Wiradjuri Elder, Aunty Isabel Reid announced as NSW state recipient of Senior Australian of the Year 2021
Aunty Isabel Reid is a Wiradjuri elder from Wagga Wagga who has played an integral part in the Regional Arts NSW network, particularly through her involvement in the planning and facilitation of Artstate in Wagga Wagga in 2020.
On behalf of the network, we congratulate Aunt Is on being named the NSW State Recipient Senior Australian of the Year 2021.
Born in 1932, Isabel Reid is the oldest living survivor of the Stolen Generation – children who were forcibly removed from their families because they were Aboriginal. Isabel, her sister Betty and brother Jack were taken on the way home from school. Their parents had no idea what had happened to them.
Isabel and Betty were sent to the Cootamundra Domestic Training Home, becoming domestic servants with their wages paid to the NSW Government.
As an Elder of the Wiradjuri people, Isabel has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the Stolen Generation to help prevent it from happening again.
In 2013, she was made an inaugural director of the Coota Girls Aboriginal Corporation, and in 2016, she was appointed as an inaugural member and Chairperson of the Stolen Generations Advisory Committee. Her strong leadership was instrumental to the NSW Government offering a $74 million reparation package to those forcibly removed under the Aborigines Protection Act 1909-1969.
A natural leader and outstanding public speaker, Isabel is respected and loved by all.