Meet our Executive – Nakia Cadd

10.08.21 SHARE

Meet our Executive - Nakia Cadd

Koorie Youth Council

Nakia Cadd is a proud Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung and Bunitj woman living in northern metro Melbourne. Learn all about how Nakia became a KYC Executive member and how she wants to contribute to improving life for young mob.


How and why did you get involved with the KYC Executive?

I got involved with KYC in 2014. After having taken part in youth programs such as KGI and NIYLA, I found confidence, passion and value in my voice. I felt as though it was time to become part of something that would help, change and influence the lives of young people in our communities and our children.

What are the best things about being part of the KYC Executive?

Being an Executive member has provided me with countless opportunities including supporting my art and speaking on panels about topics I’m passionate about. KYC has motivated me in both work life and home life. What I love most is the safe, loving, encouraging, cultural space that’s provided for both myself and my son. Being supported since I first joined and as a young mum has made my experience as part of the Exec memorable and enjoyable.

What are the best things about the Koorie Youth Summit?

I’d say that one of the best things is seeing the Koorie Youth Summit grow and change. Over the years you can see a variety of experiences, activities, and guest speakers. But the reoccurring thing that you continually see is the space being filled with beautiful smiles of our mob, and this space is culturally safe, engaging and supportive. The last couple of years I’ve also been able to experience the Koorie Youth Summit in the role of a mum too and the fact that it was so accommodating reassured me that they wanted to remove any barriers for any young mob wanting to participate. I really loved seeing all our mob embracing our children and reinforcing that our bubs are raised by a community. It’s so deadly!

What issues are important to you? What do you want to see improve/change for young mob?

Two topics that have personally affected me are education and mental health in which I want to actively improve/change for our mob. I want to change the stigma around mental health in our community, increasing support for our young mob struggling with their mental health and improving the amount of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people enrolled in education. Increase access, awareness and support. Decrease stigma, barriers and stereotypes.

Who are your role models and why?

I have a few role models for different aspects of my life. But three that I no doubt look up to are my staunch Aboriginal Grandmothers (Muriel Bamblett and Delsie Lillyst) and Mother (Jodie Cadd). They have each played a huge role in my life, sharing their stories, knowledge and teaching me the importance of using my voice and being educated. They possess an abundance of knowledge, love, strength, care, resilience, determination and they have contributed immensely to our community. My journey has been guided by them and has shaped me into the woman and mother I am today. I’m forever grateful.

What’s your favourite quote and why?

“Use fear as an engine, not a brake”. This is one of my favourite quotes because I used to steer away from opportunities and engaging due to my fear and anxiety. But I realised that living in fear wouldn’t help myself nor the people around me. Knowing that I’m the narrator of my own journey, I’ve been able to use fear as an engine to drive me, to motivate me and to take chances.

What things do you do to keep well in mind, body and spirit?

Not only acting on things to keep your mind, body and spirit well, but understanding when you’re exhausted and need to refuel is important. I like to take time out to do the things I love like write, draw, read, go outside and extra sleep (when I can).