Because of her. We can.

Because of them, we can.

These three lovely strong ladies – Marie Johnson, Raylene Weldon and Veneta Dutton – live in the Nyngan community, where they encourage others to make change and better themselves and the younger generation. They hold many roles to help and support others.

Marie Johnson

My connection is my mother, who’s from Warren. Her Mob are the McEwan, while my dad is a Coolie – Merritt – from Yass. Currently I’m the Aboriginal Education Officer (AEO) at Nyngan Public School, President of the Western 2 Regional AECG, President of the Nyngan Local AECG and Deputy Chair of the Nyngan Aboriginal Land Council, and proud Gomeroi, Wiradjuri and Ngiyampaa Woman.

Veneta Dutton

I’m a Dharug, Worgaibon woman. My family is from Tingha and the Parramatta area. I was an Early Childhood Director in childcare and now I’m the CEO of the Nyngan Aboriginal Land Council. I returned home ten years ago and have been on Country since then.

Raylene Weldon

A proud Wiradjuri, Wailwan, and Gomeroi woman. I have lived in Worgaibon Country since I was 6 years old in 1979. I have completed all my schooling in Nyngan. I completed my HSC in 1991. I became involved in Aboriginal Education and Aboriginal Affairs at a very young age. I provide advocacy and consultancy to the community, and interagency within the Nyngan area. I’m proud that we have been successful in implementing the Ngiyampaa Language throughout our community, which has been filtered in the early childhood centres, primary sectors, and two surrounding small schools in our area.  I am the Vice President of the Nyngan local and Western 2 Regional AECG. I am also a part of the associate management committee of the NSW AECG for 2022 and 2023. I believe in advocating for a strong voice and for better outcomes within our community for our close-the-gap strategy and bettering the outcomes and life expectations of our people so they can be more social, economical, and viable to live in a world worth living in.

If we can do it, you can too.

Story contributed by Jessica Russell and Melinda Brown. Published in 2023.