Lowitja (Lois) O'Donoghue

Lowjita O'Donoghue was born in South Australia in 1932. She was taken away from her family and grew up in a children's home. She was trained to do housework, but later spent a long time fighting to be allowed to train as a nurse.

In 1967, she joined the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and became the director of the South Australian region in 1975. Since then she has held several jobs working for the good of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people. She has helped to write laws and been the head of ATSIC (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission).

O'Donoghue was named Australian of the Year in 1984 for her work to improve the way Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians live and work togther. She has been given awards by Queen Elizabeth II and the Australian Government.