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Andrea Mason

Indigenous Corporate Leadership

program—Andrea Mason

Andrea Mason is a Karoni and Ngaanyatjarra

woman and CEO of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara

Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council. In that

role, she manages over 100 staff who provide

services across 350,000 square kilometres of central

Australia. She won the 2016 Northern Territory

Business Woman of the Year Award and the 2017

Northern Territory Australian of the Year Award. But

like other women dedicated to serving community

in key roles, Andrea reflected on the modest

expectations placed on that form of leadership and

the limited opportunities on offer:

The majority of Aboriginal women in CEO or

general manager roles are working in the health

or community sector. We don’t see ourselves as

business leaders. We see ourselves as managers

of Aboriginal organisations.

Seconded to the Business Banking Team at Westpac,

Andrea worked on a customer project and became

part of Westpac’s exclusive Executive Leadership

Program. Her manager ensured that her leadership

strength was developed, while also supporting

her to gain concrete skills and commercial and

organisational knowledge. Andrea’s reflections were

both personal and professional, indicative of new

experience and energy she would reinvest in her

organisation and community:

I’ll go back to central Australia with this inside

knowledge of business banking and how this

sector works … This is valuable as Indigenous

Australian development efforts intensify in for-

profit work.

Andrea also felt the program was well timed not only

for her, but also for the NPY Lands region she is a

leader of:

The Indigenous Corporate Leadership program

was offered to me at a time when I was seeing

opportunities on the horizon for the NPY

Lands, but I lacked the knowledge to set out a

clear, realistic, achievable plan to create these

opportunities. The secondment helped me fill in

these gaps.