Honouring Aboriginal Excellence In Victoria

Nominations are now open to recognise and celebrate Aboriginal Victorians who are making a difference.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings officially opened nominations for the 2019 Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll at Parliament House today, while also paying tribute to the outstanding inductees from last year.

The Honour Roll recognises the dedication and achievements of Aboriginal Victorians, both past and present, who have made a profound contribution to their community and to Victoria.

Today, all nine 2018 inductees were officially added to the Honour Roll that is on permanent display at Parliament House.

The inductees include:

  • The late Norm McDonald, an AFL great who played 128 games for the Bombers and championed a path for Aboriginal players
  • Barb Gibson-Thorpe, one of the first Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers for the Bendigo Health Service, creating culturally safe health practices
  • Country and Western music star Johnny Lovett, who has advocated for native titles rights
  • The late Ben ‘Lanky’ Manton, an advocate for knowledge and understanding between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people
  • Graham ‘Bootsie’ Thorpe, who has dedicated his career to addressing health, family violence and substance abuse issues within Aboriginal communities
  • Former Aboriginal Prison Officer Jacqui Stewart, who went on to advocate for the rights of Aboriginal Victorians in the justice and health systems
  • Education advocate Geraldine Atkinson, who has helped put Aboriginal children at the centre of education decision-making
  • Victoria’s most senior public servant, Terry Garwood, who has worked in the VPS across multiple departments since 1989
  • The late Cherie Marie Waight, a career Aboriginal rights advocate who organised NAIDOC activities for many years and helped improve palliative care for Indigenous people.

To date, 107 outstanding Aboriginal community members and leaders have been recognised through the Honour Roll for their achievements in a wide range of fields, including justice, education, health, sport, the arts, community leadership and military service.

They have been recognised for their efforts fighting for self-determination and equality. To nominate, visit vic.gov.au/vahrnominations before 1 June.

Quote attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings

“The Honour Roll gives us an opportunity to reflect on the profound contribution Aboriginal Victorians have made – and continue to make – to our state.”

“We would not be where we are today without their efforts and I encourage all people to nominate any outstanding Aboriginal Victorians they know.”