for reconciliation to take full effect, for Australian history to be compulsory in primary school education and for self-determination of Indigenous peoples to be more than a policy or report.
Rachel Wargent – Cairns, QLD
Rachel is a Western Yulunji and Ewamin woman from north QLD. She works as a Research Officer and represents her community on a local board. Her greatest achievements have been raising her children, attending university and being an invited delegate to New Zealand for a work conference. Her vision is for her children and their children to enjoy this country, and to be respected and acknowledged as descendants of the longest living traditional culture in the world.
Dulcie Cook – Thursday Island, QLD
Dulcie is a Argan and Wagadagum woman on her father’s side, and her mother is from one of seven tribes from the tip of Cape York and Moa Island. She is a Support Worker whose job is to look after children with a disability after school. Her greatest achievement is when the community accepts people with disabilities without treating them differently. Dulcie’s vision is for the war to stop in Iraq and Afghanistan and for governments around the world to listen and take action against global warming to make the world a better place.
[ top ]
Donna Corrie – Cairns, QLD
Donna’s family is from Darnley Island in the Torres Strait. She works as a Regional Indigenous Coordinator for Blue Care. Her greatest achievement was leaving her permanent position in the VET sector after 15 years and taking on a new, exciting, challenging position in Indigenous leadership. Her vision is to be a strong Indigenous leader for her people in Far North Queensland, to be an inspiration to those finding their way in life and to be successful for her son to keep him safe and happy.
Denise Done – Thursday Island, QLD
Denise is from the Sundown people of Torrest Strait. Her role is to get more of the Torres Strait Island community involved in the climate change program. Her greatest achievement is travelling the world, spreading the word about climate change, while still have time to spend with her baby girl. Her vision is for climate change programs to be part of the school curriculum in the Torres Strait.
Lara Fujii – Badu Island, QLD
Lara is a Badulgal, Thupmul and Thabu woman. She is a student and works voluntarily in the area of domestic violence. Her greatest achievements are getting on with her elders and being heard, having outcomes for her people, her children and her pets. Her vision is to see what her grandfather fought so hard for put in place in today’s world.
Fay Rose Gee-Hoy – Townsville, QLD
Fay is a Kulali, Kalkadoon and Waka Waka woman. She is an Indigenous Liaison Worker at Relationships Australia. Her greatest achievement is being alcohol free for 12 years and counting. Her vision is to see an Aboriginal person become Prime Minister of Australia in her lifetime.
Cassandra Grant – Ipswich, QLD
Cassandra is Jawoyn from Katherine on her father’s side, and Crogden and Julia Creek on her mother’s side. She is currently working as an Administration Officer on a project for Indigenous Education, and has had the opportunity to act as a Case Manager. Her greatest achievements have been completing year 12 and obtaining a Certificate III in Business Administration. Cassandra’s vision is to study more in Indigenous Education, start a family and have her own home.
Rebecca Halliday – Gold Coast, QLD
Rebecca is a Birpai woman. She works as a Customer Service Adviser and a Youth Contact Officer. Her greatest achievement is her ability to set a positive, effective example by being a strong woman and walking the walk. Her goal is to be a great role model and to use passion and skill to move forward with courage in all aspects of her life.
Michelle Howden – Harvey Bay, QLD
Michelle’s great grandmother was a Butchulla woman from Harvey Bay where Michelle still lives today. She is also Woppaburra from the Keppel Island and Gidijamara from Victoria. She is one of seven children and has two sons of her own. Michelle works as a Senior Project Officer for the Department of Communities, but sees her role as a mother as the most important in her life. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Indigenous Community Management and Development. Her vision is to be a happy and content in all aspects of her life.
Maisie James – Townsville and Palm Island, QLD
Maisie is a Bwgcolman, Mamu and Kudjala woman, working as an Aboriginal Health Worker. Her greatest achievements are her three beautiful children and becoming a strong black woman. Her dream is to lead and inspire others.
Ailsa Lively – Yarrabah, QLD
Ailsa is a Gungandji and Kalkadoon woman. She is the Chief Executive Officer of the Gindaja Substance Misuse Aboriginal Corporation. Her greatest achievement is life itself. She is always learning something new and takes each day as it comes. Her vision is to live in harmony with herself, partner, children, family and community, and see her community being a peaceful, clean and beautiful place to live in.
Karen Loban – Townsville, QLD
Karen is from the Upanguthi people of he Torres Straits. She works as a Quarantine Import Inspector. Her greatest achievement has been leaving her home in the Torres Straits and starting on a new path in life for her family. Her vision is to help Indigenous youth to set and work towards achieving their personal goals in life.
