Cath Thomas has a vision for Wallaga Lake Koori village, and she’s putting in the hard yards to make it happen.
“I would really like to see Wallaga running their own programs, Umbarra back up and running,” she said.
“A lot of our people are educated and have training. When our young people finish school, they want to stay on country and work – it would be great to see them managing programs.”
Ms Thomas has been instrumental in the construction of the new children’s playground, and said the project is close to her heart.
“I grew up at Wallaga – we did have a park, and it was burnt down almost 20 years ago,” she said.
“The kids are amazed, because they started this and they’re finally seeing it built.”
Ms Thomas works for the Red Cross and grew up in the village, and says that gives her a unique perspective.
“I grew up here, and now I stand looking in,” she said.
“I’ve worked in mainstream jobs outside of the community. I wanted that to be brought back, and the Red Cross has given me that opportunity.”