Maxine Armstrong


Maxine was reared and educated in Derby, attending Holy Rosary and Derby District High School. Maxine has a Diploma of Aboriginal Management and Community Development through Curtin University. Maxine’s first job was junior typist for the Native Welfare Office. Apart from looking after her family, both her children and grandchildren, Maxine has also dedicated much of her life to improving the circumstances of Indigenous people. Maxine is the Chairperson of the WNAC Board as well as being a member of the DAHS and KAMSC Boards and the AHCWA (Aboriginal Health Council W.A) at the state level. Maxine is one of only 5-people who were the original Founding Members of the Aboriginal Health Board. In 1992 Maxine was the first ASIC Regional Council Chairperson. Maxine’s life-long passions include addressing: o The rate of chronic disease amongst the Indigenous community; o The unacceptable rate of suicide; o The impact of drugs (particularly ICE) on individuals, their families and the communities in which they live; o And securing funds for key medical facilities such as the DAHS Dialysis Hub In 2016 Maxine was recognised by the Aboriginal Health Committee for her contribution as an elder to cultural knowledge and Aboriginal Health. Maxine is particularly proud of her efforts in establishing the Dialysis Hub at DAHS, along with the establishment of a refuge for Indigenous women. Maxine’s driving force has been to “help my people,” by tackling the issues of health and suicide prevention. Maxine was driven to take a stand when a young Indigenous man was killed in a brawl in Broome. Maxine felt the response from officials was inadequate, with potentially no-one being held accountable for his death. So, Maxine, as the Coordinator of the Ngunga Women’s Group, organised a march of Aboriginal women to highlight the injustice of the situation. Maxine’s time with WNAC extends back to the 1990s when she and Ambrose Cummings negotiated the purchase of the Loch Street property, which WNAC owns and operates from today. Purchasing the building involved countless trips to Perth to negotiate and purchase the property from Main Roads. Maxine is proud of the commercial enterprises WNAC has purchased on behalf of its members. By owning these businesses, Maxine believes Indigenous people will access employment and training opportunities they may not otherwise have. Maxine’s vision for WNAC is that more young ones will step up to take over from her, to drive important changes in the Indigenous community. Maxine wants to encourage others to be leaders, to stand up for what needs to be done, to make a difference in others’ lives.