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Seilna Walker (Catholic Voice)

If we don’t change anything, nothing is going to change, according to 2024 ACT Local Hero Selina Walker. Source: Catholic Voice.

“We need to strive for better for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and now is the time,” the emerging Ngunnawal elder and leader said yesterday.

Ms Walker was named the 2024 ACT Local Hero at an Australian of the Year ceremony at the National Gallery of Australia on Monday night, in recognition of her work supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and reconciliation in the territory.

“This award was a bit of a shock, but it means the work I am doing is the right pathway to true reconciliation,” Ms Walker said.

A founding member of Yerrabi Yurwang Child and Family Aboriginal Corporation, Ms Walker works to improve outcomes for Aboriginal families and children, especially those in out-of-home care.

Since 2018, she has promoted reconciliation as co-chair of the ACT Reconciliation Council.

Ms Walker uses her platform to bring a voice to those who aren’t being heard.

“I have always thought of myself as having a pretty strong voice. It is hard at times to say the tough, uncomfortable things and hold people accountable. But if you say nothing, you accept it. And I absolutely no longer accept how the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are treated,” Ms Walker said.

She said she will continue to fight for First Nations justice, alongside her friends and family.

“We are all heroes, and it has been a group effort for me to be able to do the work I have done,” she said.


“Time for change”: ACT Local Hero (By Veronika Cox, Catholic Voice

Joanne Farrell, advocate for women in construction, named ACT Australian of the Year (Canberra Times)