What are you most proud of in your community?
I am most proud of my community watching young Aboriginals and both genders being able to get out of their comfort zone and to communicate with other kids playing sport or even hanging at the park/shops keeping them out of trouble or their own houses.
What most concerns you about your community?
The most concerns about my community is that someone getting left out or bullied. Seeing other Aboriginal kids getting judged or being left out with no one close to them, then they would think about suicide or doing drugs/alcohol.
What role can young people play in addressing issues in their community?
Young people can be role models to anyone, all they must do is making the right choices and take every opportunity that comes their way. Young people can play a role in the community by being a leader in a team or making the right decisions in school or out of school. They can be a role model to their old/younger siblings/cousins/ nephew/ nieces.
What do you want to do after high school?
Option 1: Next year when I am 17 years old, I am going to do cadets for the police force. When I'm older I would like to become a police officer. Making sure that the environment I live in is safe for the next generation. See young people doing bad things in the community, it isn't the way to be brought up. See them drink alcohol and doing drugs is bad, not playing sport or getting an education is not the right direction young girls and boys want to go. Having sure young kids are safe to get back to the families is the right thing and having families laugh and have a yarn is the good life everyone would like to live.
Option 2: I want to be able to become a Sports Development Officer working with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders teenagers helping them with their education and sporting careers. I would like to travel Australia and work in many schools getting to know heaps of children and learning about different cultures in Australia.
Who or what inspired you to choose that career path after high school?
I would love to be a leader in my community, this is inspiring me to success in my life to become a sports teacher but I just don't want to do sport and teach it. I want to be a community where if they need help in their schooling work I could be there. This path would bring me many opportunities in my workplace as getting children around Australia achieve their goals with sport and making sure they have done the best to achieve that goal with graduating secondary school.
What does good leadership look like?
Good leadership looks like a person that would stand out, they are not shame. They can speak loudly and have good advice. They do the right thing and show every standard that a team would like.
What do you feel are your strengths as a leader?
Talking to everyone in the community, having a positive attitude towards others. Standing up to community talking about what the community can do best in and what they expect from the leaders in the group.
Share a story that you think demonstrates or defined your leadership journey.
My leadership journey began in when I started playing sport. When you play sport, the group will come in a little circle after first quarter that's when you say to everyone what we can do to improve or do something better at on field/court. I also had to communicate with people on court making sure they are doing their roles in the group. Having been in this team and having to be the captain its shame. You don't know what to say. Most people don't like you, you're selfish they think but really when you're the captain you must respect everyone's roles on the team and why they want to be in this team. I am not good speaking in front of people but speaking in front of a little group you get more confidence. As the group get bigger its doesn't must. You might not even see the same people again or they might be your close friends and they don't judge. Or you can get the people that do judge but they have their own opinion about others and they should keep it to themselves. Every time before I speak in front of a big group all I think is that things I had listed above this sentence.
If you could give some leadership advice to high school students, what would it be? Why?
Having to be a part of all girl's academy means a lot. Why the girls academy meaning a lot? I am a role model to many girls with all my sport and school work. Going into the girl's academy each day, I see smiling faces and sometimes the girls can have a down day. That's when I have a talk with them, seeing if I could do anything about their day or even seeing if they are up to date with their school work, if not I try get them to get down to homework centre or pay attention to their teachers. Being a leader to each girl in the academy isn't hard. When you see them wandering into the school and the bell has already gone, you try telling them to get to class or go to the duty principal for some help.
What are the best words of encouragement that you have received? Who did they come from?
The words of encouragement that come from my teacher from school inspires me, making me to become more of a leader to others that want to become a sports person. I may not know what or how to play sports that I don't know but I do try my best to give them advice on sport. "Take every opportunity that comes your way because it may be given to someone or will not come back into your life." My sports teacher Mrs Shadbolt is one of my favourite teachers because she tells me to become a sports teacher or go further into my sporting career. She says I am a great role model and leader into my sport.
What are cross-cultural solutions?
Cross-cultural solutions are cultures in Australia that has come across the world to join in activity with multi-cultural and indigenous students. Showing their leadership and speak out, seeing what they have to say, if they need advice from different cultures.
Advice to other leaders from Aboriginal leadership and cross-cultural solutions.
I say this many times to each of the academy girls "take every opportunity that comes your way because it may be given to someone or will not come back into your life".
My interview with Courtney Ugle, community role model
Outlining aspects of your career and leadership
- I am a Noongar woman from the Wardandi/Baladung tribe. My mother is a Noongar woman from the South West of Western Australia, Bunbury. My father is a Noongar man from the Wheatbelt, Beverley.
- I work for Djirra (formally Aboriginal Family Prevention Violence & Legal Service) as a Community Engagement Support Worker in the Young Luv. Young Luv is an early intervention and prevention program designed for young women aged 13-18 which focuses on promoting healthy relationships.
- I work in this field because of my own personal experience, I feel like it's my duty to work in this space to help others who may be facing hardship. I enjoy helping others and encouraging, inspiring and empowering young Aboriginal women to be the best version of themselves.
- I enjoy seeing our young women succeed in life, I love hearing success stories about the women and young girls that we work with overcome their struggles.
- With the hardship I have endured over my short time, I have been inspired by my siblings and my mum to do the work that I do. I am passionate about working in this space in hope to help/support our young women with their struggles.
- I have faced hardship growing up, I lost my father in 2007 and my mum in 2016 - both in two very traumatic circumstances. When we lost dad, mum fell into a life of alcohol and drug abuse which made our childhood very rough growing up. My mum was suddenly murdered by her on and off again partner, this was the hardest thing to accept as a young 19-year-old. However, I took it upon myself that I wasn't going to let this define me or my future. My mum no longer has a voice, so this is the reason why I am so passionate about working in this field in hope to empower more of our Aboriginal women, and to be my mother's voice.
- In my opinion, good leadership is someone who can create and inspiring vision - good leadership is someone who motivates and encourages people to engage with that vision.
- My strengths would be that I am selfless, I listen, I have the ability to adjust to my audience, I care, I want to encourage and empower others and I most definitely don't see myself superior to others and I make others feel good about themselves and what they contribute.
Your leadership story
I moved across the country by myself to chase my dreams to play in the AFLW. I left my family and friends behind, packed my life up into two suitcases and made the courageous move. I didn't let anyone or anything stop me from doing what I love. I made sacrifices.
Advice to young people
- To not make a big deal out of situations that I had no control over.
- This is a very sensitive space, be 100% sure you want to work in this field and know that you will meet a lot of young girls and women who are doing it. You have to know when to switch off and ensure that you don't take this work home with you because it can consume you mentally and emotionally. Working in this space is also the most rewarding job!
- Stay true to yourself, your opinions, your values and your morals - never change for anyone.
Advice on cross-cultural solutions
- Racism, gender inequality.
- We are all equal, we need to accept one another and respect the diverse range of cultures in the community that we live in.
- By being involved in the community engagement, be a role model and play a part in delivering positive messages to the wider community.
- Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people can work together better by knowing, understanding, accepting and respecting everyone's cultures. We need to be having more conversations.