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Aboriginal honour role: deputy secretary Terry Garwood recognised

Victoria’s most senior Aboriginal public servant joins the state’s Aboriginal Honour Role, along with eight others.

Terry Garwood, deputy secretary at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, is among the nine names officially added to the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll on Tuesday.

The honour roll recognises the dedication and achievements of Aboriginal Victorians, both past and present, who have made a profound contribution to their community and to Victoria.

Garwood has worked across multiple departments in the Victorian Public Service since 1989, and is currently the deputy secretary of the local infrastructure group of 600 staff at DELWP. He previously spent seven years as executive director of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria.

He was on the board of the Institute of Public Administration Australia for six years and is one of its national fellows.

The other eight inductees for 2018 include:

  • The late Norm McDonald, an AFL great who played 128 games for the Bombers and championed a path for Aboriginal players
  • Barb Gibson-Thorpe, one of the first Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers for the Bendigo Health Service, creating culturally safe health practices
  • Country and Western music star Johnny Lovett, who has advocated for native title rights
  • The late Ben ‘Lanky’ Manton, an advocate for knowledge and understanding between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people
  • Graham ‘Bootsie’ Thorpe, who has dedicated his career to addressing health, family violence and substance abuse issues within Aboriginal communities
  • Former Aboriginal prison officer Jacqui Stewart, who went on to advocate for the rights of Aboriginal Victorians in the justice and health systems
  • Education advocate Geraldine Atkinson, who has helped put Aboriginal children at the centre of education decision-making
  • The late Cherie Marie Waight, a career Aboriginal rights advocate who organised NAIDOC activities for many years and helped improve palliative care for Indigenous people.

To date, 107 Aboriginal community members and leaders have been recognised through the honour roll for their achievements in a wide range of fields, including justice, education, health, sport, the arts, community leadership and military service.

On the same day, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings officially opened nominations for the 2019 Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll, which is on permanent display at Parliament House.

“The honour roll gives us an opportunity to reflect on the profound contribution Aboriginal Victorians have made — and continue to make — to our state,” said Jennings in a statement.

“We would not be where we are today without their efforts and I encourage all people to nominate any outstanding Aboriginal Victorians they know.”

Author Bio

David Donaldson

David Donaldson is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Melbourne.