Congratulations to ACT Australian of the Year nominees Pat Turner and Caroline Hughes

09 November 2020


Speech to the Australian Parliament

House of Representatives

Federation Chamber

Statements by Members


ACT Australian of the Year Awards

Mr DAVID SMITH (Bean) (16:28): In NAIDOC Week 2020, with its theme of 'Always Was, Always Will Be', I would like to congratulate two constituents of my electorate of Bean, Pat Turner, a proud Arrernte and
Gudanji woman, and Caroline Hughes, a proud Ngunawal woman, for their nominations in the ACT Australian of the Year awards.

Both are strong Aboriginal women who have dedicated their lives to championing Aboriginal culture, health outcomes and Indigenous education.

Ms Hughes has worked with the Yurauna Centre, expanding its capacity and ensuring it meets the needs of the community. Caroline is a firm believer in the power of education and has gone above and beyond in her role
as a professional educator. Caroline also serves as a member of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body, representing and advocating for her community.

Ms Turner has long been an advocate for Indigenous heath, working with all levels of government in the pursuit of health justice. As the CEO of NACCHO, she has driven outcomes for those most vulnerable in our community
and delivered meaningful, lasting change. Significantly, Ms Turner has sat as an adviser on the Indigenous voice to parliament. As one of the Uluru Statement from the Heart's fiercest champions, she has consistently stated that
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians must choose who speaks for them, how that happens and on what issues.

On behalf of the Bean electorate: thank you, Pat and Caroline, for what you do.

You are champions of our community.