BUTLER resident Rishelle Hume is excited to have been recognised on the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
At the same time she emphasised she did not serve for award but to make a difference while taking as many others on the journey with her that she could.
But Ms Hume, who has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia, said it was a big honour as she was aware the number of people in WA being recognised was always lower compared to other states.
“I think women being recognised is always an even lower number (given how many men are awarded) however being an Aboriginal female is a huge achievement and to receive an AM – OMG,’’ she said.
“It even makes it more special given the theme around this year’s 2018 NAIDOC – “Because of Her I can” it’s about our women.
She is really passionate about the Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute (WAALI), which she co-chairs with Robyn Smith-Walley.
“We need to give my people the tips and tools to be great leaders in what-ever realm they come from – community, government or corporate sectors.’’
A proud Noongar woman with traditional ties to the Whadjuk, Ballardong and Gnaala Karla Boodja peoples she is the granddaughter of Noongar Whadjuk elders Patrick and Lorna Hume.
Her early childhood years did not come easy.
“I remember lining up for food vouchers on many occasions and being reliant on hand outs from others.
“However, with the encouragement of my grandparents, family and friends, I learnt how to identify and embrace the opportunities that were presented to me, including the importance of gaining a quality education.
“I grew up watching my grandparents spending their lives promoting Aboriginal rights and Noongar culture within both government departments and the wider community.
“It is because of them, I too have decided to devote my life to the same causes.
“Because of their positive influence on me, I have been driven to enhance and improve opportunities for Aboriginal people in all areas within the community.
“I do this because I strive to keep their legacy alive and to ensure Aboriginal people have a voice.’’
Ms Hume, who is Chevron Australia’s Aboriginal employment manager, has more than 25-years experience in Aboriginal engagement ranging from employment, education, justice and health. She is actively involved in the Aboriginal community within the Perth region.
She is the Mandjah Boodjah Aboriginal Corporation chairwoman, Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute co-chairwoman, co-chairperson of the Department of Sport and Recreation Aboriginal Advisory Council, a Noongar Charitable Trust Advisory Council member, WA Australia Day Council director, Ambassador of the EON Foundation, Ambassador of Little Athletics WA and recently appointed to UNESCO as the Commissioner of Culture and Heritage for Australia by Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop.
She demonstrates Aboriginal leadership and is respected by the Aboriginal community and employers as an innovative and experienced project manager.
In 2016, she was the recipient of the Western Australian of the Year award – Aboriginal category winner, inducted into the 2017 Little Athletics Australia Roll of Excellence (Hall of Fame) in the achievers category and inducted as inaugural inductee on the 2018 WA Roll of Excellence in the achievers category for Little Athletics WA.
In February she carried the baton for a 400m stretch in the Queen’s Baton Relay.