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Inspiring Speakers for your NAIDOC Week events

Dhiyana Varsani
03 Jun. 2021

NAIDOC Week celebrations are being held across Australia from 4-11 July to celebrate the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities but by Australians from all walks of life.

This year's theme is Heal Country! It calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites, and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.

We have curated a list of incredible First Nations storytellers whose achievements and expertise span many topics and themes.

If you're looking for a Speaker to share their story as part of a NAIDOC week event contact our expert team on 1300 799 823 or enquire here for more information.

Cathy Freeman is one of Australia's best-loved and most successful Olympic champions.

Her greatest achievement came in 2000 at the Sydney Olympic Games as her image was beamed into millions of homes around the world. This was when Cathy became the first competing athlete to be invited to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony; she then went on to win the gold medal in the 400m, realizing a life-long dream. Cathy's journey has been documented in the critically acclaimed ABC documentary Freeman released in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Sydney Olympic Games.

She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) and the Centenary Medal in 2001 and retired from competitive running in 2003. She now concentrates her time on making a difference to others through the Cathy Freeman Foundation.

Learn more about Cathy >

Brooke Boney is a proud Gamilaroi Gomeroi Woman, Indigenous Affairs advocate, and the entertainment reporter for the TODAY show.

Brooke masterfully balances her trademark relaxed outward glow with an inward fierceness that was borne from a childhood of disadvantage. It’s that perfectly pitched belly fire that has shaped her poise and readiness in high-pressure live media environments. It’s not often you meet a journalist who can cover a political campaign trail as comfortably as they can cover the showbiz beat.

Brooke is passionate about igniting discussion around indigenous affairs and sharing her message with sensitivity to the slow and subtle pace of progress. Best of all, she’s doing it under the hopeful gaze of thousands of Indigenous youths across the country, who have someone to help them imagine themselves doing it too.

Learn more about Brooke >

Rae Johnston is a proud Wiradjuri woman, and Australia's leading commentator on all things technology, science, and pop culture.

A multi-award-winning journalist, Rae is the first Science & Technology Editor for NITV at SBS.

Rae is passionate about Indigenous science, diverse representation in STEM, and the important role of mentorship. Rae volunteers as a mentor for both Science Media Centre Australia‘s Indigenous Science program and Indigitek.

Learn more about Rae >

Nova Peris OAM OLY MAICD was Australia's first Aboriginal woman elected to Federal Parliament and the first Aboriginal Australian and Northern Territorian to win an Olympic Gold Medal.

Nova is a tireless advocate for Indigenous Rights and recognition and works hard at changing attitudes throughout the Australian community. In her role as a treaty ambassador for the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), she traveled around the country, campaigning for a treaty between Black and white Australians so that a fundamental understanding between the two groups can be forged. Peris has also served as International Indigenous Human Rights Ambassador and National Ambassador for Reconciliation Australia.

Learn more about Nova >

Evonne Goolagong Cawley, AC, MBE is a Wiradjuri Aborigine and one of Australia's most loved sportspeople.

Evonne is an Australian icon and has been Australian of the Year (1971) and Australian Sportsman of the Year and in 1972 Queen Elizabeth II appointed her as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). In 2018 Evonne was awarded Australia's highest honor and was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent service to tennis as a player at the national and international level, as an ambassador, supporter, and advocate for the health, education, and wellbeing of young Indigenous people through participation in sport and as a role model.

In her glorious tennis career, Evonne was ranked the number one player in the world in 1971 and 1976. In total, she won 92 pro tournaments, was a finalist in 18 Grand Slam singles events winning at Wimbledon twice, the Australian Open 4 times, the French Open once, and was runner up 4 years in succession at the US Open.

Since 2005, Evonne has run the Goolagong National Development Camp for Indigenous girls and boys. Using tennis as a vehicle to promote better health, education, and employment, the program has awarded school scholarships, produced university scholars, tennis players, coaches, and sports administrators, and has helped with employment placement.

Learn more about Evonne >

Marlee Silva is a 25-year-old Aboriginal woman from the Gamilaroi and Dunghutti nations.

She is the founder of the social media-based movement 'Tiddas 4 Tiddas', which uses strength-based storytelling to champion the voices of Indigenous Australian women and girls.

Marlee is also an author, having previously been featured as a contributor in Anita Heiss' 'Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia' and her debut novel, 'My Tidda, My Sister: stories of strength and resilience from Australia's first women', was published by Hardie Grant in September 2020.

Learn more on Marlee >

Noel Pearson comes from the Guugu Yimidhirr community of Hopevale on the South Eastern Cape York Peninsula.

He is an Indigenous Australian, a land rights activist, and a history and law graduate of the University of Sydney.

Noel is an Advisor for the Cape York Partnership (CYP) and Chairman of Good to Great Schools Australia (GGSA), and a current Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow of the University of Melbourne. Noel’s goal is to enable Cape York’s Indigenous people to have the capacity to choose the life they have reason to value by reinstating the rights of Aboriginal people to take responsibility for their lives.

Learn more about Noel >

Corey Tutt is a proud Kamilaroi man and Young Australian of the Year for NSW 2020.

He is the CEO and founder of the charity DeadlyScience, which provides science resources, mentoring, and training to over 110 remote and regional schools across Australia with a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Corey’s passion for Indigenous education has also been recognized through various awards including the CSIRO Indigenous STEM Champion 2019; AMP Tomorrow Maker 2019 and ABC Trailblazer 2019, 2020 Eureka prize finalist.

Learn more about Corey >

Rachael Hocking is a Warlpiri woman from the Northern Territory.

She is a freelance journalist, moderator, and presenter who is passionate about Aboriginal women’s rights and climate justice.

In 2020 Rachael was named Media Person of the Year at the Dreamtime Awards, and she received a First Nations Media Australia award for her coverage of Kumanjayi Walker.

In 2019 she joined the Board for the Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma in the Asia Pacific, where she advocates for better, trauma-informed reporting in Indigenous communities.

Learn more about Rachael >

If you're looking for a Speaker to share their story as part of a NAIDOC week event contact our expert team on 1300 799 823 or enquire here for more information.

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