Stories of success to inspire, encourage and share best practice.

Australia has evidence of what works in achieving good outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs and reconciliation.

This chapter highlights successful reconciliation policy and programs, with a particular focus on the significance of respectful two-way relationships.


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Dan Sultan Musician
Jessica Mauboy Musician
B-Boy 2 Ezy Dancer
Sean Choolburra Entertainer
Rachel Perkins Director
Samson and Delilah Entertainment
Rohanee Cox Basketballer
Cathy Freeman Athlete
Michael Long AFL Legend
Bianca Franklin Netballer
Stacey Porter Softballer
Nathan Jawai Basketballer
Lydia Williams Soccer Player
Bo de la Cruz Touch Footballer
Archie Roach Musician
Kev Carmody Musician
Emma Donovan Musician
Tjupi Band Musicians
Brothablack Musician
Yothu Yindi Musicians
Saltwater Band Musicians
Kirstie Parker Co-Chair, National Congress of Australia's First Peoples
Koori Mail Newspaper
Sally Goold Nurse
Chris Wilson Academic
Chris Sarra Educator
Jackie Huggins Academic
Casey Donovan World's youngest Idol competition and recipient of ARIA No.1 award!
Romlie Mokak CEO of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association.
Mick Gooda Senior Executive
Mick Dodson Professor
Tom Calma Leader and 2008 Man of Inspiration
Ken Wyatt Federal MP
Lowitja O'Donoghue public speaker and Leader
Wayne Quilliam Photographer
Destiny Deacon Photographer
John Moriarty Designer
Mark Bin Bakar Entertainer
Warwick Thornton Director
Deborah Mailman Actor

Deborah Mailman


Deborah Mailman is the daughter of a Maori mother and an Aboriginal father and was born in Mt Isa, Queensland. In 1995 she co-devised and appeared in the one-woman stage show Seven Stages of Grieving, subsequently staged at the London International Festival of Theatre. Three years later, for her performance in the film Radiance, she became the first Aboriginal woman to win the Best Actress Award at the AFI Awards. She played Helena in the Indigenous production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Sydney’s Festival of the Dreaming in 1997, and Cordelia and Rosalind in the Bell Shakespeare Company’s King Lear and As You Like It. In 1999 she won a Critics’ Choice Award. She has earned great popularity on Australian television in Playschool (1998-2001) and The Secret Life of Us (2001-2006); her films include Rabbit Proof Fence (2002) and The Book of Revelation (2006). Mailman was named NAIDOC’s Person of the Year in 2003.

Samantha Harris Model

Samantha Harris


Samantha Harris is a model from the Gold Coast. Modeling since she was 13, she started out entering modeling competitions in clothes from the op-shop. Since then, Samantha’s success has grown in leaps and bounds, with many commentators suggesting that she is set to become the world’s first Aboriginal supermodel. By the age of 15 Samantha had already walked the runway at several high-profile events, including Mercedes Fashion Week in Sydney, the David Jones Spring Collection in Sydney and Melbourne and the Lancome Awards in Sydney. She had also been chosen to take part in a photo shoot for Glamour in New York and travelled to Bora Bora in Tahiti for a Marie Claire photo shoot. By the age of 19, Samantha had become an essential drawcard at Australian Fashion Week, appearing for 18 designers including Lisa Ho, Camilla, Dion Lee, Rachel Gilbert and Alex Perry. On the back of her huge showing at Australian Fashion Week, she is slated to appear at New York Fashion week in September 2010. She is also a cover girl for Vogue Australia.

Samantha is impressive for more than just her looks. She is a proud Aboriginal woman who says she wants to do well for her culture and her family. She feels proud to be able to be a role model for other Indigenous girls and to be able to provide a positive image of Aboriginality in the media.

Patrick Mills Basketballer

Patrick Mills


Born in Canberra, Patrick Mills is one of the first Indigenous Australians to play basketball in the NBA in the United States, and also one of the youngest to play for Australia’s national basketball team, the Boomers. At the age of 15, Mills was selected for the ACT under-18 squad to compete at the Australian National Championships. In 2006, the year Mills began training with the Boomers, he was awarded the RE Staunton medal for being the top player in the Australia under-20 championships, Basketball Australia Junior Male Player of the Year, Basketball Australia Player of the Year, the Deadly Award for Most Promising New Talent in Sport, and NAIDOC’s National Sportsperson of the Year. In 2007, Mills was again awarded the RE Staunton Medal and also made his debut with the Boomers against Austria. In this match Mills scored 11 points off the bench and was credited with tipping the game in Australia’s favour.

In 2009 Mills entered the 2009 NBA Draft, playing for the Portland Trail Blazers. Mills is now based in the US but returned to Australia in 2010 to play for the Boomers in their three-match series against Argentina, where he scored 32 of the 46 goals for the winning team.

Johnathan Thurston Footballer

Johnathan Thurston


Johnathan Thurston is a professional Rugby League player who Captains the North Queensland Cowboys. Thurston began playing football at a very young age for Souths Sunnybank Junior Rugby League Football Club in Brisbane’s South Side. Thurston also played football at school, but despite playing very well he had great difficulty getting signed to a club. Eventually, in 2001, he was signed to the Bulldogs as an unpaid player. Once given the opportunity, Thurston quickly exceeded expectations and made his NRL debut with the Bulldogs in 2002. In 2004 he was part of the Bulldog’s premiership winning side. In 2005 Thurston was signed to the North Queensland Cowboys and played State of Origin for Queensland. In this year he was also awarded the Halfback of the Year award and the Dally M Medal for Player of the Year. In 2006 Thurston again played State of Origin for Queensland and was also selected for the Australian squad for the 2006 Tri-Nations Tournament. He was awarded Man of the Match for his exceptional efforts in the game against New Zealand. In 2007, Thurston was again awarded man of the match for his state of origin efforts and also won Halfback of the Year and the Dally M Medal Player of the Year Award, both for the second time. In 2008 Thurston played in the Australian squad at the Rugby World Cup and was named man of the match in their game against New Zealand. In 2010 Thurston was named man of the match for a third time in game one of the State of Origin. Thurston is considered to be one of Rugby League’s modern day superstars.

Dan Sultan Musician

Dan Sultan


Dan Sultan is a singer/songwriter from Melbourne. At only 26 years of age, Dan is already a rising star with a cult following in the Australian music scene. He has been labeled the ‘Black Elvis’ by the likes of Clare Bowditch, Missy Higgins and Paul Kelly due to his undeniable charisma and snappy rock n’ roll styling.

It is hard not to feel mesmerized by Dan Sultan’s energy and intensity, a fact which permeates many of the rave reviews he is receiving round the country at the moment: ‘No doubt about it. There’s something in the way Dan Sultan sings, in the way he looks, in the way he scissors his legs back-and-forth on stage, shimmies his hips and shortens and extends his arms as if he’s pumping emotional iron, that makes a room full of people want to be him or bed him.’ Sydney Morning Herald, 7 March 2008.

Dan has released two albums entitled Homemade Biscuits and Get Out While You Can. Get Out While You Can was released in November 2009 and reached number one on the Independent Australian Charts. He also won the Single Release of the Year at the 2007 Deadly awards for his song “Your Love is Like a Song”. More recently, Dan appeared in the film Bran Nue Dae.

Dan Sultan is also a member of The Black Arm Band.

Jessica Mauboy Musician

Jessica Mauboy


Jessica Mauboy is an R&B singer, songwriter and actress. She first gained public attention in 2006 during the fourth season of Australian Idol where she placed second. Since her time on Australian Idol, Jessica’s popularity both in Australia and overseas has grown exponentially. In the weeks following the conclusion of Australian Idol Jessica secured a recording contract with Sony BMG, and has released two albums that have been certified gold and platinum respectively. Jessica’s debut single ‘Running Back’ was released on September 2008 and peaked at number three on the ARIA Singles Chart and number one on ARIA Urban Charts. The single sold over 140,000 copies and achieved double platinum status. She is also signed to Ministry of Sound and Universal Music labels. Jessica has been nominated for seven ARIA awards (the most for one artist) and won an ARIA for Highest Selling Single for her song ‘Running Back’. In 2009 Jessica won three Deadly Awards for Female Artist of the Year, Single of the Year and Album of the Year.

Aside from her incredible achievements in music, Jessica made her acting debut in 2010 in the Australian film Bran Nue Day where she starred alongside Geoffrey Rush, Ernie Dingo and Missy Higgins. Jessica is also recognised for her community work, and was nominated for the 2009 NT Young Australian of the Year.

B-Boy 2 Ezy Dancer

B-Boy 2 Ezy


Isaac Parsons (AKA B-Boy 2 Ezy) was born in 1984 in Brewarrina, New South Wales. He began breaking at the age of 16 after watching the movie ‘Breaking’ and began perfecting his moves with friends.

In 2001, Isaac won the Under 18 Victorian Break Dancing Championship and then came runner up in the National Championship the following year.

Isaac attended the Vibe 3on3® in Mildura in 2001 and won the events dancing competition. The team were so impressed with his skills that Isaac was invited to join the crew and has been the 3on3’s break dancing workshop coordinator ever since.

After finishing high school, Isaac worked as a Health and Family Preservation Case Worker in Mildura.

In 2005 he moved to Sydney to begin studying at the NAISDA dance college. Isaac has also performed at several Deadly Awards as well as The Dreaming Festival, The YAAMA Festival, Ice-T, Grandmaster Flash and Yothu Yindi concerts, and has even performed in the ring before an Anthony Mundine world title bout.

Isaac never fails to drop jaws in every single 3on3 destination thanks to his acrobatic style and gravity defying head spins. “Breaking has turned me into the person I am today and given me the confidence to try other things, and I love giving people the opportunity to learn how to dance, just like someone did for me. It doesn’t matter if they don’t take it on, but just having that chance to try it out and see if they like it or not, there’s nothing to loose,” says Isaac.

Sean Choolburra Entertainer

Sean Choolburra


Sean Choolburra has carved his niche as Australia’s No 1 indigenous entertainer. After winning the NSW Raw Comedy final in 2002, Sean has gone on to prove himself as a dynamic and versatile comedian, rap singer, dancer, storyteller, actor & hip-hop didge player.

