ACT News

Canberra Aboriginal health advocate Aunty Judy Harris dies

Long-time Aboriginal health advocate Aunty Judy Harris will be remembered as a champion of Indigenous health in the ACT.

Aunty Harris, who was chairwoman of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service for most of its operation, died on Monday morning at Calvary Hospital, following failing health in recent years.

Winnunga chief executive officer Julie Tongs passed on her condolences to Aunty Harris' family and said the community had lost a "great champion and advocate for Aboriginal health".

"Over quarter of a century she helped guide Winnunga's progress and growth," Ms Tongs said.  

"In that time she saw Winnunga move from a relatively small service to one that currently has a yearly budget of more than $8 million and employs over 60 staff.

"To achieve that level of progress and success is a major tribute to Aunty Jude's total commitment and dedication to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal Australians in this region. It also reflects her equal commitment to ensuring the ACT had one of the very best Community Controlled Aboriginal Health Services in Australia."

Aunty Harris stepped down as Winnunga chairwoman just last December.

Her funeral will be held at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Amaroo at 10am on Tuesday March 17.