PM’s re­port in­spires role model

Broome Advertiser - - News - Jakeb Wad­dell

Some may con­sider an in­vi­ta­tion to meet the Prime Min­is­ter of Aus­tralia the pin­na­cle of their suc­cess, but for Mon­tana Ah Won it was just an­other high­light af­ter an in­cred­i­ble year.

The 19-year-old from Ku­nunurra said she felt em­pow­ered and ready for change in her com­mu­nity af­ter at­tend­ing Mal­colm Turn­bull’s Clos­ing the Gap re­port in Can­berra last Mon­day and was over the moon when he made time to speak with her.

“It was my first time meet­ing Mr Turn­bull and my im­pres­sion is that he is a good per­son,” she said.

“He took the time to meet and greet me, even though he had a tight sched­ule and me­dia com­mit­ments.”

In his 10th an­nual re­port, the Primer Min­is­ter an­nounced only three of seven tar­gets had been met to im­prove out­comes for Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ple but he be­lieved it would be a promis­ing year.

Miss Ah Won agreed and said real change was com­ing.

“Hear­ing Mr Turn­bull’s speech was re­ally em­pow­er­ing,” she said.

“It is pos­si­ble that we will achieve out­comes for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple if we start do­ing more and talk­ing less.”

The young leader was in­vited to rep­re­sent the Kim­ber­ley in a round­table dis­cus­sion with the Prime Min­is­ter’s Indige­nous Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil to dis­cuss is­sues and op­por­tu­ni­ties fac­ing young Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple. Given her achieve­ments in the past year, her se­lec­tion comes as no sur­prise.

Her con­fi­dence and lead­er­ship led to her be­ing crowned as the Kim­ber­ley Girl in Oc­to­ber, a place in the Kim­ber­ley Abo­rig­i­nal Youth Lead­er­ship Pro­gram and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment Sui­cide Pre­ven­tion Work­ing Group, and an in­vi­ta­tion to par­tic­i­pate in the re­gion’s first Straight Talk con­fer­ence. Miss Ah Won said the main les­son she took away from the dis­cus­sion was that hard work would be re­warded.

“If you are ded­i­cated and put in the work, you will be recog­nised for what you do,” she said.

“I learnt that good things come to those who work for it and I plan on us­ing this ex­pe­ri­ence and my knowl­edge to in­spire the youth that I work with.”

Mon­tana Ah Won, sec­ond from the right, was hon­oured to meet Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull in Can­berra last Mon­day.

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