Sean performed in October 2009 for the Scottish Storytelling Festival as an invited guest. This tour came as the result of him doing shows at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008 at the Edinburgh College of the Arts. He also performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, and hosted the Deadly Funnies in Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth. On 31 March 2008 Sean performed on MICF Gala on the Ten Network during his Melbourne International Comedy Festival Season. Episode 19 in 2007 saw Sean debut on “Thank God You’re Here”. He has previously performed at the Opera House and the Melbourne Comedy Festival with his one man show ‘OIL OF MY LAND’ – which drew on his life experiences as an Aboriginal growing up and gave perfect opportunity for blending his skills as a dancer and didge player. Sean gives audiences a chance to get in on many hilarious ‘Black Fella Yarns’. He headlined the Dreaming FestivalL in 2005, 2006, 2007 and by popular demand returned in 2008. Sean is still recognised following his two performances on the NRL Footy Show in 2006.

Hailing from Townsville, Sean has an established career as a dancer. He created the NGARU Dance Company and performed all over the world with the Bangarra Dance Company, including by invitation for the Dalai Lama, Hale & Pace and Prince Charles. He is charming, captivating, cheeky, clever and charismatic. Perhaps it is his ability to share the naivety of a small town Aboriginal boy still coming to grips with the big city lights that makes him all that much more inviting and engaging as a performer. “Part of my shows look at my Aboriginal and Australian identity, that is becoming very Americanised,” Sean says. “My old grandfather says ‘Look at you kids, dressing up like Americans,’ without noticing he himself wearing cowboy hat and boots just like John Wayne. He likes to jibe us about wearing hip hop clothes and LA hats – ‘You kids have never been to LA’ – and I say ‘LA doesn’t stand for Los Angeles it stands for ‘Love Aboriginal’.’ Then I break into a bit of didge hip hop rap.”

Sean’s comedy is uniquely & truly Australian. His is a fresh new voice in a comedy scene inundated by white fellas. He blends popular culture, dance, comedy and hip hop in a high energy, feel good show. He is a rising star of not only the comedy world but also as an all round entertainer and guaranteed to raise your spirit while splitting your spleen.

These days Sean is in constant demand as an MC and Comedian for official functions, corporate events, theatre shows, comedy clubs, workshops, openings & festivals

Emily Cattermole Model

Emily Cattermole


Originally from Perth, Emily Cattermole has been modeling since she was 14. Emily has always been a favourite at Australian Fashion Week and this year she opened the parade for Kooey, a proudly Indigenous swimwear label. Internationally, Emily has walked the runway in New York, Paris, Milan and Hong Kong. Emily was recently picked up by the elite American modeling agency Ford and has spent time working with the agency in LA.

Stone Bros Film

Stone Bros


Released in 2009, Stone Bros. is Australia’s first Indigenous stoner road movie, and about as far fromSamson and Delilah as you can get. Set in Western Australia, the film follows the Charlie and Eddie on the road from Perth to Kalgoorlie, after Eddie sets out to reconnect with his black fella roots and return a sacred stone to his uncle. Along the road they pick up what Charlie mistakes for a “hot chick” only to find they are landed with Vinnie, a self obsessed Italian stallion, who claims to have been marooned in the desert by his heavy metal band. Soon after they are joined by Eddie and Charlie’s drag queen cousin Regina who is played by David Page, the award winning resident composer for the Bangarra Dance Theatre. What ensues is a riotous trip through outback Australia as the foursome encounter a host of eccentric characters, attend a literally explosive wedding ceremony, conspire to hold up an outback museum and are pursued by a vicious demon dog.

Stone Bros. was written and directed by long time writer, performer and activist from the Gunditjmara nation, Richard J Franklin.

Ningali Lawford-Wolf Actor

Ningali Lawford-Wolf


Ningali Lawford-Wolf is a Wangkatjungka-Goonyandi-Walmatjarri woman from the Fitzroy Crossing area of Western Australia’s Kimberley region and one of Australia’s most admired Aboriginal performers. She first appeared in the stage musical Bran Nue Dae in 1990. Her talents as an actor, dancer, singer and writer have seen her featured in various theatre, film and television productions including Aliwa and Up the Road by Company B Belvoir Street Theatre. Lawford-Wolf toured internationally with her one woman show Ningali, a Deckchair Theatre Production which won a Green Room Award and an Edinburgh Festival Award for Best Actress. She toured Malaysia with a collection of songs and dances for Black Swan and performed in Black and Tran for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Lawford-Wolf’s television credits include The Circuit, Dirt Game and 3 Acts of Murder, along with feature film creditsThe Drover’s Boy and Rabbit Proof Fence. Besides her work in theatre, film and television, Lawford-Wolf also holds projects to do with health. She is a guest at nearly all festivals celebrating the culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which she works tirelessly to bring to a wider audience.

Leah Purcell Actor

Leah Purcell


Leah Purcell is an Indigenous actress, singer/songwriter and film maker who has successfully made her mark on stage as well as the big screen. Purcell grew up in the small rural town of Murgon in southwest Queensland and is the youngest of six siblings. Her career took off in 1996, when she moved to Sydney and became a presenter on a music video show. She later received critical acclaim for her work as an actress on the ABC hit Police Rescue. In 1997 she was nominated for an AFI award for Best Actress in a TV drama for her outstanding work in Fallen Angels. She then went on to co-write and star in an autobiographical play called Box the Pony, which gained great reviews. The published version of the play won the QLD and NSW Premier’s Literacy Award for best play. Leah’s performance in the play was also recognised through her nomination at the Sir Robert Helpman Awards for best female actor.

In 2002 Leah wrote, directed and starred in the documentary film Black Chicks Talking. The documentary involved nine Aboriginal women talking about their lives as modern, successful Indigenous Australians. Their stories were inspirational to many young women, particularly as they explored the ways they are making their mark on the world in their respective professions. Purcell has starred in Australian theatre productions and feature films such as Lantana, The Proposition andJindabyne alongside the likes of Geoffrey Rush and Anthony La Paglia.

Rachel Perkins Director

Rachel Perkins


Rachel Perkins, director of the 2010 film Bran Nue Dae, is from the Arrernte and Kalkadoon nations of Australia. She trained at the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) in Alice Springs and is also a graduate of the Australian Film Television and Radio School. Perkins was employed for a combined six years as an executive producer of the Indigenous Television units at SBS and the ABC. She has independently produced and directed a number of documentary series including Blood Brothersand From Spirit to Spirit – the first international Indigenous co-production of Aboriginal, Maori, Sami and Native Canadian crews. She financed the first Indigenous drama initiative for the Australian Film Commission and produced three short films under these successful initiatives.

Perkins has directed two multi-award winning feature films, Radiance and One Night The Moon (which she also co-wrote). These films have screened at the Berlin, London, Toronto, Moscow and Sundance film festivals. Radiance (winner of an AFI and Film Critics Choice Award for Best Actress and Australian Screen Sound Guild Award) is unique in being voted most popular film at the Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra film festivals. One Night The Moon is the winner of two AFI Open Craft Awards – Sound and Cinematography, two Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Score and the Special Achievement Award recognising Perkin’s unique combination of sound, image and music, an Australian Cinematographers Society Award and two AWGIE (Australian Writers’Guild) Awards including the Golden AWGIE. One Night the Moon has screened at 70 film festivals worldwide and received the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival Award for Best Feature Film – Musical.

Perkins was one of the directors, co-writers and producers of the seven hour documentary series First Australians, which screened on SBS in 2008 and 2010 and was awarded the 2009 Logie for Most Outstanding Documentary. This series, produced by Perkin’s company Blackfella Films, is the largest budget documentary series to be undertaken in Australia. Perkins has been active in the development of the Australian film industry, which was acknowledged in 2002 with her being presented the AFI’s Byron Kennedy Award. She has served as a junior advisor at Sundance, on the boards of NSWFTO, the AFTRS, the AFC and is currently a Board member of Screen Australia and a founding Board member of National Indigenous TV Service. Since 2000, she has edited Australia’s largest directory of Indigenous media and the arts

Ernie Dingo Actor

Ernie Dingo


Ernie Dingo is an Indigenous Australian actor and television presenter. Ernie is most well known for his role on the television show The Great Outdoors which he as hosted since 1993. Ernie has also appeared in other Australian television series such as Heartbreak High, The Flying Doctors, Rafferty’s Rules, The Cowra Breakout, A Waltz Through the Hills, Kings in Grass Castles and Heartland. Ernie also appeared in the films Until the End of the World, Crocodile Dundee II and Bran Nue Dae. Ernie has won an AFI for best actor in a television drama for his role in A Waltz Through the Hills. In 1990 Ernie was awarded the Order of Australia in recognition for his service to the performing arts. In 1997 Ernie became a ‘National Living Treasure’

Ernie is also an ambassador for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

Samson and Delilah Entertainment

Samson and Delilah

Film by Indigenous Director

Warwick Thornton

Released in 2009 and directed by Warwick Thornton, Samson and Delilah tells the love story of two teenagers living in an isolated community in the Central Australian Desert. The film was immensely popular in Australia and has also been well received internationally. In 2009 it won over 20 awards nationally and internationally, including the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Rohanee Cox Basketballer

Rohanee Cox


Rohanee Cox is an Australian women’s basketball player. She started out playing basketball as a teenager, representing the Australian Opals. However, despite her immense talent, she left basketball altogether for a time. It wasn’t until she had her daughter Alyriah, and thought about providing opportunities for her, that she felt inspired to rejoin the game. The extent of this comeback, despite such a long break, is a testament to her huge talent. Rohanee started playing basketball again in 2002 with the Perth Lynx. For the 2005/06 season she signed with Townsville Fire. In 2007 Rohanee rejoined the Opals, won the Maher Medal for International Player of the Year and was named in the WNBL All Star Five.

In 2008, Rohanee played with the Opals at the Beijing Olympic Games, where the team won the Silver medal. In 2009 Rohanee, with the Opals, won gold at the FIBA Oceania Championship. In the same year she was also named the WNBL Most Valuable Player for the 2008/09 season and won a Deadly Award for Female Sportsperson of the Year.

Cathy Freeman Athlete

Cathy Freeman


Catherine (Cathy) Freeman is one of Australia’s most successful female athletes. At 16 years of age, Freeman won gold at the Commonwealth Games as part of the 4 x 100m relay team. In 1990 she was awarded Young Australian of the Year, and Aboriginal Athlete of the Year in 1991. In 1992, Freeman became the first Aboriginal track and field athlete to represent Australia at an Olympic Games. She became one of Australia’s best known figures with double gold at the Commonwealth Games in 1994 in the 200m and 400m. Catherine also became the first Australian women to run under 50 seconds for 400m in Melbourne in 1996.

At the ’96 Olympic Games, she became the sixth fastest women ever over 400m, running a Commonwealth record and winning the silver medal behind Marie-Jose Perec in arguably the greatest one lap race of all time. Catherine won back-to-back World Championships in 400m in 1997 and 1999. Freeman took the 200m/400m National title double in 2000 at Stadium Australia.

