NAIDOC Week 2018 celebrated the invaluable contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made- and continue to make to our communities, our families, our rich country and to our nation.
The week saw some amazing events being held but the highlight was the Upper Hunter NAIDOC Awards Night. The venue was sold out in the lead up to the night, and it was clear to see why with so many wonderful stories paying respect to the women of the now and of the past who with great drive have succeeded and contributed to our communities along the way.
The night was entertaining and the tributes wonderful. Hosts Darryl and Karen Egan kept the crowd engaged, while this year’s trophies had jaws dropping. It is a credit to the committee of organisers.
The winners of the Awards were well deserved and would have been a hard selection with so many wonderful nominees. This year there was 21 winners with a special category to fit this year’s NAIDOC theme ‘Because of her, We can’.
Apprentice of the Year – Joell Cochrane (Sponsored my Ochre Opportunity Hub)
Artist of the Year – Aiden Powell (Sponsored by Yancoal)
Because of her, We Can! – Amanda Howard, Jean Hands & Deirdre Heitmeyer (Sponsored by Blackrock Industries)
Community Contribution – Warren Taggart (Sponsored by Mission Australia)
Elder of the Year; Female – Jeanine Pascoe (Sponsored by Ungooroo Aboriginal Corporation)
Elder of the Year; Male – Glenfor Morris (Sponsored by Wanaruah Local Aboriginal Land Council)
Junior Scholar of the Year; Female – Kitanya Eckerman (Sponsored by Muswellbrook & Singleton Girls Academy)
Junior scholar of the year; male – Jayden Hines (Sponsored by Wanaruah NAIDOC Committee)
Junior sportsperson of the year; female – Jasmine Vesper (Sponsored by Bengalla Mining Company)
Junior sportsperson of the year; male – Tyler Powell (Sponsored by Bengalla Mining Company)
Posthumous award – Aunty Carol Tudor (Sponsored by Singleton Council)
Professional achiever of the year – Elizabeth Howard (Sponsored by Muswellbrook Shire Council)
Senior scholar of the year; female – Sarah Smith (Sponsored by Singleton High School)
Senior scholar of the year; male – Daniel Ellis (Sponsored by Singleton High School)
Senior sportsperson of the year; female – Alexandria Field (Sponsored by Hunter Valley Aboriginal Corporation)
Senior sportsperson of the year; male – Jake Price (Sponsored by Upper Hunter Shire Council)
Volunteer of the year – Natasha Kellett (Sponsored by Integrated Living)
Youth of the year; female – Katie Van Vliet (Sponsored by Glencore Australia)
Youth of the year; male – Marcus Morris (Sponsored by Glencore Australia)