Pat Anderson AO, Chairperson of the Lowitja Institute, was announced the winner of the public policy category in the 2015 Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards at a gala event in the Sydney Town Hall on 15 October. Ms Anderson was recognised for her outstanding contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.
An Alyawarre woman known nationally and internationally as a powerful advocate for disadvantaged people, Ms Anderson stated: “The rights and welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been central to my long career in education, primary health care, health research, early childhood development, violence against women and children, and, more broadly, the public policy implications of the social determinants of health.”
Ms Anderson has played a leading national role in building collaborative relationships between researchers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, policymakers and health service providers, and much of her career has focused on strategic campaigns that have successfully changed the national agenda of the day.
“I am honoured to receive this recognition together with some outstanding Australian women. I congratulate the winners and all finalists and I also take this opportunity to celebrate the significant contribution that many strong, proud and hard-working women are making every day from remote communities to boardrooms,” Ms Anderson said.
Ms Anderson also said that “we need to have an intelligent, informed and mature discussion about the challenges facing us all as a nation, including violence against women and children, negotiating a better foundation document, and working towards a better relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians.”
In its fourth year, the 100 Women of Influence Awards celebrates outstanding Australian women who, through their achievements and contribution, have had an impact within one of 10 categories. The categories are: Board/Management, Public Policy, Diversity, Business Enterprise, Young Leader, Global, Local/Regional, Innovation, Culture and Social Enterprise. Entrants into the awards were assessed by a panel of esteemed judges and have been recognised based on their outstanding ability to demonstrate vision, leadership, innovation and action in and beyond their fields.