It is all possible!

Connection to Land, Sea & Sky Called This Regional Career Builder Home

Ash grew up on the South Coast before moving to Darwin but as a proud Wandi-Wandandian woman connection to the land, sea and sky of her Country was calling. 

She returned to the South Coast and studied to be an Assistant in Nursing (AIN) through Nowra TAFE – completing her placement at Cleveland lodge. This inspired her to engage in further study to become a Registered Nurse (RN) at university.  

Ash later switched her degree to teaching and took a role as the St John’s Aboriginal Support Officer in Nowra – running Indigenous programs like mentoring designed to keep kids in school. It was here Ash found her passion for helping kids overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. She had overcome her own fair share growing up with the help of Indigenous and non-Indigenous mentors so she knew the difference it can make. One of her sons battled with multiple learning difficulties and getting the help he and other kids needed became her mission. 

Ash later established Ripe Mentoring to do just this and deliver services in schools. With more study under her belt, she expanded into business mentoring and showing aspiring business owners how to write a business plan and pitch their ideas. 

Ash says she hopes her journey inspires others: 

“I hope my journey can be a stepping stone path for others to follow.” 

“People have seen where I’ve come from, and I’ve had such strong connections and relationships in this community that have weaved together like a spider web of support to help me get to where I am today.” 

The business has now rebranded as ‘Growth Guard’ and brings in two other inspiring Aboriginal women who desire to create a ‘Cultural Hub’ for community connection, where workshops can also be run and offer additional services such as grant writing. 

Ash’s passion for her culture still runs deep and she has been instrumental in organising the Yuin Nation Birriga Bunaan – a Traditional women’s and men’s ceremony, gathering on Country to share sacred knowledge, Lore, songlines and dreaming tracks that will be held in 2025. It follows successful events in 2019 and 2024 where thousands of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people gathered together with Elders for healing and to celebrate culture together on Country. 

Keep an eye on our events page to learn more about this cultural event on the South Coast that’s not to be missed. 

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