Catherine took the prestigious honour of lighting the Olympic Cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. What followed was the realisation of a dream, winning the 400m and claiming Australia’s 100th Olympic Gold medal. This was backed up by a seventh placing in the final of the 200m, and running a great anchor leg for the Australian 4 x 400m relay team finishing fifth in a new Australian record time.

Catherine retired from athletics in 2003 and has taken up community ventures. In 2006, a biographical documentary Cos I’m Free (AKA Cathy Freeman), was shown on Australian television. Catherine featured in two series of the Lonely Planet special Going Bush in which she ventured to remote areas of Australia, and has released an autobiography, Born to Run – Cathy: Her Own Story.

Awards and honours bestowed on Catherine include World Sportswoman of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards (2001), the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards (2001), The Don Award – Sport Australia Hall of Fame award given to the sportsperson who has most inspired the nation (2000) and being voted Australian of the Year (1998).

Catherine has a real desire to give back to the Australian community and has just established her own foundation, the Catherine Freeman Foundation. The Foundation provides pathways to a brighter future and opportunity for people to achieve their dreams by using education and sport as a conduit for social change, the focus being on Indigenous girls

Michael Long AFL Legend

Michael Long

AFL Legend

Michael Long is one of the most talented footballers to have play in the Australian Football League (AFL). At the age of 20, Long was recruited by Essendon from St Mary’s Football Club in the Northern Territory. Long’s skills earned him the Best First Year Player Award. He played 190 games for Essendon, was Co-Captain in 1999 and played in two premierships. Long became a spokesperson against racism in sport after he reported offensive language used by an opposition player following Essendon’s ANZAC game against Collingwood.

Long retired from football in 2001 and became a public advocate for the rights of Indigenous Australians. In November 2004 Long left Melbourne to walk to Canberra to meet Prime Minister John Howard to discuss the plight of Indigenous Australians and raise public awareness of the issues affecting Indigenous communities. Thousands of people joined the walk which became known as ‘The Long Walk’. Since 2004, The Long Walk has grown into a charity organisation which highlights issues that are important to Indigenous Australians. 2010 marks the sixth year that The Long Walk has been held.

Bianca Franklin Netballer

Bianca Franklin


Bianca Franklin was born in Dowerin in Western Australia and began playing netball at a young age. By the time Bianca was 15, she was representing her state in the under 17 team after being picked up by a talent scout at a local netball carnival. At 19, Bianca was awarded an Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) scholarship and moved to Canberra to play with the Canberra Darters. In 2003 Bianca won an ATSIC award for 2003 West Australian Young Achiever of the Year.

Stacey Porter Softballer

Stacey Porter


Born in Tamworth, New South Wales, Stacey Porter plays professional softball. Stacey was first selected for Australia’s national team in 2002, and went on to represent Australia at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, where her team won the Silver medal. She was the first Indigenous Australian to represent Australia at the Olympics in softball. In 2005 she was awarded the Deadly award for Female Sportsperson of the Year and was also named Female Softballer of the Year by Softball Australia. In 2008 she was named the NAIDOC Sportsperson of the Year, and also represented Australia at the Beijing Olympic Games, where the Australian team won the Bronze Medal. In March 2010 Stacey was named Captain of the Australian Softball Team.

Anthony Mundine Boxer

Anthony Mundine


Anthony Mundine is a professional boxer and former rugby league footballer. Born in Sydney, Mundine was signed to the St George Dragons in 1993 at the age of 18. Anthony has gone on to become a successful boxer, being a former two-time WBA Super Middleweight champion and currently the IBO Middleweight champion.

Nathan Jawai Basketballer

Nathan Jawai


Nathan Jawai is a professional basketball player who currently plays for the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA. Jawai began his basketball career in 2007, playing for the Cairns Taipans. In 2008 Jawai was drafted to the NBA Draft by the Indian Pacers. Jawai made his NBA debut against the Detroit Pistons in 2009, and played the best game of his career in November of that year when he scored a team-high 16 points against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Lydia Williams Soccer Player

Lydia Williams

Soccer Player

Lydia Williams is an Australian soccer player who currently plays for (and co-captains) Canberra United FC in the Australian W-League. At just 17 years of age, she was a part of the Australian Women’s Soccer team who toured the US and Mexico in late 2005. In the same year she also took part in the AFC Asian Women’s Cup, which doubled as qualifiers for the World Cup. At the 2006 Deadly Awards, Lydia was one of the youngest ever recipients of the Female Sportsperson of the Year Awards. In 2009, during Australia’s off season, Lydia travelled to the United States to play and train with the Chicago Red Stars. Lydia is considered to be the key player for Canberra United FC, and was part of the Australian team which won the AFC Asian Women’s Cup in 2010.

Bo de la Cruz Touch Footballer

Bo de la Cruz

Touch Footballer

Born in Darwin, Bo de la Cruz is a Women’s Touch Football champion. In 2003 Bo travelled to Japan with the Australian team, who won the Touch Football World Cup. Bo’s outstanding efforts at this tournament were recognised when she was awarded Overall Female Player of the series and Most Valuable Player for Australia. In this year Bo was also named Northern Territory’s Sports Ambassador, Sports Young Achiever of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sports Awards as well as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Sportsperson of the Year Award. At the 2004 Deadly Awards Bo was named Sportswoman of the year. In 2007 Bo travelled with the Australian team to South Africa where the team was again victorious. In 2009 Bo demonstrated her versatility when she changed sporting codes to represent Australia in the World Rugby Sevens in Dubai, UAE. At this event Bo’s efforts in the semi-final against South Africa saw the Australian team progress to the final against New Zealand, which they also won.

Evonne Goolagong Tennis Star

Evonne Goolagong

Tennis Star

Evonne Goolagong is world-famous tennis star, a proud Wiradjuri woman from Barellan, New South Wales, and one of Australia’s most loved living legends.

Evonne won every age championship she entered, culminating in 1970 with her first Grand Slam win, the French Open. In 1971 she won her first Wimbledon title and nine years later would return to gain the title for a second time. She finished her career with 92 international titles, which included being a finalist in 18 Grand Slams including the Australian Open (4 times winner) the French Open (once) and the US Open (runner up 4 times).

On Australian soil she represented her country 7 times in the Fed Cup and was a member of winning teams in 1971, 1973 and 1974. She was Fed Cup Captain from 2002-2004. Impressively Evonne held the ranking of number one tennis player in the world in 1971 and 1980.

In 1991 Evonne returned to live in Australia with her family. Rather than quietly retire from public life she has continued to actively pursue opportunities of interest. She has been a board member of the Australian Sports Commission, and a Tennis Ambassador for Tennis Australia; she has served on the National Indigenous Advisory Committee to SOCOG; she is patron of the Noosa Soccer and Tennis Clubs; and in 2008 she was appointed a board member of the Indigenous Land Corporation. Evonne is also Co-Patron of Reconciliation Australia, together with Sir William Deane.

Keen to provide opportunities for the next generation of Indigenous champions, she formed the Evonne Goolagong Sports Trust to review Aboriginal sports facilities as well as to raise funds for new facilities and equipment. Since 2005 Evonne in partnership with the Indigenous Sports Foundation has run the Goolagong National Development Camp for Indigenous youngsters who have the potential to become pro players, coaches or administrators.

Evonne has received a number of national and international accolades including being named Australian Sportsman of the Year and Australian of the Year, receiving in 2003 the Margaret Pewtress Memorial Award for her services to sport, being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the Indigenous Hall of Fame and receiving the IOC Women and Sport Trophy for her services.

Michael O'Loughlin AFL Player

Michael O'Loughlin

AFL Player

Michael, the eldest of six children, was born and raised in Adelaide. Both his parents are proud Aboriginal people from the Narangga and Ngarrindjeri areas around South Australia.


Michael is an Indigenous, elite AFL Player. Michael made his professional sporting debut for the Sydney Swans in 1995. In the first year he won a Rising Star nomination and staked his claim as one of the competition’s most outstanding forwards.


In 1997 his skills earned him All-Australian honours, and in 1998 he was awarded the Swan’s best and fairest player. His unstoppable ability to cut open defences captivated the crowds in 2000. Booting 53 goals from 22 games, made him the Swan’s leading goal kicker. Since then, Michael has continued to dominate the world of AFL. This success culminated in his 2005 selection in the AFL Indigenous Team of the Century. Also in 2005, Michael’s career dreams were answered when he shared in the Sydney Swan’s Grand Final win. Michael has made three Grand Finals in his career, the most of any Sydney Swans player.


Michael is passionate about making positive contributions to the community and has been an ambassador for the National Indigenous English Literacy and Numeracy Strategy and DHS ambassador for Indigenous Servicing for the federal government.

Lance Franklin AFL Player

Lance Franklin

AFL Player

Lance “Buddy” Franklin plays Australian Rules Football for the Hawthorn Football Club. Born in Perth, Lance made his AFL debut in 2005, after being picked in the 2004 AFL Draft. By 2007, Buddy’s star was rising fast, and his goal kicking saw him become an instrumental player for the Hawthorn side. In 2008, Buddy’s efforts were rewarded when he won the Coleman Medal and became the first player to kick 100 goals in the AFL home-and-away season since Tony Lockett in 1998. When he reached this milestone, thousands of fans jumped the fence and ran onto the field forming a massive huddle around Buddy. Apart from being a well loved and talented footballer, Buddy is very proud of his Aboriginal heritage, which he acknowledges through two tattoos, one of a tribal elder who gave him the name ‘Buddy’, and another of an Aboriginal artwork.

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association Productions

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association


Based in Alice Springs, CAAMA Productions Pty Ltd is the largest Indigenous production house in Australia. CAAMA was established in 1980 by John Macumba, Freda Glynn and Phillip Batty, with the vision of exposing a wider audience to Aboriginal cultures. Thirty years on, CAAMA runs a radio station called 8KIN FM, a recording studio which has recorded and distributed the music of thousands of Aboriginal musicians and the largest Indigenous production house in Australia, responsible for films such as Samson and Delilah and Yellow Fella.

Warlpiri Media Association Media Company

Warlpiri Media Association

Media Company

Warlpiri Media Association has been going for over 25 years and is a non-profit community organisation managed by a locally elected Indigenous management committee. It employs both Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff who work together to create and broadcast local media as well as media for a broader regional and national audience.

