Olympic hockey player, Olympic and Commonwealth Games sprinter, federal politician, Young Australian of the Year, Order of Australia recipient: Nova Peris’ achievements have been extraordinary.
Peris was the first Indigenous Australian to win an Olympic gold medal when she represented Australia in hockey at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. The team also won gold at the 1994 World Cup in Dublin and the Champions Trophy in 1993 and 1995.
The following year she switched sports to track and field and won 2 gold medals at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in the 200m and 4 x 100m relay. She was named Young Australian of the Year in 1997 and also received the Medal of the Order of Australia.
In 2013, Prime Minister Gillard announced she was inviting Peris to join the Australian Labor Party and stand as a candidate for the senate in the Northern Territory. She subsequently became Australia's first Indigenous woman elected to federal parliament and referenced the apology to the Stolen Generations in her maiden speech to Parliament.
Her autobiography, Nova: My Story, was published in 2003.
This interview by Aaron Pedersen with Nova Peris is from Who We Are in Sport (2012), courtesy of Bearcage Productions.