Caring for the Children

Koori Mail, Wednesday 30 June 2021, Edition 754

Wiradjuri woman and graphic designer Leticia Quince is committed to improving services for children and young people, using her own experience in the child protection system.

That’s why she was recently named as the recipient of the Transgrid Indigenous Achievement Award at the 7 NEWS Young Achiever Awards NSW & ACT.

More than 400 guests from across New South Wales and the ACT attended Doltone House at Darling Island in Sydney for the Gala Awards Presentation dinner on April 30.

Ms Quince said she was blown away to be named as a finalist in the award category.

Surreal

“The feeling was very surreal,” Ms. Quince told the Koori Mail.

“And what made the evening even more special was having close friends there with me, because when I went up to accept my award, it’s like I had my own cheer squad!”

Ms. Quince, from Beresfield in NSW, has spent a number of years working as a Youth Development Coach in Uniting’s Extended Care Program in Dubbo, where she mentored you in out-of-home care to provide a seamless transition to independent living.

And now, Ms Quince is pursuing an exciting career running her own graphic design business, which itself has a focus on branding and identity ideas for Indigenous-owned business and community development, allowing Ms. Quince to embrace her culture on every step of her journey.

Ms. Quince was a recipient of the Indigenous Youth Leadership Program scholarship for Dubbo College Senior Campus from 2013 to 2014, and chairperson of the Dubbo City Youth Council from January 2015 to December 2016.

Ms. Quince has been working as a youth ambassador for AbSec since 2015 and she was recognised as Young Person of the Year at the 2020 NSW Aboriginal Child & Family Awards.

“All I do is try to be myself, and I feel just so honoured to be recognised for the work I am doing.”

“I am using my own experience of foster care to be an advocate for our brothers and sisters who are in the child protection system right now.”

“I am the eldest of six siblings, and they have been my main motivation in that I want to be a role model for them, and for my nieces and nephews who are in out-of-home care at the moment too.”

The Young Achiever awards acknowledge, encourage and promote the positive achievements of all young people up to and including 29 years of age with winners each receiving a trophy and $2,000 worth of other prizes.

Since its inception in 2014, the Young Achiever Awards have applauded the leadership, vision, excellence and commitment of young people, highlighting their efforts and success at the same time.

“I want other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to know that we don’t have to be defined by our childhood experiences.”

“As strong Aboriginal people, we have full capacity to take ownership of our own futures and the directions and goals we want to aim toward.”

We would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land that we stand and live upon. The beautiful Country created throughout our Dreamtime over 70,000 thousands of years ago. We’d like to pay our respects to our Elders past, present and future emerging for they how the acknowledge, guidance and resilience of our people. We’d also like to extend our gratitude for the gifts our Mother Earth and Baiame’s creations – for our people, land, waters & sky. We would like to further this to all our First Nations clients, businesses, creatives and community members across all Nations within Australia.