Aunty Gladys Elphick MBE

People of Adelaide


Posted on 01 Sep 2019

Adelaide living suffrage anniversary gladys elphick

Gladys Elphick (1904-1988) was a prominent Kaurna elder of Kaurna and Narungga descent known to the community as Aunty Glad.

She was founding president of the Council of Aboriginal Women of South Australia, the first all-Aboriginal women’s committee in Australia. Established in 1964, the Council worked to raise the status of Aboriginal peoples, including campaigning for the ‘yes’ vote in the 1967 Referendum. It effectively advocated for the establishment of vital services for Aboriginal peoples, including Nunkuwarrin Yunti, Tauondi College, and the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement.

Elphick was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1971 in recognition of service to the Aboriginal community and was named South Australian Aboriginal of the Year in 1984.

In 2017 the City of Adelaide named Gladys Elphick Park/Narnungga (Park 25) to honour this Aboriginal woman trailblazer. Narnungga translates to native pine place.

Celebrating 125 years of women's suffrage in South Australia.

Image: State Library of South Australia A PRG 1390/3/1, circa 1986