Too Deadly!

Reconciliation Australia was once again proud to sponsor this year’s Deadly Awards which were held at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday night.

Both the stars and punters frocked up for the spectacular night of entertainment—with personalities such as Samantha Harris, Nathan Foley, Karla Grant and hosts Aaron Pederson and Casey Donovan strutting their stuff on the red carpet. Our very own Co-Chair Dr Tom Calma even suited up for the big event!

But the Deadlys are more than just glitz and glamour. At the heart of the event is recognition. Recognising the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is such as important part of reconciliation.

Australia’s first peoples are a talented bunch—and the Deadlys are the perfect platform to showcase their achievements to the rest of the Australia.

Take radio presenter Karla Hart from Noongar Radio in WA who was one of five people nominated for Broadcaster of the Year. Not letting a broken leg get in the way of accepting her Deadly, Karla came all the way from Perth to graciously accept her award at the Sunset Ceremony with her son by her side.

For the Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment, Brian Dowd dedicated his award to the 4,000 or so young people that completed his ‘Black on Track’ program; while Anita Heiss made an emotional speech as she accepted her Deadly for Outstanding Achievement in Literature.

Humble in his acceptance speech was host Aaron Pederson who took home the award for Male Actor of the Year and much to the delight of the audience Jessica Mauboy rushed from a music video shoot to the Deadlys – good thing, as she won Female Artist of the Year!

But the best was certainly saved for last. For her remarkable achievements in sport Reconcilation Australia Patron Evonne Goolagong-Cawley was awarded the Ella Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sport.

As a young girl, Evonne would hit tennis balls against a brick wall with a tennis racquet made from an old broom handle. She literally dreamt of playing on the ‘magical’ centre court at Wimbledon and at the tender age of 16 achieved that dream, before taking home the prestigious title at just 20 years of age. Evonne then went on to win 14 grand slam titles—truly an inspiration and deserving Deadly winner!

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners and a huge shout out to all the Deadly staff for making the 2011 Deadly Awards the best year yet!

Paul House with gum leaves and smoke
Paul Girrawah House

Paul Girrawah House has multiple First Nation ancestries from the South-East Canberra region, including the Ngambri-Ngurmal (Walgalu), Pajong (Gundungurra), Wallabollooa (Ngunnawal) and Erambie/Brungle (Wiradyuri) family groups.

Paul acknowledges his diverse First Nation history, he particularly identifies as a descendant of Onyong aka Jindoomang from Weereewaa (Lake George) and Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams from Namadgi who were both multilingual, essentially Walgalu-Ngunnawal-Wiradjuri speaking warriors and Ngunnawal–Wallaballooa man William Lane aka ‘Billy the Bull’ - Murrjinille.

Paul was born at the old Canberra hospital in the centre of his ancestral country and strongly acknowledges his First Nation matriarch ancestors, in particular his mother Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and grandmother, Ms Pearl Simpson-Wedge.

Paul completed a Bachelor of Community Management from Macquarie University, and Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage and Management from CSU.

Paul provided the Welcome to Country for the 47th Opening of Federal Parliament in 2022. Paul is Board Director, Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Member Indigenous Reference Group, National Museum of Australia and Australian Government Voice Referendum Engagement Group.  

Paul works on country with the ANU, First Nations Portfolio as a Senior Community Engagement Officer

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing  connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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