JIM Morrison was one of two Aboriginal leaders awarded the John Curtin Medal last week.
Mr Morrison, along with Angela Ryder, was recognised at a special ceremony for attributes associated with Australia’s World War II Prime Minister – vision, leadership and a commitment to community service.
Mr Morrison, the executive director of Yokai: Healing our Spirit, has worked at the frontline of Aboriginal rights for more than four decades, dedicating not only his career, but also his life, to creating a better future for Aboriginal people.
While Ms Ryder, a member of the Stolen Generation, was removed from her family and placed in missions between the ages of eight and 12, she has established innovative and positive initiatives and programs to build independence in Aboriginal people and empower Aboriginal women.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said both were very worthy recipients of the award and acknowledged their dedicated contribution to the Aboriginal community.
“Jim’s is a large voice that speaks strongly for the voiceless,” she said,
“As the son of Stolen Generation parents, he has known, but never let adversity intrude on his staunch and relentless advocacy for the human rights of Aboriginal .
“He has volunteered significant time over many years to ensuring the Stolen Generations have opportunities to heal.”
Mr Morrison has developed Yokai: Healing our Spirit, an initiative that offers access to community-led social and emotional wellbeing programs to members of the Stolen Generations and their families.
Professor Terry said Ms Ryder’s story was equally inspiring.
“As someone who experiences the lasting and full impact of the Stolen Generation on her life, and through her professional experience, Angela recognised grief and suffering as major issues within sections of the Aboriginal community,” she said.
“Angela developed Moorditj Yoka Women’s Group and served for 15 years as the inaugural Chairperson of the Langford Aboriginal Association, a community-managed group that raises awareness about health and wellbeing issues.”
The John Curtin Medals are presented each year on, or close to, October 7, the anniversary of John Curtin’s accession to the office of Prime Minister in 1941.