In February we gathered together for the naming of our first dual-named reserve.
Ngarrpadla (the Kaurna word for aunty) ‘Aunty’ Josie Agius Reserve has been named in honour of Aboriginal Elder and local Taperoo resident, Aunty Josie Agius, who was a Narungga, Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri and Ngadjuri leader born in 1934. We are proud of the Aboriginal heritage of PAE and acknowledge and value the connection and significant contribution made by Aboriginal people through their maintenance and sharing of culture and connection to country.
In 2020, the PAE Aboriginal Advisory Panel suggested that Taperoo Reserve, originally named for its location at Taperoo, be renamed with dual names that better reflect local Aboriginal history and culture. Auntie Josie was a proud and active member of the Port Adelaide community for over 55 years.
As one of the State’s first Aboriginal health workers, she helped develop cultural protocols for hospitals and community health services in the 1970s. In the 1980s she was an Aboriginal education worker at Taperoo Primary School, where she helped launch the Port Adelaide based Kurruru Indigenous Youth Art Centre. She returned to school at Tauondi College in 1995 at the age of 61, and studied tourism and the Kaurna language to further her life-long commitment to learning.
Aunty Josie was recognised for her tireless advocacy for reconciliation. In 2014 she was awarded the Premier’s NAIDOC Award as an extraordinary South Australian whose outstanding achievements and activities have made a significant difference to the lives and welfare of the State’s Aboriginal people.
She was so prominent in the community and the State that at her 2015 funeral service in Port Adelaide, the South Australian Governor Hieu Van Le, the then Premier Jay Weatherill, and the then State Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher, were among those present to mourn the passing of the 81-year-old community leader.
The renaming of this reserve is a fitting tribute to an important PAE community member.