Olympic Gold Medalist

Nova Peris became the first Aboriginal person to win an Olympic gold medal when she was a member of the victorious Hockeyroos team in Atlanta in 1996.

She also became 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 represented Australia for 13 years in sports, competing at two Olympics, four World Championships, three Champion’s Trophy’s and the Commonwealth Games

Nova Peris OAM – Young Australian of the Year

Over the past three decades, barely a year has passed where Nova Peris has not displayed excellence in some area of her life. Certainly, she has seldom stood still, always determined to educate and re-educate, in order to give herself the best possible opportunity to not only develop her own prospects in life, but, equally as important, those of her people throughout Australia. Whether in sport, Federal Politics or any number of former and current work environments, Nova has remained at the forefront of the conversation for the best part of 30 years. In many cases, she has led the conversation. In 1997 Nova was awarded Young Australian of the Year by then Prime Minister Mr John Howard to add to her Order of Australia (OAM) title she was awarded in 1996.

Political Career

On 22 January 2013 the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced she would invite Peris to join the Australian Labor Party and stand as a candidate for the Senate in the Northern Territory at the 2013 election.[6] On 29 January 2013 her preselection was endorsed by the ALP executive 19 votes to 2, meaning her name was places first on the ALP’s Senate ticket in the Northern Territory, supporting the likelihood that she would become Australia’s first female Aboriginal federal parliamentarian.

On 7 September 2013 Peris became Australia’s first Aboriginal woman elected to federal parliament.[8] Peris was sworn into parliament on 12 November, and noted the apology to the stolen generation in her maiden speech.

Former Senator Nova Peris OAM

Party: Australian Labor Party

Chamber: Senate

Elected to the Senate for the Northern Territory 2013, Retired prior to general elections 2016 after serving out her term.

Chair of Committees from 07/07/2014 to 09/05/2016

Madam Acting Deputy President of the Senate.



Australia’s First Aboriginal Woman elected to Federal Parliament

Since the mid-1990s, Nova Peris has spoken regularly on the plights facing Aboriginal people and has visited hundreds of communities throughout Australia to gain as much of an insight as possible into the issues facing people from all walks of life.

Utilising the significant platform of Federal Parliament, in particular, Nova has given a voice to thousands of people who otherwise go unheard. She has undoubtedly made an enormously positive and life-changing impact on young Aboriginal people, not just through her words but also her actions.


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