Sharna Alley is the newest Larrakia Nation member director after being nominated at our last AGM in November 2022. As a young Larrakia woman Sharna is determined to see Larrakia rise and lead as the Traditional Owners of this region.
We caught up with Sharna to hear about her long connection with Larrakia Nation, what she hopes to achieve while on the board and her vision for the future.
Q: What made you nominate for Larrakia Nation Board of Directors?
A: I want to do my part for the Nation. I want to be hands on and be involved with the decisions that directly impact my children, my family and my mob.
Larrakia Nation has a long way to go in terms of its potential and what we can be doing for our community. I want to offer a new young voice to the mix in the hope of making the Nation stronger and more unified.
Q: You’re a Larrakia woman, who are your family?
A: My Larrakia ties are with the Batcho and Roman/Danks families. My Nanna is Rona Alley (nee Batcho). Rona was a proper matriarch for our family, and her mother was Dedja Batcho. My biological grandfather was Roger Roman.
My Batcho side is a big family, my nannas and their brother all had big mob kids and now have blessed the Larrakia tribe with many grandchildren and great grandchildren to continue the Batcho legacy.
I hope to connect further with my Roman/Danks families soon. I didn’t get to grow up around them, but they are an important part of my identity, so I am excited to get to know them all.
I am also Torres Strait Islander, with ties to Badu Island from my Great-Grandpa Jaffar Ahmat, husband of Dedja Batcho.
My mother’s side of the family have connections to Darnley Island and are in the process of locating family and information due to Stolen Generations.
Q: What do you hope to bring to the board
A: I hope to bring a fresh and new perspective. I am 24, so still quite young. I can bring a lot to the table when it comes to discussing what our young people want and need to thrive on Larrakia Country. Times have changed over the years, and for our Nation to gain self-determination and governance I believe there needs to be diversity at the table.
For those who know me know I can be very strong willed and opinionated and I see this as a strength and proof that my mob and country are at the forefront of every move I make.
I am also so excited to learn from our prestigious board members.
Q: You have a young family, how important is the work that Larrakia Nation does for young Larrakia?
A: It’s hugely important. Larrakia Nation’s mission is to work together caring for our land, sea and our people. I relate to this mission whole heartedly because I think it’s so important that we put caring for Larrakia families and the sustainability of Larrakia Country first, so that all our children stay connected to country and culture.
Q: What are your earliest memories of Larrakia Nation?
A: My earliest moments are attending the community events as a little girl with my Aunty Yolly and Aunty Yasmin who have both worked at LNAC for a very long time. I also have memories of marching at the front with the Nation and my cousins at the annual NAIDOC marches.
A lot of my aunties and cousins have worked with Larrakia Nation, so the Nation has always played a role in my family. I acknowledge that my family has in return played a big role with the Nation over the years. I acknowledge that Larrakia Nation is built off the backs of Larrakia families.
Q: Why do you want to be a leader for Larrakia?
A: I honestly wouldn’t consider myself a “leader” as such, as I still have a lot to learn from my family and elders. I have a lot of big cousins, aunties and uncles and my parents that have paved the way for me, and I will always be grateful for that.
I know in my heart that I am on a mission for my mob, and that I am in it for the long run. I’m willing to do whatever I need to do, to ensure the sustainability and well-being of my mob, culture and country.
I want my sons to know that I did the best I could to do my part for our community and for them to always be proud Larrakia and Torres Strait Islander boys. If that’s all I achieve, I’ll be okay with that.
Q: What is something you want the people that live on Larrakia Country to know about Larrakia Nation?
A: It is important, that Larrakia people have a voice with what happens on our country. Larrakia people belong at every single decision making table here on Larrakia Country, that’s protocol.