Today NACCHO joins many other Aboriginal organisations reflecting on the life of Malcolm Fraser AC and his contribution to the achievement of Aboriginal rights and promotion of reconciliation in Australia, and internationally.
Mr Fraser passed the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 which gave land rights to Northern Territory Aboriginal communities and was the first Australian law enabling claims to traditional ownership to be heard.
Picture above : Aboriginal activist Charlie Perkins described Malcolm Fraser A1
He also passed the Aboriginal Development Commission Act in 1980, which provided a funding system for Aboriginal services and the Human Rights Commission Act in 1981, providing for a body to promote and protect human rights.
He was also instrumental in the Commonwealth’s push to end apartheid in South Africa.
Following his political life, Mr Fraser remained active in public affairs and in particular in the reconciliation journey. He spoke on important issues such as closing the gap and consultation with the Indigenous community, and on the stolen generations in his role as Co-Patron of the Stolen Generations Alliance. More recently he supported the Recognise campaign for Constitutional recognition.
Mr Fraser was made a companion in the Order of Australia in 1988 and in 2000 his contribution to the advancement of human rights and reconciliation in Australia and internationally was recognised with Australia’s Human Rights medal.
On National Sorry Day 2003, Mr Fraser said “Reconciliation requires changes of heart and spirit, as well as social and economic change. It requires symbolic as well as practical action.” In line with Mr Fraser’s words, we will continue to support all Australians to turn their good intentions into practical actions so that we can all wake to a reconciled, just and equitable Australia.