Staff Profile: Diane Lee, Human Resources Co-Coordinator, NSW Aboriginal Land Council
I’m a Wiradjuri woman from Forbes, with strong connections to Parkes through my father’s side of the family. I’m also mother to four children, who keep me very busy at home.
I have the honour of being one of the longest serving staff members in the Land Rights network. I’ve worked for the NSW Aboriginal Land Council for 25 years!My mother and father were members of the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council, and I would go to meetings with them. I joined up as soon as I turned 18, and became very active in my LALC.
My father was also the Culture and Heritage officer in the Western Metropolitan Regional Aboriginal Land Council. I followed in his footsteps and sat on the Housing Committee and Culture and Heritage Committee at Gandangara LALC, as well as being its Treasurer.
Not long after I finished high school, I started at NSWALC as a trainee and worked for the Aboriginal Land Council Accounting Service. Little did I know that it would be the first of many roles and experiences for me, at NSWALC.
I had a knack for numbers, and soon moved into Finance. We used to do the accounts for the LALCs, and I looked after the Central Region. I then helped set up the new Funeral Fund section, and ended up staying with the Fund for two-and-a-half years.
I moved back to Finance and started doing the Payroll, which I continued when my position was moved into the Human Resources and Training area. I found I really liked problem-solving and more interaction with staff members, so I trained as a Human Resources Officer and then became Payroll Co-Ordinator about five years ago.
I now supervise payroll, do recruitment, Workplace Health and Safety, and Workers’ Compensation. And it makes me really happy that other staff members feel confident in coming to speak with me about their issues and needs.
I have many great memories over the 25 years I’ve been with the Land Rights network, but two of the most important are the friends I’ve made, and how much I’ve learned about my own culture. I think we all need to be strong, as there are many situations where we need to tap into our quiet strength. Working with other Wiradjuri people strengthens me too.
When I think back, there have been some dramatic changes in the services and support NSWALC offers LALCs. The Zone Offices are a great example of that, and have made a major difference in how we all connect.
Having walked such a long road here, I really believe more than ever that young people are the future of the Land Rights network. It’s important they get a feel for what their local Land Council is all about as soon as they can, and take the personal responsibility to have input into that. Their contributions matter. They will be our future leaders, so it’s important they engage and learn now.