Belinda Duarte AM
Emerging Leader 2006 - 2007
Belinda Duarte (née Jakiel) was an Emerging Leader under the Fellowship for Indigenous Leadership in 2006-2007. As a Wotjobaluk person, Belinda is committed to Aboriginal issues and the development of Aboriginal people.
Based in Victoria, Belinda has a vision of equality across all aspects of living for Aboriginal people. As a former elite athlete, Belinda is working on innovative projects to influence the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal Victorians and to improve relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
Belinda has held a range of positions of responsibility in government and community organisations – fostering government, business and community relationships.
She is a qualified teacher and previously held the position of Project Manager – National Indigenous Employment Program with AFL SportsReady, was the inaugural Director of the Korin Gamadji Institute and the first female executive at Richmond Football Club and Aboriginal executive in the AFL.
Belinda is the current CEO of Culture is Life which supports and promotes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led solutions to affirm and strengthen culture and to prevent youth suicide.
She has developed a strong track record in cross-sectional engagement and a depth of experience in senior roles and governance, from voluntary, Aboriginal controlled, not-for-profit through to statutory bodies.
In 2012, Belinda was named Football Woman of the Year and noted in Melbourne’s Top 100. She is a committed supporter of young people, community and leadership development, and has a passion for sport.
Belinda currently holds a range of positions including Director of Western Bulldogs, Board Trustee of the MCG, Board Member of the AnnaMila Foundation, Co-Chair of the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity, Deputy Chair of Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Corporation and member of the Independent Pandemic Management Advisory Committee (IPMAC).
Other significant roles Belinda has held include Board Member of VicHealth; Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Sports Corporation Australia (NASCA); Ambassador of the “Go for your Life” program; Ambassador of ‘Ybblue’: The National Youth Depression initiative; member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equalities Council; Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre graduate; State Manager Aboriginal Outreach for the Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria, Board Member of WasteAid, Director of the Wheeler Centre, member of the Victorian Premier’s Jobs and Investment Panel, Deputy Chair Responsible Gambling Victoria, Co-Chair of Reconciliation Victoria, and member of the Victorian Regional Churchill Fellowship Committee.
In 2020 Belinda was presented with the Parbin-ata Louisa Briggs Award for making a significant contribution to reconciliation in the community and was also awarded the Chief Executive Women (CEW) and Vincent Fairfax Fellowship.
Belinda was recognised in 2023 for significant service to the Indigenous community, and to sports administration with a Member of the Order of Australia.