Issue 10
Monday, 03 December 2018
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Northern Institute’s Gotha Guthadjaka with Gäwa Christian School Principal Rachel Herweynen, who had her Citizenship Ceremony at the same event
Northern Institute’s Gotha Guthadjaka with Gäwa Christian School Principal Rachel Herweynen, who had her Citizenship Ceremony at the same event

Gotha receives award on country

Northern Institute’s Dr Kathy (Gotha) Guthadjaka made the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2018 and was recently officially appointed a Member of the Order of Australia by the Administrator of the Northern Territory, Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM. 

For the first time, the Investiture ceremony was held on Gäwa, Elcho Island, which is Gotha’s country.

Gotha said to see her family and friends attend made her very happy.

“I was very happy to be honoured and show the kids that hard work does get recognised,” she said. 

A small delegation of Gotha’s colleagues including Northern Institute Director and College Dean of Indigenous Futures, Arts and Society, Professor Ruth Wallace, travelled to Gäwa to help commemorate the occasion.  

The event was presided over by senior Warramirri clan Elder Dayma?u (James) Bukulatjpi.

The entire community and school gathered to celebrate with prayers from Allan Maratja and speeches delivered by family including Clive Munyarryun and Mawuyul Yanthalawuy AM, who received her Order of Australia in 1991 for service to education and to Aboriginal culture.

Dances were performed by Gäwa and Galiwin’ku Youth and a banner dance by David Stanfield. The ceremony also included a Citizenship Ceremony for Gäwa Christian School Principal Rachel Herweynen.

Government dignitaries in attendance included Senator Malarndirri McCarthy and Member for Nhulunbuy Yingiya Guyula MLA.

After the formalities, the community joined together for an afternoon tea and to sing happy birthday to Gotha, who only days before celebrated her 70th birthday.