Inverell NAIDOC Awards bow to local shining stars

THERE was a wide range of contribution and history recognised at the 2015 Inverell NAIDOC Awards last Friday, July 10.

Aunt Sue Blacklock was the second recipient of the Aunt May Yarrowyck Award of outstanding achievement in all aspects of commitment and dedication in the community, both personally, and professionally.

The award was introduced in 2014.

“This award is to celebrate a lifetime of achievement from a well-known Tingha identity,” NAIDOC celebration emcee Ivan Lackay said during the presentation.

Aunt Sue was recognised for her determination to protect and foster Aboriginal children in need, her work establishing Winangay Resources, her work as a cultural ambassador, her appointment as the inaugural Ambassador for the Australian Centre for Child Protection, and much more.

Aunt Ella Munro of Tingha was awarded Female Elder of the Year for her long history of work within the Tingha community, particularly the Tingha Playgroup and Public School.

“Ella drives the school bus for the kids, ensuring that they get their education,” Ivan said.

“Ella is an inspiration to everyone.”

Uncle Errol Connors received the award for Male Elder for the Year.

“He has participated in many Aboriginal cultural awareness events in the community and has offered advice as requested,” Ivan said.

Uncle Errol is a supporter of the Inverell men’s Group and supports the Armajun Fitness program.

Female Youth of the Year was given to Ebony Adams for her academic stranding, leadership and community contributions.

“In 2014-15, Ebony was a recipient of the NSW Legal Aid Secondary School Scholarship, which will hold her in good standing when she pursues her law degree ambitions,” Ivan said.

Male Youth of the Year was awarded to Quinton Williams who was described as an inspiration to his peers and respectful for his culture.

“He is an active member of the Rural Fire Service, and SES and always gives 100 per cent,” Ivan said.

Darren Finn received the Sportsperson of Year Award as the only Aboriginal man to hold four international martial arts and boxing titles, his commitment and achievement in the sport, and dedication to youth and community.“

Dean Davis was chosen for the Arts Award for his leadership and his ability in and commitment to cultural and artistic performance.

“Dean has proven to be a great inspiration to his peers,” Ivan said.

The Non-Indigenous Award for commitment and dedication towards Aboriginal services within the community was presented to Jean Muggleton.

“Her dedication towards helping our children achieve their goals has been noted and this award is a fitting tribute Jean’s commitment and dedication,” Ivan said.

Commitment and dedication towards Aboriginal Service within the community was awarded to Karen Morris of Armajun Aboriginal Health Service.

Within her time at Armajun, Karen completed her Certificate IV in Business Management and a Diploma in Practice Management.

“As a frontline person when attending Armajun, her professional nature and commitment makes Karen a worthy winner of this award,” Ivan said.

Volunteer of the Year was presented to Kelvin Brown, well-known for his work in Tingha and Inverell and an asset to the NAIDOC committee.

“Kelvin is always helping people within the community and freely gives his time to assist with the matter of cultural activities,” Ivan said.

The Education and Training Award was given to Fiona Milson for her work within Inverell District Family Services in Tingha and Inverell since 2007.

“Fiona has a strong passion for advocating for the children of Tingha and Inverell and encourages families to participate in early education as a vital stepping stone to the future of all children,” Ivan said.

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