AH&MRC’s NAIDOC Week Portrait Series celebrates the skills, strength and diversity of Aboriginal people working in the Aboriginal community-controlled healthcare sector
The Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) NADIOC Portrait Series profiles five Aboriginal people who have each made a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people in NSW. The five nominees were selected based on nominations received from Community members, and people working in the sector.
Aboriginal photographer and proud descendant of the Wiradjuri and Yuwaalaraay Nations, Marley Morgan travelled across NSW to capture the portraits of Phillip Naden, Uncle Terrence Donovan, Steven Taylor, Donna Taylor, and Melanie Briggs in their local Community.
Each nominee, in their own words, shared what this year’s theme, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ means to them. Their words capture their individual journeys and what it means to be part of the world’s oldest, continuous culture.
Phillip Naden, Coonamble Aboriginal Medical Service
“Always was, always will be were not words I heard as a young person, but as time goes on and my living status, memory and tradition changes, so have our conversations.” said Phillip Naden.
Melanie Briggs, Waminda Aboriginal Medical Service
“The truth is we were always here, wandering this land for thousands of years. Even though science has proven it, we can feel it. It’s a power beyond this world that can only be felt by our people,” said Melanie Briggs.
Uncle Terrence Donovan, Elder and Member of the Aboriginal Health and Ageing Program at NeuRA.
“As a proud Gumbayngirr and Biripi man I am spiritually and culturally connected to this country. My ancestors have cared for it, from the time of creation and I have lived my culture every day,” said Terrence Donovan.
Donna Taylor, Pius X Aboriginal Corporation Clinic
“Always Was. Always Will Be means that our people were the first to walk on this continent and maintain connections to our culture and spirituality to this day, whether those connections are to the land or sea. We have been here from when time began and will be here well into the future,” said Donna Taylor
Steven Taylor, Weigelli Residential Rehabilitation Centre
Our connection to Country, water and sky have never been lost. Thanks to our Elders, the fire keeps burning within us all,” said Steven Taylor.
“I am so proud of the amazing work of Aboriginal people working in the sector. We are the healers of our Communities, working to improve the health and wellbeing of our people. Our shared goal of providing the best, culturally appropriate care to our people strengthens and unifies our sector. Robert Skeen, AH&MRC CEO.
To view the NAIDOC Week portraits and stories click here.
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The AH&MRC) is the peak body for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO’s) across NSW. The AH&MRC is committed to ensuring that our 47 Member Services have access to the resources, funding and workforce to service the health needs of their Communities. We work alongside our ACCHO’s to ensure Aboriginal people in NSW have access to the best level of holistic healthcare.