Naomi Murphy

Emerging Leader 2018 - 2019

Naomi Murphy is a very proud Wakka Wakka women with bloodlines to Cherbourg Community, Woorabinda mission in Queensland, was respectfully on Gunnai/Kurnai country in Gippsland for over 20 years until recently when she returned to Queensland.

Naomi is the Aboriginal Ex-Offender Employment Project Worker for Woor-Dungin’s Criminal Record Discrimination Project and was a presenter at the statewide Aboriginal Justice Forum held in December 2018, which resulted in the unanimous endorsement of their submission for reform.

Before returning to Queensland Naomi was employed as the Central Gippsland Client Services Support Worker at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service.  She is currently an Indigenous Mentor for the Waalitj Foundation and President of the Committee of Management for Woor-Dungin.

With nearly 15 years working in community Naomi has many achievements such as:

  • Creating 6 different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female dance groups in the Latrobe Valley and currently the Manager and Director of Dreamtime Dance Troupe.
  • Performing across the state including the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in 2006 and in July 2018 at the MCG at the Statewide Youth Residential Care Awards Ceremony.
  • Participating in many local community groups to establish events such as “Share the Knowledge” jobs and training expo and community events such as QUIT VicHealth days.
  • Working in many local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations from First Nations liaison roles to support worker positions in AOD.
  • Committee Member 10 plus years on the DHHS First Nations Family Violence Regional Action Group.
  • Volunteer of the Year Chairman’s 2015 Award from Anglicare Victoria.
  • Committee Member of local First Nations Sports Committee Budjeri Napan where a number of programs are run such as the surfing program with Surfing Victoria, putting together netball teams for statewide and local carnivals, running of the local sports carnival and day events as well as fitness programs.
  • Coordinator of the women’s group Deadly Migais.
  • Speaker at the Victorian Women Lawyers seminar held in Law Week to provide advice about supporting Aboriginal women who have had contact with the criminal justice system.
  • Captain of the local Churchill Football/Netball Club Team as well as coaching the first ever all Aboriginal Under 9 Girls Netball Team “Sistergirls”.
  • Churchill Football/Netball Club Committee Member working and engaging with Netball Victoria and the Collingwood Netball Club regarding an First Nations Round for 2018.

In 2019, Naomi presented testimony of her own lived experience around Criminal Record Discrimination at the Victorian State Parliament enquiry into Spent Conviction legislation, and arranged a series of community meetings. Her advocacy proved catalytic in persuading the enquiry to recommend a Spent Convictions scheme for Victoria.

Naomi developed a pilot program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women/young girls to help keep families together in a safe environment and out of prison.