Team Spotlight: Nicky Newley-Guivarra

Posted 12 November, 2020
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Nicky Newley-Guivarra

Each month we’re featuring a member of the Hepatitis Queensland team so you can get to know us. This month we’re shining the spotlight on Nicky Newley-Guivarra, a previous staff member and current member of our Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group.

When were you involved with Hepatitis Queensland?
2008 to 2015 and then in 2020 as part of the Reconciliation Action Plan working group.

What was your role?
I was a ‘Project Officer’ but I fought to be an Indigenous Project Officer as it meant more about the job and me as a person.

What was a typical day like?
In the beginning, it was all about gaining knowledge for me. I had a lived experience around drug use and hep C, and I had studied but this was my first ‘real’ job. I managed the Art and Story Project – it had a lot of names over the years, but I worked closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities doing education and teaching art skills around sand painting. The first six months was very quiet and then I started using my family Guivarra, and things got really busy!

What did you enjoy most about your role?
Working out in the community. I loved talking with people and sharing my story to empower people from my community. I enjoyed the travel too, I ran workshops all over Queensland. I even got to run workshops in Mapoon where my family are from, which allowed me to reconnect with family I hadn’t seen for over 30 years.

I have an Arts degree so I could bring together the knowledge I learnt, my own experience and my art background. I even won an award for my work!

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Painting. I am an artist. This is why this position was so perfect for me.

What three words best describe you?
That is a hard one. I am creative, funny, can yarn with anyone, and about my family. That is a few more than three…

Who inspires you?
When I was working at Hep Queensland I was inspired by so many people. I always wanted to be able to speak and present like James Ward, and the work that Dr Mark Wenitong did (and still does!) with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is inspiring.

If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring?
Paint, canvas and brushes

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