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Thursday, 08 March 2018

Kamilaroi woman Julie Shelley, who has dedicated her life to supporting members of the Western Sydney Aboriginal community, has been named NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year.

Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres said Ms Shelley has selflessly used her professional education and life experience to change the lives of local residents in Penrith.

“Julie has worn many hats during almost five decades working in the community, including as an Aboriginal support worker, liaison and counsellor. She has built relationships with Aboriginal young people and families that have benefitted not only Penrith but the wider Western Sydney community,” Mr Ayres said.

Ms Shelley has obtained a Master of Social Work, Bachelor Health Science, Graduate Diploma in Aboriginal Family and Community Counselling and an Advanced Diploma of Specialist Aboriginal Trauma Counselling. She is currently Chair of the Aboriginal Communities Matter Advisory Group, and is a strong advocate for members of the Stolen Generation, of which she is a member herself.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Sarah Mitchell presented Ms Shelley with the award this morning at the 2018 NSW Women of the Year Awards breakfast at the ICC Darling Harbour.

“Julie is a true leader and role model in her community. I have no doubt her experiences will inspire Aboriginal women and girls across the state who might be considering careers advocating for their communities,” Minister Mitchell said.

Minister for Women Tanya Davies said the Awards support the NSW Government’s commitment to building an equitable, inclusive and safe society where all women are valued and respected.

“The Awards acknowledge women who are driving societal change through their passions and purpose. I congratulate Ms Shelley for her contributions and role in leading the way for the future generation of women.”

The Aboriginal Woman of the Year Award recognises an Aboriginal woman in NSW who has excelled in her field or passion. For event photos and a full list of finalists and winners, please visit women.nsw.gov.au