Clarissa (Chloe) Miles – Mareeba, QLD
Chloe is a Kukadtja woman from North Queensland. She works as a Consultant for QITE in Mareeba and is an Associate Employment Specialist. Her greatest achievement is her car and gaining her learners licence. Her vision is to travel and one day buy her own home.
Shelita Nona – Badu Island, QLD
Shelita is a Badugal, Thupmul and Thabu woman. She is a mother and a role model for her children, family and community. Aside from motherhood, her greatest achievement has been earning respect from her family and community. Her vision is for a better future for her children and people. She would also like to volunteer in community and church functions.
Leanne Phillips – Brisbane, QLD
Leanne is a Bunjalung woman. She describes her role as being a mother, nurturer and teacher. Her greatest achievement is living and being happy. Leanne’s vision is to grow, perpetually welcome and implement change and to live, love and learn.
Dee Ann Sailor – Townsville, QLD
Dee Ann is an Ookaloo woman. She works as a Placement Officer with Child Protection and advises members of the community on Aboriginal issues. Her greatest achievement is knowing that she can overcome any obstacle that she faces. Her vision is for western society to respect the history of Aboriginal Australia and not be ignorant of social issues.
[ top ]
Joan Smith – Rockhampton, QLD
Joan is a Barada woman. She is the Clinic Manager of an Aboriginal Medical Service. Her greatest achievement has been keeping her son safe from harm and teaching him healthier ways to deal with his issues. Joan’s goal is to gain employment in a stress free and safe environment.
Georgina Tabua – Rockhampton, QLD
Georgina’s father is a Binim man and her mother is Kebisu and Thaiha. Georgina is an Indigenous Health Worker. Her role is to provide the delivery of sufficient health services to the community. Her greatest achievement has been working her way up to a management position and gaining experience and skills. Her goal is to work in a stress free job and to enjoy and to live life to the fullest.
Gwendoline Taylor – Logan City, QLD
Gwen is a Kamiliroi woman. She works in Indigenous Services at Centrelink. Her family is her greatest achievement. She would like to see mainstream Australia appreciate Indigenous history and culture.
Veronica Bond – Ipswich, QLD
Veronica works as a Community Care Officer at the Kambu Medical Centre. Her goal is to show young people that there is more to life than alcohol and drugs.
Ivy Hill – Ipswich, QLD
Ivy works as a Project Officer within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships for the Department of Communities. Her greatest achievement has been establishing a swedish relaxation massage business in Ipswich for Murri women and elders.
Lois Kelly – Oakey/Toowoomba region, QLD
Lois is the Indigenous representative on the Darling Downs and Southwest Queensland Regional Council. This is a political appointment made by the Minister and she has been on the council for nine years. She also volunteers in the Acute Mental Health Unit at Toowoomba Base Hospital. Her greatest achievement has been successfully keeping her family together and not having any of them in trouble with the law. She has also started, with help, a women’s social group in the community and joined the newly formed Oakey Reconciliation Network. Lois’s vision is to find a way to keep kids in school so they can reach their full potential and to reduce the number of Murri people ending up in acute mental health units.
Beatrice Nona – Injinoo, QLD
Beatrice works as an Administration Officer for the Engineering Department, Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council. Aside from her family, Beatrice’s greatest achievement is completing her studies at Tropical North Queensland TAFE in Cairns. She was also promoted to a new position in the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council. Her vision is to be a good mother, sister, aunty, grandmother and a good team leader at work.
Bobette Robinson – Toowoomba, QLD
Bobette works as an Inclusion Support Facilitator with the Garndoo Jarowarr Inclusion Support Agency. She was involved in developing an early intervention document for mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and guiding Lifeline Darling Downs to be an inclusive organisation which is responsive to Aboriginal people. She is proud that she can be a role model to her four children. Bobette’s vision is to see her people progress toward a better quality of life.
Eileen Ropeyarn – Injinoo, QLD
Eileen works as a secretary, but is also a mother, sister and a leader. Her greatest achievement is completing her Community Management studies and being a good role model for her children. Her vision is to help stand up for her community and people to build a better future for her kids.
Margaret Seckold – Cunnamulla, QLD
Margaret works as a Child Protection Advisor with the Western Indigenous Children’s Agency based in Cunnamulla. In 2008, she completed her Diploma in Community Welfare and says her children are her greatest achievements. Margaret’s vision is to own a Harley Davison motorcycle and ride around Australia, and to work as an Indigenous Child Psychologist.
