Tania Major is a Kokoberra woman from the remote community of Kowanyama in Cape York Queensland. She holds a degree in Criminology and at 21 became the youngest elected regional councillor in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC). In 2006 Tania was announced as the Queensland Young Australian of the Year, and was further honoured by being named the Young Australian of the Year in January 2007. She was also voted as Young Leader of the year for the 2007 Deadly Awards, and YEN Young Woman of the Year for Community Vision. Tania has also achieved international recognition in winning the Political Legal and/or Government Affairs section of the Junior Chamber. International’s Outstanding Young Persons of the World contest held in India in 2007.
Since 2002 Tania has publicly addressed many national and international forums, speaking on Indigenous and Youth affairs as these relate to remote communities, particularly those in Cape York. Along with her mentor, Noel Pearson, she has tried to bring the realities of life in many of these communities to the foreground of wider Australian thinking and to engage mainstream Australians in the collaborative challenge of seeking solutions to long standing problems.
After 4 years with the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, Tania is now working to establish a private consultancy and advocacy business, and to set up a youth foundation to support other young indigenous people with the potential for leadership. She is currently completing her Masters degree in Public Policy and working on her business part time.