Patricia Buckskin PSM

Educator and driving force behind the Kaurna Plains Aboriginal School

2017 SA Senior Australian of the Year

A proud Narrunga Kaurna woman, Patricia Buckskin grew up in a family of eight children in South Australia’s Riverland. Her lifelong passion for Aboriginal education was sparked in 1972, when she was appointed to Mansfield Park Primary School as its first Aboriginal teacher aide. In 1987, following the formation of the South Australian Aboriginal Education Unit, Pat was appointed as the first Aboriginal state manager of aboriginal education workers – a position she held until her retirement in 2009. A strong advocate and sounding board for many, Pat drove the development of the first culturally-based education award in Australia, led committees and was instrumental in setting up the Kaurna Plains Aboriginal School – the first public Aboriginal school established in an urban setting in Australia. After decades spent encouraging Aboriginal parents to have a voice in their children’s schooling, Pat continues to contribute by working tirelessly on committees and councils to ensure all children have access to quality, enriching education.