The Premier’s NAIDOC Award recognises the outstanding achievements and service of an extraordinary South Australian who has made a significant contribution to the lives of Aboriginal people in South Australia.

The 2018 winner, Ms Joyleen Thomas, was announced during a ceremony at Ayers House on 12 July 2018.

A highly-respected and proud Kokatha woman, Ms Thomas’s personal commitment and tireless leadership in advancing Native Title business for the Kokatha Nation in the north of South Australia has been outstanding, and she is highly commended by her community. She has been a leader in Aboriginal engagement and public sector employment for many years and has provided unwavering commitment and dedication to the celebration, arrangement and governance of NAIDOC activities in South Australia.

Ms Thomas is often called upon by her community to deal with administrative, political, social and cultural issues, and has made a significant difference to the lives and welfare of her people.

Past recipients of the Premier’s NAIDOC Award include:

  • 2017 – Frank Wanganeen and Alice Rigney (posthumous award)
  • 2016 – Wendy Edmonson
  • 2015 – Lavene Ngatokorua and Kali Hayward
  • 2014 – Josie Agius
  • 2013 – Nici Cumpston
  • 2012 – Linda Clayton
  • 2011 – Vince Coulthard
  • 2010 – Marj Tripp
  • 2009 – Sharon Gollan
  • 2008 – Jean Agius
  • 2007 – Faith Thomas