Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo (left) & Clare McHugh in the courtyard of the NCIE, Redfern.
NCIE CEO, Clare McHugh comes from a long line of strong Aboriginal women: great grandmother, Violet Leslie (née Smith), grandmother, Zona Martin (née Leslie) and mother, Stella McHugh (née Griffen). Her grandmother was born on Moree Mission in NSW. She went on to raised 11 children between Moree Mission, Walcha Mission in NSW and Charleville Reserve in QLD, before finally settling in Toowoomba, QLD, after the government removed restrictions which forced Aboriginal people to live on missions and reserves.
Clare is a Gamilaroi and Dhungutti person, associated with both the Redfern and La Perouse Aboriginal communities and has worked extensively in the NSW Land Rights system.
As CEO of NCIE, Clare works with up to 100 casual, part-time and full-time staff in roles as varied as swimming instructors, community facilitators, personal trainers, finance and HR officers, and hospitality workers. She oversees our Gym, Pool, Accommodation, Conference and Catering enterprises, as well as IDX, Job Ready and Corporate…and any events, programs and associated happenings at out Redfern site. It’s non-stop.
Clare says, “Growing up, my mum always instilled in me a strong pride and knowledge of my Aboriginal heritage and identity by sharing the stories of our family. As long as I can remember, my mum worked passionately to make positive changes for our people. She did it quietly and in the background. I like to think I am following in my mother’s footsteps. My entire career has been built on creating positive change for my people, and working at the NCIE allows me to continue to do what I love”.
Clare is a proud mum to Kiraban, Olly, Stella and Violet and she continues to pass down a strong sense of pride and identity by sharing the knowledge and stories her mother passed down to her.
At NCIE we are so proud to have Clare as our inspiring, straight-talking, hard-working CEO. Her heart is in her culture, and culture in her heart.
NCIE CEO Clare McHugh.