A night of big wins and well-deserved recognition, the NAIDOC Perth Awards celebrated Perth’s prominent Indigenous activists, community members and businesses last Friday.

Master of Ceremonies Des Headland led the evening, starting off the night with a Welcome to Country from Doreen Nelson, followed by a performance from Binjerab Middar Dance Group.

Binjerab Middar Dance Group takes the stage. Photo by Hannah Cross.

The first awards of the night were Female and Male Elder of the Year, awarded to Barbara Pickett and Harold Humes, respectively, for their continued commitment to community over the years.

A talented artist and articulate speaker, young Wunambal Gaambera, Nyikina and Balangarra man and MADALAH scholarship recipient, Rory Charles, took home the Empowerment Award.

The evening’s keynote speaker was young Whadjuk Ballardong Nyoongar trailblazer Jack Collard, who spoke of his deep respect for the past achievements and challenges of Elders, the challenges he faced learning language while in Indonesia, and his experiences meeting Indigenous young people from across the globe during a summit for the UN Global Indigenous Youth Caucus.

Jack Collard delivers his keynote speech. Photo by Hannah Cross.

Community strength was a strong theme of the evening, with recognition in award categories including Carer of the Year, Community Person of the Year, and Program of the Year.

Aunty Kerry-Ann Winmar took home Business of the Year for her successful business, Nyungar Tours. Aunty Kerry-Ann runs tours and cultural workshops around South Perth, Kings Park and the greater Perth area.

The final award of the night, the Outstanding Achievement Award, went to Noongar human rights lawyer, Dr Hannah McGlade.

NAIDOC Perth Chair Glenda Kickett closed out the night with a speech, thanking attendees and sponsors for their support, and award winners for their commitment to community.

Kickett also gave a heartfelt mention to Collard in her closing speech, saying she was excited to see where the young man goes as a future Noongar leader.

NAIDOC Perth Chair Glenda Kickett thanks the committee during her speech. Photo by Hannah Cross.

The NAIDOC Perth Ball is the next event on the NAIDOC Perth calendar, scheduled for November.

NAIDOC Perth Awards winners and runners-up:

  • Outstanding Achievement Award – Dr Hannah McGlade (winner), Professor Sandra Eades (runner-up)
  • Female Elder of the Year – Barbara Pickett (winner), Dorothy Bynder (runner-up)
  • Male Elder of the Year – Harold Humes (winner), Venis Collard (runner-up)
  • Youth of the Year – Paige Wood-Kenney (winner), Nikita Humes (runner-up)
  • Education Achievement Award – Alana Dooley (winner), Latoya Jones (runner-up)
  • Artist of the Year – Tyrown Waigana (winner), Lea Taylor (runner-up)
  • Carer of the Year – Diane van den Berg (winner), Emily Byers (runner-up)
  • Community Person of the Year – Francine Eades (winner), Joanne Della Bona (runner-up)
  • Program of the Year – Djinda Falcons Football and Leadership Program (winner), Indigenisation of the Juris Doctor Project (runner-up)
  • Business of the Year – Nyungar Tours (winner), Coles Workwear (runner-up)
  • Empowerment Award – Rory Charles (winner), Teleisha Hill (runner-up)
  • Sportsperson of the Year – Nes’eya Parker (winner), Gemma Houghton (runner-up).

By Hannah Cross