Tribute to Sol Bellear

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM has paid tribute to legendary civil rights campaigner, mentor and sportsman Sol Bellear.

Page last updated: 11 December 2017

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9 December 2017

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM has paid tribute to legendary civil rights campaigner, mentor and sportsman Sol Bellear.

“I admired him for his forthright approach, passion and commitment to families and community,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Sol was a reformer in the truest sense, a reformer of minds through his tireless advocacy, and someone who understood the importance of structural reform.

“He played a key role in establishing medical, housing, land rights and legal services for Aboriginal people and remains a towering figure on the journey towards justice for our people.”

Sol Bellear was the Aboriginal Legal Service’s first chairman, chairman of the Aboriginal Medical Service in Sydney’s Redfern, a founding member of the Aboriginal Housing Company and deputy chairman of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in the 1990s.

He was awarded an Order of Australia in 1999 for services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In May this year, he was a delegate at the Uluru convention on constitutional recognition.

“Today, we farewell a truly great Australian,” Minister Wyatt said. “From teenage activist to skilled negotiator, Sol knew politics, processes and people.

“The rights of First Nation peoples were his passion but he was also a dedicated supporter of rugby league - especially his beloved Rabbitohs - and a top player, administrator and promoter of indigenous involvement in the game, particularly in mentoring young players.

“I was fortunate to work with Sol and to know him as a trusted mate. His passing is a great loss, and I extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends.

“I share the sadness of the thousands of people whose lives, hearts and minds he touched.

“Sol, we thank you for all that you did for each and every person you met and knew.”

Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449

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