Aunty Joyce Williams is Wellington's Citizen of the Year for 2020

Celebrate: Wellington's 2020 Australia Day award winners pictured with Dubbo Regional Council mayor Ben Shields at Cameron Park on January 26. Photo: Taylor Jurd
Celebrate: Wellington's 2020 Australia Day award winners pictured with Dubbo Regional Council mayor Ben Shields at Cameron Park on January 26. Photo: Taylor Jurd

Aunty Joyce Williams has been named as Wellington's Citizen of the Year at the 2020 Australia Day awards ceremony.

The annual event saw approximately 200 people in Cameron Park on Sunday, January 26, to attend the ceremony.

Speaking with Australian Community Media after the ceremony, Aunty Joyce had tears in her eyes explaining she didn't know what to say to the crowd who clapped and cheered when her name was announced.

Aunty Joyce said it was lovely to have received the award adding that she had many friends in town.

"A lot of people say hello to me down the street and I don't even know them - even the little kids - it's lovely to be recognised," she added.

The proud Wiradjuri woman has had a role in promotion of cultural needs in Wellington for many years, her citation said.

"She has actively assisted the Aboriginal Protection Board in determining the archaeological aspects of Aboriginal settlement from 1897 to 1970 for the Wiradjuri region," it said.

"Her contribution to this research was in relation to her life, her family's life and the community of Wellington.

"She is a strong voice for Aboriginal people, not only in and around Wellington but in other areas of NSW After the 1967 referendum she helped with changes for the human rights of Aboriginal people to make sure the concerns and needs of the people were heard to a much wider audience and a much higher influence than of the local law maker of the day.

"This recipient started the Aboriginal Corporation Health Service centres around NSW and was the founding member of the Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service, we now know as WACHS.

"Her plight was to fight for the better health outcomes for the Aboriginal people. Her holistic view for good health was to not only focus on the area of health, but for the wellbeing of the family unit as a whole."

Aunty Joyce has been a member of the local Aboriginal Land Council and a member of several local Aboriginal groups and committees and also regularly participates with local Aboriginal Elders groups and has been a member of the Wellington Australia Day committee.

In 2006 she was named as Wellington's Senior Citizen of the Year and ever since has continued working for her community.

In 2019, at 93-years-old, Aunty Joyce retired from active service.

"She is a generous individual who continually contributes to the community."

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