Fay Stewart-Muir OAM
Caring for her culture and her community has led to Fay Stewart-Muir OAM being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.
Ms Stewart-Muir identifies two areas of her service to the Indigenous community of Victoria: bringing the lived experience of an Indigenous person into school classrooms in her region; and supporting Indigenous people in the prison system.
“For too long our education system has denied all students the opportunity to learn about the full history of this country. Both cohorts – students and teachers – need to hear stories of Indigenous people from a lived experience.”
“Working as a Cultural Educator in schools opens a dialogue and helps students and teachers to learn more about Indigenous Culture and history – first-hand, from an Indigenous person.
Visiting people in prison is the other aspect of Ms Stewart-Muir's community work that she considers has a positive impact.
“Being a Koori Independent Prison Visitor (KIPV) also gives me reason to get up in the morning.”
“Showing our people that when they come before the Magistrate that an Elder cares about them is important. I get great satisfaction if I know I am going to see the men inside to chat with them and listen to their problems. And for them to have my ear and one on one time if that is what they need.”
While disbelief was her first reaction to hearing of her recognition through the Order of Australia, Ms Stewart-Muir says it was a momentous occasion.
“I would like to thank the nominator from the bottom of my heart. I do not know who it is but thank you!”