A very big thank you to Philip Rist, our long-standing President and Committee Chair who stood down from the position of President this year. We are grateful that Phil will remain on the committee as his wisdom, experience and knowledge is invaluable to our organisation. Phil has guided us through all manner of challenges over the past six years as President and nine years on the Management Committee and has always been the font of wisdom.
We warmly welcome our new President, Harold Ludwick, Chair of the Hopevale Arts and Cultural Centre Board. Harold is a Bulgun Warra man whose traditional lands lie west of Cooktown. He identifies with the Black Cockatoo group with his Totem being the night owl called Mirrgi. Harold spent many years in various Cape York communities where he has been privileged to learn their dances and songs. Harold has six siblings and eight children, and his grandparents were among the Stolen Generation. His grandmother died without ever returning to her country. His life experience and his passion for Indigenous rights has been the catalyst for his push for Indigenous issues to be taken seriously, taking him into remote communities and overseas.
Harold has been advocating for Indigenous people since his late 20s. Some activities he has been involved in include the inaugural Jawun secondment program; presenting a paper titled ‘Payment for eco-system services’ at conferences in Geneva and Rio de Janeiro; helping overturn the Wild Rivers legislation; participating in the Diplomacy Training Program at UNSW; acting as facilitator for the second round of Emerging Indigenous Leaders program; leading the national ‘Recognise’ campaign visit to Cape York; and attending Front Line Defender (international human rights) training.
Harold recognises that Australia is a First Nation and his ambition is to bring the standards experienced by people in rural areas to the same level enjoyed by Australians around the country, to uncover the truth of the harsh history his people have endured, and to push for answers to the many questions left unanswered. Harold has recently published his first book “On a Barbarous Coast” which he co-authored with Craig Cormack published by Allen and Unwin. IACA is very grateful to have a leader of such high calibre.
Main image credit: New IACA President, Harold Ludwick