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Community champion award winner for 2020 announced by WayAhead

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Commissioner Catherine Lourey announced Corina Kemp as the 2020 Community Champion Award winner During an online event hosted by WayAhead.

Corina Kemp is an Aboriginal Mental Health & Drug and Alcohol Clinical Leader with the Far West NSW Local Health District (LHD). A proud Dieri/Paakintji woman, Corina was born and raised in Broken Hill NSW.

Corina has a passion for supporting her community and helping people make positive change. This passion comes from growing up with adversity as she watched her family and community struggle through trauma, disadvantage and a lack of social housing. This adversity enabled her to develop skills to advocate for better outcomes for her people.

As a young girl, Corina had big dreams, she had always wanted to be a lawyer or psychologist. But it wasn’t until Corina came across a traineeship with the Far West LHD to undertake a Bachelor of Health Sci

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ence, Mental Health through Charles Sturt University Djirruwang Program, where she was able to study on Country and learn on the job, that Corina found her true calling – helping her community.

Corina has been with Far West LHD for eight years, spending the last two as Aboriginal Mental Health & Drug and Alcohol Clinical Leader. A key part of Corina’s role is to ensure that staff are providing culturally-appropriate and responsive services to the community. Corina utilises therapeutic interventions through a cultural lens to support people to change their mindset and have a more positive outlook about their future.

Working with communities that have specific and complex needs, Corina uses every opportunity to highlight the need for better social housing for the community. We know that Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing is closely linked to connection to Country, and when local people have to leave their country for housing, education or health, this not only impacts the person but their wider family and kinship group. Corina uses her position to influence decision-makers to create opportunities for her people to stay connected to Country. Corina has a unique way of engaging with her community and advocating for their needs, she uses her leadership skills to take the challenge to whoever will listen.

A dream that Corina has had for a long time is for her community to have a Drug & Alcohol rehabilitation centre on Country. There is no doubt that Corina will achieve this dream through her tireless advocacy and dedication to being a part of creating opportunities for her community and future generations to come.

Corina values education. In addition to her Bachelor degree, she has completed a Diploma of Management and Leadership and is currently undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion. This makes her a tremendous role model in an area that experiences high rates of young people not completing Year 12 and low rates of people going on to complete a university-level education. Corina is a strong advocate for more local apprenticeships and traineeships to give local people the opportunity to learn and earn in their own communities.

Deputy Commissioner Jenna Roberts, applauds Corina Kemp: “Corina is highly motivated and leads by example in both her personal and professional life. Many communities have strong advocates and they don’t come much stronger than Corina. As a young Aboriginal woman, Corina is a role model that will change the lives of so many people around her, she is also doing everything she can to change the systems around her so that the future of her community is not reliant on one person.” she said.

Corina is a worthy recipient of this award that will help her achieve the changes needed for her community. Not only will it have a positive impact on Corina, but also on her family, workplace and community. Corina represents hope for her community and this community champion award is well-deserved recognition of her years of hard work.

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