Cara-Lea Suey – Toowoomba, QLD
Cara-Lea is a Youth Justice Worker. Her greatest achievement is being where she is in her life now. Her vision is to help and create positive role models for today’s youth and to see children more connected to their culture.
Elgina Ward – Thursday Island and Cairns, QLD
Elgina works in administration and has her own business called “Blessed and Beautiful”. She has also completed a university degree at the University of Technology in Sydney. Her vision is to encourage Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people to lead and manage their own affairs.
[ top ]
Peta Malezer – Durack, QLD
No Bio provided.
Julia Lang – Mount Warren, QLD
Julia is a Kamilaroi woman. Her greatest achievement has been the advancement of her career in the public service, as she has progressed from an ASP 3 to an EL1 within her section. Julia’s vision is to be an effective leader and respected member of the community.
Valerie Campbell – Alpurrurulam (Mt Isa), QLD
Valerie works in Aged Care. Her greatest achievement is her family and the strength she has been able to provide as a mother. Her goal is to continue working for as long as she can.
Leaders for South Australia (SA)
Lisa Burk – Port Augusta, SA
Lisa is a Kokatha woman who now lives in Adelaide. Her role is to identify issues and concerns in the community and develop initiatives and programs with the support of local agencies to assist with minimising these concerns. Her greatest achievements have been completing schooling, graduating from the police academy and helping others to achieve for themselves. Her vision is to see all Indigenous people achieve their goals or dreams, and for all Indigenous people to be treated equally.
Judi Gibson – Ceduna, SA
Judi is from Ceduna is South Australia. She works as a counsellor in the Ceduna Domestic Violence Unit. Her greatest achievement is having knowledge and life experience, patience and kindness. Judi’s vision is to be multi-skilled.
Bee Flynn – Edwardstown, SA
Bee is originally from Adelaide. Her role at work is to preserve cultural and heritage materials, such as Aboriginal artefacts. Her greatest achievement has been finishing her schooling and getting a job that she enjoys and loves. Her vision is to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to care for and preserve their cultural heritage for generations.
Tammie Iacopetta – Adelaide, SA
Tammie is a Wiradjuri woman from NSW. She is currently employed as an Aboriginal Inclusion Officer. Tammie says her two daughters are her greatest achievement. Her vision is to get parents more involved in the decision making process regarding education and to ensure that all Aboriginal children are engaged in education. She is committed to improving the social and emotional health and well being of Aboriginal people. She also dreams for reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and believes we need to keep the Aboriginal culture alive by building and maintaining positive relationships with Elders.
Honey Lockyer – Whyalla, SA
Honey is originally from the Noongar people of Northam, WA. She works as an Administrative Services Officer for the Department of Education and Children Services. In 2008, she won the South Australian NAIDOC Youth Of The Year Award. She has also completed her South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) and is currently studying Government. Honey’s vision is to help the youth of her community set achievable goals for themselves and to run an evening youth centre to help keep the youth out of trouble and off the streets.
Roslyn Miles – Point Pearce, SA
Roslyn is a Narungga and Kaurna woman. She works in a community development role with Aboriginal Health Division for Health SA. Her role is to build the capacity of communities at a local and regional level, to determine their own direction and future. Her greatest achievement is being married for 37 years and having a wonderful husband, a happy family and wonderful friends. She is very proud of her daughter and son, and has two beautiful grandchildren. Her vision is to work with and support Aboriginal women to work towards a vision for themselves and their families, to realise that their dreams and aspirations can be real and achievable. She aspires to be a leader and role model in her community and family.
Daxene Miller – Yarilend, Cedund SA
Daxine is a Wirangu woman. She works as a Paralegal, providing domestic violence legal support. She is also a mother, sister, aunty and friend. Her greatest achievements include participating in the Indigenous Leadership Program, being a mother and guiding her children, and becoming a leader within her community who is not afraid to speak up in public. Her vision is to help promote and deliver services within her community helping women and children to stand up against domestic violence, sexual assault and family law.
Grace Miller – Adelaide, SA
Grace is a Kokotha woman from Ceduna. She is currently working as a Paralegal with the Women’s Legal Service in SA. Her greatest achievements are her family, graduating with a Diploma in Australian Studies, working in the legal system and working towards the goal of achieving justice for Aboriginal women. Her vision is to continue to promote the Indigenous Leadership Program to the Aboriginal women in her community and to deliver programs that will give Aboriginal women access to legal services and the ability to receive justice and equity within the community.
Leila Miller – Ceduna, SA
Leila is a Kokotha – Wirungu woman. She is a Family Wellbeing Worker with the Family Safe team in Families SA. Her greatest achievements have been the birth of her son (at home with only her father and brother there) and doing life as a single woman, which she believes isn’t as hard as some people say it is. Her vision is to help her community understand the effects domestic violence has on children and that education is a priority in life that we all need. Her aim is to be there for people when they need her.
