Jodie Ryan

Jodie Ryan is a leader and role model for young Aboriginal people across Ballarat and the Western Region of Victoria.

Honour Roll

Jodie was born in Ballarat in 1975 and after completing her secondary schooling at Ballarat High School, she gained a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Ballarat in 1999. She is currently completing the Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) program.

Whilst studying at the University of Ballarat, Jodie was employed as the Aboriginal Student Support and Recruitment Officer and during that period she successfully doubled the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in higher education.

Jodie worked in the corporate business world as an accountant with Ernst & Young in Melbourne from 1999-2001.

Already at her young age Jodie has received many honours and awards. In 1999, Jodie received the NAIDOC (National Aboriginal Islander Day Observance Committee) Victorian Aboriginal Young Achiever of the Year Award. The previous year, she was a finalist in the Koori section of the Victorian Outstanding Student of the Year awards for the TAFE sector.

Jodie's proudest achievement so far was in 2002, when she went to Geneva as the Australian youth representative to the United National Work Group on Indigenous Populations. At this forum, she spoke on international standards setting for Indigenous people.

In 2002, Jodie was elected to the Tumbukka Regional Board of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Commission (ATSIC) with a record number of votes and in the same year she became a member of the University of Ballarat Council. Whilst at the University of Ballarat, Jodie developed a six-day orientation and recruitment program aimed at introducing Aboriginal students to further education programs, which has been recognised by the Commonwealth Department for Education, Training and Youth Affairs as a best practice model.

Jodie is currently employed by the Victorian Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development as an Aboriginal Business Development Officer, where she assists Indigenous individuals and community organisations to develop business ideas and concepts. To build on her skills, in 2002 she attended a leadership program at the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre in Darwin.

Jodie says she enjoys trying to make a difference to people's lives. "In my role as an Aboriginal Student Support and Recruitment Officer, I could see how positive opportunities can make such a difference to communities. Working in business development is such a positive area: it's possible to make positive change for people to be more self-determined."