We Want Recognition

Posted 13 May 2014 12:44pm

Australian of the Year 2014 Adam Goodes today joined forces with Senior Australian of the Year 2014 Fred Chaney AO and NSW Local Hero 2014 Rev Graham Long, to show support for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.

Brought together by the Australian of the Year Awards program, the three men have found themselves united by a shared belief in the need for recognition and the work they all do in closing the gap of Indigenous disadvantage.

Adam Goodes was honoured as Australian of the Year 2014 for his work in setting up the
Go Foundation and for his efforts on and off the football field to stop ‘casual racism’.  Fred Chaney has made a lifetime contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people's rights and social justice.  The Rev Graham Long was awarded NSW Local Hero for his leadership at the Wayside Chapel which has a long history of involvement in Indigenous affairs and health support. 

In 1964, under Rev Ted Noffs, the Wayside Chapel set up the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs with other advocates Charles Perkins, Ken Brindle and Bill Geddes in the lead up to the 1967 Referendum.  In 2010, Wayside opened a dedicated space, the Aboriginal Project, providing critical support to Aboriginal people in and out of homelessness, who struggle with addiction or mental health issues in a culturally sensitive environment, creating a sense of place, belonging and social inclusion in Inner Sydney.

National Australia Day Council CEO, Mr Jeremy Lasek, said today's joint We Want Recognition event at the Wayside Chapel in Sydney was a proud moment for the Australian of the Year Awards program.

"The Awards shine a light on great Australians making important contributions to our society, but when those great Australians then choose to join together to support making a real difference for people, that's something we can all be proud of," said Mr Lasek.

"It's quite common for Award recipients, many of whom have never met before the Awards finals, to find ways of working together for a common good and that's a real bonus of the Awards program - people doing great things individually then combine to do great things together.

The NADC supports occasions such as today’s We Want Recognition event which help promote a national discussion about efforts to amend our Australian Constitution to recognise our First Australians.”

Ends.

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