CDU trains future Indigenous women leaders 

CDU Indigenous Academic Support officer Natalie Ellis

The Lookrukin Indigenous Women’s Leadership Development Program draws to a close next week as 19 participants complete their final academic unit in their Diploma of Management at Charles Darwin University.

Lookrukin is the Kungarakan word meaning “adult female”.  This unique leadership program was designed to inspire and support Indigenous women to reach their full potential in their career and gain contemporary leadership skills and qualifications.

CDU Indigenous Academic Support officer Natalie Ellis said the leadership program has enabled her to build confidence, people management skills and knowledge of policy development.

“I was really interested in the policy side of things and gaining the skills to have effective input into developing policy for Indigenous education in the future,” she said.

Ms Ellis, who supports students at CDU Katherine campus, said she knew the challenges faced by remote and regional students first-hand.

“I was a stay-at-home mum while my four children grew up, before commencing university with CDU in 2003,” she said. “It was only after completing my Certificate II and III in Business with CDU that I discovered how vital education was and the opportunities that education opened up.”

Ms Ellis said she was passionate about her role to promote the programs at CDU and the importance of education to schools and communities throughout the Territory, particularly in the Katherine region.

“I now hope to bring my new skills to developing programs and advocating for regional and remote students,” she said.

Ms Ellis said the way the course was delivered by CDU really appealed to her. “It was a great way for our mob to learn because it was delivered to us as a group in workshops. The highlight was meeting and working with other Indigenous women from various sectors throughout the Territory to share ideas and discuss ways policy can tackle Indigenous issues in the future.”

Ms Ellis will finish the Lookrukin Indigenous Women’s Leadership Development Program on November 17. She said she hoped to start a Bachelor of Commerce with CDU next year.

The Lookrukin Indigenous Women’s Leadership Development Program was delivered by CDU and managed by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment.