BELOVED Wiradjuri elder Nancy Rooke has been honoured, with an inaugural musical scholarship in her name bestowed on Sunday.
Tyson Evans, 7, who plays the piano, received the bursary at Albury's St Matthew's Church.
Anglican priest Peter MacLeod-Miller said the $1500 memorial scholarship from his St Matthew's music association was to salute Mrs Rooke, who died in 2019, and foster Aboriginal musical talent.
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"If you look at the representation of Indigenous people in professional music it is woefully small, just as it is in the law and teaching professions," he said.
"We thought we needed to do something about it, there's no point thinking the government should do something about it if you can't do something locally.
"It's not about tying a child to an instrument and making them do something, it's about opening up their potential."
Due to illness, Mrs Rooke's daughter Liz Heta was an apology and could not present the scholarship.
Talented teen pianist and church organist Tom Summerfield fulfilled the role, with the scholarship presented yesterday to coincide with the start of NAIDOC Week.
Tyson's mother, Michelle Evans met Mrs Rooke after moving to the Border in 2016 and was rapt to have her son receive the recognition.
"It's just so important, it's culturally significant to be connected to the memory of such an important elder of this community," she said.
"To know that Indigenous children can be part of the music community and that he can spend some time to find how he might be connected to music is just such an honour and gift.
"It's very special to us."
Tyson, who is in year 1 at St John's Lutheran School at Jindera began playing the piano at five.
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