Miss NAIDOC 2018 has been awarded, and the humbled recipient is Shianne Milera.
Ms Milera was nominated by her boss Jacqui Nolan at Ballarat Health Services for her “brilliant” work and upstanding values, but wasn’t expecting to actually win.
“Jacqui told me and I thought, ‘Oh, I won’t get that,” Ms Milera said. “It means a lot to get recognised for the hard work [I] put in.”
“My mother is a very strong woman. She’s always taught me to strand up for what I believe in. Not just for Indigenous people… but everybody.”
Jacqui Nolan says she’s learned a lot from Ms Milera.
“She’s been an inspiration to me,” said Ms Nolan. “She’s taught me a lot of things, not just about Indigenous racism, but how to treat people.
She’s always battling for the patient, always there for people because she’s got that absolute generous spirit.”
CEO of Ballarat & District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC), Karen Heap, says these awards are “really important”.
“We want to encourage young people to be leaders,” Ms Heap said. “I don’t think they’re recognised enough for the things [they] do.”
Mr NAIDOC was awarded to Cooper Craig-Peter, largely for his contributions to the sporting community.
“I didn’t know I was nominated until the day before [it was announced],” Mr Craig-Peters said. “To have people say your name, recognise you in the community [even if you don’t know them]- it’s heartwarming.”