Local indigenous elder John Sandy Atkinson has been named on the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll.KATHLEEN TONINI December 6, 2012 4:39am
John 'Sandy' Atkinson accepting his shield from Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jeannette Powell as he was inducted into the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll last week.
Local Bangerang elder John Sandy Atkinson has been named on the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll.
Mr Atkinson was among 15 indigenous leaders who were named on the roll, joining 15 others who were named inaugural inductees last year.
Mr Atkinson is the vice-chairperson of Cummeragunja Land Council and helped to found the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative and Medical Centre.
He was also the founder of the Bangerang Cultural Centre in Shepparton which houses artifacts and artworks from various Aboriginal communities.
Established in the 1980s, it was the first indigenous museum in Australia.
In the late 70s, Mr Atkinson was the chairman of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Arts Board of Australian Council and was also the first indigenous person to serve on a UNESCO committee.
He is also a trustee of the Koorie Heritage Trust and received an Australia Medal (AM) in 1983.
Mr Atkinson said he was proud of his achievements, particularly establishing the cultural centre and helping set up Rumbalara.
‘‘If you want your community to to go ahead, you’ve really got to get all those basic things working for you, and they do (at Rumbalara),’’ he said.
‘‘ I think that’s a great plus for our community in the Goulburn Valley.’’
Now living in Tatura with his wife of more than 50 years, Mr Atkinson, 80, said he was looking forward to writing his memoirs.
‘‘My experience in life has been too great not to write a book,’’ he said.
Born at Cummeragunja mission, Mr Atkinson is a now a father of five and grandfather and great-grandfather to many more.
‘‘I think the most important thing for me now is just to step back a little bit and let this generation do a little bit,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s nice now growing old and looking forward to some peace and quiet and so on.’’
This year’s inductees included activist Lady Gladys Nicholls (wife of Sir Doug Nicholls, who was inducted last year).
Yorta Yorta man William ‘Bill’ Onus (1906-1968) was also listed on the honour roll.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jeannette Powell said the Indigenous Honour Roll would ensure Victorians could acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of past and present indigenous Victorians.
An independent panel which included Aboriginal community leaders provided recommendations for the Honour Roll to the Minister.
Shepparton Youth Club has defeated Strikers 5-2 to secure top spot on the A-Women's ladder in Goulburn Valley Hockey Association.
The first preliminary final on Saturday saw the Tungamah seniors start their campaign against Waaia at the Rennie Recreation Reserve.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
ECHUCA and district firefighters are hoping the Federal Government’s new laws to block a controversial CFA EBA deal will halt the union takeover in time.
CLAIRE Murphy is finally home.
LEGACY Week starts next week across Australia and Kyabram Legatee volunteers will be out across the district selling merchandise to raise funds for the families of servicemen who have died.
Avenel win over Nagambie to take top spot
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
THE HEATHCOTE film festival enters its sixth year on Saturday, August 27.
The preparations for the 10th Cobram Swap Meet have been given a boost with a brand new line marker. The Rotary Club of Cobram, which organise the swap meet, applied for a volunteer grant from the Federal Government, from which it received $4600.
Deni’s Debutante Ball gurus Vicki Ackers and Deb O’Connor love working with youth.
Tuesday, August 16
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