NSWALC celebrates inspiring Aboriginal women at NSW Women of the Year awards ceremony

10 March, 2023

Inspiring Aboriginal women and young girls, including our own NSW Aboriginal Land Council Councillor Anne Dennis, were honoured at yesterday’s NSW Women of the Year Awards ceremony at the International Convention Centre.

The biggest cheer was for proud Wangkumara and Barkandji woman, Lynda Edwards, who was named NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year, and later the major award, the Premier’s NSW Woman of the Year Award to rapturous applause. Lynda is a member of her Narromine Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC).

Lynda is looking forward to using her platform to advocate for the financial rights, fairness and inclusion of First Nations people across NSW and Australia. “We need more protections to protect vulnerable people in our community,’’ she told the audience.

“When you think about money for First Nations people, money is new to us,’’ Lynda said. She pointed out her grandfather was paid in rations and that was in the 1960s, so money is only 2-3 generations old to First Nations peoples. “And we were excluded from the economy with colonisation.’’

Inspiring NSWALC Councillor Cr Dennis was a finalist in the NSW Woman of Excellence major category, joining eventual winner researcher Dr Rebecca Deans, mental health advocate Arabella Gibson, social housing reformer Unis Goh, PSM, and forensic human identification expert Associate Professor Jodie Ward.

“It was wonderful meeting Lynda, and finding our own family connection,” Cr Dennis said. “The work Lynda is doing to achieve better, fairer financial outcomes for First Nations people who are frequently the target of unfair dealings is so important,’’ she said.

Cr Dennis also said this year was the 40th anniversary of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act being passed in NSW.  “I strongly believe in the role of self-determining Local Aboriginal Land Councils being the pathway to delivering better outcomes for our people. Across the state, there are Local Aboriginal Land Councils delivering cultural, economic and social outcomes for our communities. As I reflect on what’s been achieved in the last 40 years, I’m excited for what’s to come in the next chapter of Land Rights in NSW,’’ she said.

The proud Gamilaraay woman also paid tribute to the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year finalists: Natalie Ahmat, Debbie Barwick, Dr Jodi Edwards, Lynda, Kirsty Hargraves and Naomi Moran.

 “It is deadly to have so many proud Aboriginal women throughout NSW recognised in these awards, including Lua Pellegrini, who was a finalist in the NSW Young Woman of the Year category, and nine-year-old Penelope Towney, a proud Wiradjuri and Palawa girl, who was a One to Watch finalist from Corrimal.’’

NSWALC will continue our commitment to build on the Land Rights Network’s achievements in NSW and promote the important role Aboriginal women play, including NSWALC councillors Cr Leeanne Hampton and Cr Grace Toomey, in providing strong leadership, support, advocacy and opportunity.

Media contact: media@alc.org.au


We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work as well as across the lands we travel through. We also acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging.

Artwork Credit: Craig Cromelin, from a painting he did titled, "4 favourite fishing holes". It is a snippet of his growing years on the Lachlan River, featuring yabby, turtle, fish and family.