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Honouring Inspiring Aboriginal Leaders

29 April 2021

Thirteen inspiring Aboriginal leaders have been recognised for their incredible contributions to lifting up communities, advancing Aboriginal rights, and the other remarkable ways each has helped lay the foundations for a better Victoria for all.

The new inductees to the prestigious Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll were last night announced at a gala dinner in Melbourne hosted by Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams.

The Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll was established in 2011 to recognise the exceptional and distinguished contribution of Aboriginal Victorians to the state of Victoria, and the latest inductees take the number of people inducted to 130.

Their stories range from the State’s first Aboriginal diplomat to community advocates and those involved in fighting for Aboriginal rights and justice.

All inductees, or family representatives, received a handcrafted malgaar for the men, and a tarnuk for the women, which are replica shields or traditional water carrying vessels handcrafted by celebrated community artist Mick Harding.

The 13 inductees are:

  • Billibellary
  • Shadrach Livingstone James
  • Louisa Pepper-Connolly
  • Marion Pearce
  • Larry Kanoa
  • Sylvia (Fay) Stewart Muir
  • Grant Hansen
  • Desmond Smith
  • David Anderson
  • Elsie Coates
  • Karen Bryant
  • Eric ‘Joe’ McGuinness
  • Frances Bond

Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams

“The Honour Roll celebrates the wide-ranging contributions of Aboriginal leaders, past and present, who have made Victoria a better place.”

“These Inductees have strived to push the envelope to achieve great things for themselves, their families, their communities - and to make our state a fairer place.”

“From diplomats to activists - every single one of these inductees is an inspiration.”

Reviewed 29 April 2021

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