The NAIDOC Perth Awards on June 25 was full of upbeat celebration and incredible wins as the awards honoured some of the best of WA’s Indigenous community members and businesses.

Finalists and guests were brought together in a ceremony to award winners across 13 different categories.

The ceremony also included a performance by Ballardong-Yued Nyoongar country musician Malachi Humphries.

Notable wins include female and male Elder of the year which was awarded to Marie Taylor and Desmond Little, and the sportsperson award, awarded to Kalamunda Suns basketballer Spencer Alone.

Alkira Hansen

Alkira Hansen, who was nominated by education non-profit Madalah, received the empowerment award alongside Indianna King and Jackson King.

Collene Castle took out the outstanding achievement award and the program award went to Binar Futures which began as a local basketball team of six Indigenous youth and has since grown into an initiative of 1400 young people.

The 2022 NAIDOC theme award was bestowed on Elders Shirley Harris and Marie Pryor for their tireless effort to empower the community through COVID, homelessness, justice and substance abuse.

Ms Harris said a few days on, she still could not believe they had won.

“The other finalist was a doctor and I’m thinking what chance have we got against the doctor,” she said.

“And when they announced it and the first name they said was Shirley I looked at Marie and screamed ‘we’ve won it!’, oh we were so ecstatic.

“We felt that it was a honour and a privilege and we were humbled by the whole experience, especially to win it.”

Ms Harris carries out her volunteering via bus and train as she doesn’t have a car.

She said winning this award has only spurred them on to continue doing the same work in prisons and with the homeless.

“We will still continue on, we won the theme ‘Get up, Stand up, show up’,” she said.

“And when I gave a short thank you speech when we had to go up to the stage, and I said ‘yes we will continue to get up, stand up and show up.”

NAIDOC Perth Awards winners:

  • Female Elder of the Year – Marie Taylor
  • Male Elder of the Year – Desmond Little
  • Empowerment Award recipients – Alkira Hansen, Indianna King & Jackson King
  • 2022 NAIDOC Theme Award – Shirley Harris and Marie Pryor
  • Carer Award – Kelly Bentley
  • Youth Award – Joseph Torres
  • Education Achievement Award – Simone Harrington
  • Nursing & Midwifery Award – Rebecca Clinch
  • Artist Award – South Summit Band
  • Sportsperson Award – Spencer Alone
  • Program Award – Binar Futures
  • Business Award – Indigenous Emerging Business Forum
  • Community Person of the Year – Roger Turvey
  • Outstanding Achievement Award – Collene Castle