It was such wonderful news last night that our very own Sister Anne Gardiner AM was named the 2017 Senior Australian of the Year. I am so thrilled that Sister Anne was recognised for her 63 years of dedication to the people of the Tiwi Islands.
Generation of Tiwi Islanders have grown up with Sister Anne in their midst and even in retirement she’s continued to give selflessly. Her story is remarkable and I would encourage you to spend a moment reading more about her here.
The high level of respect from the Islanders and all who meet Sister Anne is richly deserved, and yesterday evening, she was publicly recognised by our entire nation. You can listen to the ABC clip of her acceptance speech here.
The NT has produced some wonderful award winners with inspiring stories.
Tony Milhinhos known in the community for his generosity and commitment to causes such as Autism NT was named 2005 Senior Australian of the Year. We had lots of fun as I escorted him through the NT on his Tour of Honour, inspiring school students to stay at school and to contribute to their community.
In 1997 Nova Peris was named Young Australian of the Year. An Olympic Gold Medalist, Nova went on to be a Senator for the Northern Territory. The 2012 Senior Australian was Laurie Baymarrwangga recognised as a community leader protecting her culture and working to ensure future generations understood how important it was.
One of the best quiz night questions is:
Which two brothers from the NT have won the Australian of the Year Awards?
The NT has a lot to celebrate not the least of which is our wonderfully talented, giving and community minded people from all walks of life.
I hope you’re having a great Australia Day.