29 February 2016

Matilda House, Canberra Citizen of the Year 2006

Matilda House, left, with John Williams-Mozley and Daphne Wallace, 20 December 1991
Matilda House is a fierce and proud living repository of the enduring history of her own people and an advocate for the well-being and rights of Indigenous people everywhere. As a mother of four, grandmother of more than a dozen, and now a great-grandmother, her story is an archetypal story of Indigenous Australia in the 20th century.

Matilda embodies the living, thriving and evolving culture of this region’s Aboriginal people and has represented the interests of Canberra’s Indigenous people on a host of formal committees, councils and advisory groups, helping to guide policy-making on issues as diverse as heritage, justice and the environment. 

It is hard to think of any organisation involving Indigenous interests with which she has not been involved at some time including the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Community Consultative Council and the Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee. She has co-chaired the Interim Namadgi Advisory Board and chaired the board of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strati Islander Cultural Centre at Yarramundi Reach.

Matilda House was named Canberra Citizen of the Year in 2006 for her contribution to the ACT community, especially indigenous affairs.

Further biographical detail about Matilda House is available on our website, as is a history of the Canberra Citizen of the Year Award and a full list of awardees.
The 40th consecutive Canberra Citizen of the Year will be announced by the Chief Minister during Canberra Day Celebrations in March 2016.
Image source: ACT Heritage Library image 000805, Canberra Times Collection, photographer Andrew Campbell