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Renowned journalist to deliver Lingiari Lecture

By Jane Hampson

Jeff McMullen AM Jeff McMullen AM

Against what he describes as a “critical time in Aboriginal land rights history”, renowned journalist, author and filmmaker Jeff McMullen AM will deliver the 15th annual Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture at Casuarina campus next month.

Mr McMullen’s lecture will focus on “Custodianship in the 21st Century”. It will explore the Indigenous connection to country and pay homage to the wisdom of Vincent Lingiari, an Indigenous elder who led the walk-off at Wave Hill cattle station in the Northern Territory in 1966.

At first a protest against poor wages and disrespectful treatment, the Wave Hill walk-off became a landmark event in the struggle for Indigenous land rights.

Mr McMullen said that the 1960s was a critical time for Aboriginal land rights, and that Australia was at a similar, critical time today.

“Not since the 1960s has so much been at stake for Aboriginal land rights. In Canberra, constitutional change to recognise Indigenous Australians is being discussed, and land rights are fundamental to this,” Mr McMullen said.

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Leadership Professor Steven Larkin said that land rights were linked to responsible use of the environment.

“The notion of caring for country is not just an Indigenous issue, it’s an Australian issue,” Professor Larkin said.

“We are starting to understand that if we handle the land irresponsibly it will have irreversible effects.”

The Vincent Lingiari Lecture is presented by Charles Darwin University, the Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Education, and Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education.

In response to the lecture’s growing popularity, this year the event will be held outdoors, at the Casuarina campus amphitheatre. The event is free and open to the public.

Date and time: Thursday 6 August 6.30pm.