Her Olympic dream began when she was 10, curled up on mother's lap at Cann River watching Indigenous athletes Cathy Freeman, Nova Peris and Kyle Vander-Kuyp compete during the Sydney Olympics.
"I just remember saying to my Mum, 'do you ever think I could go to the Olympics?' and she was like 'I don't see why not'," Angeline Blackburn said.
More than two decades later and the proud Monero Ngarigo and Yuin athlete is off to her first Games in Tokyo, to represent Australia in the 4x400 metre relay at 31-years-old.
She began training at 14 towards her Olympic goal, after moving to Canberra from the small Victorian town of Cann River. Before she went on to compete at the World Junior Championships twice and claim a bronze medal in 2008 in the 4x400m relay event.
However, months after the medal, she was forced to take about seven years off due to overuse injuries in her feet whilst at the AIS on scholarship.
"I'm just excited to finally, after two decades, have made my dream come true," she said.
"So I broke both my feet. I had a navicular stress fracture in my left foot, which essentially what happened was the bone necrosed and died. So they had to scrape out the dead bone, put in some screws and then by that point I'd been out of the sport for about four years.
"Then as that was getting better, I thought hang on my right foot doesn't feel so great either, and it turned out the exact same bone, but on my right side was also fractured. So by the time they were both fixed, I think I spent a good six or seven years out of the sport."
During her time away from athletics, the former Alfred Deakin High School student swam, cross trained and focused on her studies at the Australian National University.
Before she came back onto the athletics scene at 26 for the social aspect of the sport. However, a year later she was in a national final and was within .01 seconds of her personal best.
In 2019 she finally broke her personal best she set at 18-years-old at 29, whilst coaching herself.
"It was nice to kind of try and kick that stereotype of people think once you get beyond 25 that's it, but in actual fact, I'm fitter and stronger now than I was as a junior," she said.
Now she is under the guidance of Adrian Faccioni, who she coaxed out of retirement, as she juggles a five-day work week with the National Indigenous Australians Agency, her six-day a week training and returning to country at Cann River.
"[Returning to country] recharges my batteries. It's intrinsic to our wellbeing, I mean it's holistic. It's my safety net. It's home for me, it's my country, because that's ... where my family is, that's where I grew up, that's where I'm culturally connected, that's where my wellbeing is tied to. So I think there is that added layer for Indigenous athletes as well," she said.
"[But] I have a very loving and supportive community in Canberra as well, I do see it as my secondary home, my adopted country."
After bouncing back from several years out of the sport, her career took another blow last year when she was trapped during the Black Summer Bushfires.
"It was around New Year's Ever when the fires hit and I'd gone home to spend Christmas with my family. I remember looking at the map and going 'oh it's a little bit dangerous' ... and we just got trapped," Blackburn said.
"It was awful, every exit and entry into Cann was blocked. We got evacuated to Cann River High School and I remember one night I woke up at five, my phone was going off but it was dying and I had limited reception. I walked out and I just saw in the distance red flames and it was horrible.
"By some stroke of luck it just burned around the town and down the valley."
It took the runner about 15 hours to get back to Canberra, as she drove from town to town looking for shelter on her way back to avoid the flames.
The bushfires were particularly traumatic for Blackburn and her family, as her father died decades earlier, when he was forestry officer during a routine burn off after the wind shifted and he never made it home.
"It was very horrific and it was quite traumatising, I've never been so grateful to see my family," she said.
"The worst thing was ... then the Orroral fires hit. It was like a second wave and I think I had a bit of post traumatic stress from Victoria and I was stocking up on water ... getting a burner and candles and just everything in case."
Her resilience, despite her injury setback and the triggering experience, ensured she made her dream happen, along with the support of her close family, and her roles models Freeman, Peris and Vander-Kuyp to look up to.
"It's really important to have those role models or people to aspire to," she said.
"I know especially down my area, there's not a lot of opportunity. So, I felt it was important for me to achieve my goals and show other Indigenous kids down my way that it is possible, even if you're from a little country town you can actually do it."
The Australian 4x400m relay made the final in Rio and Blackburn said whilst they have not discussed their goals yet, they would be looking to emulate that.
One thing is for sure, she will be wearing an Aboriginal bracelet her brother made her years ago and a silver chain necklace her sister gave her come race day, as she never runs without them.
The 31-year-old said she felt at home on the international stage, as it was where her mother's Indigenous culture and her father's European heritage came together for her.
"It's the one place where I feel that both sides of my identity are equal, it's just where it fits. I feel like once I'm on that international stage and I'm representing Australia, it seems to just be where I belong," Blackburn said.
"[The relay] is carnage sometimes, but I love it. I absolutely love chasing and being part of the pack and being able to use my finish and come home, it's so much better than the individual race."
The Canberran athlete will make her debut on the Olympic stage on August 5 in Tokyo, before the final event two days later.