The Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture will be given for the first time in Gurindji country

The annual Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture will be held this year for the first time in the land of Gurindji, the birthplace of the modern land rights movement.

Mr. Lingiari was a Gurindji advocate, activist and land rights hero.

The lecture, which commemorates the historic departure from Wave Hill Station in 1966 by Aboriginal station workers and their families, will be delivered at the Freedom Day Festival to be held in Kalkarindji/Daguragu (Wave Hill) on August 26.

It will be delivered by author, union official and advocate of the Heart Uluru Declaration Thomas Mayor, a Kaurareg Aborigine, and Kalkalgal, an Erubamle Torres Strait Islander.

Mr Mayor was entrusted with the canvas Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2017 and is building a grassroots movement by traveling to communities across Australia to gather support for the statement.

The 2022 conference will pay tribute to Vincent Lingiari and his legacy, as well as the courage of the Gurindji people.

“There is no better place to deliver the Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture than in Gurindji Country, where the people have sparked great strides in land rights and equality,” Mayor said.

“This conference comes at a crucial time, with a change of government, First Nations people can build on the inspiring acts of courage of Vincent Lingiari and the Gurindji people and win a referendum to find a First Nations voice.

“What greater unifying moment could there be for our country than this.”

Prime Minister Gough Whitlam pouring red earth into Mr Vincent Lingiari’s hand on August 16, 1975, symbolizing the legal transfer of Wave Hill station to the Gurindji people.

Freedom Day Festival coordinator and Gurindji man, Rob Roy, said the festival provided an opportunity for attendees to connect with the Gurindji community and learn about its history.

“The festival is a chance to encourage people from all walks of life to get out of the country, learn and celebrate all indigenous peoples, their cultures and their histories,” he said.

Charles Darwin University supports the Freedom Day Festival and works in partnership to present the Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture on Gurindji Country for the first time.

The university’s deputy vice-chancellor for First Nations leadership, Reuben Bolt, said the conference commemorated a key moment in First Nations history.

“We must continue to work to strengthen relationships between First Nations and non-Indigenous peoples,” he said.

The festival will take place over three days from August 26 to August 28.

Angela C. Hale