The Pangula Mannamurna Aboriginal Corporation 2022 NAIDOC Awards were recently presented at an awards dinner to their deserving recipients.
Aunty Michelle Jacquelin-Furr was awarded Female Elder of the Year and Ken Jones was awarded Male Elder of the Year.
Cheryl Smith received the Lifetime Achievement award, Sally Work and Robyn Campbell were awarded the Caring for Culture awards and Sheila Dunne received the Student of the Year Award.
Bonnie-May Saunders was awarded Best Artist/Musician/Performer, Demi Bevan received Young Person of the Year, Cheryle Saunders was awarded Businessperson of the Year and Brydie Lewis received the Apprentice/Cadet/Trainee of the Year award.
Lifetime Achievement awardee Mrs Smith is a proud community member with a love of culture, people and children and said she was extremely surprised and very thankful to receive the award.
“It was such an unexpected thing and to actually be nominated and then to win it, I thought, wow, so I was very humbled,” Mrs Smith said.
The award recipient said when she lived in Adelaide she was one of the original members for the Kaurna Plains Early Childhood Centre and was also involved with the Aboriginal Childcare Agency.
“My family certainly being a part of the stolen generation, you just know that you had to give back to ensure that our children were brought up with culture and family and community,” she said.
“I want people to understand and recognise that for little people, Aboriginal children, younger kids, it’s important they grow up in culture, it’s important they remain connected to community and to family.”
Female Elder of the Year awardee Aunty Michelle Jacquelin-Furr said receiving the award was very exciting and unexpected and she congratulated all other awardees.
“I thought, that’s great to be recognised by the community, to be recognised by the general public,” she said.
Aunty Michelle said the award was based on work within the community and promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, which she does in schools and with ac.care.
“I think it just makes you feel very proud, you do this work and I just do this because I love it, but then to get back that recognition it’s just nice to know that people have noticed what you’re doing,” she said.