June Oscar AO
Community and social wellbeing campaigner
WAState RecipientLocal Hero2017
A senior Bunuba woman from Fitzroy Crossing, June Oscar upset businesses and even members of her own extended family when she began the tough work of securing alcohol restrictions in her community in 2007. But those restrictions acted as a circuit-breaker for a town in crisis. Frequent alcohol-fuelled violence and suicide had cast a shadow over Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley when June enlisted the support of West Australian Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan to lobby for a ban on full-strength takeaway alcohol. Since then, June has overseen the nation’s first study of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), discovering what many suspected: that her community has one of the highest rates of permanent brain damage from maternal alcohol abuse in the world. With remarkable strength and an extraordinary commitment to collaboration, June has brought about constructive discussion between often conflicting groups to support Indigenous families affected by FASD, and to build a safe and healthy future for the generations ahead of her.