Thursday, February 02, 2017

Sister who helped Tiwi people is Senior Australian of the Year

Sr Anne accepts her award from the PMA Sister who has spent 50 years helping the Northern Territory's Tiwi people has been named Senior Australian of the Year, while Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor of ACU, and Jesuit publishing figure Anne O'Donovan have been made Officers of the Order of Australia.

Sr Anne Gardiner was bestowed the honour on Wednesday night at a ceremony in Parliament House's Great Hall.

The 85-year-old used her acceptance speech to call for greater recognition of Australia's indigenous peoples in policy.

She said, sadly, Australia doesn't always accommodate for cultures like Tiwi. "My hope is that this will be redressed in my lifetime," Sr Anne said, with the Tiwi Islands flag draped over her shoulders.

"It is of paramount importance that those responsible for policy development consult with the relevant persons and groups among our First People, so that policies may recognise and appropriately include their language and cultures, particularly in areas such as leadership, education and employment."

Sr Anne arrived on Bathurst Island in 1953 and has worked tirelessly with the indigenous community.

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