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Awarded for service to Aboriginal Affairs
Entered on roll: 2007
There is so much more Aunty Vicki has done and is doing, she is one of the strongest Aboriginal advocates I know in this State. [She] has the respect of many people and has played major roles in the reconciliation process of Tasmania.
Sharon Dennis, 2007
Vicki maikutena Matson-Green is of the palawa people and grew up on Flinders Island within a large extended family.
Vicki has achieved much through her life. She has been a strong voice for the recognition of Aboriginal history and rights in Tasmania, as evidenced by her commentary in the film Black Man’s Houses. This 1992 film documents the story of the original Aborigines who were removed to Wybalena, Flinders Island, and follows through to the current Aboriginal population. It is Vicki’s grasp of the events of the 19th Century and her articulation of the need for the current generation to have a strong sense of their roots and identity that brings real emotion to the film. Vicki was strongly engaged with the Flinders Island Aboriginal Association during the Aboriginal political era through the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Vicki won an Aboriginal bursary to attend Prospect High School in 1964 and has continued to be a champion of Aboriginal students. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1996, after winning the prestigious UTas Mount Nelson Award in 1995 in recognition of her academic and community achievements during her years of study. She was President of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Student’s Education Committee which she helped establish to give Aboriginal higher education students a voice in their own education. Later she was elected Chair of the Riawunna Centre for Aboriginal Education Board, which advises the Vice-Chancellor on policy development for Aboriginal students and staff and was one of the primary contributors in the establishment of the Aboriginal Studies Major within the School of Arts. Vicki is currently studying for her Masters in Professional Communication and Media through Deakin University.
Vicki was a member of the organising committee for the second Aboriginal Women Writer’s Conference and has written academic papers on palawa people and history. She has contributed to a number of historic publications and is currently researching the life of Aboriginal Elder Alma Stackhouse OAM to honour her life story in a biography.
Vicki was President of the inaugural Tasmanian Aboriginal Language Group, as well as the state representative on the national body. She was an inaugural committee member of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council and Chairperson of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Child Care Association. Vicki is a current member of the ya pulingina kani Group, which advises Safe at Home on Aboriginal family and community violence.
Her love and understanding of Tasmanian Aboriginal art led to her appointment to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board in 1999. She is now the chair of the Aboriginal Arts Advisory Committee and a member of the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board, which represents the Tasmanian Arts community to the Minister. She continues to participate in Aboriginal community programs, particularly those involving Aboriginal women.
Vicki has worked for the Indigenous Services Unit of Centrelink for six years and has contributed to the many changes that have occurred in that department in relation to Aboriginal people. Vicki is about to enter the mutton bird industry and in partnership with five other palawa, is establishing an Aboriginal arts and cultural tourism business, kukana wurawina – echoes of our past, with the assistance of Spencer Morgan Pty Ltd.