Aunty Sharon Slater a very proud Kamilaroi and Wiradjuri woman who won’t be silenced when it comes to protecting the rights and raising awareness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait children with severe disabilities.
For almost 2 decades now Aunty Sharon has given up her life to focus on raising her daughter Melissa, who has high needs Autism. Knowing that Melissa at a very young age was going to need special care, Aunty Sharon worked tirelessly to provide her daughter with the special care that she needed and deserved. She became a strong voice for her special need daughter when she discovered the system was failing in many ways and became an activist for Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander Children with high needs disabilities. Already with twin daughters, Aunty Sharon found and inner strength that she never thought she had to raise three children on her own after suddenly becoming a single parent.
She was a proud mother of her all of her daughters and provided them with a loving home environment even when the going got tough. As the children grew and Aunty Sharon became familiar with the lack of services and supports for high level special needs kids, Aunty Sharon knew that she had to be a strong voice for not only Melissa but for all of the other ‘forgotten ones’ as she calls them. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young adults who don’t have cultural safe or welcoming environments, organisations, schools or services. It’s through her unwavering passion for change, Aunty Sharon is a vocal member of community, sticking up for the ones often get over looked and are under appreciated in society.
Aunty Sharon works as director and patron for Wandarra which is an Aboriginal community organisation based in Broadmeadows servicing the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne. Its through there that she connects with other community members and gains strength for her cause, to have an Aboriginal owned and ran Special Needs adult learning and working facility. It would be the first in Australia but a place where she knows that not only her daughter Melissa could grow and thrive but the many other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with a disability could go.
An inspiration to not only her community but her family,
Aunty Sharon is an Activist, A mother, a grandmother and a strong voice for those who have been forgotten in the past but won’t be under her watch. Listen to her deeply inspiring story of courage, strength and grit as she reveals to Standing Strong Together Host Natasha Ferre her story. We celebrate her as a leader for International Women's Day 2021