This year’s theme is Voice. Treaty. Truth – Let’s work together for a shared future. We celebrate the voices, knowledge and experiences of our award winners and all Red Cross First Nations staff members and volunteers.
It’s the fifth year Red Cross has run our own NAIDOC Awards: honouring outstanding First Nations women and men around the country as they work alongside communities to pursue their goals.
Lee is the Co-Chair of Red Cross’ National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Team, and we’re recognising his strong, clear and collaborative approach to leadership. Lee is one of our Reconciliation Action Plan champions and speaks at many forums to influence change and garner support. He supports our Human Resources team to grow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership within Red Cross. Lee also works across a wide variety of projects, always making a positive contribution in the communities we walk alongside.
Derrick is the Cultural Liaison Officer at the Cairns Wellbeing Centre, which provides accommodation and support to people and families from remote areas who need medical treatment in Cairns.
If you ask any of the guests, most would say that Derrick is the face of the centre – he is the first point of contact for guests staying there, 95% of whom are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. For many guests, especially those who are elderly from remote communities, being away from home is a big deal – and having Derrick there makes things a lot easier. Derrick knows most of the family relationships throughout Cape York and is always able to make people feel comfortable when they arrive. Derrick is always there, providing appropriate language, culturally safe support or just a chat and a few jokes if that’s what is needed. Derrick always puts the guests first, and is making his community a better place through his dedication and hard work.
Vicki is a valuable member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team in the Red Cross Blacktown office. In her role as an Aboriginal Support Worker, she demonstrates an immense passion and commitment for helping her community. In particular, she works in the juvenile justice system to mentor young people and guide them toward a better future. Vicki is a quiet achiever, and always willing to share her culture.
For the past six years Aunty Robyne has been volunteering at the Reiby Juvenile Justice Centre, visiting the girls there, many of whom are from country and don’t get visits from family and friends. She spends time with the girls, building a rapport and making a big difference to their lives – one girl first met Aunty Robyne when she was 13, and they continued to stay in touch after the girl left the Centre at 17. Aunty Robyne also volunteers as part of the TeleYarn program, where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander volunteers call Indigenous people who are older and socially isolated. They have a yarn, and check that everything is going ok. TeleYarn is an important service for supporting the mental health and well-being of isolated people. Aunty Robyne has a true passion for helping others, and can be seen in the Blacktown office every Wednesday, making these calls.
Aunty Carol also spends her weekends at the Reiby Juvenile Justice Centre, and has been a nanny figure to the girls there for the last six years. The girls love to see her and value the care and guidance she gives them, always running for a hug when she arrives. Aunty Carol never judges the girls for any mistakes they may have made. She is respected by both the girls and staff and the Centre, and her commitment is making a real difference in her community.