1997 Young Australian of the Year Olympic Gold Medallist
DOB: 1 / Jan / 1971
From: Northern Territory
Nova was born and raised in Darwin and her mother, grandmother and grandfather are all members of the ‘Stolen Generations’ from respective missions on the Tiwi islands, Moola Bulla of the East Kimberley and Beagle Bay of the West Kimberley. She is a traditional owner/descendent of and identifies with the Kiga People of the East Kimberley, Yawuru People of the West Kimberley (Broome) and Muran People of West Arnhem land. Known to many Australians for her sporting achievements, she was the first Indigenous Australian as well as first Territorian, to win a Gold Medal. Nova played in the Australian Women’s Hockey team at the 1996 Summer Olympics, and became a double gold medalist in the 1998 Commonwealth Games. She is the only person ever to make back-to-back Olympic finals in two different sports. Nova has extensive community experience addressing Indigenous disadvantage, particularly in the Northern Territory. She helped deliver more than 100 health and education checks across communities Australia-wide and has worked to establish the innovative Nova Peris Girls Academy (NGPA) over the past three years, which focuses on keeping Aboriginal Girls’ engaged with education. She was first elected in 2013 and has become the first Indigenous Australian to be elected to the Commonwealth Parliament.