Jill Hill, a Nyoongar woman who has been working at Clontarf Aboriginal College since 1991, was recently named winner of the Excellence in Indigenous Education & Boarding Leadership award, part of the national Indigenous Boarding Awards.
The category, one of five in the awards program for 2020, was open to individuals and organisations, and recognised Ms Hill as meeting the category criteria of ‘challenging common practices and pursuing excellence in order to make a difference to the lives of Indigenous boarders’.
Over the past 29 years, Ms Hill has been a dedicated member of the Clontarf community, working in roles including Receptionist, Aboriginal Teaching Assistant, and her current position in the College Leadership Team as the Community Liaison Officer; she also leads cultural awareness professional development for College staff.
Clontarf Principal, Troy Hayter, said that through her work at the College and the wider community, Ms Hill was an advocate for Indigenous education, equity in education and reconciliation.
“Jill is a wonderful support for families, students and staff alike,” Mr Hayter said.
“[She] works closely with families from all around Western Australia, the Northern Territory and South Australia to support them and their children to have success at boarding school,”
“She works closely with external agencies to ensure families are supported and that students remain connected to their community, whilst respecting the land on which they are staying,”
In her work at Clontarf, Ms Hill has supported more than 1400 boarding students and families over the last 20 years, has supported families with ABSTUDY, phone calls to families with students when students have been homesick or going through cultural processes.
Graduate boarding students still visit and ask for ‘Aunty Jill’ as she is respectfully and affectionately known, to say thank you and to keep in touch.