Kristal Kinsela says young indigenous women not only have to deal with a divide between genders but also the gap that exists between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
Ms Kinsela was named as the 2017 NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year and will be in Port Macquarie to host a leadership workshop for Aboriginal girls at the Glasshouse on June 15.
The event is being run by Birpai Local Aboriginal Land Council, Centacare, St Joseph's Preschool and Long Day Care and Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
The workshop is designed for female Aboriginal students in year 10, 11 and 12 to empower and inspire them to pursue leadership in their family, community and at school.
Four local Aboriginal women will also be presenting as part of a panel discussion.
Ms Kinsela grew up in housing commission and has grown to become a national leadership figure for indigenous women.
When she was young she said she opened her eyes to how she was living and decided she did not want the same future as her mother who struggled financially, was a single parent and lived in housing commission.
Ms Kinsela was taught by her grandmother she wasn’t going to be handed opportunity on a silver platter and she would have to work for it.
Her goal after finishing year 12 was to become a flight attendant and travel the world but she decided to pursue another path after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Ms Kinsela said she was good at working with people and decided to undertake an education degree so she could work with other indigenous people to help them.
She now has her own business to pursue her passion to help other Aboriginal professionals across Australia to achieve their goals.
Ms Kinsela wants young indigenous girls to know racism still exists in society but being aboriginal does not make a person deficit. She wants them to know the borders of the Mid North Coast don’t have to confine them and they can pursue any career path they want.
Ms Kinsela works in Sydney and returns to Port Macquarie to visit her children for a week every month.
She said she knows they are safe and happy but as a mother she still feels guilty.
“If I was a man no one would even blink an eye,” she said.
As a career driven person Ms Kinsela said she is helping to break down stereotypes about what it means to be a indigenous working mother in today’s society.
The event will be on from 11am until 3pm on June 15 at the Glasshouse. To register please email Kristal.Kinsela@ipsau.com.au