Applications for Aunty Dot’s award now open

Aunty Dot Peters and Bonnie Zuidland at a Survival Day event in 2015.

By Jed Lanyon

Applications are now open for the Aunty Dot Peters Award.

The award supports Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students to complete years nine and ten at a Victorian Secondary School.

Each year four students receive bursaries of $5000 each ($2500 per year over 2 years).

Eligible recipients must identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, have completed year eight at a Victorian school in 2019 and plan to complete years nine and ten at a Victorian Secondary School next year.

Indigenous Elder Aunty Dot Peters said, “It has been a longstanding dream of mine to get this award up and running.

“As a former educator, I am proud to see an initiative like this that young Aboriginal people can strive for.

“I want all Aboriginal people to be true to themselves and to remember it’s important for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to come together.”

The award serves to honour the work of Aunty Dorothy (Dot) Peters, much-loved community member, educator and Chairperson of the Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Committee.

Aunty Dot was recently recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) as part of the Queen’s Birthday 2019 honours for her significant service to the Indigenous community of Victoria.

From 1980 to 1991 Aunty Dot worked as an Aboriginal Educator at Healesville Primary School, educating students about Indigenous culture and showing them how to weave baskets.

In a previous story for the Mail, Aunty Dot said she is proud of her work to create an Indigenous remembrance service, an event that started at Healesville RSL where a didgeridoo was played alongside the ode as a way of honouring her father, who had died as a prisoner of war on the Thai Burma Railway.

Now, the event is held at the Shrine of Remembrance each year to honour the thousands of Aboriginal service men and women who have served and continue to serve in the Australian Defence Force.