THERE are many people in the Katherine region who do not hesitate to go the extra mile to make a difference to the lives of their friends, families and the community they live in.
Those people are often quiet achievers who do not get the recognition they deserve. To celebrate quiet achievers in the region the Katherine Times - with the support of Nitmiluk Tours - proudly presents this week’s Community Hero.
BINJARI Elder, 82-year-old Ronnie Booth Snr was acknowledged at this month’s NAIDOC week as Elder of the Year and was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
To his five children, including daughters Evonne Booth and Sylvia Maroney, Ronnie Booth is not only a champion father, but they believe he is a real community hero.
Ms Maroney said to the Binjari community, her dad is a true ‘founding father’ and to many throughout Katherine, he is a mentor, story teller and educator.
“Dad arrived in Katherine from Tenant Creek at the age of 15, and he started to build Binjari back in 1989.”
In 1990 the Federal Government excised 2 square kilometres or 81 hectares of land from Manbulloo Station to establish the Binjari Community and in 1995 Ronnie received the grant to build the first proper dwellings/houses in Binjari and that was when Top Camp was established.
“He purchased tin sheets to build shacks/shelters and our former MLA Tim Baldwin, for Daly got the funding for our community to build a bitumen road, small office and also a small clinic, which he was really proud of.
“He encouraged others to fight and build Binjari to where we are today,” Ms Maroney said.
“I am proud that he is Evonne and my father, and he is our inspiration for what he taught us. We will pass it on to our next generation, and we will always fight to make our community stronger,” she said.
Ms Maroney said her father’s Lifetime Achievement award had come as a complete surprise to him.
“He wasn’t expecting anything at the ceremony, then his name was called, he was really, really excited.
“It was amazing.
“It brought tears to some people’s eyes, watching that,” Ms Maroney said.
Every week the Community Hero celebrated in the Katherine Times receives at $50 Nitmiluk Gorge meal voucher.
NOMINATE a quiet achiever and receive a $15 Nitmiluk Gorge meal voucher if your nominee features as the next Community Hero.
Email the name and a brief description of your hero’s achievements (and a photo if you have one) to
firstname.lastname@example.org or ring the Katherine Times on 8972 1111.