Dr George Bertram Skeene
Yirrganydji elder Dr George Skeene has been recognised for his service to the Indigenous community of North Queensland.
“For more than 25 years I’ve been volunteering my time.”
The 67-year-old historian grew up in Cairns in the 1950’s, during a time of forced assimilation.
He now uses his profession to preserve Aboriginal culture threatened by white policies.
"I want to get the correct message across, because I came through the assimilation program here in Cairns and segregation."
"Segregation was all around during the 1950s. And I wanted to get that message across so that part of Cairns Aboriginal history would not be forgotten," said Dr Skeene.
Dr Skeene was involved in the discovery of Aboriginal artefacts, including the return of ancestral remains from the Queensland Museum back to Cairns.
“Many of us do voluntary work and we do it for the love of it, we don’t really expect to be honoured like this,” he said.
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Ms Tracey L Moffatt
Ms Moffatt been honoured for her service to the visual and performing arts sector - as a photographer, film maker, mentor and role model for other Indigenous artists.
Her art reflects on her Aboriginal childhood and growing up in a foster family in Brisbane.
In 2017, Ms Moffatt will become the first Aboriginal artist to present a solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale.
Ms Geraldine Hogarth
Ms Hogarth has been honoured for her significant service to the Indigenous community of regional Western Australia, through the provision of improved ear health care for children.
She's a Kuwarra Pini Tjalkatarra woman from Leonora in WA.
Ms Hogarth has spent many years working with her community and a linguist to preserve their language for future generations.