While she grew up in Sydney, Taliya’s mob come from the Gamilaroi people of North West NSW.
Taliya is the Ability Linker for the region covering the Sydney suburbs of Bankstown, Fairfield, Burwood, Strathfield, Canterbury, Liverpool & Ashfield.
She is one of ten children and is from a family who has some experience in helping a person with a disability.
Taliya’s younger brother, Asa, was born with Asperger Syndrome, which is an autistic spectrum disorder associated with difficulties in social interaction and communication skills.
“The teachers weren’t aware of how to deal with kids with Asperger Syndrome. When they get an idea in their head there is no stopping them. The teachers can’t tell them not to do something as they get angry. You gotta reason with them. Social skills are the hardest struggle,” says Taliya.
Inspired by her mother’s leadership in supporting children with a disability, Taliya recounts the story of how her mother made a place for herself in the classrooms of the local primary and high schools. “Mum is now an in class tutor with kids because she found it hard when going through primary & high school with my brother. She went into the school to do reading with the kids & ended up creating a position for herself!”
In her previous roles, Taliya spent four years as the Aboriginal Liaison Officer for NSW Education. She developed personalised learning plans for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander high school students, organised school programs & developed partnerships with organisations including South Cares & the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA).
In addition, Taliya gained a Diploma of Welfare & has a background in retail. However, her passion lies with working with her community & helping as many people as she can.
When she’s not being an Ability Linker, you’ll find Taliya behind a camera taking photos for her music industry photography business Taliya Tuiono Photography. She has taken pictures of rappers & reggae artists including Bow Wow, The Game, UB40, Julian Marley & Katchafire, among others.
Her snaps have been used on the artists’ concert promotional material and can also be seen on Facebook. Taliya scored this dream gig while she was working at a Sydney pub-turned-nightclub where she was asked by the DJ to take photos for the reggae festival, Stir It Up.