Legislative Council: Tuesday, February 20, 2024


Ministerial Statement

O'Donoghue, Dr Lowitja

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:20): I seek leave to make a ministerial statement in relation to the state funeral for Dr Lowitja O'Donoghue.

Leave granted.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: I can today announce that the family of the late Dr Lowitja O'Donoghue AC CBE DSG has accepted the South Australian government's offer of a state funeral to honour her life and legacy. Dr Lowitja O'Donoghue passed away peacefully, aged 91, on 4 February 2024 on Kaurna country in North Adelaide, South Australia, with her immediate family by her side.

It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Dr Lowitja O'Donoghue, a proud Yankunytjatjara woman and highly respected Aboriginal leader. Australia is better off because of Dr O'Donoghue's selfless service. Through her lifelong work, Dr O'Donoghue has made an incredible contribution to the betterment of our country and people.

From South Australia's first Aboriginal trainee nurse to one of Australia's most regarded Aboriginal leaders of our time, the state funeral will be an opportunity for everyone in our community to pay tribute to her incredible legacy and reflect on her work and advocacy to improve the rights, health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The state funeral will be held on Friday 8 March 2024 commencing at 1pm at St Peter's Cathedral, Kaurna country, North Adelaide. Registration to attend is essential, with further details available at dpc.sa.gov.au. The funeral will be live streamed for free for those unable to attend. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested people and organisations please consider a donation to the Lowitja O'Donoghue Foundation via lowitja.org.au.