Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Curtis Pitt put urged Queenslanders to nominate an inspirational Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person for a 2011 NAIDOC award before nominations close on April 29.

“These awards recognise outstanding contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make,” Mr Pitt said.

“Inspirational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in many fields including music, art, culture, community, education, environment, sport, employment and these awards recognise their contribution,” he said.

This year’s awards are:

  • Person of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Male Elder of the Year
  • Female Elder of the Year
  • Scholar of the Year
  • Sportsperson of the Year
  • Apprentice of the Year
  • Youth of the Year
  • Artist of the Year
  • Caring for Country Award

The awards are part of NAIDOC week which runs from 3 – 10 July 2011.

“Queenslanders who have received NAIDOC awards include Elders Aunty Ruth Hegarty, a Queensland Great, and Uncle Norm Clarke, recipient of an Australia Day Achievement Medal for his promotion of fire safety,” Mr Pitt said.

Mr Pitt said NAIDOC Week is a timely opportunity to showcase the rich, unique and vibrant culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“These awards are an opportunity to acknowledge outstanding achievement, and the theme this year is ‘Change: the next step is ours’, Mr Pitt said.

“The Bligh Government is investing billions of dollars in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities – building better homes, creating economic opportunities and improving health outcomes,” he said.

“We are rolling out programs under our Reconciliation Action Plan which is the first whole-of government plan of its kind in Australia.

“There’s more work to be done and we, as a government, are determined to put in the hard yards to build a better, brighter future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Mr Pitt said.

The nomination form can be found at www.naidoc.org.au.