Newslines Radio Special Broadcast: 2012 National NAIDOC Awards – Part 1
- Trever Ellis
- Karla Grant
Minister Jenny Macklin
Music: Stuck on You, Dewayne Everettsmith
PRESENTER: Hi, I’m Trevor Ellis and you’re listening to a special broadcast of Newslines Radio on the 2012 National NAIDOC Awards.
The annual awards celebrate the achievements of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians over the past year. Our special broadcast of the awards is in two parts. Newslines was in Hobart, covering NAIDOC Week’s night of nights.
In part one, we’ll hear about the Lifetime Achievement, Person of the Year, Elders of the Year and the Caring for Country awards and talk to some of the winners about their achievements.
DODSON: I think it’s a good occasion for us to celebrate those achievements of all the award winners this evening, that will receive awards this evening. They make us all very, very proud. And we should be celebrating. We should be screaming our success from the rooftops. Too often the focus is on the negative when in fact there are a lot of our people achieving great things. Black fellas can achieve anything.
PRESENTER: That was Mick Dodson at the NAIDOC Awards Ceremony. This year’s awards were presented by actor Aaron Pedersen and TV journalist Karla Grant.
GRANT: Good evening everyone. How are you Aaron?
PEDERSEN: I’m pretty good Karla, how are you going?
GRANT: I’m good thanks.
PEDERSEN: It’s awesome to be here in Tasmania isn’t it?
PRESENTER: This year’s theme is Spirit of The Tent Embassy: 40 years on. Representatives of the Tent Embassy were invited to Hobart for the event including Isobel Coe, Norma Ingram and Michael Anderson.
Michael presented a framed copy of the National NAIDOC Poster to this year’s winning artist, Amanda Joy Tronc before asking the audience to stand for an emotional minute of silence for his comrades who helped establish the Tent Embassy back in 1972. The poster depicts scenes from the Tent Embassy 40 years ago and Michael was thankful for how Amanda portrayed him.
ANDERSON: I am grateful for the slimness of the bodies because as time gone the chest has dropped quite considerably. It’s a wonderful picture and thank you very much and congratulations.
PRESENTER: Let’s kick off the awards presentations, which opened with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, announced by Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Honourable Jenny Macklin MP.
MACKLIN: To all of you here tonight, I’m very pleased to be able to announce the 2012 National NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award and that goes to Bunna Lawrie.
PRESENTER: Bunna Lawrie is a respected Mirning Elder, song man, medicine man and storyteller from coastal Nullarbor in South Australia. You probably know him as the frontman of the band Coloured Stone who have been making music since 1984.
LAWRIE: My biggest achievement is my courage that’s inspired lots of Indigenous youth and kids. Not only youth and kids but also men and women through my music that I write and the work we do in workshops and that, teaching them and encouraging them to do the right thing. And songs that I sing, songs like When You Gonna Learn is about when I used to drink and smoke and, when am I gonna learn? My life is burning over, when am I gonna learn? I’m going to start living today. Those sorts of things and those lines in the song like that. Like Black Boy, the colour of your skin is your pride and joy, you know? It gives hope to all our people. What I always say to people too is, we made this future, we’ve got to make the best of it.
GRANT: Congratulations to Bunna Lawrie and thanks to Minister Jenny Macklin. Congratulations Bunna. It’s very well deserved. Now the next award is for our 2012 NAIDOC Person of the Year. Now please give a warm welcome for the presenter of this award, Dorothy Murray.
MURRAY: The 2012 NAIDOC Person of the Year Award goes to, David Wirrpanda.
PRESENTER: The Person of the Year recognises a strong leader who has shown commitment and dedication to improving the lives of Indigenous Australians, their community and across the country.
David Wirrpanda is from Shepparton in Victoria. His achievements in AFL, winning a premiership with the West Coast Eagles in 2006 and being selected in the All Australian team in 2005, is only overshadowed by his work as CEO of the David Wirrpanda Foundation – delivering programs to young Indigenous Australians.
PRESENTER: You’re listening to Newslines Radio. This week, we’re broadcasting the first of a special two-part program on this year’s National NAIDOC Awards. Some of the most prestigious awards of the night go to our elders. There was a surprise this year when it came to announcing the Female Elder of the Year… Back to MC Aaron Pedersen.
PEDERSEN: First up is the Female Elder of the Year, or actually I should say Females Elders of the Year – that’s right, we’ve got two. Couldn’t separate them at the finish line! So please welcome the National NAIDOC Committee members Carol Pettersen and Steve Widders, who will announce and present these awards.
PETTERSEN: It’s our greatest pleasure to announce the two winners. And as committee members on the National Committee, we know how difficult it was to separate these people. There were just so many wonderful entries that came pouring in. It was so hard to work out who was a worthy a recipient, so we have two tonight. And the first one is…
WIDDERS: Margaret Lawton. Where are you Margaret?
VOICE OVER: Margaret Lawton is a Ghungalu and Garingbail elder and Traditional Owner from Central Queensland. At 82 years of age, she is still working tirelessly to achieve for her people.
