PM’s report inspires role model
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.