NAIDOC week is an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year’s theme recognises the importance of older people within First Nations communities – they are cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, and leaders.

Norma Ingram is a Wiradjuri woman from Cowra NSW. Being the youngest of 11 children growing up on the Aboriginal Reserve, “Erambie”, she lived under the control by the NSW State government’s Aboriginal Welfare Act.

She moved to Sydney when she was young. She enjoyed school and was successful in all her subjects which then urged her in later years to enrol in Teachers College.  Norma has come a long way since then being the first Aboriginal person to graduate from Harvard University in Cambridge, USA.

Norma has held many different positions over time; in Aboriginal organisations as well as the public and private sectors.  After graduating from Harvard University she secured a tenured position at UTS. She had also worked at Qantas and the NSW Premiers Department.

Cory Paulson is a Worimi man, growing up on the east coast of NSW. Cory has been living on Wilyakali country for over 20 years with his wife and 4 children and now working in the health sector. Throughout his working life, Cory has worked in Regional Rural and Remote communities within many industries within Western and Far West of NSW, including mining, telecommunications, retail, construction, and many social services. Cory is an active member of the Broken Hill community, volunteering his time, advising, and sharing his knowledge sitting on many local and state committees. Cory is currently studying for his Honours at CSU and is working with the RFDS South-Eastern section as the Manager of First Nations Health and Well-being and service development. Over his career and study, he has gained lived experience and knowledge of the issues facing First Nations individuals, Families, and the Communities he served. He hopes to continue to add value to the system through leadership, advocacy, and service delivery.