Meet our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.

Hollie, 2017 Graduate


I am a Gunggari woman from the Maranoa region of South-central Queensland. I grew up in regional Queensland before moving north to Townsville to complete university.

I started a Bachelor of Arts in 2013 at James Cook University, studying a double major in archaeology and anthropology before completing Honours in archaeology in 2016. My university experience came with many opportunities to study and work with local communities and archaeological sites in Southeast Asia.

During my Honours year, I was working as the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Mentor Officer at my university where I was able to coordinate a team of Deadly Mentors to inspire fellow Indigenous students to make the most out of their university adventure.

I am very passionate about cultural heritage and research, so I was thrilled when I was offered a place as a Graduate with the National Library of Australia for 2017. I am still new to Canberra, but I am very much looking forward to seeing where my career at the Library will take me.

Jodie D, 2017 Graduate

Kiya! I am a Noongar (Minang, Gidja) woman; my Ancestral Country covers much of Western Australia. I was born and raised in Sale, Victoria on Gunai/Kurnai Country.

I started working in museum and library collections in Melbourne. In 2014 I relocated to Canberra to work at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. During this time, I completed a Diploma of Library and Information Services, and a Masters of Museum and Heritage Studies. I also undertook placements at the National Library of Australia, the National Museum of Australia and the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Through my work experience, I spent time with respected community members. The guidance that I received from Elders has helped shape my cultural and spiritual identity, and fuelled my passion to care for and make accessible Indigenous collections within cultural institutions.

I have worked as a casual Readers Assistant at the Library since 2016 and I adore working here due to the positive work culture, amazing staff, and the incredible collections. I feel proud and privileged to be one of the 2017 Indigenous Graduates.

Yanti, Newspapers and Family History, 2016 Graduate

Yanti in front of a black background intheNLA studio. She wears a whie shirt and a thin black tie

I am an Angamuthi (West Coast Cape York), Yadhaykana (North/East Coast Cape York), Woppaburra (Great Keppel Island) woman with blood ties to the Butchulla Nation (Fraser Island), Murray (Mer), Badu and Moa Islands as well as being of German and Danish descent.

I grew up in Injinoo, a small Aboriginal community 40 kilometres from the tip of Australia, far North Cape York. I left home at the age of 17 having finished my senior schooling at Bamaga 6-12 Campus and accepted an offer to study Commerce at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Since graduating in 2014, I have chosen to come to the National Library in pursuit of my passion, which is knowledge. What I have found so far exceeds my expectations. There is always something new to learn which is what I love about this amazing place. Having a little taste of Reader Services, Overseas Serials and Acquisitions, Maps Cataloguing, Printed Australiana, Australian Monographs and Serials, Music Cataloguing to date, I see an exciting road ahead filled with new opportunities, new challenges and new learning curves. I am a firm believer in seizing opportunities as they present themselves for you never know what is around the corner. As the famous saying goes ‘I want to be a librarian when I grow up’.

John, Oral History and Folklore, 2015 Graduate

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I am a Torres Strait Islander. My origins are from the Eastern, Central and near Western Island clusters of the Torres Strait. Previously my family lived on Thursday Island and I am the first generation to be raised and attain my education outside of the Torres Strait region. However, despite moving to the mainland I continue to hold a close connection with the Torres Strait Region and communities abroad through cultural and kinship relations.

After graduating from High School in Cairns I undertook my undergraduate studies at James Cook University (Cairns campus) completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and Australian Indigenous Studies in 2012. I furthered my studies by enrolling into a Masters of Social Science whilst I undertook employment at James Cook University as an Outreach Officer, inspiring High School students to consider tertiary studies.

I am blessed for the opportunity to be the 2015 Graduate at the National Library of Australia and have enjoyed the experience immensly. I am now priviledged to be in the Oral History and Folklore branch working with items of the collection every day. My cultural identity is a resilient strength which drives my individual and professional ambitions enabling personal levels of reconciliation. My time at the Library thus far has been worthwhile and to be able to share my own cultural and personal experiences and knowledge with readers and staff is very rewarding.

