A community program manager who has helped hundreds of vulnerable adults and youth has won a prestigious human rights award for his work over more than a decade.
Casey Bishop was awarded the Fitzgerald Social Change Award tonight at the Supreme Court in Darwin, following 13 years in the position at Kalano Community Association.
The social change advocate was recognised for his tireless work coordinating teams and programs pivotal to making significant inroads on resolving some of the long-standing social and economic challenges facing Katherine.
The accolade recognised Mr Bishop as "highly regarded by his teams for his leadership, clear communication and well managed programs for the Aboriginal communities they serve".
"I see it as a longevity award more than anything else," Mr Bishop said.
"It is a testament to anyone who stays and sticks it out in the NT - we are a generation or two away from solving some of the big issues here in Katherine, and longevity is the key."
Despite critical funding shortages and an inconsistent workforce, Mr Bishop has managed to build and strengthen a number of key programs - from driving the Venndale drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre to expanding Katherine's night patrol and helping to establish a night bus to ensure youth roaming the streets can get from A to B safely.
He is also a key player in running a new youth diversion program and the up and coming Child and Family Center slated to open early next year.
"My findings over the last decade is that a lot of people find it difficult to find support, and being that contact, being that person or organisation people lean on is a big thing," Mr Bishop said.
"Our role is to make ourselves redundant, our job is to put ourselves out of business, to solve people's issues so they don't have to come back to us."
Looking into the future, Mr Bishop said his focus is on helping the next generation growing up in the troubled town of Katherine.
"The teenagers now and those just coming into the world need as much emphasis and help as they grow up, so their upbringing fosters a life just like anyone else," he said.
Mr Bishop was among eight individuals and organisations to be recognised as part of the 2019 NT Human Rights Awards.
Maxine Carlton a senior Indigenous women, who has held numerous leadership roles in Alice Springs and worked as a Senior Client Services Officer for NAAJA and CAALAS for 16 years received The Fitzgerald Justice Award.
Colleen Rosas, who pioneered the Indigenous Languages interpreting sector in Australia, and worked with Aboriginal Interpreter Service in NT from 1997 to 2018 received The Fitzgerald Diversity Award.
And Jubilee Weo, a young women working with young Yolngu people in Yirrkala to hold youth events on Friday nights, with food and activities received the The Fitzgerald Youth Award.
A multitude of nominations were received from across the Northern Territory spanning some of the smallest remote communities to Alice Springs, Darwin, Tiwi Island and Yirrkala.
"The awards demonstrate the human rights work being done across the Northern Territory community on a day to day basis," Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sally Sievers said.
"It is wonderful to see so many people celebrated and recognise on December 10, the United Nations Day for Human Rights."
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