MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (10:39): Since 2011 the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll has recognised Aboriginal Victorians past and present who have made outstanding contributions to our state, and I am proud to advise that one-quarter of the 130 people on the roll are from the electorate of Western Victoria, proud Gunditjmara men and women featuring among them. The honour roll covers 14 areas of expertise where inductees have made significant contributions that have resulted in change for the better for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. Those from Western Victoria have covered the full spectrum of contribution to community. They have worked with families and children in the welfare sphere, promoted and delivered educational opportunity and good health and demonstrated excellence in creative arts and outstanding military service. Many have worked tirelessly towards reconciliation and advocated for equality, social justice and self-determination.
Last week Aunty Elsie Coates was one of 13 new inductees to the honour roll. Aunty Elsie Coates’s contribution has been a life’s work, spanning more than 50 years in many roles in the Barwon region and beyond. Her life has been one of extraordinary dedication, working with and supporting communities through family services, education, justice, out-of-home care and child protection, community services, health and aged care. Her work continues today. I congratulate Aunty Elsie Coates and her fellow inductees on their profound and inspiring leadership and the work they do in Victoria.