Raelene Peel – Tia Tuckia Community, SA
Raelene considers all Aboriginal people as part of her family. She has many roles within her community including being a leader, mediator, organiser, mother, daughter, sister, niece and activist. Her greatest achievement has been becoming a good mother and wife, and being a good daughter. Her vision is to get the Stolen Generation compensation, to get real equity in funding and support service jobs and eventually to be a senior Aboriginal political leader such as the Prime Minister.
[ top ]
Alana Smith – Ceduna, SA
Alana is a Wirangu woman. She works as a Project Programs Officer for the Indigenous Coordination Centre in Ceduna, where she assists the Aboriginal women’s groups deliver Indigenous Women’s Programs. Within her community, Alana is a role model and mentor. She is actively involved in the local Aboriginal child care centre. Her greatest achievements are becoming a mother and working fulltime, being a part of the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group, participating in the Indigenous Leadership Program and being a role model in her family. Her vision is to see change in the community especially with young people.
“The world is their oyster and they can reach for the stars and have them if they set their mind to it.”
Sally Clark – Port Augusta / Nepabunna, SA
Sally is an Adnyamthanha woman. She is a member of the Yura Language Consultative Group. Her greatest achievements have been obtaining her degree in commerce and her two beautiful girls. Her vision is for Indigenous economic independence.
Tracey Gowans – Adelaide, SA
Tracey is a Wiradjuri woman. She works as an Aboriginal Mental Health Consultant. Her greatest achievements have been receiving a Service Excellence Achievement award for her work and completing the Incredible Years Parenting Program. Tracey’s goal is to complete her degree and apply for a supervisor/leadership position at her workplace. Her vision is to continue to give her people power and control within their community and families.
Yaritji Green – Adelaide, SA
Yaritji is a Yankunytjatjara and Jaru woman.She was the first Indigenous librarian at Flinders University library and works as a Black Words Researcher. Her greatest achievements are winning the 2002 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander section of the Northern Territory Literary Awards and completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) in 2005. Her vision is to be part of a strong, empowered, healthy, literate Indigenous community.
Lakkierra Miller – Ceduna, SA
Lakkierra is a Wirrangu and Pitjatjajara woman who is proud to be a big sister. She is a big sister. Her greatest achievement has been learning to trust, love and care about people. One day she would like to move to Adelaide.
Zusje (Zue) Possingham – Port Pirie, SA
Zusje is an Arunta woman from north-west NT. She is currently employed as a Youth Worker. Her greatest achievement is being a nunga and gaining the Order of Australia Medal. Her dream is for Indigenous youth to step up into leadership roles.
Jacinta Smith – Ceduna, SA
Jacinta is a Wirangu, Pitjantjatjara and Kokatha (Nunga) woman. She is an Administration Officer at WMGG and is on the South Australian Young Aboriginal Women’s Committee. Jacinta’s goal is to be the best leader she can be within her community and to get other young women motivated to want more from life.
Elaine Treloar – Adelaide, SA
Elaine is from the Narunnga people from Point Pearce, SA. She is a Chief Project Officer, responsible for a youth program in Adelaide. Her greatest achievement has been the establishment of on-going networking meetings with youth workers within South Australia. Her goal is to get youth workers to work outside the core hours of 9-5pm, as she believes they need to work Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays when young people really need them.
Georgina Trevorrow – Murray Bridge, SA
Georgina is a Ngarrindjeri woman. She works for Families SA as a Supervisor in the Aboriginal Family’s team. Her greatest achievements are her confidence, her growing courage to speak in public, and her ability to take time for herself while still having time for her family. Georgina’s goals are to permanently secure her position at work, to continue to deliver culturally appropriate services to her community through Families SA and to do her best at being a leader within her community.
[ top ]
Christine Urbanowski – Adelaide, SA
Christine is a Kokatha woman from South Australia. She is a mother of two, whose goal is to work with Aboriginal people encouraging them to study and help them realise that with education and skills, they can achieve anything they strive for. She would also like to assist young people in achieving a better and greater future for themselves. .
Leann Bonner – Adelaide, SA
Leann is a Yanguwa woman from Borroloola, NT. She works as an Aboriginal Employment Coordinator with Primary Industries and Resources in SA. She is a mother of four children and has recently become a grandmother. Leann’s goal is to be a voice for Aboriginal people and to pass her knowledge and skills on to others.
