Caroline Hughes AM
“The greatest thing for me is empowering others to discover what they have within themselves to achieve their dreams.”
There’s a consistent thread in the work of Ngunnawal Elder, Caroline Hughes AM – the importance of education and its transformative power.
“Being able to empower thousands of Indigenous people to achieve their own success through education has been rewarding. Education encourages them to raise their own voices to break down barriers – creating positive ripple effects for society.”
Ms Hughes has also worked to reduce the impact of child protection practices on First Nations families. Implementing early learning programs for babies and children whose parents are studying nearby is another powerful tool, modelling behaviours that have benefits for all.
“I’ve witnessed people of all ages – teenagers and Elders – who had thought education was not for them. Yet they have achieved their goal and strived for more. I’ve seen staff thrive in positive and engaging workplaces. I love encouraging and inspiring others, empowering them in their choices and celebrating them when they reach their goals.”
Despite her unstinting support for others, Ms Hughes says she has also faced adversity. “I’ve suffered racism and discrimination for being Ngunnawal and as a woman. So I feel humble and shocked that someone thought so highly of me to nominate me.”
“I want to thank my husband Michael and children Tara and Mitchell. Their love and years of supporting me, whilst I supported others, have buoyed me up. Without them, I couldn’t do what I do.”
“Djan yimaba – thank you to the person who nominated me for this honour. I know there are many others who deserve this.”