The University of New England has launched its annual NAIDOC week celebrations with a flag-raising ceremony on the lawns of Booloominbah followed by the inaugural UNE Indigenous Researchers NAIDOC Lecture Series on July 8.
This year's theme is Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let's work together for a shared future, to recognise the often unrecognised contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made and make in many fields.
UNE Provost & Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Todd Walker, said the celebration is a measure of the university's respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and their special place in the nation's history.
"It is also an opportunity for us to showcase the outstanding work of our Indigenous academics and students and share their achievements with the local community."
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Guest speakers at the flag-raising ceremony included Kamilaroi man and long-time social activist, Lyall Munro Jr, and Indigenous Students Association member Ebony Williams.
Mr Munro is well known for his role in Aboriginal land rights movements, including participating in major actions such as the 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy, 1982 Commonwealth Games protests, 1988 bicentennial protests, anti-Bjelke-Petersen actions in Queensland, and the dismantling of the gates of the Parliament Houses in both Sydney and Brisbane after failed land rights negotiations.
He was involved in the establishment of the Aboriginal Legal Service, Aboriginal Medical Service and the Aboriginal housing co-operatives in the 1970s, and was a key spokesperson when white locals shot and killed 19-year-old Aboriginal man Ronald McIntosh in Moree in 1982.
The inaugural UNE Indigenous Researchers NAIDOC lecture was held in the Oorala Centre
Ambeyang man, Callum Clayton-Dixon, talked about "The New England Frontier Wars: 40 years of Aboriginal resistance, vigilante violence, and official subjugation." Nearly 40 incidents of frontier violence have been mapped in the southern half of the Tablelands.
On Tuesday, July 9, Oorala will host a celebratory lunch at noon; well-known local musicians Col Hardy and Cyril Green will perform.
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