Albury-born Jess Bennett, who was recently recognised for her work with Indigenous young people, hopes one day to bring her voice to the boardroom like Penny O'Neal.
Ms Bennett, who works at Richmond Football Club, was recently received the 2020 Ricci Marks award, formerly known as the Aboriginal Young Achievers Award, in recognition of her strong advocacy and leadership.
Ms Bennett, 22, who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Law and Arts, currently works part-time at Richmond's Korin Gamadji Institute but first became involved with the club program at 14.
"It means a lot; I am quite humbled by it, but at the same time, it is so nice to be recognised," Ms Bennett said.
"The things we do for our community are for our community, and this award is for all the young people that inspire me.
"It is for Richmond, and it is for (the Korin Gamadji Institute). Without them, I would not be the person that I am today."
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Ms Bennett, who graduated her law degree with honours, said an early camp held by the club for Indigenous young people helped her realise what was possible in life.
"I remember we stayed at Melbourne University, and for me back then, I was someone that did not think I would ever go to university," she said.
"I thought I would never have the money or would not be smart enough. I did not think it was a possibility for me.
"To have Luke (Murray) and KGI take us into a university and explain how the system works and tell us it is a possibility was amazing. Just knowing that there is a pathway and opportunities is so important for the young mob."
Working as a program coordinator, Ms Bennett now hopes to provide that same clarity and inspiration to other young people.
"I do not know where or when, but I want to end up in a position where I can make a change and have a real impact on our mob," Ms Bennett said.
"Being a person of colour and a woman, we are people that do not always have a seat at those big tables, making big decisions.
"If it is not me, I want to help someone get the opportunity to push themselves into those positions.
"I would love to be Peggy O'Neal one day."
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