Nominated for the Pride of Australia Award
Jean first came into our centre about 2 years ago. At the time she was homeless, couch surfing and very distressed. Jean is a member of the Stolen Generation, and her history and life experiences, along with homelessness were weighing her down. Jean worked hard with us, striving for independent and safe accommodation. A big turning point for Jean was when she got an offer of a lovely apartment in March last year. This was life-changing and allowed Jean to blossom!
Jean has always been an active champion for Aboriginal rights, particularly surrounding the Stolen Generation. She was involved with the National Apology to the Stolen Generation in 2008, worked with Waverley Council to ensure the Aboriginal flag was displayed outside the Council in the correct order, liaised with Navy Fleets to incorporate the Aboriginal flag on their ships and goes into schools to talk to students about what it means to be Stolen Generation.
Over the last two years Jean has gone from strength to strength. She completed a NIES (New Incentive Employment Scheme) Micro Business Certificate III and wasted no time setting up her small business – making and decorating turtles out of Jacaranda seedpods. This business has been very successful, Jean has been invited by the South Sydney Rabbitoh’s to make individual turtles, in Rabbitoh’s colours for each member of the team after she presented Nathan Merritt with a lucky turtle for his 145th try! The team believe the turtles bring them good luck.
Jean is tireless in her quest to educate and inform, to create and to relentlessly forge ahead despite her history. Jean has managed to find nearly all her lost family members and is building a new and exciting life for herself.
Mid this year Jean was anonymously nominated for the Pride of Australia award for her tireless work with the Indigenous community. We are very proud of Jean and wish her all the best in life, in business and we hope she wins the award, as she truly deserves it.