Warlpiri Media Association (now trading as PAW Media and Communications) is known both nationally and internationally. All the announcers speak in their own language and play 70% local music. Outside broadcasts of special events are a priority, in particular the Yuendumu Sports and Cultural Festival. In 2004, this broadcast included a football commentary in language, music, coverage of the battle of the bands and updates on cultural events such as the spear throwing and fire lighting competitions.

The radio network has been a huge success in the area and provides a way of connecting people, families and communities across large distances. The radio network continues to grow and offers the local community an enjoyable and culturally appropriate radio broadcast to listen to and feel a part of. For many locals, it is more than just a radio network – it is a means for communicating with and keeping in touch with friends and family.

Archie Roach Musician

Archie Roach


Archie Roach is a truly gifted and inspiring talent. Born at Framlingham Aboriginal mission, Warrnambool in south western Victoria, Archie was taken from his family at an early age as part of the notorious ‘stolen generation’.

Institutionalised, and then fostered, the Archie Roach story has been well documented. A former homeless alcoholic, Archie Roach recorded his first record, Charcoal Lane, in 1990 with Paul Kelly as producer.

The album contained Took the Children Away, a song that dealt with Archie’s personal experience as one of what is now called the ‘stolen generation’ of Aboriginal people.

The album won two Aria Awards and a Human Rights Award – the first time a Human Rights award has been awarded to a songwriter. It was also in the US Rolling Stone’s Top 50 albums for 1992 and achieved gold status in Australia.

In 1992 Archie recorded Jamu Dreaming. Released in 1993, this album was recorded with musical assistance from David Bridie, Tiddas, Paul Kelly, Linda and Vika Bull, Ruby Hunter, Dave Arden and Joe Geia. Jamu Dreaming was nominated for an Aria Award in 1994 and was in Australia’s Top 40.

Released in July 1997, Looking for Butter Boy was recorded on his traditional land at Port Fairy in South-Western Victoria. This album won three Aria Awards in 1998.

Aside from his recorded offerings and many awards, Archie has also performed with some of the top names in the entertainment business – including Paul Kelly, Weddings Parties Anything, Crowded House, Billy Bragg, Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega, Bob Dylan, Joan Armatrading and Patti Smith.

Troy Cassar-Daley Musician

Troy Cassar-Daley


Troy Cassar-Daley has earned the reputation as one of Australia’s finest country performers, honing his craft over the course of 20 years and six studio albums. A child of an Aboriginal mother and Maltese father, he grew up in Grafton, running away to live with his father in Surry Hills where he taught himself to play guitar. Troy’s band, Little Eagle, began touring NSW and while still a teenager Troy made the Top 10 in Tamworth’s Star Maker quest. In 1986 he won the Search for a Star competition. Following this success Troy toured the outback for seven months, where he began to develop and hone his songwriting skills. Returning to his home town Grafton, Troy replaced James Blundell as lead singer in country group The Blue Heeler Band.

In 1994 Troy’s debut EP Dream Out Loud was released through Sony Music. The title track raced to the Number 1 position on the country charts and in January 1995 his debut album Beyond the Dancingwas released to wide critical acclaim. Troy went on to win the prestigious 1995 ARIA Award for ‘Best Country Record’, then at the 1996 Country Music Awards in Tamworth, he won the ‘Best Male Vocal’ Award. January 1997 saw the release of True Believer to rave reviews. Then at the 1998 Australian Country Music Awards, Troy scooped three Golden Guitars – Best Male Vocal for his single Little Things, Album of the Year for True Believer and Best Video for ‘Little Things’. He has since added a second CMAA Entertainer of the Year Award and two Mo Awards to his ever-growing collection. Troy’s fifth album Big River, released in 1999, saw him win Best Male Vocal and Song of the Year for ‘They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Anymore’ at the 2000 CMAA Awards.

In 2003 Troy performed at the Opening of the Rugby World Cup and in 2005 Troy released his 6th album, Brighter Day, which received 4 star reviews across the board. It features guest backing vocals by Kasey Chambers and Jimmy Barnes. In January 2006 Troy’s Brighter Day won four Golden Guitars at the Australian Country Music Awards. The awards included Best Male Vocalist and Instrumental of the Year. Troy then toured the USA with Tommy Emmanuel where he received standing ovations from enthusiastic audiences everywhere. He followed that up by taking out two Deadlys – Artist of the Year and Single of the Year. In 2006 Troy was awarded Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association of Australia – the fourth time he has received this award in the event’s 10 year history – and the ACE Award for Best Male Country Performer.

At the latest Australian Country Music Awards, Troy took out six Golden Guitar awards – bringing his total to 20.

Kev Carmody Musician

Kev Carmody


Wherever he has gone, and he has now travelled all over the world, Carmody has been met by respect and admiration from both critics and the fans.

Since the release of his first album, Pillars Of Society, described in Australian Rolling Stone as “the best album ever released by an Aboriginal musician and arguably the best protest album ever made in Australia,” Carmody has established himself as one of the most respected singer/songwriters in the country.

He was the subject of the outstanding SBS documentary, “From Little Things, Big Things Grow”, which took its title from the joint Paul Kelly/Kev Carmody composition about the Wave Hill strike, a major turning point for the Aboriginal Land Rights movement in Australia.

When he performed with the other Aboriginal musicians in “Corroboree” at the Queen Elizabeth Hall (part of London’s South Bank complex) the prestigious British music magazine Folk Roots described his performance as: “Carmody isn’t just a protest singer (as Tiddas got him to prove with his albatross song); but it’s certainly his forte. His style may be American influenced (whose isn’t?), but I’d prefer comparisons with the living, incisive style of a Jim Page than dried-up Dylan, if you must. Down-to-earth and very much on the offensive, Carmody delivered two excellent sets with virtually no duplication.”

One of his great admirers, the British singer/songwriter Billy Bragg, describes Carmody’s work as: “For us in England the voice of Aboriginal Australia has come to us either through the white editorial system, the media, or in the traditional Dreamtime form. But there hasn’t been anything about contemporary Aboriginal issues. So Kevin, writing about the subjects he writes about from the angle he writes them, is quite a refreshing thing to come into contact with.”

Although Australia is his first love, Kev is a tireless traveller and performer. Earlier this year he undertook a tour of Europe and Canada where he played at festival and concert venues in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. He is now one of Aboriginal Australia’s most visible ambassadors and the message that he brings, although rooted in the experience of Australia’s Aboriginal community, has universal resonances which reach and touch audiences around the world.

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu Musician

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu


Gurrumul is a member of the Gumatj clan of north east Arnhemland. Blind from birth, at the age of 15 he was identified as a talented multi-instrumentalist and joined the ARIA Award winning band Yothu Yindi. Currently a member of the Saltwater Band he has contributed greatly to the Indigenous music industry. He was awarded the Album of the Year and Song of the Year 2008 at the NT Indigenous Music Awards. Recently he has earned the attention of the mainstream music scene in Australia and has been nominated for several 2008 ARIA Awards including Male Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. His album Gurrumul was first released in 2008 and entered the European World Music Chart at number 8 for September 2008. The album peaked at No. 3 in the ARIA album chart, recently went Gold and is well on its way to going Platinum. In 2009, he won Male Artist of the Year at the Deadly Awards.

Gurrumul has recently signed a European record deal with Skinnyfish Music that will enhance his musical influence even further across the globe.

Buddy Knox Musician

Buddy Knox


Buddy Knox plays and sings the blues. He is renowned for his deadly talent and ability to play authentic blues guitar on his cherry red 335 Gibson. After years of playing for a range of well-known artists such as Troy Cassar-Daley, Jimmy Little, Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly Buddy is finally living his dream as front man of his own blues band –the Buddy Knox Blues Band. His debut album, Got Da Blues released in late 2008, picked up the New Album of the Year Award at the Newcastle Blues Festival. The Buddy Knox Blues Band took off in 2008, playing at festivals around the country including Yabun, Cutting Edge, The Dreaming, Wagga Jazz & Blues and Woodford. In 2010 the Buddy Knox Blues Band will feature on the season premiere of Who We Are being shown on Foxtel.

The Buddy Knox Blues Band was also a Top 10 Finalist in the National Musicoz Awards

Street Warriors Musicians

Street Warriors


Multi-award-winning rappers, Predator & Wok are Australia’s deadliest rap sensation, the Street Warriors. Street Warriors (brothers Abie and Warwick Wright) are familiar faces on the Australian hip hop scene and respected pioneers of Indigenous hip hop.

Rising from the ashes of groundbreaking hip hop group Local Knowledge which gained widespread industry support for their hit ‘Blackfellas’ (including Triple J’s Live at the Wireless), Street Warriors wrote and released their first EP, Real Knows Real in 2008. The record highlights the group’s versatility with a soundscape ranging from deep beats and street raps to soulful RnB collaborations.

They have toured steadily since the release of the EP, building a loyal following around the country on the back of their electric and energy filled live shows, poignant lyrics and their unique musical messaged culminating in a nomination for Best Band at the Deadly Awards.

Two of the songs on the Real Knows Real EP are featured on the inaugural Gadigal and ABC Music release, the Making Waves Hip Hop album released 14 April, 2009.

Having performed both nationally and internationally, THESE BROTHERS HAVE ROCKED CROWDS IN EXCESS OF 10,000 PEOPLE!! Appearances have included major festivals such as Yabun, Homebake, Stylin’ Up, The Great Escape, Groovin’ the Moo, a string of NAIDOC dates, performances to international media as part of World Youth Day 08, the Woodford Festival, Dreaming Festival and the list goes on. At the Woodford Festival’s NYE concert recently, the crowd, including Underbelly’s lead actor, stripped off their shirts, jumped up on the stage and performed ‘The Crocodile Dance’ with them.

Street Warriors regularly engage in numerous workshops across the state, working with Indigenous youth and have become respected mentors and role models in the Indigenous community.

Street Warriors are currently working on their debut album Unstoppable Force, due out mid 2009!! Keep an eye on the blogs for updates on the album. Some exciting news coming soon!!

The Street Warriors are coming straight out of the steel city of Newcastle with a rugged style, a deadly look and carry a second to none attitude wherever they go. Always proudly representing their strong Aboriginal heritage, the Street Warriors are an unstoppable force.

Christine Anu Musician

Christine Anu


From very humble beginnings in the Torres Strait in far North Queensland, Christine has carved her way into Australia’s heart. After studying dance at NAISDA, Christine embarked on a solo singing career with Mushroom Records. Whilst developing material for her album she joined the Bangarra Dance Company and performed in the musical “Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom” at the Enmore Theatre. Soon afterwards, Christine made her recording debut on the Paul Kelly single Last Train.


