My name is Jolleen Hicks and I come from Roebourne in the North West of WA - Ngarluma country.I completed TEE at Karratha Senior High School in 2000, and received the UWA Leadership Award, which gave me entry into law at UWA. I also completed the UWA Aboriginal Pre-Law program in early 2001, which gave me the option of completing a Bachelor of Laws, instead of a combined degree. The support I received from the staff at Shenton House made my being so far away from home much easier, and kept me focussed on my study. I made many great friends while studying and think of my university years as some of the best in my life. I enjoyed the challenges of studying law, and continue to enjoy the challenges that the law presents to me.
I have worked for mining company Rio Tinto, law firm Allens Arthur Robinson, the Kimberley Land Council and Queensland South Native Title Services. My passions are native title and education. I have been a Board member of the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation since September 2008, and received the award for WA Young Woman Lawyer of the Year 2010. I was also a finalist for the 2010 Deadly Award for Leader of the Year.
This year I established a business with two friends, which focusses on the delivery of cultural awareness training that is specific to Ngarluma people, country and culture. Through our business we have brought the community together, engaged our Elders, and created employment opportunities for our people. We want to see traditional owners take control of cultural awareness training being delivered on their country.
My goal is to be one of the best native title lawyers in this country. My message to young people is that education is the key to achieving your dreams. There is nothing you can’t achieve, but if you want something, it’s up to you to make it happen.