Sandra Levers

The first thing you notice when meeting Sandra Levers is her infectious smile and laughter. With love, support and guidance from her family Sandra has been able to absorb inspiration from all parts of her life.

"I grew up in a very extended family with one sister and one brother, but numerous cousins, aunties, uncles and classificatory families," Sandra proudly states.

Her Aboriginal background goes all over far north Queensland, which includes on her father's side her grandfather, Yidindji/Djabugay from the Atherton Tableland, Kuranda and Cairns area and her grandmother a Muluridgi woman from the Mareeba area.

On Sandra's mother's side her grandfather was a Tagalaga man from the Croydon and Normanton area and her grandmother was a Kuku Yalangi woman from Maytown near Laura in Cape York.

Sandra was the first of her family to complete Year 12 and tackle a Bachelor of Arts.

"I was fortunate to speak at many conferences and workshops but none bigger or more humbling and a privilege to speak at than the 36th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Nagasaki back in 1980," Sandra says.

"My experiences have led me teach at places like the Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University), James Cook University and the Centre for Remote Health in Alice Springs."

But Sandra smiles and says that her biggest and most blessed achievements, however, have been her three sons, Nathaniel (Archie), Radayne, and Leslie Pete; including being the proud grandmother to their children.

One of the most profound influences on Sandra has been her big cousin Mick Miller who was teaching at the school that she attended.

"It was incredible to see him be a part of something that many thought was still unattainable to us. I knew however, if he could do it, then there was no reason that I couldn't.

Mick Miller was Sandra's role model in so many ways, breaking new ground, being diplomatic and yet gently assertive.

Sandra says that being educated (through the system) she hopes that young people will not lose sight of who they are, where they come from and how their ancestors fought for the rights and privileges that they enjoy now.