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Denise Proud

Denise Proud was born in Cherbourg, on Wakka Wakka country; she is still researching her families' history. She lived at Cherbourg under the 'Sale and Restriction of Opium Act.' In 1969 Denise became the first Aboriginal kindergarten teacher in Cherbourg; it was tough because Early Childhood wasn't recognised as being important then.

Working during the day and studying at night, Denise embarked on different roles
Working with Creche and Kindergarten, commencing as their first Liaison officer and leading to a director's position. Her career's given Denise the opportunity to work in remote communities and around the world. She is an admired international presenter not only in the Early Childhood field but other area's as well.

Denise has a strong affiliation with The University of Queensland, facilitating cultural awareness workshops and guest lecturing. This is how I first met Denise her knowledge and passion for Early Childhood and Aboriginal awareness and engagement captured my class.

Denise was asked what inspired her she replied, "Being grounded in her community, having such strong family backgrounds." Denise cites her mum as a strong role model in her life; her mother planted the seed and told her she would travel the world. Denise and her husband moved to America where she worked with Vietnam Veterans, people on welfare, and The First Nations people, her daughter Monique was born while overseas.

Back home Denise also worked in the local prison system for over 18 years.

Denise believes we should all have respect for ourselves first and foremost. Denise recently had her second paper published in New York. As an Aboriginal woman she's very honoured and has every right to feel proud and not just in name. She said, "It's promoting Aboriginal people on a world wide arena."

Denise said, "Young people need to feel good about themselves; don't listen to negativity, set a goal and aim for it; be persistent and ask for help, never give up."

Denise described herself as a very proud person, who loves clothes and fashion. She is very strong and tries not to wallow in self-pity, believe you can do it, never give up and keep on going. We are strong proud people!

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