Shannon, Newspapers and Family History, 2014 Graduate

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I am a Gunai man from Orbost and a Koori from the south coast of New South Wales.

Since graduating from University in 2010 with Honours in Archaeology, I have worked as a heritage advisor in both government and private sectors of the cultural heritage industry.

I saw a career at the National Library as an excellent opportunity to apply what I had learned during the course of my degree and prior work experience as an archaeologist to a field I was less familiar with, but which has proved no less exciting.

I’m extremely fortunate to have been offered a graduate position with the National Library and have enjoyed working here immensely. Learning about and assisting others to access the Library’s collections is extremely rewarding and I look forward to my future at the National Library.

Nicolette, Australian Collections, 2013 Graduate

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My Indigenous heritage is from my grandmother’s family.

After high school, I knew I'd go to university, but I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life. I had an interest in Japanese, so I studied the language and culture at Macquarie University. I finished my degree, and still didn't know what I wanted to do as a career, so I did a Graduate Diploma of Education at the University of Technology, Sydney. 

During my Graduate Diploma, my mother lost her ability to walk and I became her full-time carer as well as studying at university.

During my final year, I was encouraged to apply for the Indigenous Graduate Program by my family. I applied, hoping that the National Library would accept me. They did, and I now live in Canberra. 

Since coming to the National Library, I have worked in the reading rooms, with the manga collection, ephemera and Trove. Now, I work in cataloguing, and I really love it. I would truly recommend any position here. 

Jodie, Pictures and Manuscripts Branch, 2012 Graduate

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I'm a Yamatji woman from the Gascoyne region in Western Australia.

After graduating from high school I moved to Brisbane and studied Film and Television production.  I then worked in the industry for about 2 years as a camera assistant working on many television commercials and one feature film.

After this I decided to go travelling, I went to the UK for two years on a working holiday visa and worked mostly in hospitality and on the festival circuit.

It was not until returning to Australia that I decided to enrol in university and study a BA of Photography at Queensland College of Art, I was 27.  During my degree I was able to combine my love of the moving image with the still image and appeared in a documentary entitled Conscience for Cambodia, the documentary saw me travel to Cambodia twice.

In the last year of my degree I undertook a cadetship program at the Department of Infrastructure and Transport.  The experience made me aware of the opportunity to complete a grad program at the National Library, which I did the following year.

I now work in the Pictures and Manuscripts Branch and am very happy that I made the decision to study at 27 as I would not be here if I didn’t.

I am currently on leave from the Library caring for my young son.

Lorraine, Document Supply

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I am a Wiradjuri woman from central New South Wales Riverina District.

I'm from Griffith, in New South Wales. I came to Canberra for a position in a library, and I decided to work here at the National.

I worked in book binding first, then in Newspapers. I actually met my husband there, and we married in 1977. I worked in Serials for a while, then took time off to have my children, and to work as a day care mum. I came back to the Library in 2005, and now work in Document Supply.

I love it. There are a lot of people still here from when I was here the first time, actually, so it's really nice. I'm really happy, and this is where I belong.

Ryan, Information Services

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I am a descendant of the Wiradjuri people from the Orana Region in New South Wales, on my Mother’s side and Anglo-Australian on my Father’s side.

I have been working with the National Library since 2013, working in a number of areas including Digitisation and Document Delivery, Oral History and Folklore, Reader Services, the Divisional Support Unit and most recently; Pictures and Manuscripts.

I am currently taking leave to undertake a Master’s degree and work with the University of Sydney Library.

During my time at the National Library, I have matured and refined my skills as a librarian. Every team I’ve worked with has been welcoming and supportive and the flexible working environment gives you an opportunity to work with a diverse range of collections and teams.