CEW, in partnership with Roberta Sykes and Aurora Education, is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Roberta Sykes Scholarship:
- Nattlie Smith, Director for Aboriginal Outcomes, NSW Department of Customer Service
- Tammy O’Connor, Founder KingKira Group
- Christianna Cartwright, CEO, Real Futures
The Roberta Sykes Scholarship is one of CEW’S longest-standing scholarships and empowers Indigenous women leaders to follow the trail blazed by Dr Sykes.
Nattlie is a proud Wiradjuri woman from Condobolin/Orange, New South Wales and is committed to making a positive difference through culturally responsible policy design and development. She is a strong advocate for the importance of Aboriginal people having a voice in service design, program implementation and the evaluation process.
The scholarship will give her the opportunity to study AI and Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.
“Generative AI like ChatGPT and Bard are here and it’s important for us mob to increase our knowledge and understanding of AI technology, tools, and their application,” she says.
“So that we can better support and equip our Aboriginal communities and organisations for digital capability uplift whilst still ensuring ‘we keep culture at the centre of all that we do.’
“We need more Aboriginal leaders in the digital technology space.”
Tammy is a community leader, entrepreneur and proud Nyiyaparli/Paylku woman who is dedicated to supporting the Pilbara Indigenous community. She is the founder of KingKira group, a leader in environmental and recycling services for the mining sector, which provides opportunities for the Indigenous community through training, employment, and mentoring. She has also been actively involved in the negotiation of Indigenous land use agreements and sits on various native title boards. Tammy will study Negotiation Strategies at Harvard Kennedy School.
“I am proud, excited and a little bit nervous after winning this scholarship,” Tammy says.
“I hope that it helps to show my daughters and others what can be achieved with hard work and commitment, and I hope that what I learn can be used to provide greater benefits to the wider community.”
Christianna is a proud Boorooberongal woman from the Darug Nation of Western Sydney and lives on beautiful Dunghutti country in Kemspey NSW. A mother of three and grandmother of three, Christianna’s driving force is the advancement of First Nations’ People by creating change and empowering future generations to ensure they have opportunities and pathways to success. As CEO of Real Futures Christianna is a passionate advocate for gender equality and women in leadership.
She’ll be using the scholarship to study Women and Power at Harvard Kennedy School.
“This scholarship is a reminder that my voice matters and I have the potential to contribute meaningfully to the empowerment and advancement of women not only in my own family, workplace and communities but on a much larger scale,” Christianna says.
“I am more motivated than ever to fulfill my aspirations and create a future where women’s voices are heard and valued.”