Tamworth Ability Linker Bec Browning has been recognised for her outstanding community work with a nomination for the regional NAIDOC Inspirational Woman of the Year award.
Bec is an Ability Linker with Pathfinders and the North West Alliance and was nominated by Kirinari, one of the many community and disability services she works with.
In its nomination, Kirinari says: “Kirinari acknowledges the fantastic work that Bec does for Aboriginal people with disabilities in linking them to family past and present, [and] linking them to services that give greater independence and quality of life and inspiring people to live their best life.”
Bec admits to being “blown away” by her nomination and feels deeply honoured.
“I’m a Gomeroi woman and am Tamworth born and bred, and I have strong connections to my community,” she says. “I’ve been working as a Linker ever since the program started in Tamworth five years ago.
“I’m very keen on partnerships because we’ve all got to work together to make things better. Community engagement is my true passion.”
Bec spent time in the army and is qualified as a personal trainer, and also has a Diploma in Case Management. Before working as a Linker she spent time with the University of Newcastle’s Go For Fun program, reaching out to Aboriginal communities to promote healthy eating and healthy living.
In her work as a Linker Bec has run DRUMBEAT music sessions and mentored young girls at the Girls Academy at Oxley High School, and has run DRUMBEAT at the Coledale Community centre for women. Bec also works with a friend to run “Splash On Peel”, an Arts Group that focuses on mental health, wellbeing, helping with confidence and making social connections.
Her tireless work with the annual Festival of Abilities is another key part of her community engagement. The Festival attracts thousands of visitors every year, and showcases the wide variety of opportunities that are available in Tamworth and surrounding areas for all ages and abilities, allowing people to build social connections around common interests.
Because of people like Bec, businesses are now asking how they are able to make the region more inclusive. They’re continually opening their doors with volunteering roles and even paid positions to people that traditionally would be overlooked.
Brett Pischke, Pathfinders’ Program Manager for New England North West Ability Links, says Bec’s nomination is “a testimonial to the commitment Bec has for the job”.
“On behalf of the Pathfinders Ability Links team, I would like to thank the Kirinari organisation and congratulate Bec on her great work,” he says.
Bec says the most important thing is to “stay true to yourself, your community and be kind”.
“I love working in and being part of my community and whatever happens with the nomination, I’m just going to keep putting in.”
This post was written by northwestalliance