Friday, July 26, 2024

Coffs awards shine light on First Nations leaders

The Yandaarra Aunty Grace Roberts Community Awards have continued to shine a light on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders in the Coffs Harbour region, with eight award winners announced today as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations. 

Capping a full day of community celebrations, Des Ahoy, a senior health worker with Galambila Aboriginal Health Services, was crowned winner of the prestigious Aunty Grace Roberts Memorial Community Development Award. 

“It’s so rewarding to see better health outcomes for our Mob, to see people come in and get better – it’s a beautiful feeling,” Mr Ahoy said.  

“I love meeting and supporting the Mob with education and better information so we can promote early intervention. I do a lot of school screenings for things like hearing and vision.”  

The Yandaarra Aunty Grace Roberts Community Awards have been held for 26 years and celebrate the positive contributions people make to improving the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait people in Coffs Harbour, said City of Coffs Harbour Mayor, Paul Amos.

“There were eight winners today, but a record 35 nominations for the awards this year, and that just goes to show how many people and organisations contribute every day to the progress of this community,” the Mayor said. 

“NAIDOC Week is one of the most important dates on the Coffs Harbour calendar and an important time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements.” 

NAIDOC Week, which runs from 7-14 July, honours the enduring strength and vitality of First Nations culture. This year’s theme is ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud & Proud’. 

Today’s Coffs Harbour award winners included: 

  • Grace Roberts Memorial Community Development Award – Des Ahoy
  • Aunty Award – Aunty Jenny Skinner 
  • Uncle Award – Uncle Kevin Wilson 
  • Aboriginal Community Organisation or Business Award – Jalay Jalay Dance Troupe 
  • Sports Achievement Award – Matthew Montgomery and Tigerlilly Green 
  • Arts and Cultural Achievement Award – Darryl Lockwood 
  • Youth of the Year Award – Ace Findlay.

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