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International Women’s Day – Message from the Head of AA

08-Mar-2018

Today on International Women’s Day, we congratulate Julie Shelley, who has just been named NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year.

Julie is a proud Kamilaroi woman who has lived and worked in the Western Sydney Aboriginal community for more than 48 years.

“Julie has touched many lives through her work with Aboriginal young people and their families. Her inspiring career has spanned close to five decades and includes experience as an Aboriginal support worker, liaison and counsellor,” Minister Mitchell said.

Julie worked in the community while obtaining a Master of Social Work, Bachelor Health Science (Mental Health), Graduate Diploma in Aboriginal Family and Community Counselling and an Advanced Diploma of Specialist Aboriginal Trauma Counselling. She is the Chair of the Aboriginal Communities Matter Advisory Group and an advocate for members of the Stolen Generation, of which she is a member herself.

She says, ‘I never want to stop learning. I believe education is the most powerful tool you can use to make positive and lasting change.’

The other finalists are exceptional Aboriginal women in their own right, and I encourage you to read about them.

Julie is an inspiring Aboriginal leader, and we look forward to continuing the celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women during NAIDOC Week this year, with the theme ‘because of her, we can!’.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women play active and significant roles in our community and broader society, admired for their strength, resilience, courage, and ability to shift the deficit discourse through their leadership and achievements.

I am proud that 64 % of our workforce are women and that this includes a significant number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, including in senior leadership roles.

Aboriginal Affairs NSW is committed to supporting community aspirations, which of course includes the aspirations and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. As the father of a teenage daughter, this is something that I am personally passionate about.

I am very proud of our organisation and the work we do everyday to support Aboriginal communities across NSW. I invite you to come and have a yarn with me about International Women’s Day.

Jason Ardler
Head of Aboriginal Affairs NSW


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