Aboriginal Insights offers Australians and International visitors access to the Aboriginal cultural world with the intent that such insights will lead to stronger partnerships, stronger relationships, stronger respect, stronger understanding, and stronger appreciation of Aboriginal peoples’ and their cultures in Australia.
Aboriginal Insights was created by Ngarluma- Aboriginal woman, Jolleen Hicks in 2016. Jolleen has a background that covers successful Aboriginal Engagement with over twenty separate Aboriginal groups in Australia; leadership; and business. Jolleen believes that reconciliation cannot be achieved without understanding; recognition; and respect between Aboriginal people’s and non-Aboriginal people.
Jolleen has spent the past twenty years developing her knowledge; skills; and capacity in order to confidently and comfortably walk in two worlds, while maintaining her strong family values that were instilled in her by her mother, Joan.
ABOUT JOLLEEN HICKS
I was born in Wickham, Western Australia (Ngarluma country), being the second child to my mother, Joan. My mother is the strongest role model in my life and is the person who has inspired my passion; determination; and potential. My mother is an amazing woman of great family values and respect for people. She is my biggest and strongest supporter as well as my most important Teacher.
Family is Everything – I am an extension of my Family
My Gaja (meaning “big brother”) has always played an important role in my life as a strong male role model and Family Authority. He is an extremely hard worker and has always offered support and encouragement to me in pursuing my dreams. My childhood was spent attending school every day with my Marda (meaning “younger brother”), William; playing with my friends; weekend trips out bush or fishing; playing tee-ball for Roebourne; exploring the Harding River; and swimming at the local pool after we finally got one built. One thing that was constant is Family – we always had my mother’s family around us. As the eldest daughter, I also helped my Mum out with my Mari (meaning “younger sister”), Jessica, and Nyirdingu (meaning “youngest sibling”, Ramon, on a daily basis. I am very proud of the amazing young adults that they are today. I have carried my Mother, brothers, and sister with me through my journey and they have given me the strength and determination to succeed in my life. I am extremely blessed to have them as my Family. My success and impact is theirs too.
“We are not responsible for our history but we are responsible for healing the impacts of it. We take that responsibility because those that will benefit most are our children, yours and mine. That’s how we create a reconciled Australia, by taking those steps we can achieve truth and healing.”
Education and Professional Background
- 2000, Karratha Senior High School, Year 12 Completion
- 2001-2005, University of WA (Bachelor of Laws), Student 2006, Bachelor of Laws, Graduation
- 2006, Rio Tinto, Law Graduate 2007- 2008, Allens Arthur Robinson, Law Graduate
- 2007, College of Law, NSW (Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice)
- 2008 – 2009, Approvals Advisor, Rio Tinto
- 2008 – 2017, Graham Polly Farmer Foundation, Board Member
- 2009, Rotary District 9470 Indigenous Group Study Exchange to Rotary District 5050
- 2009- 2010, Kimberley Land Council, Native Title Lawyer
- 2010, WA Young Woman Lawyer of the Year
- 2010 – 2012, Queensland South Native Title Services, Native Title Lawyer
- 2012 – 2013, Gurrgura Pty Ltd, Cultural Learning Provider
- 2013, Participant of “Permanent Impressions” Art Exhibition, 50 WA Women
- 2014, Australian Institute of Management (WA), Advanced Management Program
- 2014, Australian Graduate School of Management/ University of NSW, General Managers Program
- 2013- 2016, Roebourne Consulting Services, Business Owner & Operator
- 2013 – present, Mawarnkarra Health Service, Director
- 2016, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Foundations of Directorship
- 2016 – present, Aboriginal Insights, Business Owner & Operator
- 2018, Melbourne Business School, Murra Business Masterclass Program
- 2018 – 2019, WA Centre for Rural Health/ University of WA, Associate Lecturer – Aboriginal Community Engagement (Part- Time)
- 2019, Author, Essential Aboriginal Insights – A Guide for Anyone Involved in Closing Gaps in Australia
- 2019, Recipient, Stella Giles Award, Soroptimist International of WA
- 2019, Founding Owner/ Director, SupplyAus Pty Ltd
- 2017- 2020, Telstra WA Regional Advisory Council, Member
- 2017 – present, Pilbara Aboriginal Voice, Member
Lessons and Learnings
My first learnings of Australian History as an adult came from Aboriginal People in the Kimberley, then in Queensland. I learned about history from the lived stories and experiences of my Aboriginal clients. I experienced feelings of sadness, guilt, shame, anger, and frustration. But I also experienced pride and gratitude. In spite of the tough and horrible experiences, my clients and their families had survived. I was proud of them. I was grateful to them. I learned that the level of cultural knowledge and practice of any Aboriginal person was directly linked to the impact of history on that person’s family. I learned about what was behind the common attitude of mistrust on the part of an Aboriginal person to others. I learned the importance of rapport building and how to do this. I recognised the common rules or practices within the mainstream western system that clashed with Aboriginal cultural differences. I take my lessons and learnings from the past 20 years of living and walking in two worlds and share it with others through my workshops, book, online learning, and social media platforms.
Vision, Purpose, and Mission
Our vision is to support individuals and workplaces to Close the Gaps and achieve Reconciliation in Australia. Our purpose is to teach lessons and learnings of the two worlds to empower Relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Our mission is to empower Aboriginal people, families, and Communities to achieve personal self-determination.
A Unique Journey
Aboriginal Insights is built on the unique identity; journey; experiences; perspectives; and understandings of its Founder, Jolleen Hicks.