A huge congratulations to Natasha Chong (“Chongy”) on winning the 2016 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS), Trevor Christianson award.

NAAJA Chairperson, Vernon Patullo accepted the award on behalf of Chongy at the recent NATSILS meeting in Adelaide.

Chongy is a Wakka Wakka woman from Mareeba, Queensland. She was born in Darwin and raised in Katherine.  For the past 3 years she has been the Senior Client Services Officer in NAAJA’s Katherine office. Put simply, Chongy is the indispensable link between our clients and lawyers. She ensures our clients understand the legal system, and  lawyers understand our clients.

Chongy knows everyone and everyone knows her.  She works miracles tracking down people  and

Natasha Chong

Natasha Chong

no-one questions her authority. Such is her reverence in the community that she is treated like an oracle by clients, family, lawyers, and Magistrates alike.

She demonstrates an exceptional commitment to the rights of Aboriginal people on a daily basis.  She works intensively with those most in need, particularly young people, in a way that goes beyond her job description and hours of employment. Such is her commitment to Aboriginal people of the Katherine region that she spends much of her own time assisting other local agencies to help her people. All of this while juggling the challenges of being a single mother of a large family. She is truly exceptional.

Vernon Patullo accepting Natasha's award