Susan Roberts – Adelaide, SA
Susan is a Kuarna and Nurrunga woman from SA. She works full-time as an Aboriginal Inclusion officer. Her greatest achievements are her four children, husband and her farm which has animals and self growing gardens. Her goal is to be a deadly mother, wife, friend and to become a manager in her current role at Department of Education.
Maude (Charmaine ) Turner – Noarlunga Downs, SA
Maude is a Kaurna, Peramangk and Boandik woman. She travels wherever life takes her and describes herself as the “best buster in the whole world.” Her greatest achievements are her ability to survive all situations, her strength and never being ashamed.
Irene Wanganeen – Adelaide, SA
Irene is a Narrungga woman from the Yorlee Pennsula in SA. She works as a Regional Manager for the Aboriginal Health team. Her greatest achievements are her children, family, and still being here to see them grow. She is proud that she is able to make a change for her people. Irene says she wants to believe in herself, not in what others tell her.
Tahlia Wanganeen – Adelaide SA
Tahlia is a Narungga, Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri and Adnyamathanha woman. She is currently working as an Associate at the District Court of SA, and is the first Aboriginal person to hold this position or be an Associate in any Court in SA. She describes herself as being true to her name, given to her by her grandmother, Tahlia, which means strong like the roots of a tree. Her greatest achievement was completing her law degree successfully, and she is eager to continue further study. Tahlia’s vision is to be involved in the criminal justice system, combating the issues faced by Aboriginal people and improving their lives.
Margaret Stuart – Port Augusta, SA
Margaret is a Adnyamathanha Dieri, Arrabunna woman from the Flinders Ranges, and Finnis Springs. She works as an Aboriginal Family Support Worker for the Early Years Parenting Centre (EYPC). Margaret has completed her Certificate IV in Business Governance through the Swinburne University of Technology. Her greatest achievement has been receiving a high accreditation from the National Childcare Accreditation Council and managing the childcare centre when the CDEP closed. Her vision is to help young mothers and father’s to interact with their children and support families.
Sonya Rankine – Moonta, SA
Sonya is a Narungga and Ngarrindjeri woman. She is an Aboriginal Community Education Officer, a Community Radio Announcer/Producer and Vice-Chairperson for Gulf FM 89.3 on the Narungga Wangga Aboriginal radio program, and is the Chairperson for the Kurruru Youth Performing Arts Company. Her greatest achievement is raising her children in a safe, loving and supportive home and encouraging them to succeed, achieve and grow into amazing and beautiful individuals. Sonya endeavours to succeed in all she undertakes and inspire others to achieve along her journey.
Abbey Shillingford – Adelaide, SA
Abbey is a Ngarluma woman from Roebourne, WA. She has a Bachelor of Arts in International Politics and is currently studying law. Abbey is also a mentor and is involved in community development, leadership and policy-making in the community. Her greatest achievements are gaining respect and leadership in her community and having the opportunity to do her Honours in Politics. Her vision is to encourage Indigenous self-determination, leadership and higher education, to see employment retention rates increase and to develop more leadership skills that will be acknowledged by the broader community.
Leahna Vandenheuvel – Adelaide, SA
Leahna is a trainee at her local council. Her greatest achievement has been completing her stage 2 South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) in 2007. She is proud that she stayed in school and didn’t give up, regardless of the challenges she faced. Her vision is to live in an accepting world of all creatures, creed and colour; a world where there is no black or white, but people.
Lee Lawrie – Ceduna, SA
Lee works as an Ante-Natal Early Childhood Health Worker. Her greatest achievement is having her three children around her, who give her strength in her role as a mother. Her goal is to complete her Diploma in Registered Nursing by the end of 2010.
Violet Buckskin – Christie Downs, SA
Violet is a Ngarrindjerri and Narungga woman. She is a Youth Justice Worker with a thirst for knowledge. Her greatest achievement is being selected as a young representative for the National Women’s Gathering. Violet’s vision is to see the youth of today become stronger leaders for the communities of tomorrow.
[ top ]
Candice Koolmatrie – Port Augusta, SA
No Bio provided
Delia Summers – Launceston, TAS
Delia’s family is from Cape Barren Island. She works as an Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer and has a Master’s in Fine Arts and Design. Her vision is to become more confident and self empowered within her role, not allowing people to intimidate her.
Leonie Dickson – Hobart, TAS
Leonie is a Palawa woman. She works as an Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Her greatest achievement as been watching her children grow, making them strong Aboriginal people, watching them teaching culture, taking control of their lives and being successful at what they do. Her vision is to be happy with her life, her job, to continue with good health and to be there for her family and community. She is looking forward to retirement with her husband and possibly learning to play golf.
