Kalana Norton

Kalana is descended from the Jarra Jarra people from the Bendigo area in Victoria. She was born in East Devonport in Tasmania but spent much of her childhood moving around, living in Melbourne, Sydney and Tamworth.

Kalana attended primary schooling at St Joseph's Tobruk Memorial School at Beenleigh and studied years eight to twelve at Sans Sisto College in Carina. At QUT Kalana began by studying High School teaching, switched to primary and then to Social Science, finishing in 2005.

Kalana was in her teens when her mother's cousin researched the family genealogy and found out about her Indigenous heritage. She then decided she wanted to work with Indigenous people.

Her first job with the government was in 2004 as an Indigenous Safety Officer while she was finishing University.

After that she secured a position as a Child Safety officer (CSO) in Innisfail but the day she was to start, cyclone Larry hit the coast. She worked as a CSO all over the state for the next few years, doing short stints in Caboolture, Cairns Cape York, Torres Strait, Charleville, Mt Isa, Kingaroy and an extended stay in Gympie.

Kalana then found a position at DATSIP and after secondments at Hervey Bay and Regional office, eventually secured a position in the Brisbane region as a Senior Project Officer.

Out of work Kalana likes to run, play music, cook and spend time with friends. She also likes to spend time with her cats, Fluffy, Clyde and Shadow.

When I asked her about her aspirations she replied, "I want to go back to University and study political science and I would like Jenny Macklin's job to be a Senator."

Kalana said that if she had any advice to give young Indigenous people it would be, "Be the change you want to see in other people".