• Rosalie Kunoth-Monks is just one of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are inspiring survivors and thrivers to honour on Survival Day. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Nine deadly people who are surviving and thriving in 2016.
Andrea Booth

25 Jan 2016 - 2:36 PM  UPDATED 26 Jan 2016 - 12:04 PM

Rosalie Kunoth Monks

Rosalie Kunoth Monks has had a major impact on the nation’s cultural, political and social life for more than half a century.

Rosalie, the chancellor of the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, has never been stronger in her fight for social justice and equality for her people. 

Rosalie was born in 1937 at Arapunya known as Utopia Station in the Northern Territory where she learnt the laws of her people, the Anmatjere. 

After moving to Alice Springs to attend school, Rosalie was cast in the lead role in the world-renowned Australian classic film Jedda in 1953 at 16 years old.

Tauto Sansbury

Tauto Sansbury, a Narungga elder, has worked to close the gap in inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians for more than 30 years.

Tauto fought to improve the conditions of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system as state chairperson of the South Australian Aboriginal Justice Advocacy Committee and chairperson of the Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee for more than 10 years.

These committees resulted from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody where Tauto worked closely with Elliott Johnstone, QC and the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement Justice Officer.

Graham Taylor

Graham Taylor, an Amangu Yamaji Elder born in Three Springs, the North Midlands area of Western Australia, has made a significant contribution to Australia’s Defence Force and now mentors Indigenous youth.

Graham went to Tardun Palantine Mission as a child before entering the defence force. When Graham arrived in Malaysia for six months of service he was assigned forward scout, at the frontline clearing pathways for the rest of the platoons. He was also a stretcher bearer.

He is commended for his bravery abroad. In September 1971, the enemy attacked 16 men with mortar bombs and heavy rifle fire and 10 were seriously injured. 

Ryan Morich

Wheelchair basketballer Ryan Morich is founder of the Red Dust Heelers’ Wheeling and Healing program.

The Wheeling and Healing program assists Indigenous people living with a disability to integrate into all areas of life and promote reconciliation through playing basketball.

It provides tools to help people deal with grief and loss following their or their loved one's disability and unearthing future Indigenous athletes with disability and providing support to them in their chosen sport, while also spreading a message of healing, through partnering with Red Dust Healing.

Veronica Perrule Dobson

Veronica Perrule Dobson remains committed to providing services to the Indigenous Community as an Arrernte elder and traditional owner, linguist, naturalist and ecologist, and preserving the Aboriginal language and culture in Central Australia.

Veronica is an interpreter and teacher of the Arrernte language. She heals her people by applying her cultural knowledge and that of other elders and senior healers in the Arrernte community around Mparntwe (Alice Springs).

Her deep knowledge of Arrernte lands and language enabled her to establish Arrernte as a written language for Indigenous and the wider communities to learn. She has produced educational material to support her teachings.

Ashley Farrall

Ashley Farrall is an apprentice chef who keeps his culture alive through his culinary creations.

Ashley demonstrates innovation in the kitchen through experimenting with bush food that results in special dishes such as the popular sweet potato and macadamia salad. He encompasses the spirit of learning through offering his creativity to colleagues.

Ashley discovered his passion for cooking and bush foods in Echuca in Victoria when he took the opportunity to participate in the Indigenous business organisation Outback Academy's RESPECT program.

Daren Dunn

Daren Dunn, a proud Gamilaroi man from Coonabarabran in NSW, is dedicated to art, culture and ensuring the wellbeing of his people.

Daren combines art with his passion for sport and takes his paintings around the world where they can be seen from the United Arab Emirates, Italy and Russia to China, the US, Japan and Ireland.

He has recently been commissioned to produce custom hand-painted designs for some of the world’s most prominent athletes including David Beckham, Ricardo Kaka, Rory McIlroyand and Roy Jones Junior.

Michelle Deshong

Michelle Deshong, the 2015 Fullbright Indigenous Professional Scholar, was born in Townsville in North Queensland is committed to improving the lives of Indigenous peoples in Australia and abroad.

Michelle has dedicated herself to advance Indigenous rights, holding positions such as director of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service and Fair Agenda.

Michelle is undertaking a comparative analysis on First Nations women in governance roles during her Fullbright scholarship, which will be conducted with the Udall Center and Native Nations Institute, and hosted by the University of Arizona.

Chris Tamwoy

Chris Tamwoy, who earned the nickname "Magic Fingers” for his skills as a virtuoso guitarist, captures audiences around the country with his music.

Chris, 19, has played at various major events and festivals including TEDx (Aus) and the Byron Bay Blues Festival.

He recently performed at the Woodford Folk Festival, the Port Fairy Folk Festival and the Byron Bay Blues Festival where he opened for the John Butler Trio. He featured in the pre-game entertainment at the NRL Indigenous All Stars game earlier this year, the Brisbane G20 Cultural Celebrations and NAIDOC Ball last year.