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Elcho Island resident recognised with high honour

By Katie Weiss

CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Sharon Bell acknowledges Dr Lawurrpa Maypilama for her contribution CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Sharon Bell acknowledges Dr Lawurrpa Maypilama for her contribution

A respected resident of Elcho Island’s Galiwin’ku community has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Charles Darwin University.

Dr Lawurrpa Maypilama received the award for her significant contribution to research and for fostering relationships between Galiwin’ku residents and non-Indigenous researchers.

Dr Maypilama’s achievement was celebrated at a recent ceremony at the community with 17 other Galiwin’ku residents, who received tertiary qualifications in health, business and education.

CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Sharon Bell represented the university at the ceremony.

“There are almost no words to describe the impact that Lawurrpa has had,” Professor Bell said.

“Lawurrpa has made absolutely outstanding contributions to Balanda’s (non-Indigenous people) understanding of Yolngu culture and wellbeing.”

Professor Bell said Dr Maypilama encouraged fellow residents to join research projects to provide better outcomes from such research for the community.

“Lawurrpa teaches us how important inclusive research is,” Professor Bell said.

“She also reminds us that there are many paths and many opportunities in life, but the path of education is one of the most central and critical.”