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Former Senator and the first Aboriginal Australian to win Olympic gold.


Nova Peris was the first Aboriginal Australian to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games. She is also one of a very few athletes who have represented their country in two different sports; hockey & athletics, and separate Olympic Games.

In 1993 Nova was elected to the Senate for the Northern Territory 2013. She retired prior to general elections 2016.

She is a truly remarkable Australian.

Current work

In recent years, she has fought for Aboriginals to have a better life and to heal Australian society in many ways. As a treaty ambassador for the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), she has traveled around the country, campaigning for a treaty between black and white so that a fundamental understanding between two groups can be forged. Her aim is to build the foundations for a fairer society for all.

She is a truly remarkable Australian.

Previous experience: In 1996, in Atlanta she was a member of the gold medal winning Hockeyroos team. She also represented Australia in athletics at the Sydney Olympics. A gold medalist in track and field at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Nova also had the honour of being chosen to run the first leg of the Sydney Olympic torch relay when it arrived in Australia.

Achievements: Nova is a staunch campaigner for indigenous rights and reconciliation in Australia. She was the first Aboriginal Australian (and the first Northern Territorian) to win an Olympic gold medal. It was a remarkable achievement, given the difficult circumstances of Nova’s early life, not the least of them being single motherhood at the age of eighteen.

Pride in her Aboriginal identity is a vital ingredient in the ultimate success story that Nova Peris has become. She inspires other Aboriginal people to take pride in who they are, but she also works hard at changing attitudes throughout the Australian community.


Politics & Advocacy

  • Politicians
  • Human Rights
  • Women's Rights


  • Olympics & Paralympics
Extremely warm and personable... Mixed well with both staff and students... She spoke extremely well... Great solid messages of positivity... Fantastic Aboriginal role model... Understated her achievements in a most endearing way but she has obviously achieved so much. Mareeba State High School
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