Lois Peeler is of Yorta Yorta heritage by her mother and Wurundjeri Heritage by her father. She grew up on her Mother’s country on the Murray River and the Cummeragunja Aboriginal Reserve. Lois’ family were part of the historic ‘Walk Off’ from Cummeragunja Aboriginal Reserve in 1939, the first-ever mass strike of Aboriginal people in Australia.
In this oration, Dr Peeler will focus on the importance of a deepening engagement with the narratives of often unknown Aboriginal ‘heroes’ active in the Aboriginal struggle from colonisation to the present.
Change-makers who, through their innate ability to instil in others hope for a better future, became recognised leaders. Refining this national inclination towards categorising Indigenous heroism and sacrifice as somehow different in quality and significance when compared to European achievements of the same period will be her impetus.