Past Award Finalists and Recipients
Australian of the Year
State Finalist Australian of the Year 2013
With an interest in Indigenous culture sparked when he was social worker in the 1980s, Paul Taylor is passionate about preserving the language, law and culture of the Wardaman people. He is also an Indigenous ambassador showcasing their culture by staging performances of song, dance, painting and didgeridoo each year to thousands of children in the United States where he spends much of his time. When he returns to the vast Victoria and Flora River region of the Northern Territory each year his passion is guided by Wardaman elder Yidumduma Bill Harney whose extraordinary cultural knowledge was at risk until the inception of the Yubulywan Dreaming Project. Every dry season for the last decade, the pair has gone bush, travelling to sacred sites to record and preserve the art and songs of the Wardaman culture, an integral part of Australia’s history. Paul is confident that in 2013 his work will culminate with the transfer and safe storage of the records in the archives of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies in Canberra.