The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, has paid tribute to Ms Gurruwiwi who passed away in Arnhem Land earlier this week.
“Ms Gurruwiwi, a senior traditional owner of the Galpu Clan, was an inspiring Indigenous leader and I was privileged to spend time with her during my time in North East Arnhem Land,” Minister Scullion said.
“She was a tireless advocate for the interests of the Yolngu – particularly through her work as a lecturer at Charles Darwin University, and in the tourism industry.
“Ms Gurruwiwi taught Yolngu Studies at the university and she also worked as an interpreter/translator of Yolngu languages for many years.
“She recognised the important role a good education plays in securing a better future for Yolngu children and served her community as a teacher at Shepherdson College at Galiwinku.
“Ms Gurruwiwi also performed a vital role as a translator at the Aboriginal Interpreter Service in the Northern Territory.
“Ms Gurruwiwi was a very active participant in the community and this included her membership on the Miwatj Health Board in Nhulunbuy. She also participated in the Elders Visiting Program with the Department of Corrections.”
Minister Scullion extended his deepest condolences to Ms Gurruwiwi’s family and her community at this difficult time.