Velma Gara

Velma Gara is a well-known media personality in the Townsville community.

Her extensive career in the media has crossed over into print, radio and television, but the idea of being seen as a role model still comes as a surprise to her.

"It's a bit bizarre because it wasn't a goal of mine. I can't remember who I looked up to when I was growing up - I just trusted my gut instinct to make decisions that I thought would make me a better person and do things that I loved which are playing basketball and working in media."

Beside her time working in media, Velma's basketball career took her all the way to the WNBL as a member of the Lady Bullets.

"Before making the WNBL I was told it may be difficult for me to make the team because there were plenty of players from southern Queensland better than those from the north," she said.

"But I trained hard, took time off work and attended the training camp and made the team!

"I think my philosophy at the time was if I didn't grab the opportunities before me, I would be wondering later in life about the 'what ifs'."

Velma's path has now led her to a position with PASS Australia, where she can work with young Indigenous people.

"I thought it would be ideal to work with our young people to share my experiences - and hopefully pass on some knowledge that could help them with their future endeavours."