This blog provides information, stories, links and events relating to and promoting the history of the Wimmera district.
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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Honour Roll launch

A momentous day for the Library today, with the launch of the 2015 Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll road show in the Horsham Library.
Standing: Emma Kealy (Member for Lowan), Aunty Nancy. Front: Cr Mark Radford (Horsham City Mayor),  Uncle Kevin (holding the Honour Roll book), Minister Natalie Hutchins
 After a Welcome To Country speech by Aunty Nancy Harrison from the Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Co-operative, the Hon Natalie Hutchins MP (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Local Government and Minister for Industrial Relations), introduced Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll inductee Uncle Kevin Coombs OAM.
Along with Lester Marks Harradine and Johnny Mullagh, Uncle Kevin Coombs OAM is one of three Aboriginal people from the Wimmera region to have been inducted to the Honour Roll. He was inducted in 2012, now one of 64 people to have been honoured.
A Wotjobaluk Elder, Uncle Kevin's ancestors lived on the Ebenezer Mission station at Antwerp. Kevin was born at Swan Hill. He became a champion wheelchair basketballer and Australia's first Aboriginal Paralympian in Rome in 1960. Over the next twenty years he went on to represent Australia at another four Paralympics. He also won gold medals for Australia at the Far Eastern South Pacific Games in 1977 and 1984.
Back: Emma Kealy MP, Aunty Nancy, Cr Leo Tellefson (WRLC Chairman). Front: Cr Mark Radford, Uncle Kevin, Natalie Hutchins MP.
Among his many achievements and honours Kevin has received the medal for the Order of Australia, an Australian Sports Medal, induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame, a Deadly lifetime achievement award and a NAIDOC award. Most recently he was inducted to the Australian Basketball Wall of Fame.
Today he is known across Victoria for his work in Aboriginal health and justice. He is a patron of the Onemda Koori Health Unit at Melbourne University and sits as an Elder on the Broadmeadows Koori Court and the Children's Koori Court.
The Honour Roll book and exhibition will remain on display at the Horsham Library until 11th June.

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