Aunty Rose Elu is a Torres Strait Islander Elder, whose decades-long work as an advocate for Torres Strait communities and climate change saw her receive the 2021 Queensland Senior Australian of the Year Award.
As part of NAIDOC Week 2020, Aunty Rose shared stories of her ancient culture and her spiritual and cultural connection to country, as part of a live digital event hosted by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) in partnership with IPAA Queensland.
Aunty Rose was born on the low-lying island of Saibai in the Torres Strait. In 1949 her people moved to the tip of Australia, to an island now known as Seisia that was given to them by the Aboriginal people of the Cape.
She was brought up on the Cape by her family whose vision was to bring their people into the wider Australian community. And so, once she had finished High School — which only went as far as Year 7 — Aunty Rose was sent by her family to Melbourne to continue her education.