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Congratulations to Professor Chris Sarra, 2016 National NAIDOC Person of the Year

NAIDOC Person of the Year

Professor Chris Sarra has been awarded the 2016 National NAIDOC Person of the Year.

Commonwealth Bank congratulates Professor Chris Sarra for being awarded the 2016 National NAIDOC Person of the Year.

The NAIDOC Awards, which are held annually, honour outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals or groups across the fields of art, sport, education and training, caring for the environment, and leadership.

Professor Sarra was unveiled as this year’s major award winner at an event in Darwin earlier this evening.

Professor Sarra, a Goreng Goreng man from Bundaberg, has championed the improvement of Aboriginal educational outcomes throughout Australia for over 20 years.

As Principal of Cherbourg State School in Queensland, Chris’ teaching methods increased enthusiasm for student learning and dramatically improved student engagement, school outcomes and the Aboriginal community’s involvement in their children’s education.

His Stronger Smarter Institute began in 2006 to improve the way Indigenous education is delivered, without compromising cultural identity. In 2004, Chris was named Queenslander of the Year, and in 2010 he was awarded Queensland's Australian of the Year. 

The Commonwealth Bank sponsors the NAIDOC Person of the Year Award, and Sharona Torrens, the Bank’s Executive Manager for Indigenous Affairs, said Professor Sarra was a very worthy winner.

“Professor Sarra has made a hugely beneficial contribution to Indigenous education, and transformed the lives of countless students in the process,” Ms Torrens said.

“At Commonwealth Bank, we recognise the power of education and the immense impact it can have on a student’s life. We’re committed to providing more opportunities for Indigenous employment and Indigenous business, and education forms a central part of our plans.

“Naturally, we are delighted to be able to support the wonderful work of Professor Sarra and his team. We’re confident they will continue to enhance the lives of many more young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the years ahead.”