Cristilee Louttit

Cristilee Louttit is blazing her own trail, and it's inspiring other young Indigenous people.

She's been an advocate for Indigenous youth for years. What's she's done is staggering - local, state, national and international youth leadership programs; running Queensland's Young Indigenous Leaders Forum; talking about Indigenous issues at local schools; and serving on the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Day Observance Committee. She was the 2009 Queensland NAIDOC Young person of the year.

Woven into this life is her paid work. Cristilee's now a specialist recruitment advisor, managing Virgin Australia's Indigenous employment program that helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to break into the airline industry.

Many people follow her through social media. So often you'll find posts thanking Cristilee, either for her direct help or just for being an inspiration.

So where did this come from?

Cristilee, whose family originates from the Pitta-Pitta and Maiawali/Kurawali people from West Queensland, says a single event set her course in life. "In 1999, I applied for an Indigenous Youth Leadership Forum held in Cairns and this altered my future direction instantly," she said.

"I was absolutely inspired by my peers and learned so much about the issues other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were dealing with in their communities. This ignited a passion within me to do what I could to support our youth."

DESCRIPTION: Cristilee Louttit, Indigenous recruiter, Virgin Australia