INAUGURAL VICTORIAN INDIGENOUS WOMENS AWARDS 1997
Koorie Women Mean Business Incorporated in partnership with ATSIC - Binjirru
Regional Council, and the Victorian Womens Trust developed the inaugural
Victoria Indigenous Womens Awards to celebrate the role of indigenous
women in Victoria. The Awards were presented by Marion Hanson, former
Victorian ATSIC Commissioner, at the Aboriginal Day Ball held at the Grand
\Hyatt Melbourne on Friday 11 July 1997 and attended by nearly 300 people.
PROFILE OF AWARD WINNERS
ARTS CATEGORY: MAXINE BRIGGS
Maxine Briggs has worked in the music industry as a roadie, lighting technician
and designer and co-coordinator of cultural events and programs. Maxine
focuses on the retrieval and restoration of Victorian Aboriginal Arts
ass an essential aid in the haling process for Kooris today. Each project
is creative rather then format, to ensure it remains innovative and challenging
to the artists involved. She is a Managing Director and a driving force
in the Koori Arts Collective.
Maxines work challenges other communities perceptions and
images of local Koorie people through performance, arts, and music. Maxine
instigated a number of projects in several artforms to provide cultural
development and employment for koorie. This is achieved through effective
packaging and networking between the community and the arts industry.
Maxine is highly regarded as an events expert who can provide a unique
indigenous edge. She initiated the incorporation of culturally appropriate
programs in mainstream arts events before it became fashionable and through
this has developed a longstanding relationship with the Melbourne Fringe
Festival and the Brunswick Music Festival.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CATEGORY: COLLEEN MARION
Colleen Marion has been a key worker in her role as Koorie Case Manager
with the Preston CES . She currently assists koorie unemployed clients
registered with Preston CES to find work in the private sector and also
in the public and Aboriginal organisations sector.
Colleen assists unemployed clients in gaining basic training to enable
them to apply for jobs in the workforce. Recently she placed thirteen
Koorie clients in job placement as part of the Preparatory employment
training program run by Yuruga Enterprises PTY Ltd at Northcote Town hall.
Colleen works with both indigenous and non indigenous employers and actively
breakdowns barrier to indigenous employment. She has focused her work
on gaining economic empowerment for indigenous people through training
opportunities and work placements.
CULTURAL CATEGORY - LYNETTE DENT
Lynette Dent has played a crucial role in developing comprehensive learning
strategies to enable the Ganai Language to be taught. Community members
in Gippsland and the wider Victorian Aboriginal Community have benefited
through Lunettes presentations and language workshops. Her dedication
and commitment to pass on information and knowledge relating to language
are an inspiration.
Lynette has a Bachelor of Education from the Monash University Gippsland
Campus and has been involved and tutoring and teaching Aboriginal languages
since 1988. Lynette has been a student of both Bundjalung and Pitjanjatjara
and spent time in Alice Springs learning with native speakers. For the
past three years she has been a teacher at the Koorie Open Door Education
K-12 Campus at Morwell.
Lynette is involved in a community language program, teaching language
to 20 kindergarten age children (both Indigenous and non Indigenous) at
the Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal co-operative. She also teaches
secondary students and community members through the program, which is
being developed to include cultural interpretation for workers in the
field such as tourism and dancing, Lynette continues to research the Ganai
Language and to develop her own resources for teaching,