Awana – Welcome!

“He was a man of principle, with firm values, and he always looked out for his people. He listened respectfully and acted fairly, sticking up for what he knew was right, never shirking from taking the hard path, especially if that was best for the Tiwi.”

(Frank Kennedy – brother)


Awana (hello),

Life is not about what you can gain, but what you can give, and the story of your life will be, not how did you die, but how did you live?

The first time I met Maurice Rioli was in 2006, at the casino in Melbourne, with his wife Mali. Prior to leaving, he gave me a gift of tickets to ‘Dreamtime at the G’ game. Overwhelmed at the time, I came to learn quickly, it was his way, he simply had the most generous nature and a willingness for others to benefit from his standing as an AFL legend. This was to be the first of many gifts he would give me…none more significant than the gift of welcoming me into his Tiwi family. I am honoured to call Maurice my Ngiyarringani (my father), it is from him I inherit my Tiwi dreaming – Jarrakalani (turtle).

Over the past seven years I have gained so much from my connection with the Tiwi Islands and Tiwi people. I want to share this and pay it forward. So please, enjoy and learn from my stories and reflections of this grand-standing man and what he stood for; may they inspire you, guide you and help you too, to stand UP.


Karina Gray #17


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