Renowned journalist to deliver Lingiari Lecture


Jeff McMullen AM will deliver the annual Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture at CDU this month

Jeff McMullen AM will deliver the annual Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture at CDU this month

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 Charles Darwin University on Thursday, 6 August.

The lecture will focus on “Custodianship in the 21st Century” and will explore the Indigenous connection to country and pay homage to the wisdom of Vincent Lingiari.

At first a protest against poor wages and disrespectful treatment, the Wave Hill walk-off led by Indigenous elder Vincent Lingiari in 1966, became a landmark event in the struggle for Indigenous land rights.

“Custodianship is one of the foundational concepts of the intellectual knowledge system of all of the First Peoples of this land,” Mr McMullen said.

“As a senior lawman, Vincent Lingiari was drawing on his grandfather’s connection to Gurindji country, reclaiming and asserting this core responsibility.”

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,” he said. “In Canberra, constitutional change to recognise Indigenous Australians is being discussed, and land rights are fundamental to this.”

With a career spanning five decades, Mr McMullen has been a foreign correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, reporter for Four Corners and Sixty Minutes, anchor of the 33-part series on ABC Television, Difference of Opinion, and host of forums on National Indigenous Television.

His recent documentaries have focussed on the human rights of the First Peoples, the impact of the NT Intervention and the chronic illnesses taking many lives.

As well as serving as a director of AIME and the Engineering Aid Australia Indigenous Summer School program, Mr McMullen worked for 14 years as honorary CEO of Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for Youth, establishing early learning and the Literacy Backpack program in 22 remote communities. He was a foundation Trustee of the Jimmy Little Foundation.

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.

The event will begin at 6pm, with the lecture to commence at 7pm on Thursday, 6 August at the Casuarina campus amphitheatre. The event is free and open to the public. For more information visit: W:


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