Thursday, 07 December 2023
Reception for the Gladys Elphick Awards
Rod and I warmly welcome you all to Government House to celebrate the 2023 recipients of the Gladys Elphick Awards.
It is a particular honour to host you on the 20th anniversary of these awards, which, for two decades, have celebrated the achievements of Aboriginal women who have worked tirelessly to advance the status of Aboriginal people.
Gladys Elphick - or ‘Aunty Glad’ as she is respectfully known - was a trailblazer, a force for social justice, and a symbol of unwavering dedication.
Today, we celebrate those among us who demonstrate a similar commitment to creating a more equitable society.
Congratulations to this year’s award winners on your leadership and accomplishments.
Your work, like the work of Gladys Elphick, has left an indelible mark on our community.
Through your contributions, you are actively shaping a future where the voices of Aboriginal women are heard and respected, and where challenges are met with resilience and unity.
Whether in community development, education, health or the arts, your work has, and will continue to, shape a narrative of strength and survival.
In celebrating the 20-year journey of the Gladys Elphick Awards, I acknowledge the Aboriginal women who have had an instrumental role in influencing the community’s past, present, and future.
I pay tribute to the late Faith Thomas AM and the late Maude Tongerie AM, who joined Aunty Glad on the South Australian Council of Aboriginal Women and paved the way for positive change.
The 20th anniversary also prompts us to look back at the progress that we have made, and, as importantly, acknowledge the work that lies ahead.
The resilience of the Aboriginal women, who we honour this afternoon, serves as a reminder that our society must always strive for positive change.
The Gladys Elphick Awards embody a legacy of empowerment, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that this legacy continues to gain strength and inspire future generations.
I thank all of those who have contributed to the success and significance of the Gladys Elphick Awards over the past two decades.
I acknowledge the dedication of the members of the Gladys Elphick Awards Committee – all volunteers - for their commitment to recognising Aboriginal women in our state.
I thank the awards founder, Aunty Shirley Peisley, for her vision and determination which led to the establishment of the awards.
Through your foresight, you have cultivated a tradition that not only honours Aunty Glads’ legacy, but also, inspires others to follow in her footsteps.
To the award winners – congratulations again and thank you for your dedication to fostering positive change and championing the rights of others.
May these awards encourage us all to continue the pursuit of justice and equality, and to create a legacy that extends beyond the next 20 years.