Katie Van Vliet


My name is Katie Van Vliet, I’m from Muswellbrook and I am a Gamilaroi Wanaruah woman. My family have always lived in Muswellbrook.  My Nan originated from Muswellbrook so, my whole family lives here. We are a strong, really loving family.

I am part of the SRC at Muswellbrook High School, we plan fundraisers and stuff and we are known in our year group. There are four in our year so, if anyone has any concerns or anything they can come and talk to us at our meetings. I am also part of the Girls Academy, a group of young Aboriginal women that come together with our mentors Elizabeth Howard and Linda Dobel at school. It is just an area where the girls can all come together, they allow us to have a safe space to talk or whatever.

I think I’ve always wanted to be something like the School Captain. My Nan was a really strong leader within the community, so that kind of pushed me towards it as well. I just want to be able to help out people if I’m ever in a leadership position. It just allows me to open myself up because I feel like I’m strong enough to be a leader.

I think culture allows you to always have somewhere that you belong and that for me is a big thing. It’s like my Nan, she obviously grew up here, this is where I grew up as well, we have that connection. I will always have that with me.

“Culture allows you to always have somewhere to belong.”