Australian Biography: Lowitja (Lois) O'Donoghue

Australian Biography: Lowitja (Lois) O'Donoghue
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
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Lowitja (Lois) O'Donoghue was born in 1932 in Granite Downs, SA, a remote Aboriginal community.

She never knew her white father and, at the age of two, was taken away from her mother, who she was not to see for 33 years.

After a long struggle to win admission to a training hospital, Lois became the first black nurse in South Australia.

In 1976, she was the first Aboriginal woman to be awarded an Order of Australia. In 1983 she was honoured with a CBE and in 1984 she was made Australian of the Year.

In 1990 she became the founding chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

Since this Australian Biography interview, she has changed her name to Lowitja O'Donoghue. She was interviewed for Film Australia's Australian Biography series in 1994.

Read a transcript of the complete interview.