NAIDOC Week 2021 - Heal Country
“Healing Country means hearing those pleas to provide greater management, involvement, and empowerment by Indigenous peoples over country.”
“Healing Country means finally resolving many of the outstanding injustices which impact on the lives of our people.”
This year Vision Infrastructure have chosen to participate in NAIDOC in several ways. One of these ways is by looking into influential and inspirational Indigenous Australians who have had an incredible impact on our communities, country and the world.
Strong role models and activists are important for the next generation of Australia’s youth. They show through fortitude and belief in yourself that you can achieve and encourage young people to be open and optimistic about their own potential.
Two strong role models that Vision Infrastructure would like to acknowledge are:
Noel is a well-known and respected Indigenous activist who has done a great deal for the rights of Indigenous Australians.
In 1990, Noel co-founded the Cape York Land Council where he was an Executive Director until he resigned in 1996.
Noel is also a legal advisor for the Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Commission. He continues to advise a number of Indigenous organisations in Cape York and advocates self-determination and land rights for Indigenous people.
For many years Noel campaigned tirelessly on behalf of the Aboriginal people, focusing on welfare, substance abuse, child protection, education and economic development in the Indigenous community.
Patricia June O’Shane
Patricia June O'Shane, or as she is more widely known, Pat O’Shane, is from the Kunjandji clan and was the first Aboriginal magistrate to serve in Sydney’s Local Court from 1986 until her retirement in 2013.
Pat is known for speaking her own mind and for her belief in seeking justice for people. “Law is not the same as justice and justice is certainly not the same as law”, She told Fairfax Media at the time of her retirement. “My priority was in fact to get justice according the law”.
Pat has reached great feats, as a strong and proud Aboriginal women. She was the first Aboriginal woman to graduate with a law degree and was also the first Aboriginal Lawyer.
In one of the most defining moments in her illustrious career, Pat became the first Indigenous person to be appointed as the head of the New South Wales Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs.
In 2001, Pat was awarded the Centenary Medal for her exceptional duty and contribution to Australian society and higher education. She was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement in Leadership at the Deadly Awards in 2013.
Both Noel and Patricia demonstrate to future generations the impact they can have on our communities, and on our country.
Referendum Council , digital image, <https://www.referendumcouncil.org.au/council/noel-pearson.html>
Wise Women , digital image, <https://wisewomen.com.au/pat-oshane/>
National Archives of Australia 1961-2021, accessed 6 July 2021, <https://www.naa.gov.au/learn/learning-resources/learning-resource-themes/government-and-democracy/activism/aboriginal-activist-and-barrister-pat-oshane>
Australian Women Lawyers As ACTIVE CITIZENS, accessed 6 July 2021, <https://www.womenaustralia.info/lawyers/biogs/AWE1068b.htm>
Sydney Criminal Lawyers , accessed 6 July 2021,
Creative Spirits , accessed 6 July 2021,
Wikipedia, Noel Pearson , accessed 6 July 2021, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noel_Pearson>
Quarterly Essay, Noel Pearson , accessed 6 July 2021, https://www.quarterlyessay.com.au/author/noel-pearson
Griffith Review, Noel Pearson , accessed 6 July 2021, https://www.griffithreview.com/contributors/noel-pearson/
Jawun, accessed 6 July 2021, https://jawun.org.au/about/patrons/