The NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year recognises Aboriginal women who are exceptional achievers in promoting economic, cultural or social opportunities for Aboriginal people in NSW.

Carmen Julie Shelley is a proud Kamilaroi woman who has lived and worked in the Western Sydney Aboriginal community for more than 48 years. She is also a strong advocate for members of the stolen generation, of which she is a member herself.

Her belief is that ‘…education is the most powerful tool you can use to make positive and lasting change’.

She began as a volunteer phone counsellor for WestCare in Penrith and has continued to work as an Aboriginal support worker, liaison and counsellor for many years. She currently works at the New Street Sydney Health Service where she has been for the last 7 years.

Her rich resume also includes:

  • A Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health)
  • Master of Social Work
  • Graduate Diploma in Aboriginal Family and
  • Community Counselling
  • An Advanced Diploma of Specialist Aboriginal Trauma Counselling
  • Accredited clinical counsellor for the NSW Child Sex Offender Counsellors Accreditation Scheme.

Echoing the theme of this year’s awards, we are passionate about creating a more gender-inclusive world. At First State Super, we are committed to helping achieve equality for women through their financial goals today, tomorrow, and well in to the future. With the super pay gap between men and women sitting at 42% by the age of retirement between men and women, we believe in advocating for change by providing the right support and advice.