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'A Noongar woman from the south west of Western Australia, Denise Smith-Ali is the custodian of two clans, Kaneang and Wilman of the Noongar Nation. Denise has overcome many challenges to become the only Noongar linguist in Australia, and has dedicated her life to reclaiming and reviving the language of the Noongar people. Denise has always been interested in her culture and language. Her early focus on educating young people and engaging them in their linguistic roots has shifted to documenting creation and ancestral stories that relate to country.' (Source: Australian of the Year Awards website)