The contributions and achievements of Indigenous role models continue to make substantial impacts upon our history in areas such as the arts, sport, education, science and more increasingly; the world of Politics. Modern Australia is recognising and celebrating the achievements of Aboriginal people more than ever before, where the social landscape is changing (albeit slowly) as a result. The gradual change of peoples ingrained preconceptions, unfounded ideas and prejudiced notions are being challenged and ultimately transformed.
Recognized not only on the national level, Senator Nova Peris has displayed her strength and courage on the worlds stage, cementing her place in history.
Nova Peris was born in Darwin on February 1st 1971 where she spent “her childhood upbringing with her mother, grandmother and grandfather whom were all members of the ‘Stolen Generations’ from respective missions on the Tiwi islands, Moola Bulla of the East Kimberley and Beagle Bay of the West Kimberley” (Australian Labor Party, 2015, p. 1). Through this lineage, Peris was able to develop a meaningful understanding and appreciation of traditional Aboriginal values, which continues to fuel her advocacy for the inclusion and acceptance of Aboriginal rights and freedoms; where she is evidenced saying “I never lose focus of what 's true to me, and the true thing to me is that fighting for ongoing rights in this country for indigenous people…” (Abc.net.au, 2003, p. 1).
Initially gaining notoriety through her achievements within the field of sport; representing Australia as a member of the Australian women’s hockey team, Peris became the first Aboriginal Australian to win a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Peris late...
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... the continued work of Indigenous role models like Peris, more and more Indigenous Australians are becoming more and more vocal in their demand for change and acceptance. Community understanding and acknowledgement of the successes and historical significance of longstanding traditional views and values are becoming increasingly part of modern conversation, which is indeed a step in the right direction, even if we do have a very long way to go.
As an active role model Nova Peris continues work tirelessly to campaign for acceptance and equality for the Aboriginal people within the wider community; “In whichever ways I possibly can I will continue to fight through my life for a better deal for Aboriginals and for the healing of Australian society that I believe must (and will) happen,” (Womenaustralia.info, 2015)– If that’s not a role model then I don’t know what is.
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