Port Macquarie-Hastings Citizen of the Year Jamie Donovan is passionate about making sure Aboriginal voices are heard now and in the future.
The Indigenous leader said he was flabbergasted by the Port Macquarie-Hastings Australia Day Award nomination and very humbled to be in a category with so many amazing people.
His award acceptance speech thanked Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, congratulated the award nominees and winners across the categories, and recognised the dedicated community that worked alongside him.
"I just want to humbly thank everybody in my community," Mr Donovan said.
"We don't do what we do in our communities alone."
Mr Donovan is involved in a range of activities.
"I am just passionate about what I do and passionate about making sure the Aboriginal voice is heard in all these committees and groups that are happening, because for a long time our people were left behind or not involved in conversations or we got asked about things after stuff had already happened," he said.
"It is just great to be a part of those groups and committees, being first at the table and being asked our opinions."
"As a proud father-of-five, I strive to be a good example for my children, for my nieces and nephews and for their friends," he said.
"You have to work really hard to get what you want and that starts with a good education and persistence and hard work."
Mr Donovan, as a consultant to the Department of Education in its Aboriginal education team, supports the engagement and re-engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in education.
The role stretches across 42 public schools from Johns River in the south to Eungai Rail in the north.
Mr Donovan feels privileged to deliver cultural immersion training within the department with the support of the Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group.
"This is some of the most powerful training and facilitation that I do - being able to support our education staff along their cultural journey and understanding of Aboriginal histories within our community," he said.
Mr Donovan is studying a teaching degree.
He is an Aboriginal artist, chair of Bunyah Local Aboriginal Land Council, chair of other committees, member of advisory groups, Rural Fire Service member and an active participant in multiple sporting groups which support his children.
"This might seem like a lot of things to a lot of people, but for me, this is just what I feel I need to do to be able to show my children and give them the opportunities in life to have their best life," Mr Donovan said.
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