Department of Communities Acting Director General Grahame Searle had the honour of presenting the Person of the Year and Elder of the Year awards at the East Kimberley Aboriginal Achievement Awards recently.

The event, which was held in Kununurra, recognises the achievements of Aboriginal people in the region, particularly in the areas of leadership and influencing positive change.

Mr Searle presented Kununurra local Kolya Sampi with the award for Person of the Year for his strong leadership skills and for being an inspirational role model to others.

Elder of the Year was awarded to Ruth Abdullah for her work helping Aboriginal communities understand their legal rights. Ruth was also awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia this year for her service to the Aboriginal community of Western Australia.

Nyunggai Warren Mundine AO, Director of the Australian Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, was the keynote speaker at the awards and highlighted the need for Aboriginal people to make the most of the many opportunities available today.

The Department congratulates all the winners of awards at the event and for their contribution to building strong communities in the region.

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