NBA champion and fan favourite Patty Mills has been honoured for his work in promoting Australia’s indigenous cultures.The three-time Olympic basketballer was named person of the year at the National NAIDOC Awards ceremony in Cairns on Saturday night.Mills in 2014 became the first indigenous Australian to win an NBA title, is a father, and a Torres Strait Islander.
“Patty Mills is an incredible role model for all Australians and I congratulate him on receiving this honour,” Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said.
Dianne Ryder was gifted the lifetime achievement award following a 21-year career in the Army and her service as president of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans Association of WA.
Among the other winners were artist of the year Elverina Johnson, a singer, songwriter, playwright, actor and photographer from far north Queensland, and paralympian Amanda Reid who was awarded sportsperson of the year.
“It is inspiring to see the tireless work being done by so many talented and dedicated individuals to benefit themselves, their communities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across our land,” committee co-chair Benjamin Mitchell said in a statement.