Gladys Elphick’s 115th Birthday – Today’s Doodle celebrates Australian Aboriginal community leader Gladys Elphick, known as “Aunty Glad,” who dedicated herself towards social justice in Australia.
Born on this day in 1904 a proud Kaurna and Ngadjuri woman, she became the founding president of the Council of Aboriginal Women of South Australia, bringing about important social reforms. Despite leaving school at age 12, she was a tireless advocate for Indigenous and non-Indigenous women alike, inspiring many to stand up for their rights.
After the death of her first husband, Aunty Glad moved to Adelaide in 1939, supporting her two children. During the 1940s, she joined the Aborigines Advancement League of South Australia, the country’s first group for Aboriginal women. In the mid-1960s, she served on the activities committee supporting important initiatives such as opening a community center for adult education, medical, and legal services. Her efforts led to the establishment of many other institutions, including the College of Aboriginal Education and the Aboriginal Medical Service.
In 1971, Aunty was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire and named South Australian of the Year in 1984. Since 2003, the Gladys Elphick Award has been awarded to recognize Aboriginal women working to advance the status of Indigenous people through a wide range of mediums.
Early concepts by artist Shanti Rittgers
You can find more about Gladys Elphick’s 115th Birthday on the official Google Doodle Page