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First Nation Women Katrina Fanning & Belinda Duarte Recognised on the 26th January Honours List

Congratulations to the 1,047 recipients who were awarded as part of the 26th January 2023 Honours List. 736 individuals were included in the General Division of the Order of Australia and received awards for meritorious, distinguished and conspicuous service.

Included in the 736 recipients were Katrina Fanning AO who was recognised for her distinguished service to the Indigenous community through education and health initiatives, as well as sport, and Belinda Duarte AM who was recognised for significant service to the Indigenous community and sports administration.

Fanning, a proud Wiradjuri woman and former rugby league player, was the most capped female player in the world when she retired, having played 26 tests for the Australian Jillaroos over 14 years.

Following a successful playing career, she was appointed manager of the Indigenous Women's All Stars team from 2012 to 2014, Chairperson of the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council in 2012, former President of the Canberra and Australian Women's Rugby League Associations, and in 2018, Fanning became the Canberra Raiders third female Board Member.

In 2014, she was named Canberra Woman of the Year and ACT NAIDOC Person of the Year, the following year. Fanning received a Public Service Medal, for outstanding public service in Indigenous affairs, and in 2020, she was awarded the Australian Capital Territory Australian of the Year.

Fanning's impressive career has seen her use her well-honed leadership skills to advocate for the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a variety of settings. Fanning currently sits as the Head of Secretariat for the Coalition of Peaks on Closing the Gap, Director of Coolamon Advisors, and has been a Board Member for the Women's Legal Centre in the Australian Capital Territory.

Durate is a proud Wotjobaluk and Dja Dja Wurrung woman, who is committed to Aboriginal issues and the development of Aboriginal people. Durate, the current CEO of Culture is Life, is a seasoned leader in elite sport, social equity, and First Nations communities, having previously served as Manager for Aboriginal Outreach for the Equal Opportunity Commission of Victoria from 1999 to 2001 and Director of the Korin Gamadji Institute at Richmond Football Club from 2011 to 2016.

In 2017, Durate provided recommendations to the Aboriginal Treaty Working Group to assist the First Peoples Assembly of Victoria and is currently an Honorary, Founding Advisory Member for the Koorie Youth Council and an Honorary Deputy Chair for the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation.

Within sport, Durate has made many accomplishments from 2008 - 2012, she was the Project Manager for the National Indigenous Employment Program, AFL SportsReady, and was appointed an Honorary Chair and Director for the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy from 1997-2017.

In recent years Durate has been appointed to the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, is a Director of the Western Bulldogs, MCG trustee and Honorary Committee Member to the Athletics Australia Reconciliation Action Plan Committee.

Durate's efforts have been recognised over the years, with a fellowship in Indigenous Leadership awarded to her from 2006 to 2007. In 2012, she received the Australian Football Club Woman of the Year, Australian Football League, and in 2020, she received both the Parbin-ata Louisa Briggs Award and the Chief Executive Women and Vincent Fairfax Fellowship.

For the full Honours list click here

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