- Honour Roll
Through her work, she has encouraged members of the Aboriginal community to take pride in their heritage and re-connect with their cultural identity.
Aunty Fay is a respected elder of the Yorta Yorta - Dja Dja Wurrung clans. She was born in Echuca in 1935 and spent her early years on the Cummeragunja Mission, later living in the Aboriginal Community outside Mooroopna. She married at 18 and had two children. In 1972 she moved with her family to Melbourne where she became active in her community and an effective advocate for Aboriginal people's needs.
In 1973 Fay started work as a Field Officer for the Aborigines Advancement League (AAL), moving in 1982 to the Victorian Department of Social Security as an Aboriginal Liaison Officer, before returning to AAL in 1987 as the Community Development and Welfare Program Coordinator. From 1974 -1990 she was a member of the Victorian Branch of National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) serving three years as Treasurer and five years as President.
Fay's vision for her people has been realised by playing a major part in establishing the Aboriginal Community Elders Services (ACES) in East Brunswick in 1992. ACES is the first Aboriginal-managed community corporation in Australia that provides culturally relevant aged care services. ACES is now regarded as a national model for aged care services to Aboriginal elders.
Aunty Fay's expertise and experience have been sought by the State and Federal Governments and Victorian community organisations on a wide range of issues affecting the wellbeing of Aboriginal people. Fay still manages ACES, where she has continued to expand the services to incorporate residential care, home and community care and adult day care. Her focus is on the long-term future of the facility by ensuring things like training and employment opportunities exist and setting up programs to preserve Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Aunty Fay has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to developing and implementing culturally relevant programs and services for Aboriginal people in both paid and voluntary roles. She is a highly respected, energetic community leader, who works with determination and passion for Aboriginal people.