Margaret Malezer

Margaret Malezer, a Gubbi Gubbi and Kamilaroi woman has become a leader through hard work.

Born in Brisbane Margaret grew up in Inala and attained Bachelor of Teaching and Bachelor of Education degrees through Griffith University.

She currently holds a position as Principal Project Officer with Queensland Department of Education Training and Employment working with schools to Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives (EATSIP) across the Far North Region of Queensland.

"I want Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to experience success throughout their education beginning with a positive transition into school, through to the completion of year 12," she explains.

On leaving school after year ten, Margaret completed an office training course and worked in an office as a comptometrist.

"After working for a brief period of time in the private sector I successfully applied for a permanent full-time position in the Commonwealth Public Service," says Margaret.

She completed her degrees in 1995 and moved to Cairns to teach at Cairns West State School, Parramatta State School and then at Cairns Indigenous School Support Unit.

Margaret has also holds positions with the Queensland Teachers' Union, Queensland Council of Unions, the Queensland Indigenous Education Consultative Committee, Australian Women's Educators and the Cairns City Council's First Nation Peoples Advisory Committee.

"I coordinate meetings for a group of Indigenous Educators in the Cairns area and network with a broad range of Indigenous Educators across Queensland," Margaret says.

With very low self-esteem and disconnected from the rest of her peers in school Margaret felt that she was ill-prepared to transition into the workforce.

Margaret's turning point was being able to finish school and says that her mother has been her biggest influence growing up.

"She had faith in me and supported me throughout my transition year from school to work and she provided guidance and support when I became a mum," she reflects.

Margaret hopes that young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders see change as an opportunity for a new adventure and chapter in their lives.

DESCRIPTION: Photo courtesy of Nathan Williams