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Michelle Deshong

After 20 years as a public servant, Michelle Deshong changed careers to inspire and help Indigenous people achieve their dreams and make a valuable contribution to the community.

"I think there are many positive changes happening in Indigenous affairs, and playing a role in that is really fulfilling for me," Ms Deshong said.

"I want to help make a difference by encouraging younger generations to realise their dreams and raise awareness of women's rights and advocacy.

"When I was a kid, I knew getting an education was something I wanted, and I worked hard to achieve this. It is an important message I now pass on to my children and our young people.

"I have always been passionate and dedicated to helping my people, and recently completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Political Science. This allowed me to focus on the inclusion of Indigenous people in leadership and the political system."

Ms Deshong said it was a challenge to study, work and juggle her responsibilities as a mother, but it was also rewarding to set your mind to achieving your goals.

"Facing these challenges helps shape us and define who we are," Ms Deshong said.

"It is an important journey and demonstrates that there are so many opportunities out there and we just need to make the most of them.

"I want to encourage other Indigenous women to be true to themselves, find a voice, and advocate for important issues. Most importantly I want to see more women in leadership roles and supporting each other.

"Women take on many roles, as partners, wives, aunties, sisters and mothers - it's important they don't stop believing in themselves, their values or their dreams.

"There's no reason why we can't do what we set out minds to - we just have to stay focussed and not let people tell us we can't do it. We have to learn to back ourselves no matter what.

"My greatest achievement is leading by example - showing my kids that if they set their mind to it they can achieve anything and be proud of who they are and where they have come from."

DESCRIPTION: Michelle Deshong inspires others to achieve their dreams.

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