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Batchelor Institute staff and students Australian of the Year finalists

From left to right – 2021 ACT Senior Australian of the Year – Patricia Anderson AO (Hackett); 2021 NT Senior Australian of the Year – Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM (Daly River);
2021 NT Young Australian of the Year – Stuart McGrath (Galiwin’ku Community, Elcho Island)

Staff and students from Batchelor Institute are walking taller than ever after one of their own was named Senior Australian of the Year.

Two other Batchelor representatives were also in the national finals of the Australia Day awards.

Aboriginal activist, educator and artist Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM won the coveted Senior Australian of the Year award, after winning the Northern Territory category.

She graduated from Batchelor Institute with a degree in arts in education in 1988.

In 1975, the elder from Nauiyu became the Territory’s first fully qualified Aboriginal teacher and was later appointed principal of her community’s Catholic school.

In 2013, she established the Miriam Rose Foundation to bridge the divide between Aboriginal culture and mainstream society.

She was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 1998.

Batchelor Institute chair Pat Anderson AO was a finalist in the Senior Australian of the Year, after winning the Australian Capital Territory category.

Ms Anderson, who is an Alyawarre woman, has fought fearlessly for human rights and better health for Indigenous people all her life.

She has built up a reputation for saying what she believes to be right – even if that goes against the “official” view and causes controversy.

Ms Anderson was co-author with Rex Wild QC of the Little Children are Sacred report about the abuse of Aboriginal children in the Territory in 2007.

She was one of the first Aboriginal students to graduate from the University of Western Australia.

Ms Anderson has spoken before the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous People, has been the CEO of Danila Dilba Health Service in Darwin, Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and Chair of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory and is the current Chair of the Lowitja Institute.

She was awarded the Order of Australia in 2014 for distinguished service to the Indigenous community as a social justice advocate.

Health practitioner Stuart McGrath was a finalist in the Young Australian of the Year after winning the Northern Territory category.

He graduated from the Batchelor Institute with a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Primary Health Care in 2017 and is now studying nursing – on graduation, he will become the first Yolngu registered nurse.

Stuart completed his first year of a nursing degree remotely while working full-time and being a father to two young girls.

He helped produce the Ask the Specialist podcast with the Menzies School of Health Research to improve communication between health professionals and patients.