Her first album Stylin Up produced several hit singles, including ‘My Island Home’, ‘Party’, ‘Monkey and the Turtle’ and ‘Wanem Time’. She won an Aria Award for the album and it featured in a documentary on her career and heritage called “Salt Water Soul”. Christine has also appeared in films and in theatre including appearing in the feature film “Dating The Enemy” and in David Atkins’ production of “Little Shop of Horrors” in the role of Crystal. Christine played the role of Mimi in the musical “Rent” for a season on Broadway. Also in film she played the role of Arabia in “Moulin Rouge” and had a role in “The Matrix Reloaded”. Her second album Come My Way had hit singles including ‘Sunshine on a Rainy Day’, ‘Jump to Love’ and ‘Coz I’m Free’ a song inspired by Cathy Freeman. The release aligned with her appearance at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.


Two of Christine’s records have gone platinum and she has won many awards including four Deadlys, an APRA award for Song of the Year for ‘My Island Home’, ARIA Awards for Best Indigenous Artist and Best Video, and a Green Room Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Mimi in “Rent”.

Emma Donovan Musician

Emma Donovan


Emma Donovan has established herself as one of Australia’s finest Indigenous singer/songwriters. With the inclusion of her traditional language Gumbayngirr in her songs, Emma is committed to educating the global community to understand more about Aboriginal culture and spirituality.

Originally from Northern NSW; Emma has performed across the globe treating audiences to her rich soulful voice as a solo artist, and as part of the award winning Black Arm Band. Seamlessly blending genres from roots, reggae and gospel to smooth soul; Emma continues to have a major impact both on the Australian main stream stage and in the international arena!

Her vast concert experiences have taken her to the Royal Concert Hall London, Musee de Quai Branli Paris, Benaki Museum Athens, Tjibaou Cultural Centre New Caledonia, Festival of Pacific Arts Palau, Treaty Grounds of Waitangi New Zealand, the Sydney Opera House & recently to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

She travels extensively across Australia to Darwin, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Yarrabah, Cairns, Broome, Katherine, Nitmilluk, Fitzroy Crossing, Alice Springs and the Torres Strait having performed with and alongside some of Australia’s most respected artists such as Frank Yamma, Archie Roach, Ruby Hunter, Christine Anu, Paul Kelly, Tiddas, Yothu Yindi, Ursula Yovich, Casey Donovan, Shellie Morris & Jimmy Little.

Emma’s current 5 track EP entitled Ngarraanga (Remember) or Ngarraanga Ngiinundi Yuludarra (Remember Your Dreaming) is Emma’s tribute to the Stolen Generations. The songs include Emma’s traditional language intercepted with spoken word by Uncle Harry Buchanan and features backing vocals by Gary Pinto (CBD) and Juanita Tippins. The video for Ngarraanga was shot at Carriageworks in Redfern in Sydney and showcases the extraordinary talent of Torres Strait Islander dancer, Albert David, inter-woven with archival footage.

Ngarraanga was launched to media in Australia to coincide with National Sorry Day on May 26th 2009.

Emma won Best Female Artist and Best R&B Single at the inaugural 2009 BUMP Awards for Ngarraanga which was also nominated for 2 Deadly Awards for Single of the Year and Best Female Artist. Most recently Emma won the Adult Contemporary genre for Commercial Radio Australia’s NA2R (New Artists 2 Radio competition) for her forthcoming single CHANGES picking up airplay across the country on major commercial networks. EMMA DONOVAN is the first Indigenous Artist ever to win NA2R!

Both of Emma’s current singles, NGARRAANGA & CHANGES were nominated in the 2010 Top 5 Australian Independent MusicOz Awards.

Tjupi Band Musicians

Tjupi Band


Tjupi Band (meaning ‘honey ant’) come from Papunya (also home to the Warumpi Band), a small community of around 400 people, 250 kms north west of Alice Springs. Even though Papunya is tiny, it has a rich music culture boasting its own recording studio. The Tjupi Band sing in their language, Luritja, and play a contemporary form of Indigenous music called ‘Desert Reggae’. Desert Reggae is unique to Central Australia, but has recently begun to garner mainstream attention and success.

Tjupi Band’s music can be seen as a contemporary form of Indigenous storytelling, demonstrating how Indigenous cultures are continuing, living and healthy. Their songs are about loneliness for country, love lost, listening to elders, following tradition, social issues, skin pride and tribal unity.

In September 2009 they were selected to perform alongside Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and Jessica Mauboy at the Telstra NT Indigenous Music Awards. In 2010 they were chosen by Triple J to perform alongside John Butler Trio, Gyroscope, Blue Juice and Washington at Triple J’s One Night Stand held in Alice Springs. They have also been a part of the Alice Desert Festival. Their songs have been broadcasted nationally by Triple J.

Brothablack Musician



A popular hip hop artist, Brothablack (also known as Shannon Williams) has been a part of Australian hip hop for several years now, formerly as a member of the Indigenous hip hop crew South West Syndicate. Brothablack won a Deadly Award at the Sydney Opera House in 2003, for most promising new talent in Aboriginal music with the South West Syndicate boys.

His debut album More Than a Feeling was released in 2005, but Brothablack is also an accomplished actor with more than 100 performances under his belt. His theatre productions include Urban Theatre Projects’ The Longest Night (Adelaide Festival 2002) and Back Home which was a resounding success at the 2006 Sydney Festival. Brothablack toured Canada with this groundbreaking production, giving the international scene a taste of his exceptional talents as a performer.

Brothablack has a long history working in remote and urban Aboriginal communities teaching hip-hop and helping mentor young people. Brothablack continues to develop his own musical/artistic output whilst actively promoting and encouraging younger and emerging Indigenous hip-hop artists.

Yothu Yindi Musicians

Yothu Yindi


Yothu Yindi hail from the Yolngu homelands on the north-east coast of Australia’s Northern Territory. The name Yothu Yindi comes from the Yolngu language, and means ‘mother and child’. Yothu Yindi were formed in 1986 and came to mainstream attention in 1991 after their song ‘Treaty’, composed by Yothu Yindi in collaboration with Paul Kelly and Midnight Oil, was remixed by Filthy Lucre and rapidly climbed the Australian charts. Following this success, Yothu Yindi’s Album Tribal Voice peaked at number four on the ARIA charts. Since this early success, Yothu Yindi have gone on to record 6 albums, tour widely throughout the world, performing at the Seoul and Atlanta Olympics and the opening of the United Nations launch of International Year for the World’s Indigenous People, and win many national and international awards, including 8 ARIA awards. In May 2001 the Australian Performing Right Association (APRA) as part of its 75th Anniversary celebrations, named “Treaty” as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time.

In addition to their musical career, the band has played an active role in their community, through their involvement in the Yothu Yindi Foundation, which runs the annual Garma festival. Several of the members of this long running band, such as Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, have gone on to have successful careers as solo artists or influential leaders.

Warren H Williams Musician

Warren H Williams


Warren H Williams is an Arrente man from Hermannsburg, west of Alice Springs. Warren plays country music and is a talented songwriter, music producer and multi-instrumentalist. Warren has released 6 solo albums, (his most recent in August of 2009) and several collaborative works. He was nominated for an ARIA award in 1998. In 2006 he was awarded the ‘NAIDOC Artist of the Year’ and ‘Song of the Year’ at the NT Indigenous Music Awards. In 2008 Warren was inducted into the Country Music Hands of Fame in Tamworth, and won a Golden Guitar in 2009 together with John Williamson and Amos Morris for Bush Ballad of the Year.

Warren has also written a musical for children and participates in the Petrol Sniffing Implementation helping with public awareness of Opal Fuel.

The Last Kinection Musicians

The Last Kinection


The Last Kinection is an Indigenous hip hop trio from Newcastle. The members, Jacob, Joel and Naomi each had successful music careers in their own right before coming together to form The Last Kinection. Jacob and Joel are both former members of Local Knowledge, which was the first Indigenous group to perform at Triple J’s Live at the Wireless. Local Knowledge also won a Music Oz award for best Indigenous artist in 2005 and a Deadly Award for Best Group. One of the pioneers of Indigenous hip hop, Local Knowledge’s single Black Fellas became an anthem expressing Indigenous pride which introduced the mainstream to Indigenous hip hop. Naomi was one half of Australia’s sexiest R&B pop sensation Shakaya, which was signed to a major label when Naomi was just 16.

After calling it a day with Local Knowledge and Shakaya the trio formed The Last Kinection, which they describe as ‘a way for them to honour and express their pride, respect and knowledge for their culture.’ Their music paints a picture of Australian Indigenous young people living an urban Australian life, through blending contemporary sounds with traditional elements. The Last Kinection played their first show to an audience of 13,000 at the Stylin’ Up festival in Brisbane, and they have since played many festivals and shows around the country. They also featured on Cannot Buy My Soul, the now famous tribute to the legendary Kev Carmody. In addition to writing and performing their own music, The Last Kinnection also run music workshops in schools, youth and community centres and festivals.

The Yabu Band Musicians

The Yabu Band


Since beginning at the age of five, multi-talented brothers, Delson and Boyd Stokes, known today as The Yabu Band, have created a powerful, unique sound aptly described as Desert Rock/Reggae. The brothers are originally from Kalgoorlie, the Goldfields town bordered by the Western Desert from where they draw their heritage, culture and inspiration. ‘Yabu’ means Rock/Gold in their language, Wongatha.

The new album entitled Gundulla – We Dance showcases the identifiably Aboriginal sound and unique song writing craft that moulds The Yabu Band. Delson, Boyd and Drummer Jade Masters have merged their traditional dreamtime stories with memorable contemporary melodies to create one of Australia’s finest Indigenous albums.

Gundulla features Yabu’s Western Desert language version of the famous Australian song, ‘I am Australian’ and although their music springs directly from their own Indigenous cultural heritage, Yabu believe this song, in this form, speaks for all Australians.

Yabu is more than just an Indigenous band; they provide a message through song, a vehicle of inspiration that has inspired children through to adults to achieve all that they can. They believe there is nothing more important than encouraging today’s youth to have self-worth and chase one’s dreams.

Apart from the passion and charm he brings to the stage, lead singer Delson Stokes Jnr is a natural performer with an incredibly pure voice, which is emphatically complemented by the blistering commentary of his shy, self-effacing brother’s guitar playing.

Their live performances incorporate one of Australia’s leading bass players, Roy Martinez along with Lilly Gogos on vocals and keyboard sensation, Tim Ayre from You, Me and Ryan.

