Queensland recipients dominate 2021 National NAIDOC Awards

Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships The Honourable Craig Crawford

Outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians were honoured online by the 2021 National NAIDOC Awards.

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford congratulated all the finalists and winners, in particular Pat O’Shane AM, who took home the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Queensland’s own Pat O’Shane AM, a proud Kuku Yalanji woman from Mossman – is one of Queensland’s greatest achievers with a list of many firsts,” Mr Crawford said.

“Dr O’Shane is one of Australia’s living treasures as voted by the National Trust. She was the first female Aboriginal teacher in Queensland, the first Aboriginal Magistrate in Australia and the first woman and Aboriginal person to be the head of a Government department.”

Mr Crawford said Queenslanders dominated the awards announced Wednesday, with four more of the state’s finest honoured for outstanding contributions.

“Townsville’s Dr Ernest Hoolihan received the Male Elder of the Year Award for his continuous work for over half a century to improving conditions for First Nations people. His service Yumba-Meta Ltd provides long term affordable accommodation to support disadvantaged people.

“Keri Tamwoy of the Putch people, Wik Mungkan, in Aurukun, received the Person of the Year Award. Ms Tamwoy heads the community’s mediation agency Thaa’ Pant Services and chairs a community land management organisation Aak Puul Ngantam. Her strong leadership and dedication to her community was recognised when she was appointed as a local Family Responsibilities Commissioner in 2019 and in 2020. Ms Tamwoy was elected Mayor of the Aurukun Shire Council.

“Waanyi, Djiru, Kuku Yalanji and Yindinji man Jarron Andy, received the Apprentice of the Year Award, with Sasha Purcell of Mer Island Torres Strait, taking home the Scholar of the Year Award.

“Each year the National NAIDOC awards celebrate the outstanding contributions and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians,” said Mr Crawford.

“On behalf of the Palaszczuk Government I would like to congratulate all the award recipients for their ongoing achievements. I note that the 2022 NAIDOC Theme and 2022 focus city will be announced this month.”

Award winners:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Pat O’Shane AM
  • Person of the Year – Keri Tamwoy
  • Female Elder of the Year – Christobel Swan
  • Male Elder of the Year – Ernest Hoolihan
  • Caring for Country – The Borroloola Community
  • Youth of the Year – Samara Fernandez-Brown
  • Artist of the Year – Bobbi Lockyer
  • Scholar of the Year – Sasha Purcell
  • Apprentice of the Year – Jarron Andy
  • Sportsperson of the Year – Clarence ‘CJ’ McCarthy-Grogan

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