Anangu woman Edie Nyimpula King has won this year’s perpetual Gladys Elphick Award, recognising her outstanding contribution as an Aboriginal woman in the community who has stood up for culture, country and community for many decades.

Ms King is a respected and highly skilled traditional healer, Ngangkari, for her people and community.

She was a senior member of the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta who first gathered as a group to re-establish traditional Aboriginal Women’s culture in the Coober Pedy area.

Edie King was one of the four women the Senior Kungkas frequently called on from the APY Lands to travel down to Coober Pedy to instruct and guide them in these important formative times.

Additional award winners are:

  • Shirley Peisley Award for influencing positive change for Aboriginal people in the workforce – Jacqueline AhKit
  • Regional Award for living and/or working and actively contributing to the community at a local, regional, state, national and international level – Vera Austin and Elsie Jackson
  • Young Sisters Rising Star Award for leadership potential and achievements of an Aboriginal woman aged 30 years and under – Wanita Calyun
  • Quiet Achievers Award for the many aspects of the community Aboriginal women contribute to that are not always upfront and vocal, but contribute substantially – Susie Betts.


The awards are named after Kaurna-Narungga Elder Gladys Elphick – a community leader and the first President of the Council of Aboriginal Women of South Australia (SA) from 1964-1973.

In 1971 she was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for lifelong service to the community.

The annual Gladys Elphick Awards Ceremony was established to honour the legacy of these women and continue the tradition by acknowledging the significant contribution of Aboriginal women in all areas of the community.

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Quotes attributable to Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Minister Kyam Maher

Congratulations to Edie King for her outstanding contribution to her community and for exemplifying the spirit, resilience, leadership, drive and passion of Aboriginal women.

Edie follows in the footsteps of previous winners Marjorie Tripp AO in 2015, Joy Reid in 2014 and Lenore Chantrelle in 2013.

As 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the council, we owe a debt of gratitude and respect to ‘Auntie Glad’ and the Aboriginal women as founding members of Council who are remarkable for their commitment individually and as a powerful collective in raising the status of Aboriginal people at a state and national level.

The State Government is committed to providing support and recognition to the hard work of Aboriginal women, with the Aboriginal Lands Trust, South Australian Aboriginal Advisory Council and State Aboriginal Heritage Committee each requiring a 50 per cent gender balance.

I am proud to note that the co-Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement and the current Chair of the South Australian Aboriginal Advisory Council are leading Aboriginal women.

Quotes attributable to Patron of the Gladys Elphick Awards, Auntie Shirley Peisley AM

Auntie Gladys was the Council of Aboriginal Women of South Australia’s first President and worked tirelessly alongside many influential Aboriginal women.

Established in 2003, the Awards are particularly significant as the first Aboriginal women’s awards in South Australia, established for and by Aboriginal women and they honour the legacy and spirit of the Aboriginal women on the Council.

The Awards also continue the tradition of acknowledging the significant contribution of SA Aboriginal women in all areas of the community.