2 – 9 July 2023
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Samara Fernandez-Brown

2021
Youth of the Year

Samara Fernandez‐Brown is a proud Warlpiri woman from Yuendumu, located three hours north-west of Alice Springs.

Samara is an incredible advocate for her people and has become a social justice activist following the shooting and death of her cousin, Kumanjayi Walker in 2019. She has become a vocal activist, coordinating the “Justice For Walker” campaign, liaising between Warlpiri Elders and the police, judicial system and the media, organising rallies, fundraising to cover the case’s legal fees all while remaining a peaceful, thoughtful and impassioned spokesperson for her family, community and the broader deaths in custody movement.

She is a board member of the Dhadjowa Foundation, a national grassroots organisation that's been established to provide strategic, coordinated and culturally appropriate support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families whose loved ones have died in custody.

Completing her schooling in Adelaide, she is now studying a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of South Australia. After graduating, she’s hoping to use these skills to help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people overcome ingrained disadvantage and realise their inherent resilience and strength.