2018 Western Australia winner - Darrylin Gordon (above centre) is the runner up for Rural Woman of the Year.
Darrylin lives and works on Lamboo Station, an Aboriginal managed pastoral station 50km west of Halls Creek in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia.
As a Jaru woman, she is one of the traditional owners of the station and is passionate about her country and regional development.
Darrylin sees a future where rural business can combine business, culture and community together in a holistic approach to land management and cattle production. She wants to see traditional owners caring for country and maintaining cultural values whilst managing successful pastoral businesses.
Observing poor outcomes from employment programs delivered in Halls Creek, Darrylin is developing a program that aims to deliver work orientation and mentoring on Lamboo Station, where participants can connect to country, learn invaluable life skills and gain financial independence.
Darrylin hopes the program will instil self-respect and pride in the participants.
Darrylin says that where there are high levels of education there is virtually no gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians and hopes that her program will provide an educational as well as emotionally supportive environment.
Having worked as an Indigenous Community Alcohol and Drugs Officer for Kimberly Mental Health and as a Community Engagement Officer with the Shire of Halls Creek, Darrylin sees great potential for an employment program that offers wrap-around counselling and support services as a way to sustainably increase the employability of participants.
In addition to Industry certification, the training will include life skills such as cooking, cleaning and hygiene, challenging traditional gender roles. Darrylin hopes the trainees will take these skills back to their communities, becoming role models to others.
Darrylin is demonstrating leadership in her community with a program that aims to offer a better economic future and weaves traditional culture and cultural values in with the possibilities of a modern economy.
For more information on the awards and to nominate for 2019, see here.