Actress Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, who was cast in the lead role in the film Jedda in 1953 at age 17, has been named the NT Australian of the Year for 2015.
Actress, nun, interpreter, environmental campaigner and First Nations founding member Rosalie Kunoth-Monks has played many roles in her lifetime.
She now returns to the national stage as the Northern Territory Australian of the Year for 2015.
Raised on the remote Utopia Station, she was cast in the lead role in the film Jedda in 1953 at age 17, then spendt a decade as a nun in a Melbourne convent before leaving to establish the first Aboriginal hostel in Victoria.
Since the 1970s she has been involved in social work in Alice Springs and is a passionate member of the First Nations political party.
She was declared the NT winner at a ceremony in Darwin on Wednesday night.
"To be included and nominated is a great honour, but by the same token the struggle continues," Ms Kunoth-Monks told AAP.
"The message will always be the same: that first nations people are assisted in real terms to take their place in the 21st century.
"Once you take away the identity and the language and the land we are lost, and where are we placed in the socio-economic setting of our lands? That's my constant desire, that Australians really care about the unique culture that has been here for many thousands of years.".
A total of 128 people are recognised each year for the awards across four categories.
Eddie Jampijinpa Robertson, a Warlpiri elder and the longest serving mayor of Yuendumu in Central Australia, is the NT Senior Australian of the Year for his work tackling chronic petrol sniffing among young people.
Chantal Ober, 25, a YMCA youth worker from Katherine, has been named the NT's Young Australian of the Year for her programs helping young girls build resilience and self-worth.
The NT's Australian Local Hero for 2015 is Ray Palmer, who has advocated for more support for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars since 2010, when his Commando son Scott was killed in a helicopter crash.
He has walked the Kokoda Trail four times to raise awareness of the psychological and physical suffering of Australia's latest generation of veterans and their families.
"We should be there for these veterans who are slipping through the cracks," he said.
"These men and women are committing suicide because they have nowhere else to turn, and it's not fair."
The four winners will represent the NT in the national awards to be announced in Canberra on Australia Day on January 26.