Spotlight on Wunan Staff- Courteney Topliss

23 June 2017

Courteney is the Accommodation Coordinator at Burraluba Yura Ngurra Worker’s Hostel. Courtney is passionate about working with Aboriginal people to improve health and well-being through employment, education and affordable housing.

“I basically do all three with my job and when you give people the opportunity to change seeing the result is very rewarding. I’m also passionate about breaking the intergenerational trauma cycle. Intergenerational trauma can be passed on through parenting practices, behavioral problems, violence, harmful substance use, and mental health issues. Working in a remote town with the population being 80% Aboriginal the issues are more emphasized which gives me a greater understanding of the impacts of Intergenerational trauma.”

Courteney is a member of the Gajerrong people from Kununurra and Bunuba people from Fitzroy Crossing on her mother’s side and a member of the Aboriginal people of the Esperance region (Mirning, Ngadju and Wongi) from her fathers side.

“The greatest challenge I have experienced is losing my father, he had been my source of inspiration and motivation. My father was a great mentor and now that he isn’t around I am finding it challenging to seek new mentors to help guide me through life with their knowledge and wisdom.”

In the future Courteney is hoping to complete a degree in Community Development- Bachelor of arts through open Universities Australia (Murdoch).

“I am currently studying cert4 in Career development and Employment service. I would love to have a career working with my people as an Indigenous activist / Aboriginal rights campaigner to create positive change for our people.”

Topic: Employment