NAIDOC Ball honours unsung heroes
Vince Coulthard has been recognised for being a life long advocate for his country and his people at the 2010 National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) awards.
At the NAIDOC Ball last night, Mr Coulthard received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work in strengthening the voice of Aboriginal people across Australia.
Mr Coulthard is the Director of the Umeewarra Aboriginal Media Association, South Australia’s only Aboriginal radio station.
Mr Coulthard was also instrumental in setting up the Nunga Court in Port Augusta, where he sits with the Magistrate as an Elder and cultural mentor.
Auntie Ali Golding, was awarded female Elder of the Year for her advocacy and work in education. She is widely respected for her leadership and mentoring others in the community, and as an ambassador for reconciliation.
Two Indigenous elders, who together have given more than a century’s worth of community service, shared the honour of male Elder of the Year.
Ali Drummond from the Torres Strait and Lester Bostock from Sydney are remarkable men who have each shown leadership and determination throughout their lives.
Mr Bostock is regarded as a pioneer of Indigenous media in Australia, helping to set up Radio Redfern and was the first Aboriginal presenter on SBS Radio.
The loss of one of his legs following an accident in the 1950s encouraged him to raise awareness of Aboriginal people with disabilities.
At 92, Mr Drummond is an outstanding role model for a lifetime of community service.
He earned a Civilian Service Medal in World War II for his work in the Torres Strait and in 1998 he was named NAIDOC Sportsperson of the Year for his contribution to lawn bowls and later Senior Australian Achiever of the Year.
These people join seven other Indigenous Australians who have been recognised for their contribution to improving the lives of Indigenous Australians, including Adjunct Professor Dennis Eggington who was named Person of the Year for his strong advocacy on law and justice issues.
All of the award recipients embody this year’s NAIDOC week theme of: Unsung Heroes – Closing the Gap by Leading their Way.
As positive role models, they have each shown strong leadership to help drive change that leads to better outcomes for Indigenous Australians. They are helping to make a real difference in their communities.
I congratulate all the winners of the 2010 National NAIDOC Awards.
For a full list of the winners of the 2009 NAIDOC Awards visit: www.naidoc.org.au