Andrea Mason OAM

Indigenous leader and business woman of the year (2016)

2017 NT Australian of the Year

Working across a 350,000 square kilometre stretch of central Australia, Andrea Mason is helping Indigenous women to raise strong, healthy children. As the Chief Executive Officer of the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Women's Council, Andrea brings together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal thinking to create employment, support health and wellbeing, and tackle domestic violence and other social challenges. With deep respect for local language, law and culture, Andrea is leading innovative social enterprises, such as the Tjanpi Desert Weavers, building micro businesses, teaching valuable employment skills, and melding traditional healers with the best of western medicine to maximise healing and well-being. She is determined to help children and young people realise the same aspirations as their urban counterparts. A high achiever, Andrea was the first Indigenous Australian woman to lead a political party, after the Family First Party chose her as its national leader in 2004. Today, Andrea's commitment, compassion and drive to support families in the vast NPY region is indefatigable.