WINNER of five WA Music Awards:

WAM Indigenous Act of the Year 2009

TOO SOLID Indigenous Contemporary Album of the Year 2009

TOO SOLID Indigenous Guitarist of the Year | Boyd Stokes 2009

TOO SOLID Indigenous Drummer of the Year | Jade Masters 2009

WAM Indigenous Song of the Year | ‘Gundulla – We Dance’ 2008

WINNER of Deadly Award:

‘Most Promising New Talent in Music’ 2009

Jimmy Little Musician

Jimmy Little


1 March 1937 – 2 April 2012

Dr Jimmy Little began his recording career in 1956 with Regal Zonophone. He then launched his career at Festival records with a 45rpm EP called “Ballads with a Beat.” It reached top 10 in the Australian musical charts and was quickly followed throughout the 60’s with a string of EP’s, singles and albums including the chart topping “Royal Telephone” in 1963. Selling more than 75,000 copies it achieved gold record status and became one of his signature tunes. His nationwide profile grew through regular TV appearances, radio airplay and constant touring. He also began acting in the late 50’s with a major role in “Shadow of the Boomerang” followed by performances in stage plays including “Black Cockatoos” and a film by Tracy Moffatt and Wim Wenders “Until the End of the World.”

Jimmy diversified into reggae music in the 80’s and became known as a role model and mentor for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. He also became heavily involved in Indigenous education. In 1999 Dr Little received an ARIA award for Adult Contemporary album “Messenger” which reached the top 10 of the alternative music charts and introduced Dr Little to a new younger audience. That same year Dr Little was inducted into the ARIA Australian Music Hall of Fame. He has received almost every major Australian music industry award during his career, including membership to the Tamworth Roll of Renown, plus honorary doctorates from QUT, Sydney University and the Australian Catholic University. Dr Little was named NAIDOC Person of the Year in 1989, awarded the NSW Senior Australian of the Year in 2002 and awarded an Order of Australia (AO) in 2004 for his work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and education programs.

In 2004 Dr little underwent a successful kidney transplant which allowed him to travel around Australia attending community events, health seminars and music festivals. In 2006, he began the Jimmy Little Foundation to improve renal health across Indigenous communities in regional and remote Australia. Dr Little continued to travel and perform to new and old fans, including visiting many remote Aboriginal communities, until his retirement from performing in 2011. Dr Little passed away at age 75 on April 2, 2012 leaving behind a lasting legacy through both his music and advocacy work.

Saltwater Band Musicians

Saltwater Band


The Saltwater Band comes from the remote Elcho Island off the coast of North East Arnhem Land. There are eight members in the band, including Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. They play two types of contemporary Indigenous music – traditional songs, some of which are over 10,000 years old, and new contemporary pop songs. In 2004 the Saltwater band won the ‘People’s Choice Award’ at the inaugural NT Indigenous Music Awards as well as a Deadly Award for ‘Album Release of the Year’ for their albumDjarridjarri (Blue Flags).  In 2009 the group won a Deadly award for Band of the Year. Their debut album, released in 1999, sold 10,000 copies almost exclusively in Northern Australia.

Kirstie Parker Co-Chair, National Congress of Australia's First Peoples

Kirstie Parker

Co-Chair, National Congress of Australia's First Peoples

Kirstie Parker is a Yuwallarai Aboriginal woman from New South Wales. She has more than 20 years experience in journalism and communications. From 2006 to 2013, she was Editor of the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander newspaper, the Koori Mail. Prior to this, she was Media and Communications Manager at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) in Canberra, ran the award-winning Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC), and was the Director of the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute – Tandanya in Adelaide. She was Director of Public Affairs for ATSIC for two and a half years, and media adviser to a Federal Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs for two years. She has also worked for ABC Radio and the West Australian newspaper, and was Editor of a weekly regional newspaper in far north QLD. Kirstie is a past member of numerous arts and community committees and advisory bodies, and is currently a member of the board of Reconciliation Australia. In 2003, she received a Centenary Medal for her contribution to the Indigenous community and Australian life.

Koori Mail Newspaper

Koori Mail


Operating since 1991, the Koori Mail is an Aboriginal owned and funded newspaper which sells over 90,000 copies per fortnight Australia wide. Since 1991, the Koori mail has grown to the point where it is recognised as ‘The Voice of Indigenous Australia’.

The newspaper is owned jointly by five small Aboriginal organisations in Bundjalung country, on the far north coast of New South Wales. All profits made by the newspaper go to Indigenous Australians through dividends, sponsorships or scholarships.

Sally Goold Nurse

Sally Goold


Sally is a registered nurse and the inaugural Chairperson and Executive Director of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses, an organisation which aims to increase the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in nursing. Sally is believed to be one of the first Aboriginal registered nurse in New South Wales. Her career has been a source of great pride to Sally and her family, who encouraged her to pursue her dream, particularly since she trained in a time when education was not considered a right for Aboriginal people. She now encourages other young people to follow her lead and set themselves goals to achieve, and has been involved in training nurses in hospitals and universities. In honour of her achievements, the Queensland Nursing Council has established a book bursary in her name. Sally was also a member of the National Indigenous Council.

Sally remains active in the community. In 2006 she was named Senior Australian of the Year for her service to the community.

Chris Wilson Academic

Chris Wilson


  • Chris is a Ngarrindjeri man from the Lower Murray Lakes and Coorong in South Australia who is currently undertaking a PhD in Holocene occupation and subsistence in Ngarrindjeri Ruwe along the Lower Murray SA. As an early career academic Chris has been instrumental in assisting in the repatriation of Ngarrindjeri Old People (human remains) back to country. In 2007, Chris was the recipient of two awards including the DEST National Indigenous Education Partnerships Award for 2007 and Office for Youth Outstanding Young Indigenous Achiever for SA. Chris was also a member of the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group.
Chris Sarra Educator

Chris Sarra


Chris Sarra hails from Bundaberg in Queensland. The youngest of 10 children, Chris experienced first-hand many of the issues faced by Indigenous students throughout their schooling.

Entering university Chris found encouragement and inspiration from various lecturers and mentors who encouraged him to go beyond the expectations the system usually held for young Indigenous students.

He completed a Diploma of Teaching, a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Education. In recent years Chris completed a PhD in Psychology with Murdoch University.

In the late 1990’s Chris took on the challenges of Indigenous education as the Principal of Cherbourg State School in South East Queensland. Through strong leadership and clear vision he facilitated many changes at the school which saw increasing enthusiasm for student learning through dramatically improved school attendance and increased community involvement in education. Under Chris’ leadership the school became nationally acclaimed for its pursuit of the Strong and Smart philosophy. Chris has been the recipient of many awards and much recognition as his ideas, enthusiasm and vision have taken hold nationally and internationally.

Chris is now the Executive Director of the Indigenous Education Leadership Institute which is pursuing improved educational outcomes for Indigenous children through engagement with principals, teachers, community leaders and Government.

The Institute’s work is based on the Strong and Smart philosophy which espouses a strong and positive sense of what it means to be Aboriginal in today’s Australian society and that Indigenous students can achieve outcomes comparable to other students.

Jackie Huggins Academic

Jackie Huggins


  • Jackie Huggins AM is a woman of the Bidjara/Birri-Gubba Juru peoples, and the Deputy Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland. Historian and published author, she was a member of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation for six years. She is a director of the Telstra Foundation and a member of the Indigenous Advisory Board of the Queensland Centre of Domestic and Family Violence Research, Central Queensland University.
Casey Donovan World's youngest Idol competition and recipient of ARIA No.1 award!

Casey Donovan

World's youngest Idol competition and recipient of ARIA No.1 award!

Casey Donovan was only 16 and still a Sydney school student with little music or singing training, when she reluctantly entered Australian Idol series 2 in 2004, being encouraged by friends & family. Throughout the competition she performed brilliantly week after week and received great praise from all three judges. She went on to win and take out the title of Australian Idol 2004 in front of a packed audience at the Sydney Opera House, Casey created history by becoming the youngest ever to win an Idol competition in the world and the first Australian female and Indigenous winner.

Casey then set about the gruelling process of recording an album in a matter of six days. In November 2004 the first single released from the album, “Listen With Your Heart”, debuted at No.1 on the ARIA singles chart and had the highest selling download of all-time from Telstra’s bigpond downloads, while her album “For You” debuted at No.2 on the album charts. The second single “What’s Going On?” debuted in the top 20, in February 2005.

In 2005 Casey was nominated for three Deadly awards winning two – for Best Album and Best Single. Previously Casey had won a Deadly for Most Promising New Talent in 2004. Also in 2005 Casey received two ARIA nominations for Best Album and Best single and was awarded an ARIA No.1 award for “Listen With Your Heart”.

After the success and exposure from Australian Idol in 2004, Casey’s music career did not live up to expectations. This has not stopped her from pursuing her music career and only makes her more determined to create her own success, which includes her artwork.
Casey has now produced her own “in house” CD called “EYE 2 EYE” which has been distributed to over 100 radio stations across Australia & has airplay in both UK and USA. The 4 songs on the EP are Shattered, Help Me, Did it Again and Eye 2 Eye. All songs on the EP are written or co-written by Casey. Her artwork is currently being sold locally.

Since the hype of Australian Idol has died down, Casey has been establishing herself as an artist in her own right, and has been enjoying successful gigs at various well known venues such as The Basement, and The Vanguard in Sydney, and the Grand Central Melbourne, for which she has been receiving rave reviews and standing ovations. Casey was also invited to sing at the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony in Melbourne and Queensland to perform at the Woodford Dreaming Festival, The Foxtel 10th Birthday Party and to Tasmania to perform at the Putalina Music Festival, Australia Day at Kalgoorlie WA and more.
Casey has also made several television and radio appearances on such shows as Channel V’s What You Want, MTV’s TRL, Good Morning Australia, Mornings with Kerri-Anne, John Foreman’s Big Night In, Spicks and Specks, The Susie show (WIN TV), Vibe Radio, Koorie Radio 93.7 Kyle & Jackie O (2DAY FM Sydney) amongst others.

Casey also supports a number of charities, Fred Hollows foundation, Jack Newton Diabetes Foundation, SPERANZA Mental Health, MND Society, Leukaemia Foundation (World’s Greatest Shave) “I want to use my own experience to help others if I can help just one person or one cause, then it’s worth it. If I can help them through my music, give someone a little bit more peace, I will.”

Romlie Mokak CEO of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association.

Romlie Mokak

CEO of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association.

Mr Romlie Mokak is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association. He was born in Darwin, NT and his people are Djugun from Western Australia. Mr Mokak has had extensive experience working at community, State and Commonwealth levels in a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy areas including disability, ageing, population health, financing and substance use.

Mr Mokak holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Special Education. He has also completed the Australian and New Zealand Health Leadership Program.

