Geraldton’s First Nations achievers have a ball

Geraldton Guardian
The Geraldton Senior High School Girl’s Academy dance troupe.
Camera IconThe Geraldton Senior High School Girl’s Academy dance troupe. Credit: Supplied

Celebrating the history, culture and achievements of First Nations people, Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service hosted its Always Was, Always Will Be NAIDOC Ball last week.

After a challenging year, attendees welcomed the chance to get frocked up, celebrate their peers, and connect with the country.

Red Orche rocking out at the 2020 NAIDOC ball.
Camera IconRed Orche rocking out at the 2020 NAIDOC ball. Credit: Supplied

The event featured dance by Geraldton Senior High School’s Girls Academy, music by Bradley Hall and Red Ochre, and a comedy performance by Marion Baumgarten.

“It was amazing to see the community come together and enjoy the performances that highlighted Australia’s rich and diverse Indigenous culture,” event co-ordinator David Batty said.

Several high-achieving community leaders were also recognised at the event.

The youth of the year award went to Sarayah Mcdonald for her community leadership skills, passion for helping others, and her mammoth academic achievements, which included travelling to Perth and Adelaide for various science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs.

Barbara Dalgety took out the elder of the year award.
Camera IconBarbara Dalgety took out the elder of the year award. Credit: Supplied

Barbara Dalgety was named elder of the year for her work bringing Aboriginal culture to Bluff Point Primary School.

A media release referred to her as a “quiet achiever who wouldn’t want any fuss” despite her meaningful achievements.

Scholar of the year was self-taught artist and poet Charmaine Green, who creates art around country and culture.

Elaine Laraia and David Batty were both recognised for their work with GRAMS. Both were said to have shown real dedication to improving the health outcomes of First Nations people.

Photo of the year went to Shauna Oakley, for Yambamutha — Our Children.

“I am a proud Malgana women from Gathaagudu (Two Waters) Shark Bay. I wanted to capture images that hold a greater importance for our Aboriginal people, and I had a vision of an image I wanted to create,” she said.

Mervyn Cashin, who tragically died last month, was awarded in recognition of his service.

His loving siblings Alan Franklin and Beverley Peck accepted the certificate.

Lastly, belle and beau of the ball went to Tiffany Cockburn and Aron Davis.

GRAMS chief executive Deborah Woods said: “This year’s recipients have truly represented the strength of our community and serve as an inspiration for everyone in our community to strive for excellence.”

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