Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts is a proud Bundjalung woman. Vanessa is a storyteller who loves a yarn alongside being a writer, activists and is currently on her final stages to completing a Law and Social work degree at the University Of New South Wales. Vanessa took out the 2019 Australia’s young person’s human rights medal with her acceptance speech sharing the importance of abolishing the current system and demanding justice for Aboriginal deaths in custody and children in Out Of Home Care.
At the age of 11, Vanessa was forcibly removed from her family and kinship and placed into out-of-home care which stemmed from systemic racism. Vanessa ran from that system to undertake her fight. Vanessa’s commitment to justice and love stems from her early childhood years, proudly standing with her father at marches and hearing the experiences he has had to face being a blak Bundjalung warrior growing up in Australia.
Vanessa’s has a lifetime commitment to addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal children in custody and the OOHC system which continues to respond with punitive measures, followed by addressing the complex trauma and pain First Nations people live with every day. Vanessa is proud to be a part of the resilience, the love, the kinship and truth that stems from the roots of being First Nations, and will continue to demand justice for the lives, bodies and lands stolen by white supremacy. Vanessa only has one question for the world, will you show up on the right side of justice and love?