Mick Gooda Senior Executive

Mick Gooda

Senior Executive

Mick Gooda is a descendent of the Gangulu people of central Queensland. He is a senior executive with 25 years experience and a record of attaining high-level goals and leading multi-million dollar service programs and organisational reform.

Immediately prior to taking up the position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick was the Chief Executive Officer of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health (CRCAH) for close to five and a half years. Here, he drove a research agenda which placed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people ‘front and centre’ in the research agenda, working alongside world leading researchers. His work at the CRCAH empowered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to lead the research agenda in areas including: chronic disease management; skin infections; and promoting cultural change in hospitals to make them more appropriate to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Mick has extensive knowledge of the diversity of circumstance and cultural nuances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia. He has been actively involved in advocacy in Indigenous affairs throughout Australia and has delivered strategic and sustainable results in remote, rural and urban environments. Mick has played a leadership role in a range of areas including: Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and Senior Consultant to the Aboriginal Legal Service (WA).

He is highly experienced in policy and program development in the public and community sectors.

Mick is also currently a Board Member of the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health Queensland, and is the Australian representative on the International Indigenous Council which focuses on healing and addictions. He also has an interest in the Lateral Violence Program in Canada and has been working closely with the First Nation people of Canada on the relevance of this program to Australia.

Mick Dodson Professor

Mick Dodson


Professor Mick Dodson is a member of the Yawuru peoples the traditional Aboriginal owners of land and waters in the Broome area of the southern Kimberley region of Western Australia. He is currently Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University. He is a Professor of law at the ANU College of Law.

Professor Dodson is also currently a Director of Dodson, Bauman & Associates Pty Ltd – Legal & Anthropological Consultants. He is formerly the Director of the Indigenous Law Centre at the University of New South Wales, Kensington.

Mick Dodson was Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity. He served as Commissioner from April 1993 to January 1998.

Born in Katherine in the Northern Territory, Mick was educated in Katherine, Darwin and Victoria. He completed a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and a Bachelor of Laws at Monash University. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Technology Sydney in 1998. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of NSW. He worked with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service from 1976 to 1981, when he became a barrister at the Victorian Bar. He joined the Northern Land Council as Senior Legal Adviser in 1984 and became Director of the Council in 1990.

From August 1988 to October 1990 Mick was Counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. He has been a member of the Victorian Equal Opportunity Advisory Council and secretary of the North Australian Legal Aid Service. He is a member and the current Chairman of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. He is the former Chairman of the National Aboriginal Youth Law Centre Advisory Board. He is a former member of the National Children’s & Youth Centre Board and is a former member of the Advisory panels of the Rob Riley and Koowarta Scholarships. Mick is presently a member of the Publications Committee for the University of New South Wales Indigenous Law Reporter. He is a member of the New South Wales Judicial Commission and a former special commissioner with the Western Australian Law Reform Commission. He is a board member and Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia and a board member of the Lingiari Foundation. He was a founding member and chairman of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre.

Mick Dodson has been a prominent advocate on land rights and other issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Mick Dodson is a vigorous advocate of the rights and interests of the Indigenous Peoples of the world. He was the Co-Deputy Chair of the Technical Committee for the 1993 International Year of the World’s Indigenous People. He was also chairman of the United Nations Advisory Group for the Voluntary Fund for the Decade of Indigenous Peoples. He served for 5 years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Indigenous Voluntary Fund. In January 2005 Prof Dodson took up a 3 year appointment as a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. He was reappointed for a further 3 years to December 2010.

Mick participated in the crafting of the text of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United Nation Working Group on Indigenous Populations and the Inter-sessional Working Group of the Human Rights Commission adopted overwhelmingly in 2007 by the United Nations General Assembly.

Tom Calma Leader and 2008 Man of Inspiration

Tom Calma

Leader and 2008 Man of Inspiration

Mr Calma is an Aboriginal elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja tribal group whose traditional lands are south west of Darwin and on the Coburg Peninsula in Northern Territory, respectively. He has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, community, state, national and international level and worked in the public sector for over 35 years.

Mr Calma has broad experience in public administration, particularly in Indigenous education programs and in developing employment and training programs for Indigenous people from both a national policy and program perspective.

He served three terms as a Director of Aboriginal Hostels Ltd and as a Company Director for a private tourism and hospitality venture in the Northern Territory.

Until his appointment as Commissioner, on 12 July 2004 for five years, Mr Calma managed the Community Development and Education Branch at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services (ATSIS) where he worked with remote Indigenous communities to implement community-based and driven empowerment and participation programs. In 2003, he was Senior Adviser Indigenous Affairs to the Minister of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.

From 1995-2002, he worked as a senior Australian diplomat in India and Vietnam representing Australia’s interests in education and training. During his time in India, he also oversaw the management of the Australian international education offices in Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

He moved to Canberra in 1992 and undertook various assignments, including Executive Director to the Secretary and Senior Executive of the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA).

In the early 1980s, Mr Calma and Indigenous colleagues established the Aboriginal Task Force (ATF) at the Darwin Community College (which later became the Darwin Institute of Technology ), which provided second chance education programs for Indigenous people. He became a senior lecturer and head of the ATF for six years.

He has also served as Race Discrimination Commissioner from 12 July 2004 until 12 July 2009. In this role Mr Calma has convened three Australia/New Zealand Race Relations Roundtables and launched significant papers including the ‘Voices’ publication as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations for the Racial Discrimination Act in 2005.

He has produced two ‘Face the Facts’ publications providing factual information about Australia’s cultural diversity and conducted the ‘Unlocking Doors’ project with police and Muslim communities in 2006/07.

Mr Calma presented a Multiculturalism Position Paper in August 2007 to reinvigorate community debate and government commitment to multiculturalism. More recently, he launched the Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century project in September 2008 and has undertaken a major project researching the needs of African Australians.

Commissioner Calma is a White Ribbon Day Ambassador for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. White Ribbon Day is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Commissioner Calma is also a national patron of the Wakakirri National Story Festival for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Mr Calma was awarded the prestigious number 1 position in the Indigenous category for the Bulletin magazine’s Power 100 for 2007. The Power 100 selects the 100 most powerful people in Australia. It is judged by a group of 10 who select people they consider share one common trait – the ability and desire to drive change.

Mr Calma was also awarded the 2008 Man of Inspiration award in GQ Australia Magazine’s 2008 Man of the Year awards. Other nominees in this category included climate change activist Bill McHarg, cricketer Glenn McGrath and Australian of the Year Lee Kernaghan.

In July 2009, Mr Calma’s term as Social Justice Commissioner was extended for six months until the end of January 2010.

Ken Wyatt Federal MP

Ken Wyatt

Federal MP

Ken Wyatt has a strong Noongar, Yamatji and Wongi heritage and believes that education and access to the knowledge society involves life-long learning and is the key to change and making informed decisions of choice.

Ken commenced his working career as a primary school teacher for 16 years before moving into leadership roles in the Public Sector, including Director of Aboriginal Education and Director Schools Swan Education District WA Department of Education and as Director of Aboriginal Health in Western Australia and New South Wales. He also held the position of Pro Chancellor of Edith Cowan University and served for ten years as a member of the WA Equal Opportunity Commission Tribunal.

Ken co-chaired the COAG Indigenous Health Working Group, achieving a $1.6 billion commitment from all jurisdictions to improve Indigenous Health outcomes.

In 1996 he was honoured to receive an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and in 2000 The Centenary of Federation Medal for his efforts and contribution in the fields of education, health and Aboriginal Affairs.

Ken is passionate and strongly committed to working towards achieving better outcomes and opportunities for Indigenous Australians and Australian society marked by justice, legitimacy and integrity and he has done much to anchor a commitment among many to supporting those essential virtues.

Ken’s experience and working relationships with families and community groups has provided him with a good understanding of the needs of others.

Lowitja O'Donoghue public speaker and Leader

Lowitja O'Donoghue

public speaker and Leader

Professor Lowitja O’Donoghue AC, CBE is a member of the Yunkunytjatjara peoples of Central Australia. Her life’s work is a testimony to her devotion to standing up for and speaking on behalf of the interests of Aboriginal people.

Her first career was nursing, a position that would begin a lifetime of public service which continues today. The numerous awards bestowed on her signify her contribution to the nation and her standing in the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community:


  • 1977 Member Order of Australia
  • 1982 Advance Australia Award
  • 1983 Commander of the Order of the British Empire
  • 1984 Australian of the Year
  • 1992 SA Great Award
  • 1993 Honorary Doctorate: Murdoch University, WA
  • 1993 Honorary Doctorate: University of South Australia, SA
  • 1995 Honorary Doctorate: Australian National University, ACT
  • 1995 Honorary Fellowship: Royal College of Nursing, Australia
  • 1996 Honorary Doctorate: Queensland University of Technology, Queensland
  • 1996 Honorary Doctorate: Flinders University of South Australia
  • 1998 Honorary Fellowship: Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • 1998 Australian Living National Treasure
  • 1999 Companion of the Order of Australia
  • 2000 Honorary Professional Fellow: Flinders University of South Australia
  • 2000 Olympic Order

Lowitja was the Inaugural Chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) from 1990-1996.

She is a Patron of many health, welfare and social justice organisations, including, more recently, Australians for Just Refugee Programs.

In 2005 she was bestowed the Papal Award from Pope Benedict XVI: Dame of the Order of St Gregory the Great for her distinguished leadership of the Aboriginal community and her compassion for the vulnerable in society.

She continues to maintain a busy national schedule with committee work and as a public speaker.

Patrick Dodson Leader

Patrick Dodson


Patrick Dodson is a Yawuru man from Broome, Western Australia. He has extensive experience in Aboriginal Affairs,  formerly as Director of both the Central and Kimberley Land Councils, as a Commissioner in the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and as inaugural Chair of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. Patrick was also Co-Chair of the Expert Panel for Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians, and is a current member of the ANU Council,  Adjunct Professor at the Broome campus of the University of Notre Dame and Chair of the Yawuru native title company, Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd.

