A Day in the Life of Narelle Assistant Community Engagement Officer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach team

Published 02 November 2021

Image of Narelle smiling at the camera

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My mother and nanna grew up in Grafton, so I am a Bundjalung woman. We have a large family mob still active in the area.

I grew up in Mt Druitt on Darug land when we moved there the day I turned four. My father is an Irish descendant with a large family.

In primary school I was school captain, so I had to speak to a large audience at a young age. My first television appearance was when I made a speech to open the school. In high school I was team captain for soccer and hockey, and I joined the debating team.

My first job was working for Senator Peter Baume, who later became Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. It was during my employment with Doctor Baume that I was introduced to constituents and became interested in community and what I could do to help people.

I have worked for NSW Police and other community-based organisations where once again my interest in helping community broadened. 

I enjoy reading fiction and watching documentaries on history. I also enjoy horror movies and fishing. I love to listen to music and wiggle to the beat.

My greatest accomplishment has been to be a mother and a grandmother to two beautiful girls.

Why did you join ADNSW? 

I first joined ADNSW in 2002 (as an Enquiries Officer in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach team) because I believe that every human being should be able to live their life free from discrimination and prejudice. 

People should be able to work, live and support their families without fear of persecution because of their race, age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation. We are all human and therefore should all be respected as belonging to humanity. I truly believe it’s our differences that make us all unique and we can learn so much from one another.

I don’t just believe in anti-discrimination legislation; I live it every day. I want to live in a world free of prejudice and strive for a future for the generations to come to exist without fear of discrimination.

Can you describe your role?

I've been the Assistant Community Engagement Officer for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach team since 2019. My role is to engage with individual people and community. I bring attention to any issues Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may be having in their communities and let them know how ADNSW can assist. I engage with community in regional and metropolitan areas; there are two of us who cover the whole of NSW.

I also coordinate the Good Service Mob which has been presenting to community for over 20 years, in partnership with other government and community organisations. I also help on the enquiry line and hold stalls at festivals and events where we give out information and answer questions community may have, or we can call them back later in private.

During the lockdown, we held information sessions online and next year we can hopefully once again travel to present face to face.

I am very privileged and happy to be working with a great multicultural bunch of people, who support each other in the workplace.

What do you like most about your job?

Helping individuals and the community to understand their rights and how ADNSW can assist them if they lodge a complaint of discrimination in the areas we cover under the legislation. I also love meeting new people.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I am currently studying. I feel you should always keep your mind busy and be open to new things and ways of doing things.

Visiting family and friends, playing with my granddaughters and enjoying mother nature are also things I enjoy. My hobbies are fishing, reading and watching DVDs.

Last updated:

30 Nov 2021

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We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the ongoing connection Aboriginal people have to this land and recognise Aboriginal people as the original custodians of this land.

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