Lowitja Institute congratulates our Chairperson Pat Anderson AO for winning the 2021 ACT Senior Australian of the Year award
Nominated for her powerful advocacy for the health of Australia’s First Peoples nationally and internationally, Ms Anderson accepted the award in Canberra at a ceremony on Monday 2 November 2020.
“We are pleased and proud that Pat has been recognised by the Canberra community as the ACT Senior Australian of the Year,” Lowitja Institute CEO Dr Janine Mohamed said.
“Pat is a guiding light for all of us; she’s a wonderful mentor and a strong moral compass. This recognition from the people of the ACT for her lifelong work in and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and research is incredibly well deserved”.
Accepting the award, Pat thanked her parents Gus and Molly Anderson for giving her and her sisters such a strong sense of social justice, and she paid her respects to all the people she grew up with in the NT, particularly at Parap camp.
Calling on non-Indigenous Australians to join First Nations peoples in the journey towards truth telling and healing, Ms Anderson said that the Uluru Statement from the Heart “is offered to all Australians as a gift of hope”. She urged Australians to tell the Prime Minister and Parliament that a referendum is needed to enshrine in the Constitution a Voice to Parliament.
She noted that winning this award would provide “a very respectable platform” to urge all Australians “to settle the unfinished business between us, between First Nations peoples and other Australians”.
“This will require a high level of maturity and sophistication, but let’s do it”.
For information about the Australian of the Year awards visit https://www.australianoftheyear.org.au/
Live stream of the ACT 2021 Australian of the Year Awards. ACT Senior Australian of the Year award begins at 50:38