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Wednesday, 27 May 2009
The nation's journey towards Aboriginal reconciliation involves equal commitment from both black and white Australians, according to the MC of tomorrow night's Lowitja O'Donoghue Oration, Professor Roger Thomas.
Organised by the Don Dunstan Foundation, the third annual oration at the University of Adelaide will feature addresses by both camps - the Hon. Fred Chaney AO, a former Federal Government cabinet minister, and Dr Jackie Huggins AM, a nationally respected Aboriginal leader.
Professor Thomas, Director of the Centre for Australian Indigenous Research and Studies at the University of Adelaide, says the topic this year revisits Professor O'Donoghue's inaugural address, "Black and White Together".
"This year the intention is to take the discussion further on the mutual responsibilities of black and white Australians working together for reconciliation. Our two speakers are testament to what can be done to achieve a reconciled nation."
Mr Chaney is a Director of the Reconciliation Australia Ltd Board and has worked with Indigenous people for most of his life.
He was a volunteer in the Aboriginal Legal Service in the early 1970s and served as a Liberal Senator for Western Australia. Among Mr Chaney's ministerial appointments was the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio, which he held from 1978-1980 in the Fraser Government.
After leaving parliament, Mr Chaney undertook research into Aboriginal Affairs policy and administration as a Research Fellow within the Graduate School of Management at the University of Western Australia.
Dr Jackie Huggins is Deputy Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland. Her mother, Rita, helped organise the 1967 referendum to change the Australian Constitution so that Indigenous people were treated as legal citizens.
Dr Huggins is an historian and published author and was a member of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation for six years.