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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Celebrating the 2019 NAIDOC Awards

Celebrating the 2019 NAIDOC Awards

Indigenous Affairs
Tuesday, 09 July 2019

National Indigenous Australians Agency 

A group of 11 men and women in a row, they each hold an award.

Elders, education, culture, community, recognition and looking to future generations – these were the key themes acknowledged by the 2019 National NAIDOC Week Awards winners.

Held in Canberra on Saturday 6 July, the 2019 National NAIDOC Awards were a night of ceremony, coming together and celebration – drawing on the 2019 National NAIDOC Week theme, Voice. Treaty. Truth. - Let’s work together for a shared future.

The 2019 Awards began with a smoking ceremony, acknowledgement of Elders and Welcome to Country from the Ngunnawal and Ngambri communities before the formalities of the Awards commenced.

Two men and one woman stand on a stage. They are all wearing formal attire. One man is standing at a lectern. A screen in the background reads: Male Elder of the Year.

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP Minister for Indigenous Australians presented the Male Elder of the Year Award, alongside the Shadow Minister, the Hon Linda Burney MP presenting the Female Elder of the Year.

‘The National NAIDOC Awards are the premier awards for Indigenous Australians and this year’s recipients are well-deserving of our praise and admiration,’ Minister Wyatt said.

‘Their accomplishments in culture and community, sports, education and the arts stand as examples to which we can all aspire and commemorate the unique and precious place of Indigenous history, culture and achievement within the fabric of our nation.’ Minister Wyatt said.

Kamilaroi man Dean Duncan received the 2019 Person of the Year Award. Dean was recognised for his work in Indigenous Education, as an advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and as a champion of diversity.

Accepting his Award, he acknowledged the children he works with,

‘It means a lot of recognition for the hard work I have put in across a life time. It also recognises the struggles a lot of our people still face today. The people I work with’ Mr Duncan said.

Congratulations to all the 2019 National NAIDOC Award winners:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu, AM
  • Person of the Year – Dean Duncan
  • Female Elder of the Year – Thelma Weston
  • Male Elder of the Year – Greg Little
  • Caring for Country Award – Littlewell Working Group
  • Youth of the Year – Mi-kaisha Masella
  • Artist of the Year – Elma Gada Kris
  • Scholar of the Year – Professor Michael McDaniel
  • Apprentice of the Year – Ganur Maynard
  • Sportsperson of the Year – Shantelle Thompson

The National NAIDOC Committee organise the National NAIDOC Awards showcasing Indigenous excellence and recognising the outstanding achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at a national level.

Further details about the 2019 National NAIODC Award winners on the NAIDOC Award page.

Read the National NAIDOC Committee media release – 2019 National NAIDOC Awards recipients.

The media release from Minister Wyatt – NAIDOC Awards celebrate First Nations’ excellence.