19 August 2008: Australian Catholic University (ACU) is proud to recognise Aunty Delsie Lillyst, winner of the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council's prestigious 2008 Indigenous Elder Award for lifelong contribution to Indigenous people in higher education in Australia.
Aunty Delsie is a Gunditjmara woman from south-west Victoria who works as an Indigenous Education Officer with the Catholic Education Office in Melbourne. She is also a part-time student in the Bachelor of Education degree program at the ACU Melbourne Campus (St. Patrick’s) and is heavily involved in Indigenous education initiatives across all of Catholic education, from pre-primary to tertiary level. She was presented with the award at the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council’s stakeholder dinner on Thursday 14 August.
“On behalf of the University community I extend our warm congratulations to Aunty Delsie on receiving this important award,” ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven said.
Aunty Delsie is the mother of six children, has six grandchildren, and is committed to encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly young people, into all areas of education.
“Staff and students of the ACU Melbourne Campus’ Victorian Indigenous Support Unit, Jim-baa-yer, know Aunty Delsie as a strong and proud Aboriginal women who is a committed mentor to those around her,” said Professor Craven.
“She is actively involved in University and community events, and has membership on a number of government and educational boards and committees, and numerous reference and advisory groups throughout the Victorian Aboriginal community,” he added.
As part of her commitment to Indigenous education, Aunty Delsie has been instrumental in the development of resources such as the Yarra Healing Website, the Dancing in the Dust DVD and the Guiding Tracks literacy resource folder. She is also responsible for the training and development of Koorie Education Workers within Catholic schools and constantly encourages those staff members to develop further their skills and to discover and participate in further education.
Australian Catholic University (ACU) established as Australia’s only Catholic, national, publicly funded university is open to all. The University empowers its students and staff with a strong sense of social responsibility and concern for the moral and ethical dimensions of their study and their professional and personal lives.