Lauren Dootson is a Gumbaynggirr woman who was born and grew up in Coffs Harbour. After completing her HSC, Lauren started work with Galambila Aboriginal Health Service and then found herself moving 4000 km across the country to the Northern Territory to further her education.
At the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education – a dual-sector tertiary education provider that services the education, training and research needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – Lauren undertook a course in Media Studies.
On completion of the course, she moved to Sydney to take up a position with National Indigenous Television (NITV) and then returned home to Coffs Harbour to start a family.
Lauren has always had a strong sense of community and found herself coming full circle when she returned to work with Galambila Aboriginal Health Service in the role of Community Health Program Support Officer. In this role, Lauren has taken on the coordination of a program in partnership with the Gumbaynggirr Youth CDAT, supported by the Mid North Coast Local Health District and Family Drug Support, to provide education, information and support about crystal methamphetamine to Gumbaynggirr communities across the Mid North Coast.
The Gumbaynggirr Nation covers a large area of the NSW Mid North Coast, from the Nambucca River north to the Clarence River and inland to the Northern Tablelands; it encompasses five local government areas.