Joint Media Release with Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry MP
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, and the Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, have paid tribute to Ms Margaret Lawton who passed away last week in Rockhampton.
Minister Scullion said Ms Lawton was a Ghungalu and Garingbail traditional owner and respected member of the Fitzroy Basin Elders Committee.
“Ms Lawton, an esteemed elder, had a long and distinguished career in advocacy on behalf of Indigenous people in Central Queensland and worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those in her community and the region,” Minister Scullion said.
“Organisations that have benefited from Ms Lawton’s work include Bidgerdii Community Health Service, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, Reconnect Rockhampton, the Dreamtime Cultural Centre and Tarumbal Kindergarten.
“Ms Lawton also contributed greatly through volunteer work and providing foster care to numerous Indigenous children over much of her lifetime. Until very recently, she was active in supporting homeless youth in Rockhampton and never lost her passion to assist people in need.
“In 2012, Ms Lawton received the National NAIDOC Elder of the Year Award in recognition of her outstanding work on behalf of her community. Her involvement in NAIDOC extended back to her active membership of the then One People of Australia League.”
Ms Landry said Ms Lawton would be fondly remembered for her tireless contribution to the community.
“You just have to read about some of the organisations that she was involved with and the awards she received to see that Ms Lawton had a great community spirit,” Ms Landry said.
“She not only worked towards the advancement of local Indigenous services, but raised a large extended family.”
Minister Scullion and Ms Landry extended their condolences to Ms Lawton’s family and the broader Central Queensland Indigenous community at this sad time.