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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 31 July 2018) . . Page.. 2437 ..


the provision of expanded health and wellbeing services in the jail, which I understand is a national first. It is no wonder she was NAIDOC person of the year.

I also highlight the Nannies Group that won the community spirit award. The Nannies Group are grandmothers who have been advocating for the rights of their kin for decades. They are significant, both within and external to the local Aboriginal community. I have heard the local community members listen when the Nannies Group speaks. This is because they speak with the authority of life experience, and they are respected within their community.

As I said earlier, we have a lot to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sisters, and older women coming together as a strong united voice is just one example. They prioritise the wellbeing of families and provide leadership that cannot be refuted or ignored. They are the backbone of their family groups and of their culture.

Many other Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander women were awarded at the NAIDOC ball, including Dhani Gilbert, the youth and scholar of the year; Thelma Weston, elder of the year; Nadine Hunt, sportsperson of the year; Vida Brown, artist of the year; Sharon Williams, female people’s choice; Nicole Baker, Ms NAIDOC; and Esma Livermore, belle of the ball.

In all, 11 of the 18 awards went to women, signifying the stand-out achievements made by many of the Indigenous women in the ACT. But we should not just focus on award winners and women with a public profile; we should also think about and pay respect to everyday women who are caring for their families, who are speaking out, who come from all walks of life, and who are part of the fabric of the ACT. These women maintain the songlines and the Dreamtime stories that have existed for centuries, and they will ensure that they continue to exist well into the future.

We are fortunate and we are so lucky that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women contribute and achieve so much. This city is a better place for them, and I pay my respects to them and to their elders past, present, and future.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (4.23): It is a great pleasure to rise on this topic today, and I thank Ms Cody for bringing forward this matter of public importance. As Ms Cody said, it is timely for us to speak in this place to recognise the achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in line with the theme of NAIDOC Week celebrated earlier this month. As Ms Cody did, I take this opportunity to acknowledge and honour the traditional custodians of this land, particularly the Ngunnawal women who have kept their families and culture strong. This is, was and always will be their land.

NAIDOC Week is an important time of the year. It is a time to reflect and to celebrate the histories, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. From a day of mourning and protest, it has grown to a week of national celebration. What makes NAIDOC Week special is that it is community driven. It is


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