PRESENTER: Hi, I’m Trevor Ellis and you’re listening to part two of a special radio program on the 2013 National NAIDOC Awards held in Perth.
Funded by the Australian Government, the annual awards is an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in our community to join together to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Indigenous Australians, their contribution to our community and to our nation.
In this program we will look at the winners of the Youth of the Year, Artist of the Year, Scholar of the Year, Apprentice of the Year and Sportsperson of the Year awards.
Before the ceremony got underway, we spoke to some of the guests about what NAIDOC Week means to them.
VOX POP 1: It’s a special time for us to celebrate our language, our culture, our heritage; a time for our identity.
VOX POP 2: For me, NAIDOC, it’s a real chance to celebrate our people, our culture, our survival. What I love about the NAIDOC Ball in particular is it’s a chance to really honour some of our unsung community heroes who aren’t always seen in the limelight. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and honour those leaders who have gone before us and also look into the very bright future of Indigenous Australia.
VOX POP 3: I think it’s a coming together of our people from around the country and a great big celebration acknowledging all the people that do the fantastic work in our communities right around the country, and we’re just happy that it’s here in Perth this year.
INTERVIEWER: It’s a big night here tonight, but what does NAIODC mean for you?
VOX POP 4: Well it means a time to celebrate the richness of our culture, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and this fantastic week. It’s been huge and I think it’s getting better every year.
VOX POP 5: Doesn’t matter where you’re from in the country, we’re all the same. We celebrate each other’s achievements. So I think that’s what it means to me.
VOX POP 6: NAIDOC’s an opportunity for us to actually share our culture and we share that with the rest of Australia, so it’s actually a very significant week in the year for us. And here we are tonight celebrating. With our history and knowing what’s happened to Aboriginal people, to actually still be a strong, thriving, growing culture, I think that’s a testament to the resilience of us as a community.
VOX POP 7: Aboriginal recognition, everything we do in the sport and media and business, and just celebrating being us, and celebrating our land and who we are as a people and our culture, and us just getting together and having a good time.
VOX POP 8: NAIDOC to me is really a celebration of life. It’s a celebration of being an Aboriginal person and it’s the one week that we actually get to showcase all of the achievements of individuals and the successes and to really showcase what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can do – there are no limits.
PRESENTER: This year’s awards were MC’d by actor Ernie Dingo and Perth Ten News presenter Nerelda Jacobs.
JACOBS: Good evening everyone and welcome to the 2013 National NAIDOC Awards in my home town of Perth. Like how I said my home town?
DINGO: And why did you say your home town?
JACOBS: Because it’s not your home town.
DINGO: My home town is Mullewa.
JACOBS: Mullewa, ok, well maybe in years to come we might have it in Mullewa but tonight it’s Perth.
PRESENTER: The Youth of the Year Award recognises the achievements of our young people aged between 16 and 25.
Here is Chairperson of NAIDOC Perth, Glenda Kickett and Miss NAIDOC Perth, Marie Ansey to announce the winner.
KICKETT/ANSEY: We are here to announce the 2013 National NAIDOC Youth of the Year Award and it goes to Kate Malpass.
VIGNETTE: Kate Malpass, a Noongar girl from Perth, has been defying the odds since birth.
Being told she would never have full strength in one of her arms, she went on to play, and excel, in every sport at school.
At just 13 years of age, Kate was part of the under 16 National Championships for basketball. She has been part of two national championship basketball teams, including the Perth Lynx team, which she captained to victory.
Off the court, Kate has completed a degree in physiotherapy and now lives in Melbourne, working as the first Aboriginal physiotherapist for the Richmond Football Club.
An outstanding role model, Kate also mentors for the David Wirrpanda Foundation and is passionate about helping younger girls through the Deadly Sista Girlz Program.
PRESENTER: After accepting her award I spoke with Kate about the work she does with young women.
MALPASS: I think it’s really important, especially recently being so heavily involved in football with my physiotherapy, you see what’s around for all the boys out there and you have your Clontarf and programs like that.
So I think it’s really important that we recognise how significant and the great work that the Deadly Sista Girlz Program delivers for the women because women are such powerful leaders in all our communities, so it’s really good.
PRESENTER: The Artist of the Year is open to musicians, performing artists and visual artists of all kinds. Past winners have included photographer Wayne Quilliam and musician Warren H Williams.
Here is MC Ernie Dingo.
DINGO: Now please welcome to the stage the Executive Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts to present this award, Miss Lydia Miller.
MILLER: Tonight I would like to present the 2013 National NAIDOC Artist of the Year, which goes to the wonderful Tony Briggs.
VIGNETTE: Starting his career as an actor on Neighbours in the 1980’s, Tony Brigg’s career in the arts has gone from strength to strength.
Over the past 25 years he has performed on both stage and screen, gaining a reputation as one of Australia’s leading Indigenous performers.
Tony is best known for writing the award winning play The Sapphires, which was adapted for screen in 2012. He is currently working on projects for both TV and film.
A true leader, Tony dedicates time to sharing his knowledge and experience by mentoring younger people in his field.
Tony has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the arts and his influence stretches beyond the Indigenous community to all Australians.
PRESENTER: We caught up with an emotional Tony Briggs after his win.
BRIGGS: Yeah, pretty emotional I have to admit because you know it’s a NAIDOC Award and I have been through a lot over the last 20 years with my career but over the last 10 years with this particular story, The Sapphires, which has really culminated in this award for me.
