Staff spotlight: Narelle Hennessy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach team

Published 28 June 2023

Woman looking at camera smiling

Narelle is a proud Bundjalung woman. She joined ADNSW in 2002, and as part of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach team, she engages with communities across NSW to understand issues they experience and to let them know how ADNSW can assist.

We talked to Narelle about the ADNSW referendum resilience project.

Can you tell us how ADNSW is supporting people in the lead-up to the Voice referendum, and about the 6 ways to look after yourself and mob during The Voice referendum debate resource?

The Voice referendum debate is already negatively affecting some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. ADNSW services are available to all people experiencing discrimination, no matter what they think about The Voice.

If anyone is worried about their mental health and wellbeing or that of a family member, we suggest they contact 13YARN, who offer 24-hour a day crisis support.

Our resource was checked with various Aboriginal organisations to make sure it was helpful and culturally appropriate. I’m proud to have been part of producing this resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities.

What are your tips for encouraging respectful conversations?

It's important to remember you don't have to be an expert on The Voice. If you’re not sure what The Voice referendum is all about and have heard different stories from people, we encourage you to read the facts at voice.gov.au. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, please have a healthy and respectful yarn with others when discussing this issue. We should all be treated with respect however we decide to vote in the referendum. 

What should people do if they experience racist comments or racial abuse, either in person or on social media?

If you, your family or community are experiencing racist comments or racial abuse, please call Anti-Discrimination NSW on 1800 670 812 for free, confidential information about your rights and options for making a complaint. 

Last updated:

04 Jul 2023

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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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