Uncle Pat Connolly
Senior Wiradjuri Elder
Uncle Pat is a proud Wiradjuri/Yuin/Ngunnawal man based in Tumut in the Snowy Valley region of New South Wales.
Despite having left school at the age of 14 with a Year Three level education, his daughter enrolled him in a Wiradjuri language course at Tumut TAFE. With the encouragement of his TAFE teachers, he then went on to continue his studies at Charles Sturt University, completing a Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage. Uncle Pat continues to support university students by volunteering his time for each residential school. He has also been Elder-in Residence at Tumut Community Preschool and local public schools where he teaches the students about his culture and Wiradjuri language.
Uncle Pat received the Outstanding Contribution to Educational Achievement by an Aboriginal Community Member award at the NSW Government, Naga Mai Awards in 2021. He is a true ambassador for his culture, community and people with a strong focus on closing the gap for Aboriginal Australians.