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Pictured above: Nikylah-Lee and her artwork. 

Sharing First Nations culture and giving back to the community already comes naturally for Aboriginal Hostels Limited (AHL) resident Nikylah-Lee Byno, despite her young age.

AHL is proud to confirm that Nikylah-Lee, one of our secondary education students staying at our Grey Street Hostel in Dubbo, recently received the prestigious National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA) Cultural Pride and Inclusion Award.

NASCA’s Dubbo South Young Women's Academy, which works with students to improve school attendance, performance and strengthen cultural pride and identity, nominated Nikylah-Lee for this award to recognise her ongoing commitment and contribution to the Academy.

Nikylah-Lee, a proud Murrawarri young woman from Weilmoringle, uses art to connect with her family and culture, and shares her knowledge with other students.

‘In the future, I hope to work with children and continue sharing my art and knowledge with young people, to help them connect with culture and become strong leaders,’ Nikylah-Lee said.

Nikylah-Lee’s achievements continue to be recognised within her community, having co-designed the 2021 NAIDOC Week T-shirts for Dubbo College South Campus staff and designed a mural for Dubbo College South Campus’ 2022 NAIDOC celebrations.

Nikylah-Lee also advocates for First Nations students as the Academy’s representative on the Youth Voice Committee and participates in the Junior Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG).

Hailing from a small community in Far West New South Wales, with a population of around 70 people, Nikylah-Lee has been staying at Grey Street Hostel in Dubbo for the past 3 years.

Kristy Hill, Head of Boarding and her team at the Dubbo secondary education hostel play a crucial role in supporting Nikylah-Lee and the other students during their stay.

AHL’s secondary education students are provided with the best possible education journey, the highest level of care and protection, enjoy a safe and culturally appropriate environment and have access to social and extra-curricular opportunities.

‘I absolutely love my job – empowering young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth through education,’ Kristy Hill said.

Congratulations Nikylah-Lee Byno, we are all so proud of you!

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