Indigenous leader wins prestigious Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship
June Oscar AO, one of Australia's most energetic indigenous leaders, has won the Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship for 2016. This prestigious award celebrates individuals doing extraordinary work in reconciliation.
Former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO will present this year’s Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship award at the Melbourne Town Hall on 19 May 2016.
Chairman of the Fellowships, Dr. Charles Lane, said Ms. Oscar was a worthy winner for her outstanding community health achievements in the Kimberley's Fitzroy Valley and influence in forging indigenous rights policy at all levels of government.
Indigenous children born in Fitzroy Valley suffer from the highest rate of alcohol-related diseases in the world. Ms. Oscar’s tireless commitment at the Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women's Resource Centre helped uncover the exceptionally high number of children afflicted with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
She was also instrumental in her community winning a landmark legal ruling that stopped the flood of alcohol in the area. Thanks to Ms. Oscar’s strength and determination, alcohol restrictions were introduced in Fitzroy Crossing indefinitely.
Dr. Lane said one of Ms. Oscar’s remarkable strengths was her amazing ability to bring about constructive discussion between conflicting and often angry groups.
"That’s what I do …and I think this is what everybody should be doing”, she said on being nominated for the award.
Past winners of the Desmond Tutu Reconciliation award include world famous Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
Global Reconciliation is an Australian initiative that promotes dialogue and practical engagement across cultural, political, racial, religious, national and other differences.
Dame Quentin Bryce will present the 2016 Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship on Thursday May 19 at 5.30pm, at the Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne. Entry is free.