NAIDOC celebrations capped by awards

Narrogin Observer
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NAIDOC celebrations capped by Shire awards

Tim Wiese, Basil Kickett, Chante Kickett, Jazhara Hill, Rosie Anderson and Laurence Riley.
Camera IconTim Wiese, Basil Kickett, Chante Kickett, Jazhara Hill, Rosie Anderson and Laurence Riley. Credit: Shire of Narrogin.

The Narrogin community demonstrated the true meaning of unity at the 2019 NAIDOC Week opening ceremony, held in Gnarojin Park.

More than 100 people gathered at Gnarojin Park on Tuesday last week before taking part in a procession through town to the Narrogin Reception Centre for morning tea, speeches and the presentation of this year’s Narrogin NAIDOC Awards.

Nathan Ugle and Chris Williams were presented with the up and coming role model for the community award.

The sportsperson of the year award was presented to dual recipients Jahzara Hill and Chante Kickett.

Murray Riley and Daisy Farmer received the caring for country award, while Rosie Anderson was announced as youth of the year and Basil Kickett was named elder of the year.

“On behalf of the Shire and the elected members, we congratulate this year’s NAIDOC Award recipients, we acknowledge the hard work you have put in to achieve these accolades,” deputy Shire president Tim Wiese said.

“We wish to convey our deepest gratitude to the event community partners for their collaborative efforts to develop and co-ordinate this most memorable NAIDOC event.”

Guests were treated to traditional dances by local youths, motivational speakers from the Shooting Stars program, and a moving rendition of the Noongar welcome song Wanjoo by the Narrogin Primary School Choir in Noongar.

Education dynamo makes his mark

South Regional TAFE Narrogin Campus’ Laurence Riley has been recognised for his tireless efforts to unite communities, being named runner-up in the NAIDOC Education Achievement Award.

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“It’s been a journey but it was a bit of a shock, to be honest,” Mr Riley said.

“I only found out I was nominated recently.

“I definitely didn’t think I would be named as a runner-up.

“I was nominated by a former colleague, Dorinda Cox, who wanted to recognise me for the work I was doing on the board of Derbal Yerrigan Health Service, as well as the work I’ve been doing since working at South Regional TAFE.”

Regional campus manager Sonia Hogermeer described Mr Riley as gutsy, respectful and considerate, with a can-do attitude and the ability to turn negative experiences into positive ones.

“Laurence has brought a new dynamic and much needed energy and commitment to Aboriginal programs here at Narrogin Campus and we look forward to many successful outcomes,” she said.

Mr Riley’s story has inspired other young people.

“I used to be a rebel in school — I dropped out in Year 11,” he said. “At the time, I didn’t think I would end up doing what I am doing now.”

Mr Riley is weeks away from completing his Diploma of Nursing, which will add to his long list of qualifications, including a Diploma of Management, a Diploma of Business and a Diploma of Government.

He is a volunteer ambulance officer and has been appointed to several boards, including the National Aboriginal Controlled Health Organisation.

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