Elsa Dixon program is changing lives

Elsa Dixon program changing livesThe Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Program has changed the life of Aboriginal Project Officer Melinda Lyon. Melinda started with Transport for NSW through the Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment program on the 25 November 2013. Melinda saw the position on the Government jobs website, and as she needed a career change, decided to apply.

"I felt that this position would allow me to have more contact with Aboriginal communities, enable me to engage more with customers, whilst trying to make services better and more culturally appropriate for Aboriginal people.

I have learned so many different things in this position and I believe there is so much more for me to learn. Throughout my employment I have met some nice people along the way and I am sure there will be plenty more new friendships as I travel around to Aboriginal communities across NSW. " said Melinda.

Elsa Dixon program changing livesThis job has changed her life for the better as it's a permanent position on a Grade 7 level salary. Having that financial stability has given Melinda and her family the opportunity to travel internationally, to places such as Europe and Thailand, where they have experienced how other cultures live and how they compare to her own Aboriginal culture.

"It has also shown my kids that you have to start from the bottom and work your way to the top" said Melinda.

In addition to the employment opportunity, an integral part of Melinda's development has been the opportunity to study whilst working. Melinda is currently studying a Diploma of Governance at Tranby Aboriginal College, which is assisting her to gain additional skills in working in Aboriginal communities.


Elsa Dixon was an Aboriginal woman who played a key role in improving social outcomes for Aboriginal people in NSW. Elsa was one of the founding members of the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs and the Aboriginal Medical Service at Redfern, remaining a member of the latter until her passing in 1993.

Page last updated: 08 April 2016