Tarni Matson – Flinders Island, TAS
Tarni is a Palawa woman. She works as a Manager in the Indigenous Service Unit for Centrelink. Her greatest achievement is being a successful single mother of her two boys, who have achieved wonderful outcomes in their education and sport. Her vision is to make a positive contribution within her community and family through positive leadership by building pathways for the continuation of Aboriginal women’s cultural practices, knowledge and stories.
Jodie Smith – Austins Ferry, TAS
Jodie is a Palawa woman. She works as an Aboriginal Tenancy Officer and would like to be part of an Aboriginal Housing Authority. Her greatest achievement has been pushing herself to get on a plane so she could attend the Indigenous Leadership Program and feeling comfortable among a large group of people.
Melissa Stone – Hobart, TAS
Melissa is a Palawa woman. She is employed as a Housing Loan Officer at IBA homes, where her role is to increase home ownership within her community. Her greatest achievement has been coming out the other side of depression stronger, wiser and with a mission of self empowerment and professional development to be the best person she can be. Melissa’s ambition is to be an effective leader.
Kooramyee Cooper – Melbourne, VIC
Kooramyee is a Yorta Yorta woman. Her greatest achievement has been bringing together women in her community through workshops where they were able to discuss politics and help each other achieve their goals.
Angelique Davis – Melbourne, VIC
Angelique is a KuKu Yalanji, Mulunjarli and Bundjalung woman. She is currently employed as an Executive Assistant with the Secretariat National and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) and has responsibility for the development of promotional resources for National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day (NAICD) annual celebrations. Her greatest achievement is her son. Angelique’s vision is for every Aboriginal woman, man and child to occupy the full benefits of Australian wealth, health, quality of life and full enjoyments of all rights and freedom.
Tracey Evans – Melbourne, VIC
Tracey is a Gunditjmana woman from the western districts of Victoria. She currently works as an acting Assistant Manager for Corrections Victoria. Her greatest achievements are her two beautiful sons and being the strong proud black Aboriginal woman that she is today. Her vision is to continue to make a difference for her people and community, and to be able to achieve her dreams with a smile on her face.
Pamela Pedersen – VIC
Pamela is a Yorta Yorta woman from Cummeragunja. She currently works with young women and children in a domestic role. She is an Elder with the Department of Justice, sitting on the children’s Koorie Court. Pamela took part in the Melbourne to Devonport yacht race and was the first Aboriginal woman to be on a winning yacht. She was also the 2005 NAIDOC National Indy Sports person of the year. Her vision as an Elder is to help younger women and children in difficult situations and continue to sit on the Koorie Courts to give good sound advice to stop youth from repeating offences.
Robynne White – Yarra Ranges, VIC
Robynne is a Yorta Yorta and Gunai Kurnai woman. She is currently working for Centrelink as an Indigenous Services Officer. Her greatest achievements are having a supportive and loving family, receiving recognition and a promotion at work, and being nominated for and winning awards at work. Her vision is to continue to work with her local community and empower them to take control back.
Dianne Edwards – Melbourne, VIC
Dianne is a Gundijamara and Yorta Yorta woman. She works in administration at the Yappera Koori Child Care Centre. Her goal is to help her children grow up strong.
Lynne Mitchell – Mildura, VIC
Lynne is from the Barkinji people of NSW. She is an Indigenous Primary Health Care Worker, who describes herself as supportive, independent, responsible and passionate. Her greatest achievement was graduating from the Sydney University with a Diploma in Primary Health Care. Lynne’s vision is to walk with people of different backgrounds.
Vanessa Wilson – Mildura, VIC
Vanessa is a Latji – Latji woman. She works as a Customer Service Advisor for Centrelink. Her greatest achievement is the birth of her beautiful son, Coby, and providing a good home for him. Vanessa’s vision is to be a strong woman for her family and work colleagues.
Roni Forrest – Geraldton, WA
Roni’s is a Noongar from the south-east coast of WA. She works as a Coordinator at Kurongkurl for the School of Indigenous Australian Studies. Her greatest achievement was becoming a mother and graduating from university. She is passionate about keeping her family history and culture strong. Her vision is to become the best person she can be, to be there for her family, to share with her community what she has learnt from the Indigenous Leadership Program and to lead by example.
Kathleen Councillor – Geraldton, WA
Kathleen is a Yamaji – Amangu woman, working as a Culture Events Coordinator. Her greatest achievement is being able to help raise funds for funerals in her community. Her vision is to bring her community back together.
