Dr Matilda House is a Ngambri, Ngunnawal and Wiradyuri actvist whose commitment to social and economic justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has seen Dr House support numerous organisations and initiatives in the local Ngunnawal and Ngambri community throughout her career.
Dr House was born and raised on Erambie-Cowra Aboriginal reserve, Hollywood Aboriginal reserve at Yass and Ngambri-Kamberri Country and has Wiradyuri, Walgalu and Wallabalooa ancestries. Dr House practices the customs of her ancestral heritage in the making of traditional possum cloaks, a tradition she remembers learning from her grandmother when she was a young girl. Dr House continues these practices, teaching the new generations of her family the skills and knowledge of her cultural ancestry.
Dr House has been involved in the Aboriginal Tent Embassy since its founding in 1972, was a passionate advocate in the founding of the ACT, NSW Aboriginal Legal Service, the Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council in Queanbeyan in the 1980s and played a key role in establishing the Winnunga-Nimmitjah Aboriginal Medical Service. Dr House also contributed to the establishment of the ANU Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre in 1989, which continues to provide support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Dr House was the first person to perform the Welcome to Country at the 42nd opening of Federal Parliament. Dr House’s contribution to her community was recognised by the ANU with the conferral of the Degree of Doctor of the University in 2017.