Legislative Council: Wednesday, September 13, 2023


Premier's NAIDOC Award

The Hon. I. PNEVMATIKOS (14:30): My question is to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Will the minister inform the council about this year's male winner of the Premier's NAIDOC Award?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:30): I thank the honourable member for her question and her interest in this area, and it would be a great pleasure to inform the chamber about this year's male winner of the Premier's NAIDOC Award. I mentioned last sitting week, and certainly on many occasions before, how important NAIDOC Week is in the calendar for South Australians, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander South Australians. It is a week to celebrate and look forward to all that First Nations people have contributed and will continue to contribute to this country and our communities.

There are many diverse events right across metropolitan Adelaide and country areas each week during NAIDOC and, as I talked about in previous sitting weeks, the state NAIDOC awards lunch is one of the highlights of the week and presents a great opportunity to celebrate the individuals who give so much of themselves to our community.

The Premier's NAIDOC Award is now shared between two individuals each year—one male and one female. I previously informed the chamber about some of the highlights and the exceptional career of Aunty Eunice Aston, a Ngarrindjeri woman and the female award winner in this year's Premier's NAIDOC Awards. I am very pleased today to update the council about the work of the male recipient of the Premier's NAIDOC Award, Uncle Frank Lampard OAM.

Uncle Frank is a Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri elder who, like Aunty Eunice, has worked throughout his life to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Perhaps most notably, Uncle Frank has contributed significantly to the educational and correctional services sectors. He served in the Department for Correctional Services as Executive Director of Aboriginal Prisoners and Offenders Support Services for 10 years, and earlier as Chair of the SA Aboriginal Education and Training Advisory Committee. For this role, he was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001.

Uncle Frank was also South Australia's Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement from 2015 to 2017, when I was fortunate to serve as the Aboriginal affairs minister in the Weatherill government. Uncle Frank has also advocated for Aboriginal health practitioner roles in the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network and at the emergency department of that network, in order to address the high rates of discharge among Aboriginal patients against medical advice or before the completion of treatment. In no small part thanks to Uncle Frank's advocacy, this role now operates seven days a week.

Uncle Frank Lampard played a crucial role in the establishment of the Aboriginal War Memorial on the Torrens Parade Ground, as well as the ongoing work for the restoration of Aboriginal veterans' graves. For his contribution in this space, as well as his broader work in the community, Uncle Frank was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2008.

Regularly, when I catch up with Uncle Frank Lampard, he talks about the different places around regional South Australia that he has been in his work in the restoration of Aboriginal veterans' graves. His work broadly spans so many sectors. I think everyone at the NAIDOC awards luncheon wholeheartedly congratulated him on the Premier's NAIDOC Award (male).

There were two other nominees for the category that Uncle Frank was eventually the winner of: Dean Walker and Andrew Wilson. Dean Walker is an Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara man and has worked for over 15 years as an Aboriginal Senior Community Constable in Coober Pedy. He previously worked as a substance misuse worker for the Port Augusta City Council. It is always a pleasure when I am in Coober Pedy to catch up with Deano. Dean has previously delivered SAPOL's Aboriginal cultural awareness program and won South Australia's Local Hero Award in 2013 for his work in improving relations between police and Aboriginal communities in the Far North.

The other finalist for the male Premier's NAIDOC Award was Andrew Wilson, whose commitment to the Aboriginal community has spanned over 30 years through his work as the Senior Aboriginal Access Officer for State Records of South Australia within the Attorney-General's Department. Andrew has been involved in countless projects with State Records aimed at enriching and explaining Aboriginal records held by the state. These include the development of an Aboriginal resource kit for secondary schools, building an Aboriginal names index to assist with linking family members to their records, and the establishment of the State Records Aboriginal Reference Group, of which he is now a member in his well-deserved retirement.

Throughout their diverse and clearly important areas of work, the nominees for the Premier's NAIDOC Award have contributed so much to the lives of Aboriginal people in this state. I thank all the nominees for their outstanding work and, in particular, my congratulations go to this year's male winner and my good friend Uncle Frank Lampard OAM.