Marika Jones – Geraldton, WA
Marika is a Yamaiji woman. She is an Indigenous Liaison Officer for the Family Relationship Centre which is run by Centacare. Her greatest achievements are her four children of whom she is very proud, accepting her past and moving on with her life, knowing that she deserves to be happy and loved. She is happy that she made the decision to take part in and complete the Indigenous Leadership Program. Her vision is for Indigenous Australians who are in counselling to heal from their past and have a safe, happy environment for their children to grow up in.
Tarmalie Kickett – Geraldton, WA
Tarmalie’s is a Noongar woman of south-west WA. She is a Case Worker on the STEPERS program, a mother, grandmother, daughter, aunty and sister. Her greatest achievement is being a mother and grandmother. Tarmalie’s vision is to continue to support her family and to assist Aboriginal people in gaining employment.
Rachel Mallard – Geraldton, WA
Rachel’s is a Nanda, Kaluarrie, Wajjari woman living in Geraldton. She is a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter and has been a board member of the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service for 12 years. Her greatest achievement is her grandson and working with GRAMS to help combat drug use with young people.
Amanda Poglits (Biggs) – Geraldton, WA
Amanda is a member of the Juat – Taylor families and Badimaya – Bynder families. She works as a Coordinator for Aboriginal Education in mid-west WA. Her greatest achievement was when she went on a student exchange at 16 years of age to Quebec, which is the French speaking state of Canada. Her vision is to see Aboriginal youth get a fair go and the voice to speak up.
Sharmayne Quartermaine – Geraldton, WA
Sharmayne is a Noongar woman living in Geraldton. She works as a Support Case Worker. Her greatest achievement has been raising her children to believe in themselves and be proud of who and what they are. Her vision is to work with the younger generation to help them realise that life is what you make of it, not what life makes of you.
Lynell Buckle – Derby, WA
Lynell’s mother is a Ngul Ngul and Yaro woman, and her father is a Nykina man. She is an Employment Consultant and mentor who is friendly, approachable and enjoys meeting new people. She also enjoys being a mum to her daughter who is her heart and soul, and being with family and friends. Her greatest achievement has been attending the Indigenous Leadership Program which has helped her realise who she is, what she wants in life, who she wants to be and what she can achieve. Lynell’s goal is to help and support her people with the barriers they face at home and work, and to assist her community in further training that will lead to successful employment. She would like to be recognised for who she is and what she can achieve within her community.
Kelly Cooke – Bunbury, WA
Kelly is a Noongar woman. She is a Customer Service Advisor for Income Management and Indigenous Services. Her role is to take inbound calls from the Indigenous communities and provide services and facilities to assist Indigenous communities. Kelly’s greatest achievement is her job, especially when she was selected to be a team leader for Centrelink. She says it has taken her four years to get to where she is today and it’s been a struggle but she stuck at it and finally achieved her goal. Kelly’s vision is to be able to manage and lead the Indigenous Services Unit at Bunbury Centrelink and encourage more of her people to become self sufficient and grow within their culture.
Jolleen Hicks – Roebourne, WA
Jolleen is a Ngarluma woman. She works as an Adviser in Rio Tinto’s Government Approvals Department and is a board member of the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation. Her greatest achievement was qualifying as a Legal Practitioner in WA. Jolleen’s vision is for every Indigenous student to complete year 12. Her passion is Indigenous education. She believes that education is the key to addressing many of the issues that affect Indigenous Australians as education leads to opportunities.
Kelly Kitching – Derby, WA
Kelly’s mother is a Bardi jawi woman and her father is a Gurindji. She works as the Executive Secretary for Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation and is on the Board of Directors for the Derby Aboriginal Health Service. Her greatest achievements include her education, attending the Indigenous Leadership Program and being a mother of three sons. Her vision is to get accreditation for her skills and knowledge through Registered Training Organisations (RTO) and to follow her culture.
Erica Spry – Broome, WA
Erica’s traditional homelands are Pender Gardens/Bay. She is a Traditional Owner of the Bardi Jawi native title area and has worked throughout the Kimberley on youth and land management issues. Erica has many roles within her community. She works as an Administration and Research Assistant at the University of Notre Dame Australia and a presenter for the Australian Conservation Foundation’s ‘The Climate Project’ where she discusses climate change, global warming and solutions to these issues. She is also the coordinator and facilitator of her current project, the Kimberley Regional Climate Change Project. She is a certified and practised Court Officer with the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA and has a Diploma in Conservation and Land Management. In 1992, she attended the United Nations forum in Switzerland where she contributed to the Draft Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Erica’s vision is to assist Aboriginal people to care for their country, especially young Traditional Owners, and to assist youth to work with their Elders. She would like to be successful, contented and have joy and happiness in her life.
