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Jnaallii: executive assistant

Jnaallii Penrith: executive assistant, Preston
Training gives Jnaallii an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of operating a service

Jnaallii Penrith is a prize-winning student, an executive assistant, a mother of two and a leader in the Aboriginal community.

She is also captain of her netball team and six nights a week, at least one member of her young family plays sport. “It certainly has its challenges at times!” Jnaallii says of her busy schedule. “I’ve never really asked myself how we manage; we just do.

Jnaallii had her first child while still at school. Premature birth and complications meant a long hospital stay; on discharge, both mother and son went back to school. “Northlands Secondary College was of great support — they allowed me to have him in classes until I secured daycare,” Jnaallii says. “Having my son made me even more determined to complete my VCE.”

She succeeded, and with the support of family, completed a Diploma of Business at Melbourne Polytechnic. “My sister encouraged me to do the course with her as a path to working for our community.”

Jnaallii was the institute’s “Indigenous Student of the Year” in 2014 and employed as executive assistant at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service. “I utilise everything I learned daily. Training has given me a more in-depth knowledge of all aspects of operating a service.”

Jnaallii helped the service establish an Autism Awareness Week (she has a child on the autism spectrum) and is on the board of Yappera, a long day care centre.

She is currently studying a Diploma of Governance, has enrolled in a Diploma of Management and has used her new skills to help accredit dental services.

“My heart and soul is focused on bettering and strengthening Aboriginal communities. I hope to prepare myself for management roles, board positions and become a CEO of one of our Aboriginal organisations . . . I want to help the Victorian Aboriginal community establish its own university.”

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