BA 1996 LLB 2003
Jennifer Mar Young is Director, Client Relationships with Arrilla Indigenous Services, a majority Indigenous owned and staffed management consulting firm (a joint venture with KPMG). Arrilla’s vision is to create a culturally competent Australia, one workplace at a time. This is achieved through the provision of face to face and online cultural competency training, and strategic advice and support.
At Arrilla, Jennifer is responsible for developing and maintaining strategic partnerships and relationships, promoting and extending the work of Arrilla to assist organisations to develop the skills, confidence and capabilities to work more effectively and successfully with Indigenous people and build greater understandings and successful outcomes.
Before Arrilla, Jennifer has worked inside and outside of Indigenous affairs for over 20 years, mostly in government social and legal policy and strategy roles. Jennifer is passionate about working with people and organisations to unpack and understand their role and opportunities to engage and build meaningful and respectful relationships and partnerships with Indigenous peoples and bring the richness of Indigenous cultures to more Australians.
Jennifer is also a mother of two primary aged children (three if you include the family dog!) and does some volunteer work with their local school and local Aboriginal preschool. Jennifer enjoys music (particularly piano), reading, movies, plus good food and wine.
I grew up in a large extended family in a tiny country town in NSW. Neither of my parents finished school, two of the most intelligent, hard-working people I’ve known. I was the first in my family to finish Year 12 and go onto university. I didn’t really know anyone in Sydney (a 5-6 hour drive from home). I didn’t know what a University was, had no concept of what it would be like, whether I would fit in – whether I could ‘cut it’. I didn’t do law when I first went to UNSW. I started my university career in a Commerce degree (which wasn’t a great fit!), then I switched to an Arts degree. After completing Arts and working for a while, I was encouraged by the Aboriginal education unit at the time to consider doing law. At first, that idea was mindboggling – ‘How could someone like me, ever make it through a law degree from UNSW!?’Receiving a law degree from UNSW was a proud moment for me and for my family. It also provided me with solid foundations for the professional years that lay ahead. The show of support I received from the law school as well as the Aboriginal education unit helped me to achieve academically in what was a very foreign environment. More importantly, it gave me the strength and confidence to confront those times when the dreaded ‘imposter syndrome’ would rear its ugly head. I feel privileged to have been surrounded by so many great people at the time, and in such good company as one of the first 100 Indigenous law graduates of UNSW. I am conscious that I stand on the shoulders of so many Indigenous people who have come before me and I try hard to do what I can to honour those people in the work that I do and the way that I live my life every day.