The City of Adelaide Council has awarded Yvonne Agius the Lord Mayor’s NAIDOC Award for 2021 at today’s annual luncheon.
A Kaurna-Narrunga descendant and respected Elder, Aunty Yvonne (pictured) is a City of Adelaide Reconciliation Committee member and has served as dual chairperson since 2010.
This award recognises the outstanding achievement and service of an extraordinary Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community member who has made a significant contribution to Reconciliation in the City of Adelaide.
Lord Mayor and City of Adelaide Reconciliation Committee dual chairperson, Sandy Verschoor said Aunty Yvonne was a very worthy recipient of the award.
“Aunty Yvonne has been committed to sharing the courageous stories of the many women who fought long and hard for Aboriginal rights,” said the Lord Mayor.
“For decades she has been fighting for Aboriginal people’s human rights, including access to education, housing, health care, legal rights and childcare.”
Having worked as a public servant over 40 years, Yvonne has had a long and varied working life.
The retiree headed the women’s unit at ATSIC and worked with Aboriginal rights activist Charles Perkins AO in medical and legal services. She also spent time at Parliament, looking after visiting dignitaries from overseas.
Aunty Yvonne has been fundamental in the development of several very successful major reconciliation projects at the Council:
- Dual Kaurna naming of the city’s Park Lands and squares;
- The development of the Reconciliation Plaza;
- Extensive consultations regarding a variety of Aboriginal matters concerning Council;
- Expert advice and support in the build of City of Adelaide’s Reconciliation Action Plans;
- The build of the first Mankurri-api Kuu/Reconciliation Room in a local government setting.
Lord Mayor Verschoor said Aunty Yvonne had extensive experience on a range of community groups and boards that deal with Heritage, Native Title and Nunga Court, displaying an ongoing commitment to reconciliation and advocacy between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.
“The former City of Port Adelaide Enfield employee has generously dedicated much of her time over the years to being an Aboriginal foster carer and educating younger generations about the past,” she said.
In 2000, Aunty Yvonne was named National NAIDOC Aboriginal Elder of the Year, in recognition of her commitment to the preservation of Aboriginal heritage.