Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Indigenous leaders recognised at NAIDOC Ball

Professor Lowitja O’Donoghue has been recognised for her commitment to Indigenous rights as part of the 2009 National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Ball.

At the NAIDOC Ball today, Professor O’Donoghue received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her efforts as an outstanding leader and role model for Indigenous people.

Professor O’Donoghue has long been a champion for improving the lives of Indigenous people, and an advocate for social justice.

She joins 10 other inspirational Indigenous Australians recognised today, including Professor Larissa Behrendt who received the 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year.

During the past decade, Professor Behrendt has campaigned on Indigenous rights and social justice, as well as mentored young Aboriginal law students.

Over the past 24 years, the National NAIDOC Awards have formally acknowledged the significant contribution individuals have made to improve the lives of Indigenous people.

Since 1985, more than 100 Indigenous Australians have received National NAIDOC Awards, with six Indigenous Australians awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The NAIDOC Awards finish off an excellent week of NAIDOC celebrations focusing on the theme: Honouring Our Elders, Nurturing Our Youth.

The theme is particularly pertinent to this year’s NAIDOC Awards which honour the significant role Elders have as leaders and mentors of our youth.

I congratulate the winners of the 2009 National NAIDOC Awards, which serves to remind all Australians of the outstanding contribution Indigenous people have made to the nation.

For a full list of the winners of the 2009 NAIDOC Awards visit the NAIDOC website.