In addition to raising a large family of her own, Margaret has extended her home and heart to many Indigenous foster children over her lifetime. She has also worked with other female elders offering aid and food to the homeless.
Margaret is the founder or co-founder of many Indigenous community organisations in Rockhampton including Bidgerdii Health, Aboriginal Legal Aid, Dreamtime Cultural Centre and Fitzroy Basin Elders Committee, just to name a few.
PRESENTER: Margaret spoke to me after accepting her award.
LAWTON: It really is an honour. After working, 40 years I’ve worked in Rockhampton and round the district and the ladies and men that taught me what I know, and to be able to get this, I appreciate it. I believe that trophy’s theirs. Without them I wouldn’t have known what I know now. I came from Claremont in 1968 and worked from then on and I’m still working.
PRESENTER: How important are our elders?
LAWTON: Elders are very important. Without the elders we’ve got nothing and I’ve always maintained that to my children. Whatever an elder tell you, you listen. You don’t back chat, you don’t say “hey I’m not doing that”. That’s your elder. It doesn’t matter which, and I believe it’s time we now, as Aboriginal and white people, walked hand in hand. We can’t forget about the past but we can move on, not for our sake but for our juniors, our generation to come.
PETTERSEN: It’s my great pleasure now to announce the second National NAIDOC Female Elder for 2012 goes to Maureen Kelly.
VOICE OVER: Maureen Kelly is a Yindjibarndi elder from the Pilbara.
As a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, Maureen has taught her family many skills. Most importantly, she has taught them respect for themselves, each other, their elders, their country and their culture.
Maureen left school at 14 years of age to start work but returned to her education as a grandmother, obtaining a university degree in community management.
She has represented the Aboriginal people locally, nationally and internationally and was the first female Aboriginal Justice of the Peace in the Pilbara.
PRESENTER: With no sign of retiring just yet, Maureen Kelly now runs her own consultancy service. Maureen plans on continuing to give back to her community.
KELLY: It makes you feel humble that you’re being recognised for something that I believe is everybody’s born right to do and that’s to give, to give back. If you learn something, give it back and share it.
PRESENTER: The Elder of the Year Awards are always tough to narrow down, so congratulations to both Maureen and Margaret. The same goes for the Male Elder of the Year, which went to Hezekiel Jingoonya. He couldn’t be at the awards, but he thanked everyone via video from his desert home in the Northern Territory.
VOICE OVER: Hezekiel Jingoonya is a Pitjantjatjara Elder, Lutheran pastor for the Mutitjulu community and mentor in the Western Desert region of Australia.
Hezekiel has worked in the region all of his life and has a passion for teaching and sharing culture. He has been a long time consultant to Parks Australia on the management of cultural heritage and is dedicated to providing cultural education to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park visitors and staff.
JINGOONYA: Hello, my name is Hezekiel. I am here at Mutitjulu. I am happy to be here and happy to be the winner of this award. I am happy and proud my culture is strong. Thank you.
PRESENTER: Congratulations to Hezekiel. Now back to Karla Grant, the MC, and the final award for part one of our NAIDOC special.
GRANT: The idea of country is very important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It’s where we belong and where our ancestors built their nations and traditions. Our next award is the Caring for Country Award, to be presented by Kimberley Dripps and Chrissy Grant. Please make them welcome.
GRANT: Good evening everyone. My name is Chrissy Grant and I’m very happy to be back in Tasmania.
DRIPPS: Thank you very much for that invitation. I’m Kimberley Dripps and we’ve travelled down from Ngunnawal country today to be here and it’s a really great honour to be announcing the award of the Caring for Country Award this year going to the Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation. Congratulations.
PRESENTER: Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation was started by traditional owners to rejuvenate the biodiversity hotspot, Bli Bli. For the last eight years, they’re working to stop river bank erosion and save the mangroves and all the animals that need them to survive on the Maroochy River.
Kerry Jones from Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation spoke to us about what winning the NAIDOC Caring for Country Award means for them.
JONES: I am so proud. I’ve got five children. I teach all my children the culture that I knew that my Dad taught me and my people taught me; how to mad crab, how to mullet hunt, all that stuff you know? I’m really proud to be someone that looks after the environment ‘cause the environment is so special to my people.
PRESENTER: Well that’s all for part one of our Newslines Radio National NAIDOC Awards special. Make sure you listen in next time for the second and final part where we talk to the winners of Youth of the Year, Artist of the Year, Scholar of the Year, Apprentice of the Year and the Sportsperson of the Year.
For more information on NAIDOC and the award winners, go to www.indigenous.gov.au. You can listen to previous programs there and read our Indigenous Newslines magazine, as well as friend us on Facebook.
I’m Trevor Ellis and thanks for listening to this special Newslines Radio program.
Let’s go out with Tasmania’s Dewayne Everettsmith singing his song, Stuck on You, at the NAIDOC Awards.