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Emily's a leader of the future

In this photo High School student Emily Backhouse is pictured after winning her second Nanga Mai Award for Outstanding Leadership. The NSW Department of Education’s Robyn Bale is also in the photo.

High School student, Emily Backhouse, after winning her second Nanga Mai Award for Outstanding Leadership with NSW Department of Education's Robyn Bale.


Emily Backhouse, a Dharawal woman and Mount Annan High School student, has won the New South Wales Nanga Mai Award for outstanding leadership. Twice.

The Award celebrates Aboriginal excellence in the New South Wales public education system.

“I was extremely shocked to win the award for a second time, but also very proud to see that the work that I do is being recognised,” Emily says.

Winning awards is not a new experience for Emily. In 2016, she won the Student Achievement Awards for Leadership, Citizenship and Community Service, and she has won the Aboriginal Student of the Year Award for Mount Annan High School on three occasions.

Emily also makes a big contribution to kids in her community in south-west Sydney. As the school vice-captain, she dedicates a lot of her time working with younger students at her school and other local primary schools.

“Working with younger students and encouraging them to better themselves is very important to me. I want to ensure they have the same opportunities that I’ve had,” Emily says.

“The best advice I can give to younger kids is to find something that you’re passionate about, chase it and grab every opportunity that you can.”

Emily has also been actively involved in the CREATE Foundation, Camp to Belong, NAIDOC Week and charity fundraisers.  Her goal is to pursue a career in community engagement.

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