The Aunts of Lake Tyers

Over many years, the Aunts have made an outstanding contribution to improving the lives of Lake Tyers women and their families.

Honour Roll

The Lake Tyers Aboriginal Community is one of only two discrete Aboriginal communities in Victoria. As a community, it has high levels of disadvantage including rates of unemployment, inadequate community facilities, poor housing and a lack of key services. But it is also a community that has a group of strong women - the Aunts of Lake Tyers.

They have been instrumental in the construction of a community health centre and in helping Lake Tyers residents access more complex or emergency health services at the Bairnsdale Hospital. The Aunts have played a major role in providing children's services and are developing a Breakfast and After School Activities Program for primary and secondary students to reduce absenteeism rates. They have worked to build links with Victoria Police and have initiated the development of a community safety committee in response to local people's concerns about safety and community violence.

Most importantly, they have played a critical role in stabilising a local community under extraordinary pressure, and they are cited as the single most important factor in the development of the Lake Tyers 10-year Community Renewal Plan. The Aunts are respected and acknowledged for both their individual and group leadership, and the way they personify the principle of indigenous people developing and delivering services to their own communities.

The people of the Lake Tyers community want to enjoy the same levels of opportunities that other Victorians enjoy in employment, education and community safety. The very practical work of the Aunts in community leadership and support, has laid the groundwork that will help the Lake Tyers community reach this goal.