Standing up for Canberra

Aunty Judy Harris

I rise today to pay tribute to the Winnunga health clinic's former longserving chairperson and lifelong fighter for Aboriginal advancement, Aunty Judy Harris. Aunty Judy Harris, sadly, passed away earlier this month, following failing health in recent years. Over the past 25 years, Aunty Judy was fundamental to Winnunga's progress and growth. She helped the centre transition from a relatively small service to one that currently has an annual budget of more than $8 million and employs over 60 staff.

Winnunga is one of the only Aboriginal community controlled health services in south-east New South Wales and it services clients from Wollongong to Wodonga, from Wagga Wagga to Bateman's Bay, and here in Canberra. It does not just service the Canberra community; it services, as I say, the Canberra region right down to the border. It is located just down the road from here in Narrabundah in a building that was opened by the late Gough Whitlam.

Aunty Judy Harris dedicated much of her life to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal Australians throughout the ACT and surrounding region. She never wavered from her goal to make sure the ACT had one of the very best community controlled Aboriginal health services in Australia. She was a dear friend to many and will be missed. She will be remembered as a champion of Indigenous health in the ACT. I offer my deep condolences to her family and friends. Vale, Aunty Jude.

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