Vivienne Alone – Geraldton, WA
Vivienne is a Amangu woman. She is a mother, grandmother and active member within her community. Her greatest achievement was when she became a fulltime carer for her mother during the last two years of her life. Vivienne felt very privileged that she was able to support and care for her mother in this way. Her vision is to gain confidence within herself by finding employment and becoming a leader and role model for her children.
Alicia Bellotti – Geraldton, WA
Alicia is originally from Carnavon and is a Malgana and Banjyma woman. She has completed her nursing degree and is proud to be a mother of two beautiful daughters. Her vision is to improve Indigenous health and encourage more Indigenous people to be involved in health promotion.
Emily Dalgety – Geraldton, WA
Emily is a housewife and mother. She would like to see her girls have their own vision to work towards and for them to go forward in life.
Vickey Hill – (Kwinana Rockingham), WA
Vickey’s is a Wadandi, Bibbluman, Noongar woman. She is currently working in Centrelink, running her household and trying to educate the community to become more independent and stronger. Her greatest achievements are completing the Aboriginal Bridging course at Curtin University and going to Arnhem Land to live with the traditional owners of the land and learn their way of life. Her vision is to help educate the youth of today to become strong Indigenous leaders for the future.
Marissa Maher – Noongar, WA
Marissa is a proud Noongar woman. Marissa is currently working for the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, where her role is to provide opportunities for traditional owners to continue to care for their country and share their knowledge with the younger generation. Marissa describes her up-bringing as a bit tough, but says that her mother’s drive and encouragement to better her life was a great achievement, as it has helped her get to where she is today. Her vision is to continue to learn and gain leadership skills which she can take back to her community.
Kylie Pickett – Mandurah, WA
Kylie is a Noongar woman. She is a Family Support Worker for Homeswest tenants who are facing eviction. Her greatest achievement was being one of four Aboriginal girls at her school to complete year 12. Her vision is to be a leader and role model for the Aboriginal community.
Lee-Anne Taylor – Geraldton, WA
Lee-Anne is a Yamatji woman. She works as a Tenancy Support Community Education Officer, she is a community role model and a leader for the younger generation. Lee-Anne is proud that she has successfully completed everything she wanted to do in her life and is looking forward to more challenges. Her goal is to be a leader and role model in her community, helping those in need to make positive changes for themselves and their families.
Vanessa Ugle – Perth, WA
Vanessa is a Noongar woman. She works as a manager for the Aboriginal Heritage Water Corporation. Her greatest achievements are her children and being able to buy her own home. Her vision is for reconciliation and free speech throughout Australia.
Kay Walley – Fremantle, WA
Kay’s is a Nyoongah woman, Nyoongah, Beliar, Binjarrub, Yuet and Balardong. Kay describes her role as being a grandmother, mother, wife, mediator, educator, enforcer and pacifier. Her greatest achievement is being a survivor and a mother to her five wonderful, healthy children. Kay’s goal is to uncover the truth about Nyoongah history.
Rosemarie Bradshaw – Derby, WA
Rosemarie is a Finance and Administration Manager. Her greatest achievement has been raising her family and keeping her children safe. Her vision is for healthier lifestyles for her people.
Helen Ockerby – Broome/Dampier Peninsular, WA
Helen’s is a Bardi woman and Noongah woman on her mother’s side. She works as a West Kimberley Sports Development Officer for the Garnduwa sporting body. Her greatest achievement has been receiving a qualification in athletics coaching and basketball, and being able to balance her work and family. Helen aims to be the best person she can be.
Mary Ozies – Broome, WA
Mary is a Djugun woman whose traditional country is where Broome is situated. She is an Indigenous Mental Health Worker, currently acting in the role of a Rehabilitation Officer. Her greatest achievement has been completing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Indigenous Health and raising five healthy children as a sole parent. Her vision is to ensure optimal health for Indigenous people with mental health problems.
Cherylea Walker – Roebourne, WA
Cherylea works as a front office receptionist at the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Foundation. Her greatest achievement is believing in herself and knowing what she wants and where she wants to be in life. She is taking it step by step to achieve her goals. Her vision is to step up as a young person and become one of the next leaders in her community. She wants to show others that anything is possible and that it is important to have self belief.
Kayleen Hayward – Perth, WA
Kayleen is a Noongar and Biblumun woman. She describes her role as being a Design Programmer, teacher, mentor and facilitator. Her greatest achievement is completing her education and graduating with a university degree. Her vision is to empower and develop resilience in youth within the school system.
Beryl Davis – Derby, WA
No Bio provided