Bio

Leadership, capacity-building, media and communications, arts and culture, political representation… I have worked in all of these areas, holding a range of high level community, not-for-profit and government positions.

I’m a proud Yuwallarai woman from northwest NSW. I’m 50 years old, a daughter, a sister, an aunty and a grandmother (Aboriginal way).

Since August 2017, I have held the position of Director, Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, a senior executive role within the South Australian public service. From 2015 to 2017, I was Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) in the Sydney suburb of Redfern. For two years prior to this, I was a Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. Previously, I was the Editor (and sometime Managing Editor) of the 100% Aboriginal owned and controlled newspaper, the Koori Mail for about seven years.

I’m also a Director of Reconciliation Australia, and a new member of the Australian Press Council adjudication panel, as well as a past board member of the Indigenous Remote Communications Association (IRCA).

My earlier roles include:

My achievements include:

  • Finalist in the 2016 NSW Women of the Year Awards (Aboriginal Woman of the Year category);
  • An inaugural Australian Peacewoman Award from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (2015);
  • Named in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac inaugural 100 Women of Influence Awards (2012);

    April Long, Leah Armstrong, Jodie Sizer, Merindah Donnelly, Kirstie Parker, Natalie Walker and Nareen Young at the Women of Influence Awards in 2012.
    From left: April Long, Leah Armstrong, Jodie Sizer, Merindah Donnelly, Kirstie Parker, Natalie Walker and Nareen Young at the inaugural Women of Influence Awards in 2012.
  • Editor of the Koori Mail when it was named 2011 Newspaper of the Year (in its circulation category of the PANPA Awards);
  • Participant in the Australia 2020 Summit at Parliament House, Canberra (April 2008).
  • Jointly with the Koori Mail, won the print media category of the 2008 Australian Human Rights Awards;
  • Write and directed a short film under Metro Screen’s Lester Bostock Film Mentorship Scheme (2005); and
  • Received a Centenary Medal for contribution to the Indigenous community and Australian life (2003), and an International Women’s Day Award for service to the SA community (2000).

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