After more than two decades tearing down the barriers between the social work profession and Indigenous communities, Professor Susan Green has had her work nationally recognised.
At the end of last year, Professor Green was announced as the winner for her contribution to Indigenous research at the 2020 National Indigenous Allied Health Awards.
"For me personally, it's an amazing honour to be recognised by my community," said the Wiradjuri woman from Wagga.
"I knew I'd been shortlisted for the award. It was such a great honour even that someone had taken the time to nominate me."
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Professor Green's work has been focused on "restoration and revitalisation" of the relationship between Indigenous communities and social work.
She has worked all over the nation, but for the past couple of years, she has come home to Wagga.
"The main positive thing, for me, is that the community and elders trust me to carry on the work that they've been doing for a very long time," she said.
"Given the past in removal of children, social work has not always been welcomed by our communities. Many elders have done a lot of work to turn around that relationship with social work."
Professor Green describes her years of research as "based on the community's wants and needs". By involving elders and community members, she said her research and results are "owned by the community".
"We need to go into communities and ask what they want, and what their priorities are," she said.
Over the past several years, Professor Green has managed to promote the voice of Wiradjuri people within Charles Sturt University's Indigenous Australian Studies courses.
Currently, she has 90 students enrolled in her two-year culture and language course at the university.
There have already been 40 first-year enrollments ahead of the semester's start in a few weeks' time.
"It's growing every year," Professor Green said.
"There's still so much work to be done around getting the knowledge published, but we're getting there."