Proud Noongar and Yamatji woman, Aunty Doris Hill achieved a significant milestone this year by completing a Bachelor of Arts in Community Development at Murdoch University.
The 78-year-old's accomplishment reflects a lifelong commitment to fostering a more compassionate and community-focused world.
As the eldest of seven children, Aunty Doris experienced a bustling upbringing in a large family.
The family expanded to 13 children when her mother took in six cousins, adding to the dynamic of her formative years.
"My mother, Helen Taylor, continues to inspire me every day. She cared for and raised two families in her short 44 years of life," Aunty Doris said.
Having missed out on high school, Aunty Doris embarked on a career as a cleaner.
However her journey took a turn as she transitioned into the role of an advocate for Aboriginal people.
Aunty Doris holds the vital position of Elder co-researcher in Pride Yarns, a groundbreaking initiative led by Elders aimed at enhancing the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQA+ youth.
Her impactful contributions extend to the Ngulluk Koolunga Ngulluk Koort (Our Children, Our Heart) Project at Telethon Kids Institute.
"It's very important for us Elders to have input into Aboriginal research and education," Aunty Doris said.
"Many of our young ones are growing up feeling unwanted and unloved within the broader community, and its critical that we change that."
Additionally, she generously volunteers her time to support young Aboriginal children in a primary school setting.
"My advice to Aboriginal women thinking about pursuing a career in research is to get the education needed to follow your dream, no matter what," she said.