Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner Dr June Oscar has been honoured as the National NAIDOC Person of the Year.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar has been awarded NAIDOC Person of the Year for her work championing the rights of Indigenous women and children.
Commissioner Oscar dedicated the award to her mother and grandmother, saying they drove her "determination to succeed" whilst always remembering her roots.
"I learnt to walk in both worlds," she said of her upbringing as a Bunuba woman from Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley, Western Australia.
"This connection of family support was severed for so many who were stolen.
"But our stolen generations' resilience is like no other. Like my grandmother, they too are our survivors. The story of our survivors. I am here because of them."
In delivering her acceptance speech, Ms June vowed to advocate for Indigenous women rights.
"I accept this award with the full responsibility of carrying your voices and I am committed to making what you say count," she said.
"Let me say I hear you. I hear your women's voice. You are here, you are not silent. You are not invisible. Our voices are rising loud and clear."
At one point in her speech, Dr Oscar asked the women in the room to stand.
"We must all be unshakeable in our resolve to be everything that we are and have been.
"We cannot bend for this world. Let the world bend for us.
She then urged the men to stand in the room, appealing to them to stand alongside women to fight for the advancement of Indigenous rights.
"Only together, shoulder to shoulder, will we raise the next generation into being," she said.
The 2018 NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Patricia Anderson AO.
The social justice advocate has devoted her life to improving the health, welfare and education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
"I want to dedicate tonight to all of the women from the Stolen Generations and displaced people," she said.
List of 2018 NAIDOC Award winners
- Person of the Year: June Oscar
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Patricia Anderson
- Female Elder of the Year: Aunty Lynette Nixon
- Male Elder of the Year: Russell Taylor
- Apprentice of the Year: Dental technician Folau Paul Talbot
- Scholar of the Year: Professor Michelle Trudgett from UTS
- Artist of the Year: Hip Hop artist Briggs
- Sportsperson of the Year: Jack Peris
- Youth of the Year: Tamina Pitt
- Award for Caring for Country: Mungalla Aboriginal Business Corporation from North Queensland
- with AAP