Candace Williams

Emerging Leader 2020 - 2021

Candace Williams is a Yorta Yorta, Gunnai and Wiradjuri woman, born and raised near the Murray River on Yorta Yorta land in Echuca.

She has an associate degree in education and is undertaking a bachelor’s degree in primary education.

Candace is passionate about the education and success of young Aboriginal people, as well as nurturing future generations of young female leaders.  She established the Bowarring Mentoring Program an 8-week program for 13-18 year old young women in Echuca held on Saturdays but ideally she would like to reach many communities across the state of Victoria.

The Bowarring Mentor Program is designed to support and empower young Aboriginal women.  The goal of the program is to help each woman to find their voice, as well as support their dreams, in a safe cultural environment.

Candace’s vision is to empower young women to believe in their strength and be proud of their identity.

Since her appointment she was recognised for her work in the community by the 7 News and Panadol campaign and was subsequently interviewed by the Sunrise television show.

The Bowarring Mentoring Program have 25 young women enrolled in the program, and have subsequently opened the program up to young males. There are currently have 7 boys enrolled and expect this number to grow as it has with the girls.

Candace was appointed to the Victorian NAIDOC Committee for 2022.  She stated: ‘This an important time for our culture and our people, it is a time for us to come together, celebrate our achievements ,remember and honour our elders and our community members. I look forward to this years NAIDOC and making my family proud.”

The following is a link to the Bowarring Mentor Program that was held in 2023 and funded by the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action:

Bowarring Mentor Program – Echuca