It’s just a really kind of a surreal moment sometimes because so much goes through your head and the person who nominated me for this award, I always forget to thank somebody; it’s Tracey Rigney, so Tracey if you are listening I really appreciate it, it really means a lot to me.
PRESENTER: The Scholar of the Year Award recognises achievement in secondary or tertiary studies. Here is MC Nerelda Jacobs.
JACOBS: Now education is incredibly important, it’s how we get our people ready to take on the world and make their mark.
Our next two awards are all about learning, first we have the scholar of the year and presenting this award is the Governor of WA, please welcome his Excellency Malcolm McCusker.
MCCUSKER: Education as it has already been said is a very important part of our community, in our future lies the education of our young people so it’s very appropriate that there should be a special award for the Scholar of the Year who this year is Dr Mark David McMillan.
VIGNETTE: Dr Mark McMillan is a Wiradjuri man from Trangie in central west New South Wales.
With a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, a Master of Law and a doctorate in Juridical Science, Mark was the first Indigenous person to be appointed to senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne’s Law School.
He is passionate about rebuilding Indigenous Nations in Australia. He is committed to research and education that results in positive outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Mark has dedicated his life to extending his learning personally, professionally and academically, and continues to provide strong leadership and support to others.
Mark enjoys sharing his skills and experiences with all Australians, demonstrated by his tireless involvement with communities and organisations.
PRESENTER: I spoke to Mark after he accepted his award.
MCMILLAN: Oh my god I can’t begin to tell you how exciting it is and an absolute honour it is; it’s surreal actually. You never do anything expecting awards so when they come your way it’s very humbling, it’s a trip.
ELLIS: It must be good to know that all the hard work you have put in has been worthwhile?
MCMILLAN: Absolutely and like I said you don’t do the work we do and make those choices because we expect awards but when they come your way it’s terribly, terribly humbling and I think it’s a good reminder of why we do it, which is for mob.
PRESENTER: The Apprentice of the Year Award is open to people who have completed an apprenticeship in the 12 months prior to the awards.
Tom Calma announced the award winner.
CALMA: Dr Mark McMillan accepted the Scholar of the Year and it really does highlight as he has done the importance of education. But education isn’t just about universities, it takes many forms and one of those really important other aspects of education is through the vocational education system and all of us can have that opportunity if we choose to take up a cadetship, an apprenticeship or a traineeship.
It gives me great pleasure tonight to be able to recognise 2013 National NAIDOC Apprentice of the Year Danny Bromot.
VIGNETTE: Danny Bromot is a proud Yolngu man from Nhulunbuy in North East Arnhem Land.
Starting his career in mining at Gove Operations Pacific Aluminium Steam Power Station in 2009, Danny completed the Advanced Boiler and Turbine Operations Tickets, and is close to completing the Certificate 3 in Power Generation.
He sees the growing demand for skilled workers and the future potential for employment in his region for the Yolngu people around East Arnhem Land.
Balancing family, community, study and work, Danny still finds time to encourage new recruits to grasp new opportunities and make the most of them.
Danny is a passionate family man, friend, mentor and an inspiration to everyone in his community.
PRESENTER: I spoke with Danny Bromot after he accepted his award.
BROMOT: I am very humbled and honoured to win such a prestigious award especially this year being the 50th anniversary, you know of all the struggles my family went through and fought, not just for land rights at home but for recognition for all Aboriginal people across Australia and for me being a Yolngu person to win this award is, I am absolutely blown away.
ELLIS: What’s your message to other people about following your dreams, putting in the hard work?
BROMOT: Well I entered a mature age apprenticeship and traineeship and at times it was really hard for me to get back into that frame of mind of studying and stuff and you know I really just knuckled down and said to myself you are never too old to learn something new. I made a goal and I set those goals and I reached them. Not only me but everybody can do that.
PRESENTER: AFL legend Syd Jackson presented the final award for the evening, the Sportsperson of the Year.
JACKSON: Syd Jackson is my name and I am very, very honoured to be here this evening to present this award and I am proud to announce the 2013 National NAIDOC Sportsperson of the year goes to Jonathan Thurston.
PRESENTER: Jonathan Thurston is a rugby league superstar and is a Gungarri man from south-west Queensland.
In 2006, Jonathan made his international debut for the Australian rugby league team, and won his first State of Origin with the Queensland side.
He was appointed captain of the North Queensland Cowboys in 2007, captained the Indigenous All Stars in 2011 and has been named in the Indigenous Team of the Century.
Off the field, Jonathan engages with school students through the Cowboys’ education-focused community programs, to promote positive messages about staying in school and working hard.
He strives to make a positive difference in people’s lives and believes that education plays an important role in closing the gap.
Jonathan is held in the highest regard by his fellow players, fans and community alike.
PRESENTER: Jonathan couldn’t make it to the NAIDOC Awards night in Perth but sent a message to the audience via video link.
THURSTON: I would like to thank the National NAIDOC Committee for recognising me for the 2013 National NAIDOC Sports Person of the Year. It is an honour to be an ambassador for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, these awards are such a great opportunity to recognise the great achievements that have been made in our community.
I am very sorry not to be able to be there to accept the award and celebrate this important occasion with you all in Perth. I hope you all have a fantastic night celebrating the outstanding achievements and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this country.
PRESENTER: That brings us to the end of this special look at the 2013 National NAIDOC Awards held in Perth.
For more information on NAIDOC and this year’s National NAIDOC Award winners, go to indigenous.gov.au or naidoc.org.au.
I’m Trevor Ellis and thanks for listening to this special 2013 NAIDOC radio program.