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Dennis Jetta was awarded the Order of Australia Medal at the Government House Investiture Ceremony in May.
Australind resident and Indigenous Elder Dennis Jetta OAM doesn’t know who “dobbed him in” for an Order of Australia Medal. And since the proud Noongar man has helped hundreds of people in his lifetime, it might be difficult for him to find out.
Mr Jetta, 81, was awarded the honour at the Government House Investiture Ceremony in May for his significant service and dedication to the Western Australian community. Much of this work has been done in the South West, where Mr Jetta has found purpose in uplifting local Indigenous communities and sharing their histories, knowledge and stories with the rest of the region. Speaking with the Shire of Harvey on his life’s work, Mr Jetta said he had been a farmer, a shearer and worked with the Department of Training and Workforce Development, where he helped Indigenous Australians find employment. “Around that time I also joined the Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship, where I became a pastor and travelled around Australia providing counselling and help to people in need,” Mr Jetta said. “My wife Willa has always been great, she worked at the Sunday School and was a big help with my work. “Since I retired, I’ve been running cultural training workshops for police and hospitals in the South West. “I’ve also been working with the Shire of Harvey on important occasions like Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week. “So yes, winning this award has made me realise I’m still pretty busy for an old bloke.” Mr Jetta has been working closely with the Shire of Harvey for the last few years to support major community events and activities. Shire of Harvey President Cr Paul Gillett said Mr Jetta had been an extraordinary champion of local Indigenous peoples through multiple educational, cultural and awareness-raising endeavours. He said it was certainly no surprise that Mr Jetta had been awarded an Order of Australia Medal in recognition of his life’s work. “This is a well-deserved honour that celebrates years of community work and cultural preservation,” Mr Gillett said. “On behalf of the Shire of Harvey, congratulations Dennis! “I look forward to your support continuing for many years to come.” Mr Jetta celebrated his new honour with a special letter from His Majesty King Charles III and his children Patrick, Glenda, Kerry and Karen. He said his family have always been his biggest supporters.
Acknowledgement of Country
The Shire of Harvey acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.