2 – 9 July 2023
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Dr Lois Peeler AM

Dr Lois Peeler AM

2022
Female Elder of the Year

Dr Lois Peeler AM is a Yorta Yorta and Wurundjeri woman. Her family comes from the Cummeragunja Aboriginal Reserves where activism for improved conditions for Aboriginal people was deeply embedded. In the 1960s Dr Peeler became Australia’s first Aboriginal model before joining the all-female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander singing group the Sapphires, which toured Vietnam during one of the world’s harshest wars.

In 1983, Dr Peeler and her sister Hyllus Maris established Australia’s only Aboriginal girls’ boarding school, Worawa Aboriginal College. Dr Peeler also worked as the Manager of the Aboriginal Employment Unit of the Victorian Public Service Board and headed Aboriginal Tourism Australia for over ten years where she was co-author of the Respecting Our Culture (ROC) accreditation program for the Australian tourism industry.

Recently, Dr Peeler worked with the Victorian Parliament to create a free e-learning resource for the Victorian curriculum called “Aboriginal Change Makers”, and currently chairs the Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee while being involved with the implementation of the Marrung Aboriginal Education Action Plan.