Tracey Moffatt Artist

Tracey Moffatt


Tracey Moffatt is widely regarded as one of Australia’s most successful artists internationally. Using mainly photography and video, Moffatt creates highly conceptual artworks which are often characterised by the comedic, grotesque or sinister use of theatrical props. Moffatt first came to prominence in 1989 with her photographic series ‘Something More’, a set of images styled like film stills, in which a beautiful woman (played by Moffat) negotiates a sinister outback landscape and meets an untimely demise. Since ‘Something More’, Moffatt has produced an extensive body of work which is held in collections around the world, including the Tate in London and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

Christian Thompson Artist

Christian Thompson


Christian Thompson is a contemporary artist. Born in 1978 in Gawler, South Australia, he has presented his photographs, videos and performance works in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Recent group exhibitions include ‘Andy and OZ: Parallel Visions’, Andy Warhol Museum USA; ‘Workin Down Under’, Wood Street Galleries, USA; ‘Brilliance’, Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands; ‘This Crazy Love’, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; ‘Culture Warriors’, National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; ‘Raised by Wolves’, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; and ‘Gertrude Studio Artists Show’, Gertrude Street Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne. He was a studio artist at Gertrude Street Contemporary Art Spaces 2006–2008, Melbourne. He is currently undertaking a residence program at DasArts Advanced Studies for Performing Arts, Amsterdam and a residency and public art project with the Centre for Future Art Research at Arizona State University, Arizona, USA.

Christian now lives and works in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.

Thompson’s work is held in many public and private collections in Australia and overseas including:

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia

Peter Klein Collection, Eberdingen, Germany

Latrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell, Australia

Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Myer Collection, Melbourne, Australia

City of Melbourne Collection, Melbourne, Australia

Private Collections

Wayne Quilliam Photographer

Wayne Quilliam


Wayne Quilliam is recognised as one of Australia’s most prominent photographic artists working at an International level. His work has been published in more than 600 books and magazines, and he has curated and exhibited 100 solo exhibitions in Europe, Asia, USA, South America and Australia. In April 2011, Wayne was appointed Adjunct Professor at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

Wayne was the official photographer for the Australian Government’s Apology to the Stolen Generations, and developed the ‘Ngarpin’ or ‘Sorry’ series of photographs that drew record crowds to the Koori Heritage Trust in Melbourne. The exhibition then opened at the Melbourne City Town Hall, followed by the Incinerator Gallery and Manningham Gallery. The images have featured in publications throughout the world.

Wayne’s other exhibitions in Australia include Parliament House, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Museum of Australia in Canberra; Boscia Gallery, Fibre Gallery, Gasworks Gallery, and the Dreaming Gallery in Queensland; 101 Collins St and W15 in Melbourne; Grenfell Gallery in Adelaide; Garma Gallery in the Northern Territory, and the Sydney Opera House.

He opened his European tour that included 80 images of Indigenous celebrations, and exhibited in France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Many of these images have been included in permanent collections throughout Europe and in public displays.

Wayne then travelled to Mexico City with his international show ‘Lowanna’ which was opened by the Australian Ambassador to Mexico. It is now included in the permanent Australian Embassy Collection. He also travelled to Costa Rica as the Australian Art Ambassador and Photographer for the Cumbre Tajin Festival, a traditional Mexican festival attracting over a quarter of a million people.

After organising exhibitions in Miami, USA, he visited Bolivia to work with the traditional people and develop images for a major campaign that opened globally in 2009.

Wayne then travelled to Europe with two alternative series of ‘Lowanna’, as well as presenting his much anticipated collection of spiritual nude works which went on show at the Art Centre in Berlin, Germany and was opened by the Australian Ambassador. ‘Lowanna Emergence’ was opened by the European Union Ambassador at the Museum of Young Art in Vienna, Austria in July as a part of the ‘Global Art’ series. Wayne was the only Australian artist invited to participate.

Wayne co-created a 1920’s New York photographic shoot with Russell Crowe and was the art ambassador for the Silverchair/Powderfinger ‘Across the Great Divide Tour’. His images were used on stage to encourage Australian youth to participate in the ‘Reconcile’ project.

Locally Wayne travels the country conducting talks and photographic workshops in rural, remote and urban communities. He encourages people to utilise photography as an art form, and is in demand to present talks and lectures to mainstream art and professional forums relating to contemporary Indigenous art.

Destiny Deacon Photographer

Destiny Deacon


Destiny Deacon was born in 1957 of K’ua K’ua and Erub/Mer descent in Maryborough, Queensland. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Politics) at The University of Melbourne in 1979 and a Diploma of Education at La Trobe University, Melbourne in 1981, after which she commenced working as a history teacher. She began taking photographs in 1990 and first exhibited her work that same year.

Deacon’s work was included in Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and Kudjeris, at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, Sydney in 1991. She held her first solo exhibition, ‘Caste Offs’, at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney in 1993, and participated in ‘Can’t See for Lookin’ – Koori Women Educating’ at the Access Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and ‘Australian Perspecta 1993’ at the Art Gallery of New South Wales that same year.

Deacon exhibited her work extensively in 1994 in exhibitions including ‘Blakness: Blak City Culture!’ at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; ‘An Eccentric Orbit: Electronic Media Art from Australia’ at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; ‘Urban Focus: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art from the Urban Areas of Australia’ at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and ‘Tyerabarrbowaryaou II’, as part of the 5th Havana Biennial, Cuba. She held two solo exhibitions, ‘My Boomerang Won’t Come Back’, at the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide and ‘Smiling Dangerously’ at Hogarth Galleries, Sydney that same year.

Deacon participated in the exhibition ‘Mistaken Identitites’ as part of Africus, the inaugural Johannesburg Biennale in 1995, and held the solo exhibition ‘Welcome to Never Never’ at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne. Her work was included in ‘Photography is Dead: Long Live Photography!’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and the touring exhibition ‘Abstracts: New Aboriginalities’ in 1996.

Deacon held the solo exhibition ‘No Fixed Dress’ in conjunction with the Melbourne Fashion Festival at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi in 1997, and exhibited in both ‘Lawyers, Guns & Money’ at the Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide and ‘Inya Dreams’ (part of the Festival of the Dreaming, Olympic Arts Festival) at The Performance Space, Sydney. She held the solo exhibition ‘It Won’t Rub Off Baby!: New Work’ at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi in 1998 as well as participating in ‘Ceremony, Identity and Community’ at Flinders Art Museum Adelaide and the on-line exhibition ‘Facing it’ at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington. Deacon also works with video, and is a writer, broadcaster and performer. She was raised in Melbourne, and lives in Brunswick, where she works from her living room/studio.

John Moriarty Designer

John Moriarty


John Kundereri Moriarty AM is Chairman and Co-owner of the Jumbana Group, Australia’s leading indigenous art, design and brand strategy entity, operating domestically and internationally since 1983. He is also the Principal of John Moriarty & Associates, an Indigenous communications and facilitation practice.

Born at Borroloola in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory, John Moriarty was taken from his mother at the age of four and brought up in a number of boys’ homes in Sydney and Adelaide under the then government’s assimilation policy. This motivated a lifelong commitment to advocacy for Aboriginal equality, reconciliation and cultural preservation.

Today a full member of the Yanyuwa people of his birthplace and belonging ceremonially to the Rainbow Snake and Kangaroo Dreaming, John Moriarty has held senior and executive positions in Departments of Aboriginal Affairs at both Federal and State Government levels.

On completing a Bachelor of Arts degree from Flinders University in 1970, John Moriarty was granted a Churchill Fellowship for overseas study of the preservation of the history and culture of indigenous peoples. He was named South Australian Aboriginal Businessman of the Year in 1992 and was the recipient of the Advance Australia Award for service to industry and commerce. John is an Honorary Doctor of the University of South Australia (1997) and recipient of the Flinders University (SA) Convocation Medal (2001).

John Moriarty has held numerous board appointments. Currently he is Deputy Chairman of Indigenous Business Australia, Member of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, Chairman of the ATSIC Electoral Boundaries Review Committee, Member of the NSW Government Aboriginal Business Round Table, and Member of the Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland.

Previous appointments include Chairman of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Board of the Australia Council, Chairman of the National Aboriginal Sports Corporation of Australia, Member of the Australian International Cultural Committee, Member of the Federal Government Visions of Australia Committee, and Executive member and Chairman of the Aborigines Progress Association of South Australia.

In 2000, John Moriarty published best-selling autobiography Saltwater Fella to critical acclaim. The Sunday Telegraph described his book as “The most important book for decades… this is not a ‘black’ book or a ‘white’ book. It is a profoundly Australian book… It is about humans and adversity and love, lots of love.”

However John Moriarty is perhaps best known for creating the sensational Indigenous designs painted over two entire Qantas jumbos: the Wunala and Nalanji Dreamings.

John maintains professional involvement with an extensive network of: Indigenous people in urban, rural and bush communities throughout Australia; with Federal and State governments and bureaucracies; with overseas indigenous peoples and institutions; and with a wide range of national and international corporations and non-government organisations.

Bangarra Dance Theatre Dance Company

Bangarra Dance Theatre

Dance Company

Bangarra Dance Theatre is one of Australia’s most unique and innovative dance companies. Blending traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture with international contemporary dance, Bangarra creates a uniquely Australian dance language.

At the heart of Bangarra’s uniqueness is the company’s vision and commitment to a theatrical style that remains true to the Indigenous spirit.

Bangarra’s influence continues to resonate throughout the world, with the company earning a prominent place on the international touring circuit. A 16-city sell-out tour of the USA in 2001 established the company as a global dance phenomenon. In 2002 Bangarra appeared at the prestigious Monaco Dance Forum, in 2004 the company completed a return tour of the US, performing in New York and in Washington by special invitation and in 2005 Bangarra travelled to Japan and New Zealand. In 2006 Bangarra toured the UK, performing at London’s prestigious Sadler’s Wells theatre. In 2008 Bangarra toured the USA, the UK and Europe. In May 2010 the Bangarra Dance theatre received two nominations for the 2010 Australian Dance Awards.

Mark Bin Bakar Entertainer

Mark Bin Bakar


Mark Bin Bakar, better known as Mary G, has dedicated much of his adult life to promoting Indigenous life and culture. A West Australian native, Mr Bin Bakar established Abmusic, a successful music school to help Indigenous musicians.

He travels extensively to remote areas talking to people about alcohol and drug abuse, health care, emotional wellbeing, respect for elders and domestic violence. Bin Bakar’s flamboyant, wisecracking Aboriginal matriarchal alter ego Mary G has had her own massively popular television series, radio shows and live performances which have allowed her to take a political and social message to mainstream Australia, way beyond the Aboriginal communities where she was a cult figure who stirred people up with her on air flirtations interjected with important messages about nutrition and respect for elders. Mr Bin Bakar has a nationally broadcast radio show where he also promotes Indigenous culture

Warwick Thornton Director

Warwick Thornton


Warwick Thornton has recently become a household name with his directorial debut of Samson and Delilah, which won the Camera d’Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. An Aboriginal man from Alice Springs, he graduated from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and began a career making short films that have gained him recognition at international film festivals around the world.