Nellie Green

In her own words

My La Trobe story began in December 2000 when I applied for an advertised position of Aboriginal Liaison Officer. It was a 14-month contract for a maternity leave vacancy. I was successful with my application and so made the big move over from Perth in Western Australia and commenced on 19 February 2001. 17 years later I am still here, currently employed as Associate Director of Indigenous Education & Student Services. It’s been an amazing time, full of mostly ups and some downs, but I am proud to say I am still working in an area I absolutely love and value, at a place I think does a good job advancing Indigenous education.

I am a Badimia woman from the Yamatji people in WA. I have worked in higher education most of my adult life – my first job out of high school was as a trainee resource assistant at Curtin University – and apart from 4 years working in Aboriginal media, I have stayed in the tertiary sector. What I love most in what we do is seeing Indigenous people come here to be students and realise their potential and inspire others to do the same. We provide a culturally safe space for Indigenous people to participate in higher education. We reaffirm the relevance and importance of Indigenous culture and knowledge on our campuses. And we contribute to an increased understanding of Indigenous Australia.

I am committed to ensuring that the higher education space wholeheartedly supports the principles of Indigenous self-determination and empowerment. I want to encourage universities to acknowledge that Indigenous cultural protocols have a place in learning and teaching as this makes such a huge difference to our work.

It is a privilege to work for my people here on Wurundjeri land and I am proud of what we do here at La Trobe in the Indigenous higher education. I have met many great people, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, and our Indigenous student cohort continues to inspire me and make me proud. There is a lot more work to be done but I am very confident it will happen here. And I am not going anywhere just yet….