Former AIATSIS CEO, Russell Taylor AM, was named 2018 Male Elder of the Year at the National NAIDOC Awards in Sydney last week. Mr Taylor was recognised for his significant service to the community as a cultural leader and public-sector executive in the field of Indigenous affairs. Mr Taylor, a Kamilaroi man, has a long association with AIATSIS, having led the Institute for 15 years, over 2 terms, as Principal and CEO.
The current CEO of AIATSIS, Craig Ritchie said, “We are delighted to see Russell Taylor’s immense contributions and achievements recognised through the NAIDOC Male Elder of the Year award. Mr Taylor is a prolific leader who has effected positive change in Indigenous Affairs, the public sector and his community for decades. AIATSIS is indebted for the years of leadership he provided to the Institute and we are proud to see his legacy honoured further through this award”.
Dr June Oscar AO was named as the prestigious, 2018 National NAIDOC Person of the Year. The trailblazing Bunuba woman was awarded in recognition of her work championing the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, especially women and children, and her tireless work to preserve ancient languages. Dr Oscar also has an association with the Institute, having served on the AIATSIS Council from 2010 – 2015.
Distinguished Alyawarre woman, Pat Anderson AO, was presented with the 2018 NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award for her devotion to social justice and the health, welfare and education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
This year’s National NAIDOC awards also recognised outstanding achievers across music, sport, health and academia, including:
- Folau Talbot - 2018 Apprentice of the Year.
- Adam Briggs - 2018 Artist of the Year.
- Aunty Lynette Nixon - 2018 Female Elder of the Year
- Professor Michelle Trudgett - 2018 Scholar of the Year
- Jack Peris - 2018 Sportsperson of the Year
- Tamina Pitt - 2018 Youth of the Year.
- The Mungalla Aboriginal Business Corporation - 2018 Caring for Country Award.