Active in community life

In the remote town of Timber Creek, Lorraine Jones' multiple roles have significance beyond the boundaries of the small community. Lorraine combines work as one of the few women Aboriginal Police Liaison Officers in the Northern Territory, with her role as Councillor along with active participation in numerous associations serving the local area.

Only 22 years of age, she has been an elected member on the Timber Creek Community Government Council since its inception four years ago.

In a town where the community is determined to live in harmony, Lorraine is invaluable liaising between Council and Aboriginal elders. The Council itself comprises an equal numbers of Aboriginal and non Aboriginal representatives.

Elders are always consulted over decisions which may impact on religious or cultural traditions but, according to Town Clerk Martin Plum, ease of communication would be far more problematic without Lorraine's input.

Training in Darwin for work as a police aide has added a further dimension to the role she plays in Timber Creek community life. The work itself is worthwhile and, she says, it will give her the opportunity to take her skills and experience into other parts of the Territory in the future.

Among her many other roles, Lorraine is President of the ASSPA, an organisation which promotes the value of education for parents and children in the Aboriginal community and Vice President of the Ngallirru-wuli Association which runs local employment programs.

In addition, she is Vice President of the local Aboriginal Resource Centre which, as Martin Plum points out, is crucial for plans to make the most of a growing tourist industry in the region.

"Lorraine is highly respected for her work in the community and has broken down many of the barriers which often mitigate against women taking a more active and powerful role," he said.

Lorraine has also been nominated to attend this year's Youth Forum in Darwin where the knowledge and experience she has gained in four packed years of active community life should prove invaluable.