Griffith University graduate Tania Major has been named as Young Australian of the year.

At just 25, the Cairns-based youth advocate has already established herself as a leading voice for indigenous people and is the youngest person ever elected to the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island Commission (ATSIC).

She has become known for her honest discussion of the problems in her community with a view to positive change.

Since 2002 Tania has publicly addressed both national and international forums, speaking on Indigenous and Youth affairs. She has sought to challenge what she perceives to be political apathy on issues of Indigenous education and health in mainstream Australia.

Tania is employed by the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, a partnership between the people of Cape York, Federal and Queensland Governments and Griffith University.

In 2006 Tania was announced as the Queensland Young Australian of the Year, recognising her leadership efforts and community work with young people in Cape York.

“I’m proud to be an Aboriginal Australian and to have been recognised and acknowledged for the work I’m involved in,” Tania said.

“It’s a big honour and I’m still overwhelmed. I really want to improve educational opportunities in remote communities and Cape York.”

Tania is the only person within her community to complete a university degree — graduating in 2002 with a BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Griffith University.