Lowitja O'Donoghue is an Aboriginal Australian retired public administrator, who served as chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC). She was born Lois O'Donoghue on August 1, 1932 in the remote Aboriginal community of Indulkana. From 1950 to 1953 O'Donoghue worked as a nursing aide in Victor Harbor before applying to become a student nurse in Adelaide. In 1962, she worked as an Aboriginal Liaison Officer with the South Australian Department of Education. She later transferred to the SA Department of Aboriginal Affairs and was employed as a Welfare Officer based mainly in northern South Australia. In 1967 Lowitja O'Donoghue joined the Commonwealth Public Service as a junior administrative officer in the Adelaide office of the newly formed Department of Aboriginal Affairs. After eight years she became the Director of the Department's office in South Australia, a senior officer position, responsible for the local implementation of national Aboriginal welfare policy. After a short while she left the public service and had various management/administrative roles with non-government organisations. O'Donoghue was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1983, and was named Australian of the Year in 1984, for her work to improve the welfare of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In 1990 she was appointed Chairperson of the ATSIC. In December 1992, O'Donoghue became the first Aboriginal Australian to address the United Nations General Assembly during the launch of the United Nations International Year of Indigenous People. In 1996 she was replaced as Chairperson by Gatjil Djerrkura, who was considered by the Howard Government to be more moderate. Following her retirement, she formally added the name Lowitja to her existing legal name, Lois O'Donoghue Smart, to emphasise her Luritjan heritage.