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Pat Anderson AO honoured with Excellence in Women's Leadership award

Giovanni Torre -

Pat Anderson AO, chair of Batchelor Institute, was announced Wednesday as the 2023 NT Award recipient of the Australian Awards for Excellence in Women's Leadership.

The prestigious award celebrates "exceptional Australian women who encourage change and make important contributions to advancing equity across all facets of our society".

Nominated by members of the public, the annual Australian Awards for Excellence in Women's Leadership highlights the successes of Australian women leaders across various industries and their achievements.

The Awards are an initiative of Women & Leadership Australia, one of the largest gender equity initiatives in Australia and globally, having directly supported more than 60,000 women through professional development programs, events and advocacy.

Ms Anderson, a proud Alyawarre woman known nationally and internationally as a powerful advocate for the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, will accept her award at the online Australian Women's Leadership Symposium on 1 September.

"It's an honour to receive this award, I'd like to thank everyone who nominated me. I'd also like to thank everyone who has supported my work at The Lowitja Institute and Batchelor Institute over the years - and more recently with The Uluru Dialogues. There are so many women out there from different backgrounds doing incredible work, it's hard not to feel energised and hopeful about the future," she said.

The Award organisers said Ms Anderson's work in advocacy for Indigenous rights and health "has had profound impacts on Australia and will continue to do so in years to come".

Women & Leadership Australia chief executive Karen Taylor noted that Ms Anderson has received numerous accolades "for her inspiring work as a human rights advocate".

"Ms Anderson is a role model, not only for Alyawarre women but for women across the nation, as she tirelessly campaigns for improved health, educational, and protection outcomes for First Nations people. We hope to shed light on her integral work in building a better future for First Nations as an advisor to the government on the path to a referendum on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament," she said.

Ms Anderson has published numerous essays, papers, and articles, including co-authoring with Rex Wild QC of Little Children Are Sacred, a report on the abuse of Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory. She has extensive experience in Aboriginal health, including community development, policy formation, and research ethics. She has spoken before the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous People, has been the CEO of Danila Dilba Health Service in Darwin, and is the Chair of numerous Australian Indigenous health organisations. She also led the regional dialogues around Australia that led to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Ms Anderson was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2014 for distinguished service to the Indigenous community as a social justice advocate, particularly through promoting improved health, and educational and protection outcomes for children.

In 2018, the national NAIDOC Committee recognised her life-long contribution with the Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2021 she was awarded the ACT Senior Australian of the Year.

Ms Anderson is the Chair of the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education Council, Co-Chair, Uluru Dialogues, Chair, Remote Area Health Corporation, and a Member of the Literacy for Life Foundation.

Along with NT Award winner Ms Anderson, WLA has announced a range of inspiring women as state and territory award recipients including:

CEO of Reconciliation Australia, Karen Mundine (National),

Founder of Share the Dignity and Women's Equality Advocate, Rochelle Courtenay (QLD)

Assistant Director, Collections and Exhibitions, National Gallery of Australia, Natasha Bullock (ACT)

Lawyer Marrickville Legal, Tu Le (NSW)

CEO Beyond Blue, Georgie Harman (VIC)

Tasmania's Police Commissioner, Donna Adams (TAS)

Youth Activist, Speaker and Author, Zahra Al Hilaly (WA) and

Partner, Gilbert + Tobin, Former Vice Captain, The Matildas, Moya Dodd (SA).

The 2023 Australian Awards for Excellence in Women's Leadership will be presented at various women's leadership events throughout the year.


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