TWO Gunditjmara people from the south-west were among 15 Aboriginal people inducted into the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll.
Those honoured included the late Gunditjmara elder Edna Brown, who was born in Hamilton.
Aunty Edna was involved in the formation of many Aboriginal organisations in Victoria.
She is remembered for her role in establishing the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, where she worked as a volunteer until funding was secured in 1973.
Aunty Edna initiated a partnership with Victorian funeral parlours to create what became known as ‘Edna’s funeral fund’, which ensured Aboriginal people would be buried with dignity.
In 1986, Edna was named NAIDOC Aborigine of the Year.
The other local Gunditjmara person inducted was First World War serviceman William Reginald Rawlings, who died at the age of 27 fighting in France.
Mr Rawlings volunteered for military service and was involved in active combat for two years. In 1918, he received a citation for bravery and was recommended for the Military Medal.
He was killed in action soon after and is buried in the military cemetery at Harbonnieres in France.
The Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll, the only one of its type in Australia, was initiated four years ago and now includes 64 names.
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