Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Outstanding Indigenous Australians honoured at NAIDOC Awards

Ned Cheedy has been recognised for his lifelong commitment to preserving Indigenous culture at the 2011 National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) awards.

At the NAIDOC Ball last night, Mr Cheedy received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to the people and culture of Yindjibarndi in Western Australia, where he was born at Hooley Station more than 100 years ago.

At 104, Mr Cheedy has spent a life caring for Yindjibarndi law, country, culture, language and the future of his people.

Ned has been a cultural teacher, custodian and elder in his community for more than 20 years. He participates in cultural mapping trips and teaches people about the land and its stories through books, films and recordings.

He joined nine other inspirational Indigenous Australians recognised by the NAIDOC Committee, including Terri Janke who was named the 2011 National NAIDOC Person of the Year.

Born in Cairns, of Torres Strait Islander and Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal heritage, Ms Janke is widely regarded as one of the country’s top lawyers in Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights.

The annual NAIDOC awards recognise the outstanding contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians make to improve the lives of people in their communities and beyond. They also recognise the excellence of individual Indigenous Australians in their chosen fields.

The NAIDOC Awards have provided a fitting finish to an excellent week of NAIDOC celebrations focusing on the theme: Change the Next Step is Ours.

I congratulate the winners of the 2011 National NAIDOC Awards, which serves to remind all Australians of the achievements of Indigenous Australians and their contribution to the nation.

For a full list of the winners of the 2011 National NAIDOC Awards visit the NAIDOC website: