Aunty Fay Carter OAM to Be Honoured with State Funeral on Dja Dja Wurrung Country

Aunty Fay Carter OAM to Be Honoured with State Funeral on Dja Dja Wurrung Country

The Victorian government has announced that Aunty Fay Carter OAM, a tireless advocate for Indigenous communities in Victoria, will be honoured with a state funeral on Dja Dja Wurrung country in Bendigo next week. The esteemed elder recently passed away at the age of 89. Aunty Fay Carter OAM to Be Honoured with State Funeral on Dja Dja Wurrung Country

Celebrating a Life of Generosity and Advocacy

Premier Jacinta Allan announced on Thursday that Aunty Fay’s state funeral will be held on Wednesday, June 12. Reflecting on Aunty Fay’s legacy, Allan said, “To me, the word that epitomises Aunty Fay is generosity. She was so overwhelmingly generous – with her time, her wisdom, and her work. We wouldn’t have the Victoria we do, without her.”

Contributions to Self-Determination

The Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (Djaara) acknowledged Aunty Fay’s significant contributions to the self-determination of the Dja Dja Wurrung People. Her efforts were instrumental in the Recognition and Settlement Agreement journey that spanned over 15 years.

Community Leadership and Achievements

Aunty Fay was a dedicated member of the Victorian Branch of the National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) for over twenty years, serving three years as Treasurer and five years as President. She was also a founding member of Australia’s first Aboriginal women’s refuge and chaired the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) for a decade.

Legacy of Self-Determination

“For over 50 years, Aunty Fay dedicated herself to her Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta People and all Victorian Aboriginal communities. In the proud tradition of self-determination, her work has helped strengthen families, reform welfare programs, and set the standard for Aboriginal aged-care services,” Djaara stated.

In her late 70s, Aunty Fay played a crucial role in achieving a landmark native title settlement that formally recognised the Dja Dja Wurrung People as the Traditional Owners of their lands. This settlement included the return of more than 266,000 hectares of Crown land to the Traditional Owners.

Honours and Recognition

Aunty Fay’s lifetime of service has been recognized through numerous awards and honours. She received the Centenary Medal in 2001, was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2004, and the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll in 2013. In 2019, she was awarded the Order of Australia for her commitment to developing and implementing culturally relevant programs for Indigenous people.

A Beloved Matriarch

Known affectionately as Guka (meaning grandmother), Aunty Fay is survived by her children, Rodney and Wendy, and grandchildren, Drew, Joshua, Natasha, Neane, Rodney Jnr, and James.

Funeral Arrangements

The state funeral for Aunty Fay Carter will be open to the public and live-streamed, beginning at 10 am. Further details about the service can be found online. At the request of the Carter family, and in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Aboriginal Community Elders Services online.

As the community gathers to honour Aunty Fay’s extraordinary life and legacy, her impact on Indigenous advocacy, self-determination, and community development will be remembered and celebrated.

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