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Yvonne is an independent councillor and the first Aboriginal Councillor in the City of Sydney's 180-year history. She was born and raised in inner Sydney but maintains strong ties to her Wiradjuri homelands of Cowra and the Riverina areas of New South Wales.
Yvonne was inspired to run for Council to ensure local government is representative, helping those who have traditionally been excluded find their voice and influence change. Her vision is for a green, vibrant and inclusive Sydney humming with opportunity for all.
In her first term, Yvonne has consistently advocated for meaningful consultation with the local community and for Council to be more responsive in addressing prominent issues and concerns. Among those, she has campaigned for greater representation of First Nations people in the public domain and for the development of more affordable and social housing to tackle the ongoing housing crisis.
Prior to her election to Council, Yvonne has held numerous senior positions in NSW Government, non-government and Aboriginal controlled organisations working across health, human services, childcare, child protection, housing, disability services and Aboriginal heritage. She has served as the elected Chair of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Deputy Chair of the NSW Australia Day Council and as a Board member of Domestic Violence NSW and Redfern Jarjum College.
Yvonne follows in the footsteps of a proud tradition of activists and change-makers (including her great-aunt Mum Shirl and her uncle Paul Coe, a prominent Aboriginal rights campaigner). Her family were instrumental in establishing the Aboriginal Children’s Service, Aboriginal Medical Service and Aboriginal Legal Service in Redfern.
Yvonne was awarded the 2019 NSW Volunteer of the Year for the South Sydney Region and in 2022 was recognised as the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year and appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the Aboriginal community. She also recently published her debut novel, Sixty-Seven Days. The previously unpublished manuscript was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards David Unaipon Award.
Further information is available at https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/council-governance-administration/open-access-information