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11 Indigenous leaders inducted to Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll

Dechlan Brennan -

Eleven members of the Victorian Indigenous community will be awarded a place on the state's Aboriginal Honour Roll on Friday, celebrating their remarkable achievements.

The Indigenous elders, all who have made incredible contributions to Victoria, will be inducted at a ceremony at Naarm's Arts Centre, attended by Victoria's Aboriginal community as well as the Minister for Treaty and First Peoples, Natalie Hutchins.

Their induction is a celebration of Aboriginal excellence and leadership, with all the new inductees having inspired Victorians with their determination and service.

The inductees are a diverse group from all corners of Victoria, and include advocates who have worked tirelessly for land rights, workers in the justice, health and welfare systems, and Victoria's first Aboriginal VFL umpire.

The group joins 150 Aboriginal people who have been inducted to the honour roll since its inception in 2011. It pays tribute to the Indigenous trailblazers in the state who have shaped Victoria, whilst also providing a platform to celebrate Aboriginal culture, language and excellence.

Aunty Lois Peeler AM (Image: supplied)

Aunty Lois Peeler AM, a Yorta Yorta, Wiradjuri and Wurundjeri woman from Yorta Yorta Country is one of the inductees, joining her mother, Aunty Geraldine Briggs AO, and her sister, Aunty Hyllus Maris, on the honour roll.

Aunty Lois worked closely with her late sister in the establishment of Australia's first Aboriginal school, Worawa Aboriginal College. Officially opened in 1983 in Frankston, it moved to its current site in Healesville in 1985.

She later served three terms as elected Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission's Binjirru Regional Council and held the position of chair of Aboriginal Tourism Australia.

In 2010, she was appointed to the position of Principal/Executive Director of Worawa.

Aunty Lois said she was honoured to be inducted.

"I'm just walking in the footsteps of those who went before me," she modestly told National Indigenous Times, highlighting the achievements of her family members and their achievements.

Minister for Treaty and First Peoples Natalie Hutchins congratulated all the inductees, thanking them for their "invaluable work making Victoria a better, fairer and stronger place".

"Aboriginal people make immense contributions to Victoria every day, in fields as diverse as health, justice, education and sport – the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll recognises and celebrates their work and service," Minister Hutchins said in a statement.

The full list of Inductees:

Aunty Hazel Atkinson

Aunty Linda Bamblett

Uncle John Russel Brown

Aunty Barbara Francis Day (posthumous)

Uncle Patrick Farrant Snr

Aunty Margaret Gloria Gardiner (posthumous)

Uncle Andrew Morgan Jackomos PSM

Uncle Glenn Robert James OAM

Uncle Allan Murray Snr

Dr Lois Peeler AM

Terrie Ann Stewart

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