Larissa-Lea Backo

For Larissa-Lea Backo, helping her community is just a way of life.

Although her career in the public service has been relatively short, it has also been diverse.

"I started in administration and worked my way up over 6 years with Child Safety Services," Larissa said.

"I have acted in a few positions and am currently acting as a Project Officer with ATSIS (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services).

"I'm working towards closing the gap and providing vital information to the community.

"I love being able to help the community in Mount Isa as I am a local girl. I am passionate about changing people's perceptions about Aboriginal people."

Larissa cites her family as her inspiration for pursuing a career helping the community.

"My family has worked in child protection and I was lucky to have great supervisors who always encouraged me to act in positions and take on further learning opportunities," she said.

Since beginning her work in child protection, Larissa has experienced some major challenges - all of which she took in her stride.

"I was the first person based in Normanton from Child Safety Services. It was tough both living and working in a remote community but a great experience!" she said.

Larissa's attitude of constant learning and growth she hopes will allow her to progress along her career path.

"I'm completing my Vocational Graduate Certificate which means I am eligible to become a Child Safety Officer," she said.

"I'm also completing the Diploma of Government Leadership Program over the next year and learning as much as possible about the Department of Communities' services."

Larissa says that young Indigenous people need to know that they can achieve whatever goal they want, with a little bit of hard work.

"Take every opportunity you can get," she said.

"There's a lot out there. If you work hard, you will get the results."