Arts, Education and Law's 2020 Outstanding First Peoples Alumnus

Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

Jayde is a proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman and her family are Bwgcolman, Gunggandji and Mualgal. She is a generational Griffith University Law graduate, with her mother also graduating from Griffith with a law degree.

"My mum and my aunties inspired me to go to university. They excelled at Griffith and went on to become successful barristers” Jayde said.

Additionally, the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the criminal justice system was also a motivator for Jayde to study law. After experiencing her own family and friends set in a cycle of disadvantage, Jayde wanted to see an increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lawyers, judges and business owners.

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours, Jayde has embarked on an impressive career. Her first role was a Judge’s Associate to His Honour Judge Everson, presiding in the District Court of Queensland in Far North Queensland. After her impressive initial tenure and positive community impacts, His Honour Judge Everson asked Jayde to consider an additional year as a Judge’s Associate – which she accepted.

Jayde then worked at Allens Linklaters, where at the time, she was the only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lawyer in the firm. She specialised in Environment and Planning law and worked closely with the firm on its Reconciliation Action Plan, mentoring program and other initiatives aimed at increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander commercial lawyers. Jayde then moved in-house and worked as legal counsel with the Queensland Investment Corporation and then to Ernst & Young as a manager in the Risk Transformation and Indigenous Sector Practice.

She has also been involved in ground-breaking projects and has contributed to a number of thought leadership discussions regarding Treaties, Native Title and developing strategies focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander procurement. Her article in The Guardian (6 June 2019) 'We must demand a seat at the table when decisions are being made about us – it's Mabo's legacy', airs a response regarding the biennial Mabo oration.

"I try to avoid framing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in a deficit discourse but what remains at the front of my mind is the alarming rise in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide and our continuing over representation in the criminal justice system.

"Equipping our next generation with the experience, opportunity and savviness needed to navigate our ever-changing political climate and to achieve structural and system changes remains a priority," Jayde said.

Jayde is pioneering a new way of approaching barriers in the industry, bridging the gap between consultants, business leaders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for sustainable outcomes. Projects of this type have never been undertaken in Australia before, and her work in this area has seen significant achievements that are being replicated across the sector.

Outside of her corporate role, Jayde volunteers a significant portion of her spare time to working with young people and creating change on industry boards. Jayde has held a number of community appointments including:

  • Inaugural Chair of the AFL Queensland Diversity Board
  • Board member of First Nations Foundation
  • Council Member of the Queensland Multicultural Council
  • Member of the Queensland Law Society Reconciliation Action Plan Committee and First Nations Advancement Committee
  • Board member of the Sporting Chance Foundation
  • Member of the Smiths Family Advisory Group on issues concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Continuing with her passion to work with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Jayde has mentored students through the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and acts as a role model through the Aurora Outreach Program, where she speaks to high school students about career and life pathways. Jayde was also a liaison officer in the 2018 Aurora Education Foundation, International Study Tour, a scholarship program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates to visit universities in the United States and the United Kingdom, including Harvard, New York University, Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge.

Jayde’s dedication to social justice advancement, improving the engagement between industry and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community across both her personal and professional life, has affirmed her title of Arts, Education and Law's 2020 Outstanding First Peoples Alumnus.

"I am so grateful to receive this award and am proud to be among an inspiring group of First Nations alumni.

"Griffith University and the GUMURRII Student Success Unit really set my career up for success. It provided me with the skills to make a positive impact in the community," said Jayde.

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