The National NAIDOC Committee last night congratulated ten outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who were honoured at the 2017 National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony in Cairns.
Dianne Ryder, a proud Noongar woman from Western Australia, was honoured with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Dianne served a 21 year career in the Army, being awarded the Army Australia Day Medallion in 1990. She is currently the President of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans Association of WA and challenges us all to consider how we can improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Elverina Johnson, a highly respected Gurugulu and Indinji Gimuy women from Yarrabah in far north Queensland won the Artist of the Year award. Elverina has been involved in the arts industry for over 30 years as a singer, songwriter, playwright, actor, photographer and artist. She believes that the arts can empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and restore a genuine sense of pride in their culture and communities.
The Person of the Year Award, sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank, went to National Basketball Association (NBA) Champion and a three time Olympian, Patrick Mills. Patrick is a Muralag man from the Torres Strait, Ynunga man from South Australia who is dedicated to using his international profile to promote and raise awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
The Committee extends its congratulations to all of the 2017 National NAIDOC Award winners.
“It is inspiring to see the tireless work being done by so many talented and dedicated individuals to benefit themselves, their communities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across our land,” said Committee Co-Chair, Benjamin Mitchell.
• Minjerribah Moorgumpin Elders-in-Council Aboriginal Corporation (QLD) – Caring for Country Award winner
• Latia Schefe (QLD) – Youth of the Year
• Elverina Johnson (QLD) – Artist of the Year
• Dr James Charles (SA) – Scholar of the Year
• Sharee Yamashita (QLD) – Apprentice of the Year
• Amanda Reid (NSW) – Sportsperson of the Year
• Faye Carr (QLD) – Female Elder of the Year
• Ollie George (WA) – Male Elder of the Year
• Patrick Mills (QLD/SA) – Person of the Year
• Dianne Ryder (WA) – Lifetime Achievement Award winner