Kudjula Elder (Charters Towers)
Retired Warrant Officer
British Empire Medal (MD) (1980)
Australian Service Medal 1975 – 1989
Defence Service Medal
Australian Defence Medal
Certificate of Outstanding Service (1972)
Elder Award, Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council (2010)
UWS Community Award (2012)
Pauline McLeod Awards for Reconciliation (2013)
Citizen of the Year, Bankstown City Council (2014)
Harry was born and grew up in the Charters Towers/Townsville area, and still has close ties to the area, because he has family still living residing in the area. He is a descendant of the Gudjala Tribal group.
After working for the Post Master General’s Department (PMG), Harry was inspired to join the military by his Uncles who had served in the services during WW1 and WW2 and also an Aunt who served in the Women’s Land Army. Because Harry felt he needed to improve his opportunities in life, he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1966 at Townsville North Queensland. After serving for 23 ½ years at a number of units throughout Australia, the USA, and Malaysia, Harry applied for a discharge in 1989. He completed the final years of his service at units within the Sydney area.
After applying for discharge, Harry worked in the Defence Industry for 11 years, before joining the Commonwealth Public Service. Harry was employed in the Public Service for eight years, involved with Indigenous programs and issues. Before retiring in 2010, he was employed by the Dept. of Families Housing and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs in the Sydney Indigenous Coordination Centre.
The many roles adopted by Harry include having been the Chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee for Bankstown City Council and Management Committee of Bankstown Community Resource Group. Harry is a Committee Member of the Nangahmi Ngallia Aboriginal Corporation, Coloured Diggers Projects and the Chair of the NSW Indigenous Veterans Commemoration Service Coordinating Committee and a Committee Member of the NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans Services Association and Ambassador for NSW Anniversary of Gallipoli Council. Harry is also a member of the UWS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment and Engagement Advisory Board.