Former Olympian, Politician & Keynote Speaker
Nova Peris became the first Aboriginal to win an Olympic gold medal when she was a member of victorious Hockeyroos in Atlanta 1996. She also become the first Mother to be a gold medalist for Australia since Shirley Strickland in 1956.
The Northern Territorian, born in Darwin in 1971, was an outstanding talent as a hockey player, with her pace, agility and attacking skills making her a distinguished player on the international stage.
Nova Peris is one of few athletes who have represented their country in two different sports; hockey and athletics, and separate Olympic Games. She remains the only person in the entire world to make back to back Summer Olympic Games finals in two different sports! She is also the only person to win Olympic and Commonwealth Gold Medals in different Sports.
Nova is also Australia’s first Aboriginal woman elected to Federal Parliament and the first Aboriginal and Northern Territorian to win an Olympic Gold Medal. A dual Olympian and the first Olympic torchbearer for the Sydney 2000 Games.
A former Senator for the Northern Territory, Nova is a passionate campaigner for Aboriginal rights and reconciliation in Australia. She has also actively campaigned on issues of mental & physical health, Racism, No Nuclear Waste Dump at Muckaty Station NT, Free the Aboriginal Flag Campaign, Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, Treaty, Djab Wurrung Save the Trees campaign and many more.
Drawing from her unique experiences in sport, government and as a leader within Australia’s Aboriginal community, Nova Peris effortlessly tailors her keynote presentations to inspire audiences from diverse ages, backgrounds and sectors. She takes the audience on a journey of her confronting family history speaking about Stolen Generations, her early childhood growing up in a housing commission with her sister and their single Mum, her memories of Cyclone Tracy and her sporting prowess in Darwin leading her to a life shunned into the Australian & International spotlight. She talks with immense pride of her three children, her trailblazing leap into Federal Politics as well as all the things she’s done post politics and what she has in store next in her incredible life.
Extremely warm and personable... Mixed well with both staff and students... She spoke extremely well... Great solid messages of positivity... Fantastic Aboriginal role model... Understated her achievements in a most endearing way but she has obviously achieved so much.