Here we are the last newsletter of the year and what a year it has been!  Who’d have thought that 2020 would have brought us drought, fires and an international pandemic.  When the Doc told Marty, “Whatever happens don’t ever go to 2020”, he obviously knew something we didn’t!

But in coming days we will finally see all our domestic borders opening.  Not sure what you’ve missed the most this year?  For me living in the nation’s capital we’ve had the bonus of not having too long a disruption.  We did have a couple of months of working from home, however we weren’t  confined to quarters like our friends and family in Victoria.  We still had the freedom to move about and to shop for essentials, and visit family in some other states.  I was very fortunate to have been able to visit family in Queensland and really valued that opportunity.

November brought us a very non-traditional NAIDOC Week and there were lots of events across the country, an increase in virtual events and an opportunity to share more broadly with the wider community.  With the theme of “Always Was, Always Will Be”, it provided us all with the opportunity to reflect on our culture, our people and our communities. 

We got to honour the past; to be grateful for our ancestors and to remember those who came before us and paved the way for us all.  We didn’t get a national honour roll this year, but we did see Archie Roach inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.  This year marked 30 years since Archie's debut album Charcoal Lane.  I congratulate Archie on his lifetime of achievement, for the stories he turns into songs and for continuing to share his music with us all.

November also saw the announcement of the 2021 State and Territory  Australian of the Year recipients.  We saw many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country make the finalists lists and several being honoured as their jurisdictions winners. 

I especially honour and recognise Tanya Hosch, SA Australian of the Year.  Tanya is a founding board member of the AILC and we are grateful for her contribution and continued support of the AILC. 

I would also like to congratulate Dr Richard Walley OAM who was the WA Senior Australian of the Year.  I spent a lot of time with Richard during the 1980s back when the performing arts was my gig. He was a trail blazer when it came to Aboriginal dance and theatre. With his then-sidekick, Ernie Dingo, they inspired a number of budding performing artists from across the country.

And where would we be without the distinguished Patricia Anderson AO, ACT Senior Australian of the Year.  Aunty Pat has built a national and international reputation as a powerful advocate for the health of Indigenous peoples.   I wish them all well when for National Awards Ceremony in January 2021.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the AILC Staff who have worked extremely hard this year.  Converting courseware to go digital with approximately 363 hours of online delivered since June 2020.  This represents the hours that our staff and trainers spent online in virtual classrooms delivering accredited and non-accredited training.  That’s a lot of screen time on Zoom!

In addition to the online hours there were then hundreds of hours of student coaching and mentoring as well as finalising and marking assessments. We are committed to providing high quality and compliant courseware ensuring that our students' experience meets the highest standard.  I know that all the staff will be looking forward to their upcoming holidays and getting time away from the screen.

I especially thank the students that joined us this year and congratulate our three cohorts who completed their programs in November.  You have been incredibly patient, tenacious and flexible - your success in completing your courses is well earned!

Finally I wish you all a fabulous and safe festive season.  As we move towards 2021 it’s important that you all take some time out to breath, rest and enjoy the sunshine.  I’m looking forward to spending my break with my family and extended family here in Canberra and l look forward to a visit or three to the coast to soak my feet in the ocean.


“The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” - Buddy the Elf aka Will Ferrell