NCIE Programs Manager, April Long is a finalist in the 2014 Telstra Business Women’s Awards for Young Business Woman of the Year. The awards are a chance for the community to recognise inspirational business women from across Australia and encourage diversity and innovation. April shares why she is proud to be nominated for Young Business Woman of the Year.

To be a finalist for 2014 Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year is a massive honour and something that I am extremely proud of because it demonstrates to other young woman that regardless of your age, gender, sexuality, background or any other determinant you can achieve excellence if you follow your passion.

The greatest driving factor for my success is my passion and commitment to honouring the resilience that I have within me as a Koori woman.

My culture and ancestors have provided me with innovation, passion and creativity three critical skills in business that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have been practicing for over 2000 generations. I believe that I am empowered to be the most excellent person, manager and business woman that I can be, because I have a deep awareness and respect of the inherent resilience and strength of culture that is in every young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian.

It’s fantastic that Telstra has included young business woman in these awards. Young woman all around the country are running businesses, managing teams and demonstrating leadership within their families and communities each and every day.

Awards like this empower our future leaders to believe that they are capable of achieving and embodying excellence regardless of the many challenges that they face. I firmly believe in creating opportunity and liberating possibilities and awards such as these enable young people to be recognised not as leaders of the future, but leaders of today.

Find out more about the awards here.