NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: @KenWyattMP  #NAIDOC2019 Week 2019 kicks off with the National NAIDOC Awards ceremony showcasing the outstanding achievement of some of Australia’s finest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

“NAIDOC Week is a proud celebration of everything Australia’s First Nations’ people hold dear – our lands and waters, languages and stories that have been passed on from generation to generation in the oldest continuing culture on earth.

This year’s theme, Voice. Treaty. Truth – Let’s work together for a shared future, reflects the desires of Indigenous Australians to achieve concrete progress in having their voices and truths heard.

 By applying a ground-up approach through co-design, we will work to further our priorities including Closing the Gap, addressing the shocking rates of Indigenous youth suicide, working through a thoughtful process for Constitutional Recognition and a Voice for Indigenous Australians.”

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt

NAIDOC Week 2019 has kicked off on the weekend  under the theme of Voice. Treaty. Truth – Let’s work together for a shared future echoing the call for constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. See Part 1

The National NAIDOC Awards are the premier awards for Indigenous Australians and this year’s recipients are well-deserving of our praise and admiration

Their accomplishments in culture and community, sports, education and the arts stand as examples to which we can all aspire and commemorate the unique and precious place of Indigenous history, culture and achievement within the fabric of our nation.”

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt

Picture above the winners with the NAIDOC Committee 

See full list of winners Part 2 below or HERE 

” Thelma Weston, a descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait, is like no other. Her life is a story of survival, achievement, hope, love and celebration.

Despite only having a limited education, Aunty Thelma trained as a nurse and became a fully qualified health worker. At age 83, Aunty Thelma still works full time at Winnunga Aboriginal Health and Community Services in Canberra, using her skills to manage the needle exchange program.”

See Thelma’s full bio below Part 3

Part 1

 

Minister Wyatt, said this year’s NAIDOC Week celebrations, which provided Australians the opportunity to honour and respect the ongoing history, culture and achievements of our First Nations’ people, were even more significant given the recent commitment by both sides of government to work together to bring about change.

Minister Wyatt also said that the Morrison Government was committed to doing things differently by working in partnership and sitting down and talking with Indigenous communities.

NAIDOC Week features hundreds of events around the country to share stories and celebrate our rich heritage and uniquely Australian culture.”

The Morrison Government has committed $1.4 million in local community grants to support these events to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can celebrate their culture and achievements.

NAIDOC Week events cover a wide range of activities such as family days with dancing, food markets and marches, Welcome to Country ceremonies, cultural performances, speakers, art workshops, BBQs and awards ceremonies.

“I encourage everyone to find an event near them and take the opportunity to deepen ties in

their communities and celebrate our culture and successes,” Minister Wyatt said.

NAIDOC Week runs from 7 – 14 July 2019. A full event listing can be found at

https://www.naidoc.org.au/

Part 2 : The 2019 Award recipients are:

Lifetime Achievement Award – David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu, AM

Person of the Year – Dean Duncan

Female Elder of the Year – Thelma Weston

Male Elder of the Year – Greg Little

Caring for Country Award – Littlewell Working Group

Youth of the Year – Mi-kaisha Masella

Artist of the Year – Elma Gada Kris

Scholar of the Year – Professor Michael McDaniel

Apprentice of the Year – Ganur Maynard

Sportsperson of the Year – Shantelle Thompson

Read all profiles HERE

“I congratulate this year’s winners and commend each of them for their contributions to achieving a better shared future for all Australians and the wonderful role models they represent for the young members of our communities.”

“This better future is reflected in this year’s NAIDOC theme of Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future.

“The Award winners embody this theme and represent the contributions all First Nations’ people make to our community – contributions we celebrate in NAIDOC Week,” Ministery Wyatt said.

For more information on these proud Indigenous Australians and other NAIDOC events please go to www.naidoc.org.au

Part 3 Thelma Weston Female Elder of the Year

Thelma Weston, a descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait, is like no other. Her life is a story of survival, achievement, hope, love and celebration.

Despite only having a limited education, Aunty Thelma trained as a nurse and became a fully qualified health worker.At age 83, Aunty Thelma still works full time at Winnunga Aboriginal Health and Community Services in Canberra, using her skills to manage the needle exchange program.

She has a long history of outstanding involvement and achievements in the community and has sat on a number of local and national committees and boards.
Aunty Thelma is on the board of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA) and regularly travels across Australia to attend board meetings.

As a breast cancer survivor, Aunty Thelma has worked with Breast Cancer Network Australia to encourage other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to connect, seek support and information about the disease.

Aunty Thelma is much loved, admired and well respected, not only in her workplace and amongst her clients, but in the wider ACT community and across Australia.  She is a wonderful example of a wise and caring Torres Strait Islander woman who has achieved much for her family and community.

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