Di Ryder OAM
Noongar Elder
Staff Sergeant
Australian Regular Army

Medals and Awards
Defence Force Service Medal
Australian Defence Medal
National NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award 2017
Medal of the Order of Australia OAM 2023
Western Australian Women’s Hall of Fame 2024 – First female veteran to be inducted

I joined the Australian Army after finishing high school, and spent the following twenty-one years in the armed forces. I felt honoured in 1990 when I was awarded the Army Australia Day Achievement Medallion for my dedication to duty. Following my retirement from the Army, I turned my attention to helping community, working as a Community Outreach worker in Redfern in inner-city Sydney, before I returned to Perth to become the full-time carer for my grandmother Mary. I then began working as an Outreach and Community Liaison Coordinator with the Perth and Hills Division of General Practice, the Telethon Speech and Hearing Ear Bus Programme and Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service until her retirement in 2011. But I didn’t really retire, I kept working in the community work and became President of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services and Veterans Association (ATSIVSA) of Western Australia, MC of the Indigenous Veterans’ Commemoration Service held at the State War Memorial each year during Reconciliation Week, and multiple roles with the Swan Alliance Community. Through my role with ATSIVSA, I became heavily involved in working to ensure Indigenous veterans receive the proper support and recognition they deserve. I was humbled to has been recognised with the 2017 National NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2023, but this is because of support and guidance I have received from my family, my mum Josephine, who passed away in 2006, and my dad William, who taught me that with hard work, and mutual respect you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. The local Midland community has also played an important part in how much I have achieved, and has assisted me in so many ways to those most in need”.