The Gladys Elphick Committee hosts awards each year to honour the significant achievements of Aboriginal women and their contributions to the South Australian community.
Sgt Danielle James-A’Hang is Chairperson of the committee and she explained the history of the Committee to Aboriginal Way.
“The Gladys Elphick Committee arose from a group of very forthright philanthropic women in the 1960s, who formed the South Australian Aboriginal Council of Women and, from that council, those group of women led political and significant change for Aboriginal advancement.
“They established many community services, and that came from a need to service the community without fear” she said.
The Gladys Elphick Committee was formed in the spirit of that Aboriginal Council of Women and now presents
the annual awards.
“It recognises the achievements of Aboriginal women that have given of themselves, without malice or favour, for the sole purpose of lifting up the community and advancing them forward. Whether that be through civic duty, through culture, language, whether that be through government employment or service. Whatever the vocation may be” Sgt James-A’Hang said.
More recently, the awards have been supplemented with scholarships to help recipients of the awards develop further in their chosen fields.
“We’ve looked at those women and said, well, how can we support them growing personally and how can we support them in growing their capacity to impart change, and lift up, and advance?
“So, we applied to the federal government for a grant and we’ve been able to award four scholarships to the nominees of last year’s awards. And then, through that, we’re working with those women in the programs or the field that they have chosen.
There is also a scholarship available specifically for a woman from the APY Lands Sgt James A’Hang said.
“The other side to that is we have done a significant deal with Trade Maintenance Direct in Port Lincoln, who have kindly offered to support us and provide funds for a scholarship for a woman in the APY Lands to develop her leadership.
“The committee is entirely volunteer run, but a rewarding experience” Sgt James A’Hang said.
“We do it part-time, in our spare time, outside of our families, outside of our normal working commitments.
“It is the most beautiful experience to be surrounded by such powerful women and to give back to community.
“I’m very proud of the work that we do” she said.
2018 Gladys Elphick Awards take place on Friday 2 November 2018 at the Hotel Grand Chancellor
Nominations now open and tickets available at https://www.gladyselphick.com/
Nomination form: https://www.gladyselphick.com/nomination-form/
Pictured above: Sgt Danielle James-A’Hang with Gladys Elphick Patron Aunty Shirley Peisley AM
By Lucy Kingston
SANTS acknowledges that the land on which our office is based is the traditional lands for the Kaurna people and we respect their spiritual and cultural relationship with their country.