Aunty Therese Webster

Aunty Therese comes from the Ngarigo people (mountain people from the Snowy Mountains) from Cooma in New South Wales.

She is passionate about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in particular "about our children and teenagers as they are our future," she says.

Aunty Therese is a celebrant, she "hatches, matches and dispatches" officiating namegiving ceremonies, weddings, funerals and Aboriginal ceremonies.

Aunty Therese has been a volunteer since she was nine years old, and has been giving to society for the last 55 years. She nursed for 43 years, including operating a nursing agency on the Gold Coast. She participated in Nurse of the Year 4 times and was awarded Charity Nurse of the Year.

Her goal in the future is to retire. After being recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis she has decided it is time to look after herself.

She likes to tell Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to never say "I can't". She likes to encourage them to look at the opportunities they have been given and to be proud of who they are and where they come from.

"My biggest achievement is my family. I travelled around Australia on a motorbike for two years as a nurse. The people I met inspired me to become who I am today"

Aunty Therese was the first Aboriginal nurse to complete her training at Parramatta Hospital.

"I proved to the matron that Aboriginal people can achieve by standing tall and proud."

Aunty Therese enjoys creating awareness about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and how we can work together to bridge the gap in education and health, and giving community members opportunities they may not know exist.

"My mother never had the opportunity to know who she was, as part of the stolen generation. She told people she was Italian for fear of having her children removed. She passed away suddenly at 60, 26 years ago. I believe I am now travelling the path for both of us, giving others the opportunity to know who they are and where they come from."