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Kyle Morrison 2013 NAIDOC Perth Outstanding Achiever

by Natacha Wirenfeldt Petersen


yle Morrison (pictured third from left), Artistic Director and CEO of Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company has been awarded with the prestigious 2013 NAIDOC Perth Outstanding Achievement Award. The Award is granted to an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander individual who has made a significant contribution to the development and empowerment of Perth’s Aboriginal and Torres

Strait Islander community over a period of five years or more. Mr Morrison was acknowledged for his work in Aboriginal Theatre, spanning over twenty years. Angela Ryder was awarded Community Person of the Year for her years of voluntary service to the community including 12 years as Chairperson of the Langford Aboriginal Association. Other recipients included Albert Knapp and Jean Boladeras (Elders of the Year), Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service (Not-For-Profit of the Year), G Cole Consulting

(Business of the Year), Sam and Valerie Miller (Carers of the Year), Aleisha Johns (Tertiary Scholar of the Year), Larissa Bennell (Sportsperson of the Year), Ashley Collard (Artist of the Year) and Dylan Collard and Kelsi Forrest (Youths of the Year). The winners were revealed at the 2013 NAIDOC Perth Awards Ceremony on Thursday 20 June 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Perth, between 6.00pm and 10.30pm. This formal event was hosted by popular News Reader Narelda Jacobs, with performances Page 1

Miss NAIDOC finalist Jade Dolman, left, with MC Narelda Jacobs

from The Merindas and John Bennett, a hilarious comedy routine by Derek Nannup and a special appearance from the 2013 Miss NAIDOC Entrants Maree Ansey, Jade Dolman, Mikayla King, Hara Herdigan and Teresa Moore. For more information, see the NAIDOC Perth Awards Webpage. NAIDOC Perth Committee Member Cassandra Ryder is Convener of the Event and is extremely happy with the way the night went. “Congratulations to all our winners, who are all very deserving of their awards and who I am sure

will continue to do great things within our community. It was a great night where over 200 guests attended and were treated to quality Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entertainment, as together we celebrated the achievements of our worthy recipients,” said Ms Ryder. OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT Winner – Kyle J Morrison Kyle J Morrison is currently the Artistic Director and CEO of Australia’s largest Aboriginal theatre company, Yirra Yaakin

Theatre Company, and is also one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal performers with extensive theatre and screen credits. He has been professionally involved in the theatre and film industries for over 20 years. In 2012 Kyle J Morrison led Yirra Yaakin through a year of many firsts. It was the first time any of Shakespeare’s works had been translated into the Noongar language; it was the first time Aboriginal actors have performed an Australian Aboriginal language on the historic Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre stage in London; and for the first time he assisted to form an ongoing partnership with ‘The Blue Room Theatre’ to bring WA audiences Aboriginal stories from our new and emerging artists. COMMUNITY PERSON OF THE YEAR Winner – Angela Ryder Angela Ryder is an outstanding Noongar woman living and working in the southern suburbs of Perth. A wife, mother to four and grandmother to two, Angela’s inspirational and tireless contribution to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is invaluable and truly precious. Angela currently works fulltime as the Manager of Aboriginal Services at Relationships Australia WA. She has also devoted many years to the Langford Aboriginal Association

as one of its convening members. She is currently in her 12th year as Chairperson. Angela has also been involved in NAIDOC Perth as the Treasurer between 2007 and 2013, also in a voluntary capacity. Angela has always made herself available for her community and shows true leadership in the way she quietly goes about her work, often not seeking acknowledgement or recognition.   MALE ELDER OF THE YEAR Winner – Albert Knapp Albert Knapp has worked tirelessly for the Aboriginal community of WA, in particular the Noongar community. Albert has been an Aboriginal Pastor for many years and has attended and facilitated many funerals across the state. Albert has extensive links across WA and is well known and respected both as an Elder and community person. He works in a very sensitive and respectful manner and is always available when families need him. For the past four years Albert has worked with the Health Department to

Miss NAIDOC Perth Maree Ansey

have a say on local health issues and advocate for a change in the way Government works with and provides services for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Albert is actively involved in chairing meetings, providing an Acknowledgement to Country at local events and participating in consultation

meetings with service providers. FEMALE ELDER OF THE YEAR Winner – Jean Boladeras Jean Boladeras is a Ballardong woman from the York/Northam region. She is the mother of six children, with fourteen grannies, and two great-grannies. She is a well respected and admired Noongar Elder recognised by her peers as highly intelligent with a great sense of humour. As an active member of the Perth Aboriginal Community, Jean is committed to her people, culture, family and friends, and to working hard for others. As a child she was institutionalised and forced to ignore her Aboriginal identity. She experienced pressure from authorities too ashamed of her heritage. But as she grew older she fought against any forced psyche of feeling ‘shame’ to be an Aboriginal and she sought out her Noongar roots, relationships, stories and memories. Jean stands as a proud Aboriginal woman today who engaged with higher studies to understand her past.   NOT-FOR-PROFIT

