Second Indigenous Elder

Aunty Lorraine

Lorraine Hatto­n, OAM (Aunty Lorraine) grew up in an Aboriginal Community on Minjerribah, (North Stradbroke Island). She is formally recognised as an Indigenous Quandamooka Woman, and Elder. The Quandamooka people are an Aboriginal Australian group that live around the Moreton Bay Region in South-eastern Queensland.

Aunty Lorraine, born in 1966, is from the Ngughi /Nunukul tribes, with blood lines also to the Turrbal Tribe, of Brisbane. She is the youngest of 11 children to William Gardiner, a WWII Returned Serviceman and Aunty Emma Enoch of Minjerribah, home to the Indigenous Quandamooka people for tens of thousands of years. She attended Dunwich Primary School, and then Balmoral Secondary School, in Brisbane.

In 1986 Aunty Lorraine embarked on a highly successful military career which spanned for over 21 years, providing loyal, dedicated, service to the Australian Army, her country, and her people. She is widely recognised as a pioneer for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous female servicewomen, distinguishing herself, in peacetime and operations, involving peacekeeping, humanitarian, peace-monitoring and war operations, in various theaters and campaigns.

At the time of her promotion in 2003, Aunty Lorraine was the first Aboriginal female to be promoted to Warrant Officer in the Australian Army’s history. Her career culminated in yet another first for both Indigenous and Nonindigenous female servicewomen as she was appointed as the Communications Manager to the Australian Army Special Forces Task Group in Afghanistan, in 2006. Aunty Lorraine retired from the Army, in 2007, after a nomadic career that saw her live both widely throughout Australia and abroad, and settled on the Gold Coast, Southeast Queensland.

Aunty Lorraine was appointed as the Indigenous Elder of the Australian Army in May 2020. This significant national appointment, reports directly to the Chief of Army, on a broad range of Indigenous issues and sees her sit on the Army Indigenous Capability Advisory Board. Some of her other responsibilities in this role involve representing serving and ex-serving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island personnel, providing advice to Army’s senior leadership, establishing long lasting and mutually beneficial relationships nationally between Army and communities, as well as participating in representational duties, and events of significance.

In January 2019 Aunty Lorraine was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM), for service to the Indigenous Community.