Mum, daughter in running for Aust awards

A mother and daughter who help others in their indigenous communities are both being recognised in this year's Australia Day awards.

Jethro Dhamarrandji-Baker, with Jethro's aunt Bettina Danganbarr.

Bettina Danganbarr (L) and her mother will be recognised for their community work on Australia Day. (AAP)

An NT police officer who lets women shelter in her own home and her mother are both in the running to be Australia Day award winners.

Bettina Danganbarr, an officer in the East Arnhem community of Galiwinku is the NT Local Hero, while her mother, teacher Kathy Guthadjaka, the territory's Senior Australian of the Year.

Both think it's pretty special to have travelled to Canberra together for the celebrations.

"It is very wonderful, very exciting," Ms Danganbarr told AAP at a Reconciliation Australia breakfast in Canberra.

The officer, with three children and two foster children of her own, has lost count of how many women and children she has helped by opening up her home to domestic violence victims.

There is no safe house in the area and the nearest is either in Nhulunbuy or Darwin, which both requiring expensive charter rides.

She successfully lobbied the NT government for funding to build a shelter in the remote community, with work starting to get under way.

"We're slowly getting there but hopefully pretty soon we can have our own safe house," she said.

Ms Danganbarr respects the views of her fellow indigenous Australians who want to change the date of Australia Day from January 26.

But she thinks there are other priorities to focus on, like domestic violence and school attendance.

"I would rather focus my energy into those for now," she said.

Both women were recognised at the breakfast on Thursday, alongside five other indigenous recipients.

Seven of the 32 state and territory recipients in the awards this year are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine was pleased to see the work of so many women being praised, especially Ms Danganbarr and Ms Guthadjaka.

"Your achievements are evidence of the way that one generation of strong, determined and passionate female leaders influences the next," she said.

Published 25 January 2018 at 10:20am
Source: AAP