ORGANISATION OF THE YEAR Winner – Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service As the name implies Derbarl Yerrigan is the Whadjuk Noongar term for the Swan River. Derbarl is an Aboriginal community controlled organisation delivering holistic health programs tailored mainly to the needs of Aboriginal families in Perth and surrounds – potentially around 37,000 people part of Perth’s resident and itinerant Aboriginal population. This year we celebrate the 40th year of uninterrupted operations of DYHS. This also makes it one of the longest serving Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services in the country. There are currently four Clinics around the metropolitan area – East Perth, Midland, Mirrabooka and Maddington with Aboriginal Health Workers, Nurses, Doctors, Specialists, Allied Health staff – physio, chiro, podiatrist, counsellor – dentists, dental assistants, liaison officers, drivers, support staff and others providing comprehensive services. The Autumn Centre is a hostel providing safe accommodation (board and

lodging) for Aboriginal people needing to attend renal dialysis in the Perth area. BUSINESS OF THE YEAR Winner – G Cole Consulting Gordon Cole is a Noongar man who is recognised for his leadership and contribution to Western Australia’s Aboriginal Community. Through his business G Cole Consulting, he specialises in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services, Coaching, Mentoring and Leadership along with exploring Global Markets expanding outside of Australia. Gordon is also leading the establishment of the Noongar Chamber of Commerce and is a Principle Partner in Global Professional Services International, a global consulting company.   CARER OF THE YEAR Winner – Sam and Valerie Miller Sam and Valerie Miller are Noongar Elders from the South West of WA and have been married for the past 52 years. Together they have been foster carers with Yorganop for the past 19 years and have cared for 17 foster children.

Of their own eight children, six are now foster carers themselves. They have a record of voluntary community service that spans more than 50 years, and have been involved in almost every Aboriginal community agency in the Perth metropolitan area at one time or another, usually in a volunteer capacity. As Carers they talk about positive outcomes for their children, and as Elders their leadership shows in their standing in the Aboriginal Community as hugely positive role models. TERTIARY SCHOLAR OF THE YEAR Winner – Aleisha Johns Aleisha Johns is the oldest of five children and comes from a very big family, her dad being the youngest out of 12 children. Aleisha graduated from Cecil Andrews Senior High in 2010 with good grades and then went on to do a spray painting pre-apprenticeship, where her now boss came in looking for an apprentice. After two weeks of work experience at BG Panel & Paint she was offered a full apprenticeship. Three years on she has received numerous awards for

her now completed apprenticeship, and one day aims to become one of the first female Aboriginal trade lectures in WA. Aleisha hopes to help and encourage other students and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids out there to achieve their dreams and help them to get the most out of there trade.   SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR Winner – Larissa Bennell Laissa Bennell is a 17-yearold athlete from the Gnaala Karla Booja region, her success is in representing not only her State but also her country at international levels in both Softball and Cricket. For a young girl to commit to the love of her sports, to be a leading role model to our youth, Larissa is proof that effort and success is merited on commitment, selfdetermination and dedication. Larissa has self-funded her sporting expenses through raffling, working a number of jobs and sponsorship deals. In 2013 alone Larissa has travelled to San Francisco and Los Angeles in her role in the Under 17’s Australia USA Softball Tournament, she represented the state in the 2013 Under 17’s Nationals in Sydney and has been awarded the Sunday Women’s Football League ‘Most Consistent Player’. ARTIST OF THE YEAR Winner – Ashley Collard Ashley Collard is employed as an Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer at Gilmore College. He is also a ‘tutor’ for the Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program, which aims to support aspirant Aboriginal students to achieve their present and future goals, whether it be to gain employment, or enter TAFE or University. Ashley has always valued education and by example has completed a Certificate III Education Assistant course and a Certificate III in Aboriginal Youth Health. Ashley was recently

NAIDOC Chair Glenda Kickett with Elder Doolan Liesha Eatts

awarded the “People’s Choice” award for the artwork that he submitted for the Rockingham Noongar Arts Competition. Ashley’s artwork is of such high standard that it has been used in storybooks that the Department of Education and Training has since published and made available for students across Western Australia. Ashley is an active member of the Follow the Dream Steering Committee and Student Services at Gilmore College. Ashley has been involved in a number of NAIDOC activities not only in Kwinana but across the entire metropolitan area. He is a brilliant artist, author, singer/songwriter and musician and has also started dabbling with sculpture.   MALE YOUTH OF THE YEAR Winner – Dylan Collard Dylan Collard is a natural born leader and exceptional young 20-year-old Whadjuk-Ballardong man from Perth WA who has achieved a lot in a short time. Dylan is a 3rd Year student at the University of Western Australia studying a double degree in Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and International Relations). The

Perth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community know Dylan is an excellent role model for youth and the wider community and consider him to be a bright and inspiring young Aboriginal leader. FEMALE YOUTH OF THE YEAR Winner – Kelsi Forrest Kelsi Forrest is a 20-year-old Noongar woman currently in her third year of degrees in Law and Politics at the University of Western Australia. She is Co-Founder of ‘iAmtheOther’ which is a student run organisation that aims to bridge the social divide amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous people through meaningful conversations and building mutually respectful relationships. Kelsi was a member of the first National Indigenous Youth Parliament, and is an advocate for Reconciliation Australia and a supporter of Recognise - the campaign for Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Kelsi is very passionate about making Australia a better place for her people and the greater Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

Kyle morrison perth naidoc outstanding achiever  

Kyle Morrison, Artistic Director and CEO of Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, has been awarded with the prestigious 2013 NAIDOC Perth Outstandin...