Australia has lost a genuine statesman and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people an icon in the passing of Dr Evelyn Scott, AO. Speaking on behalf of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, CEO,
Mr Craig Ritchie offered heartfelt condolences to Dr Scott’s family.
“Dr Scott will be remembered as a towering figure in the history of this nation – an Elder and activist who was a tireless campaigner on behalf of our peoples who carried out her work with consummate grace and powerful impact.”
Dr Scott played a pivotal role in the reconciliation process, leading the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation from 1997-2000. The Council concluded its work under her leadership and delivered its landmark report and roadmap to reconciliation in the year 2000. At the same time, a groundswell of support for national reconciliation was marked notably by a quarter of a million Australians who took part in the Corroboree 2000 Walk for Reconciliation across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
In acknowledgment of her contribution to the nation, Dr Scott was awarded two honorary doctorates from the Australian Catholic University in 2000 for her work in reconciliation and the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and women and, in 2001 from James Cook University in recognition of outstanding service to the Queensland community and exceptional contribution to human well-being. In the same year, Dr Scott was made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia.
“In the year when the nation celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum campaign in which Dr Scott played an instrumental role, Dr Scott’s contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the nation serves as both an inspiration and a challenge to pick up the torch and continue her work and get the job done,” Mr Ritchie said.
Vale Dr Evelyn Scott.
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