Shantelle Thompson OAM
Shantelle Thompson is a proud Barkindji and Ngyampaa women, three time Jiu-Jitsu world champion and mother of five.
She is also now Shantelle Thompson OAM, having being awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia for services to the Indigenous community of Victoria.
For as long as Shantelle can remember she was determined to break through the cycles of intergeneration trauma and the low expectations and aspiration that have surrounded her community.
“First and foremost I have tried to do this with myself, leading by example, so that my children and family didn’t become victims of my trauma and so the cycle didn’t continue.
“With the determination to empower others through my own journey, I became the first person in my family to finish school, go to University and start my own business.”
Following the birth of her twins in 2009, Shantelle developed serve postnatal depression and began Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a form therapy.
“I went from trying to harm myself to becoming a world champion, a member of the 2018 shadow Commonwealth Games wrestling team and a member of the National Wresting team.”
Throughout her achievements Shantelle has strived to share her story and be an advocate for self-determination, mental health and connection to culture.
“When I was competing at a national level, I was trying to encourage more women to get involved in sport. I was trying to break through and make a change, because when you have a foot in the door, you’re responsible for making sure that door stays open. You create a pathway for others to come through.”
Shantelle’s commitment, drive and passion, not just in the indigenous space but for women and youth has been recognised with Medal of the Order of Australia.
“To know that someone has seen the work I have done and to nominate me for such a prestigious honour – it was really humbling. I also found it really empowering to know that the work I am doing is valued and I can continue to do that work.”
The Order of Australia relies on nominations to help recognise outstanding Australians. Nominations can be made at any time, by anyone – find out more.