Meet the young Goldfields-Esperance region Aboriginal trailblazers ready to shape the future of our home
The achievements and contributions of Australia’s Aboriginal people have been overlooked in the past but over the next seven days, the Kalgoorlie Miner will introduce readers to some of the Goldfields’ young champions of culture, justice and progress.
Each young person featured in this multi-part project has been selected for their ability to lead and desire to serve the community.
As Indigenous Kalgoorlie-Boulder councillor Linden Brownley told the Kalgoorlie Miner, there has never been a better time to be Aboriginal in the Goldfields.
Check back over the course of the week as we reveal the young Indigenous trailblazers ready to shape the future of our home.
Ammbigai Muir, 20, artist
For Leonora ceramicist Ammbigai Muir, practising her craft and learning about her family history are not mutually exclusive.
The 20-year-old Wongi woman is the youngest-ever artist to contribute a piece in the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition, held on the sands of Cottesloe beach each March, with the event attracting thousands of tourists.
Delaney Cowled, 16, photographer and painter
At just 16-years-old Delaney Cowled is already emerging as a budding mural artist and photographer.
The Tjupan teenager learned to paint from her nannas, including well-known Aboriginal artist Edie Ulrich, but has modernised her craft through digital photography.
Nikola Ulrich, 18, musician
At the age of eight, Ulrich sat at a piano for the first time — hardly big enough for her feet to touch the floor, but skilled enough to start.
A decade later, Ulrich is known in Kalgoorlie-Boulder as a beautiful pianist and local language singer — often invited to perform at schools, churches and in cultural celebrations.
Breanna Taylor, 27, Goldfields Girl
Goldfields Girl inaugural winner and youth engagement officer Breanna Taylor has achieved much in her 27 years, but the victories have not been without challenges.
Born in Leonora, Breanna grew up in communities across regional WA surrounded by people of all colours.
Breanna said it was not until she moved to Perth for high school that she began to feel out of place and inferior to her peers.
Chynna O’Loughlin and Bree Bugeja, soccer
A State selection for an all-Aboriginal soccer team put these girls on the map, after impressing scouts with performances on Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s pitches.
The Football West Jambinu women’s team competed in the Australian Indigenous Football Championships in Queensland last year — an opportunity designed to create pathways for young Indigenous athletes.
The team is typically comprised of Aboriginal players from the Mid West, where the initiative was founded with the Geraldton Sporting Aboriginal Corporation.
Jacinta Bourne, 28, basketball
After 10 years and more than 200 games as a starting point guard in the State Basketball League, Indigenous woman Jacinta Bourne is proud of her career but glad to be back home on country.
The 28-year-old former Rockingham Flames and Perth Lynx star excelled at basketball from a young age and didn’t back down at the opportunity to further her career, moving to Perth at 17 to reach the top of her game.
Taysharn Mongoo, Tyrelle Sambo and Nakyeta Nichols, Headspace
Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s young Aboriginal Headspace trio are committed to providing a safe space for future generations to turn to in their time of need.
Wether it be running activities, awards or just being there as a role model, these three have stepped up to the plate to leave the world a better place
Jazmyn Yavukama, 27, community services and student
27-year-old Ballardong Noongar woman Jazmyn Yavukama has spent a large part of her life dedicated to mending systems which exist within Australia.
It started with the Right Tracks Program in high school, and has since seen Ms Yavukama take on Indigenous leadership roles in programs working with the likes of the Commissioner for Children and Young People.
Abby Richards, 22, media
Kalgoorlie born and bred, Abby Richards has been a proud Indigenous voice on our airwaves via ABC Goldfields-Esperance over the past 12 months.
The bubbly 22-year-old is part of the national broadcaster’s Indigenous traineeship and in the past year she has gained a valuable start to her media career, specialising in radio, both behind the mic and on the production desk.
Ace Kiernan, 19, police cadet
One of 36 Indigenous WA Police cadets around the State, 19-year-old Ace Kiernan is three months into his dream job at the Kalgoorlie Police Station.
There Mr Kiernan will be gaining valuable experience alongside the station’s senior officers before spending six months undertaking training in Perth.
Tyrone Brownley, 30, nurse
Registered nurse Tyrone Brownley was born in Perth, completed high school in Adelaide and tertiary studies in Melbourne, but is proud to be back to the land where his family is connected tradition-ally.
With a strong legacy of leaders and innovators in his family, many of whom who have studied trades and returned to country to make a difference, Brownley is proud to follow their footsteps.
Krista Dunstan, 30, Lawyer, RAAF officer, author
Born and bred in Esperance, Noongar woman Krista Dunstan started her career as a lawyer. At just 21, she was assisting the civil and human rights unit at the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia throughout Stolen Wages and Stolen Generation cases.
A five-year corporate law career was ahead of her, and despite engaging with various community organisations such as NAIDOC Perth and laying out Indigenous policies for the Law Society, she felt her day job wasn’t enough.
Brandon Spurling, 27, filmmaking
It was a passion for storytelling which led Brandon Spurling, a Maduwongga man who grew up in the Goldfields, to a career in filmmaking.
Growing up hundreds of kilometres from opportunities in the big smoke, a life in the mines could feel like the only option, Mr Spurling said — a connotation he is trying hard to change.
More young indigenous champions to come...
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