Lisa Cohen takes out Parkes Shire NAIDOC honour

Lisa Cohen has been named Parkes Shire NAIDOC Indigenous Community Person of the year.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell and Parkes Shire deputy mayor Barbara Newton were special guests when Neighbourhood Central hosted a black tie event to officially open the NAIDOC Galari Mawam-Bul Art Exhibition and hold the awards ceremony.

Pip Allen and Gemma Ellis entertained the crowd with their incredible voices singing Halleluiah and Bura Ferra during the evening which also saw the presentation of the award for Parkes’ Indigenous person of the year.

The girls received special permission to sing Bura Ferra:

“Thank you for your respectful request to my Elders and family of the Yorta Yorta people to share the hymn burra Ferra.

“Through my mother Frances Mathyssen senior elder of the Yorta Yorta people and matriarch of the Clements family and granddaughter of translator Mrs Theresa Clements I am able to give permission on behalf of my mother.

We ask that my great grandmother nanny Theresa be acknowledged when the song is performed publicly and that permission was sought through Aunty Frances Mathyssen.”

The nominees for the award were Lisa Cohen, Russel Read, Scott Towney and Kylie Pearson, with the Indigenous person of the year award going to Lisa Cohen of Peak Hill.

Lisa received her award for her contributions to her community and helping to improve the lives of other Indigenous people and the excellence she has shown as a Community Transport Driver. She also volunteers time to assist other community groups. 

The Indigenous youth award was presented to Aleena Pheelan from Parkes.

Aleena was nominated and recognised as an amazing young person who participates, study’s and makes valuable contributions to their community.

Aleena  also received the Annette Sloan Award which will go on display at her school, Parkes Public.

Elder Aunty Valda Keed and the minister presented the awards.

The evening was also a tribute to the 11 Aboriginal artists from around the central west who had their artwork on displayed during the week for the NAIDOC Galari Mawam - Bul Art Exhibition.

Irene Ridgeway – Parkes

Raymond Thorpe - Forbes

Scott Turnbull – Parkes

Cheree Stokes – Baldry

Scott “Sauce” Towney – Peak Hill

Rhonda Towney – Peak Hill

Amber Jordan – Parkes

Colin Farr- Parkes

Glen Sloane – Parkes

Nyree Reynolds – Blayney

Greg Lovett - Parkes

Chef Craig Smith from the Parkes Dish Café catered  a selection of hors d'oeuvre’s for the event.

Special thanks to those that supported and contributed the event which made it a success including Parkes Shire Council, Aboriginal Affairs, NSW, Arts Out West, Janice Cassidy Hair Salon, D'Aquino Group of Companies, and Volunteer Daniele Merlino.