Mick Dodson, Linda Burney & Quentin Beresford

Rob Riley & the future of reconciliation

The story of how modern Australia has failed to make a lasting settlement with its Indigenous people is embodied in the life of one of the nation's most widely recognised Aboriginal leaders, Rob Riley.

The life of Riley contains powerful, universal themes: early triumph over adversity; the search for justice; and disillusionment over reformist politics. Not all will agree on either his vision or his political methods. But Riley's legacy is to force us to reflect on why the battle for reconciliation was lost by this generation, and what this says about the nation.

Upon the publication of Quentin Beresford's magnificent biography, Rob Riley: An Aboriginal Leader's Quest for Justice (Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 2006), the Evatt Foundation proudly presents a special Sunset Seminar on the future of reconciliation.

Event location: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney.
Event time: Thursday, 23 November, 5.30 pm for 6.00 pm
Event cost: $10
RSVP: Please phone Evatt on 9385 7137 or email evatt@unsw.edu.au


Linda Burney MP (Chair)

Linda Burney is a member of the Wiradjuri nation and is the first Indigenous person to be elected to the NSW Parliament, where she is the Member for Canterbury. Linda has been a member of the National Council for Reconciliation, the Board of SBS Television and Radio, and is a former Director-General of the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

Mick Dodson AM

Mick Dodson is a member of the Yawuru peoples, the traditional Aboriginal owners of land and waters in the Broome area of the southern Kimberley region of Western Australia. Currently Director of the ANU's National Centre for Indigenous Studies, Professor Dodson was Australia's first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. He completed a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and a Bachelor of Laws at Monash University and holds an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Technology and an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of New South Wales. He is the current Chairman of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, the former Chairman of the National Aboriginal Youth Law Centre Advisory Board, a recently retired member of the National Children's & Youth Centre Board, the convenor of the Advisory panels of the Rob Riley and Koowarta Scholarships, a member of the Publications Committee for the UNSW Indigenous Law Reporter, a member of the NSW Judicial Commission and the WA Law Reform Commission, a board member of the Reconciliation Australia and Lingiari Foundations, the current chairman of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre, was the Co-Deputy Chair of the Technical Committee for the 1993 International Year of the World's Indigenous People, is the chairman of the United Nations Advisory Group for the Voluntary Fund for the Decade of Indigenous Peoples and a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Indigenous Voluntary Fund.

Quentin Beresford

Quentin Beresford is the author of the acclaimed Rob Riley: An Aboriginal Leader's Quest for Justice (Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 2006). The book was officially launched by Aboriginal leader Pat Dodson on 15 May 2006 before 400 people at Government House in Perth, where relatives and former colleagues took to the stage to reflect on Rob's personal qualities and campaigns. Guest of honour was the Premier, Alan Carpenter, who announced a new scholarship program for Aboriginal students completing Year 12 to perpetuate the Riley legacy. An Associate Professor of Politics and Government at the Edith Cowan University in Perth, Dr Beresford's previous books include Reform and Resistance in Aboriginal Education (with Gary Partington, University of Western Australia Press, 2003); The Salinity Crisis: Landscapes, Communities and Politics (with Hugo Bekle, Harry Phillips and Jane Mulcock, University of Western Australia Press, 2001); Governments, Markets and Globalisation: Public Policy in Context (Allen & Unwin, 2000); Our State of Mind: Racial Planning and the Stolen Generations (with Paul Omaji, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1998); and Rites of Passage: Aboriginal Youth, Crime and Justice (with Paul Omaji, Freemantle Arts Centre Press, 1996).

This special Evatt event is supported by: